Support Local Journalism. Donate to Detroit Metro Times.

Michigan’s sunshine laws still leave citizens in the dark 

Looking back on 40 years of MT

click to enlarge mt40logowtag-reduced.jpg

As we count down to our 40th anniversary in October, we've been revisiting our archives to highlight Metro Times stories that resonate in 2020.

30 years ago in Metro Times: Amy Harmon, a researcher at the Los Angeles Times' Detroit bureau, reports on the "sad state of Michigan's sunshine laws" nearly 15 years after the Michigan legislature passed the Freedom of Information Act in the wake of Watergate. As Harmon and other journalists found, governments could — and did — flout the law by dragging their feet, charging high rates for copies of documents, or just shrugging and saying "so sue me," knowing that most citizens and small newspapers don't have the funds to do so. Today, not much has changed, and Michigan has been ranked as one of the worst states for government transparency. In October, Michigan attorney general Dana Nessel told the attendees at a FOIA Festival hosted by the Society of Professional Journalists at Wayne State University that she was "deeply ashamed" that Michigan is the only state that exempts the governor, lieutenant governor, and state lawmakers from FOIA requests. "We are not opening the doors to state government," Nessel said. "In fact, we are locking them with deadbolts, and then we are nailing boards across them, and then there's a moat ... that's what FOIA feels like with our state government."

What was happening: Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Sonic Youth, and Social Distortion at the Palace of Auburn Hills (R.I.P.).

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We’re keeping you informed…
...and it’s what we love to do. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, Metro Times has been keeping Detroit informed for years.

It’s never been more important to support local news sources. A free press means accountability and a well-informed public, and we want to keep our unique and independent reporting available for many, many years to come.

If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to Metro Times. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture. Thank you.

Read the Digital Print Issue

April 8, 2020


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2020 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation