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Re: Greg McNeilly’s March 17 column “Pull the curtain back on party bosses”: Democrats have long advocated to expand the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Since at least 2007, Democratic state representatives have introduced bills to apply FOIA to the governor and Legislature, which are currently exempt from the law, only to see the bills languish in committee.

Last week, Democrats introduced legislation with Republican state Rep. Ed McBroom to subject all of state government to open records laws. I’m proud that my colleagues are coming together in a bipartisan way to improve transparency and accountability in Michigan government, and I am proud to be a co-sponsor of the main bills in the proposal.

Contrary to McNeilly’s claims, I have called for increased transparency for years, going back long before the water crisis in Flint.

McNeilly wrote, “Good government reforms like this rub the establishment the wrong way.” He’s right, but he conveniently forgets that the establishment are members of the Republican Party, which currently controls every branch of state government. Moreover, Republicans like Speaker Kevin Cotter and Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekof refuse to be transparent and disclose their own emails and schedule.

As part of Sunshine Week, the Associated Press submitted Freedom of Information Act requests to all four legislative leaders and the governor. I was the only one who released my personal schedule and emails.

I have long been an advocate for more transparency and accountability, and I will continue to lead by example on this important priority.

Tim Greimel, Auburn Hills

House Democratic Leader

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