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Tue January 5, 2010
MI lawmakers call for fewer closed doors
By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI – Republicans and Democrats in the state House say legislative leaders should not be allowed to negotiate the budget behind closed doors.
A group of lawmakers called the "Capitol Caucus" say there should be an open-door policy for all budget negotiations. This is the first time the bi-partisan group has drawn up legislation. But they say reforming the budget process is a major priority for them.
Democrat Joan Bauer was on the Lansing City Council for many years before becoming a state Representative.
"Every meeting we ever had, we didn't even dare hold a lunch with a quorum of the planning committee if we didn't post it," she says. "And I think that's good."
The Capitol Caucus is composed of a handful of lawmakers who represent communities in and around Lansing. They say many of the people who live in their districts work for the state, and they're particularly sensitive to issues surrounding the state budget.