Allor makes good first move

We like the way State Rep. Sue Allor, R-Wolverine, is starting out in Lansing.

The first bill the freshman legislator introduced was aimed at making state government more transparent to the public.

Allor joined with both GOP and Democrat legislators in introducing legislation that was part of an 11-bill bipartisan plan aimed at making the governor and lieutenant governor’s offices subject to the Freedom of Information Act, as well as creating a similar set of rules pertaining to state legislators under the Legislative Open Records Act.

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, speaking at the Michigan Press Association’s annual convention a week ago, indicated that, depending on the extent of the legislation, he would be receptive to new reforms. In a separate address, Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof and House Speaker Tom Leonard both said they were “cool” to such legislation. Meekhof even said he had major reservations about any reform, as it would erode constituent communication with legislators.

Apparently Leonard had a change of heart in less than a week’s time, as he joined with the sponsoring legislators at a press conference about the proposed legislation just days after addressing journalists from across Michigan.

“Michigan is one of only two states where the governor’s office and legislators are exempt from public disclosure rules, and it’s time for that to change,” Allor said. “How can we expect people to trust us if they don’t have a way to hold us accountable? I’m committed to standing up for what is right, and people deserve more transparency. “

The freshman legislator, who was subject to FOIA requirements as a county commissioner in the past, said state officials should be subjected to the same rules and disclosure requirements.

“Ultimately our state government will be more effective if we foster public trust by being more open and accountable,” Allor said.

We agree.

Her first co-sponsorship of major legislation certainly will be one to remember.