Theis bill protects veterans’ privacy rights

LANSING, Mich. — Military veterans would be exempt from Open Meetings Act (OMA) requirements in certain circumstances under legislation introduced Wednesday by Sen. Lana Theis.


“Government demands a lot from our veterans, both when they served the country in uniform and when they return to civilian life,” said Theis, R-Brighton. “I introduced this bill because veterans, as civilians, should have the same expectations to privacy that ordinary citizens have. There is, frankly, certain personal information that the public doesn’t need to know, and that is especially true for veterans.”


Currently, when a veteran applies to receive certain benefits they have earned through their military service at a county veterans services office, the local veterans services board often has to interview the applicant during an official open meeting. Unfortunately for veterans, the line of questioning they are subject to may reveal personal and sensitive financial, medical, and other health information.


Senate Bill 10 would amend the existing law to exempt veterans from the OMA in such instances and protect their privacy rights.


The bill was referred to the Senate Families, Seniors, and Veterans Committee for consideration.


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