Whitmer signs bill requiring recordings of state board meetings

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Lansing — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill Monday that requires state boards to begin recording their meetings and releasing the audio or video files under open records requests.

"Transparency and accessibility are critical to ensuring people trust their state government," Whitmer said in a statement. "Expanding the Open Meetings Act to require audio recordings of public meetings will help Michiganders have more confidence in their public bodies.

"I will work with anyone to boost accountability by instituting robust standards of transparency consistently across levels and chambers of our government."

The new law impacts state licensing boards, state commission panels and state rule-making boards.

Unless their meetings are taking place in sessions closed to the public, the boards must ensure the meetings are recorded "in a manner that allows for the capture of sound." The resulting recordings must be maintained for a year and be made available through Freedom of Information Act requests, according to the new law.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Luke Meerman, R-Coopersville.

"This legislation helps hold government more accountable,” Meerman said of the proposal last year. "Promoting openness and transparency in government ensures responsible decision-making from members of state boards and commissions."