This week, Representative Martin Howrylak (R- Troy) testified in the House Law and Justice Committee in support of his legislation increasing government transparency and enforcing the Open Meetings Act (OMA). If enacted, his bill would clarify that OMA violations can be in the past or ongoing when a citizen files a civil action against a public body. Additionally, the bill ensured that an individual who commences a civil action which results in any judicial finding that a public body did not comply or is not complying with OMA can recover court costs and legal fees. “It can be quite costly for a citizen to file a violation of the Open Meetings Act and this proposal would help defray those costs when the individual is successful in court. This would be another way to help keep government entities accountable to the provisions of the Act,” stated Tony Des Chenes of MLC. The bill remains under consideration by the House Law and Justice Committee.
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