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Plan would require audio recordings of state panels’ meetings

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Michigan's Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission could be subject to the proposed new open meetings recording rules.


Lansing –  Legislators are looking to shed light on state officials by expanding the Open Meetings Act to require audio recordings of licensing and other rule-making boards and commissions. 

While people can attend meetings of public bodies and record or broadcast them, state law does not require them to be recorded. 

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This proposed amendment requires a record of a meeting as audio, video with sound or by a broadcast capable of being recorded. These recordings would have to be available to the public for at least a year after the meeting. 

Supporters of the bill say it provides a strong baseline for improving access to government meetings.

Having access to these recordings would be a valuable tool for journalists, said Lisa McGraw, the public affairs manager for the Michigan Press Association.

Broadcast representatives agree.

“Anytime that we’re able to get a recording of what is happening from public officials, I think that’s important and critical,” said Sam Klemet, the president-elect of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.

Michigan's Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission could be subject to the proposed new open meetings recording rules.

“Obviously we are an industry that supports the Open Meetings Act and want to see that in as strong of a capacity as possible,” Klemet said.

To be the megaphone for the local communities they serve, having access to meetings is important for broadcasters, as well as members of the public, Klemet said. 

But the bill could go farther.

“I would like to see it applied to the Open Meetings Act as a whole, not just to specific state commissions,” McGraw said. This would require recordings of all public meetings. 



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