press release


News from Progress Michigan

March 9, 2021

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574,

Hypocrisy in the Michigan House and the Senate

Records request reveals 33 severance payments made by House and Senate since 2010

MICHIGAN – When the public learned that former health department Director Robert Gordon received a substantial severance payment as part of a confidential separation agreement, Michigan Republicans harshly condemned the governor’s office for not being more transparent—but financial records from the Michigan House and Senate expose a similar practice.

Responses to a financial records request made by Progress Michigan show that since October 1, 2010, the state House has made three payments of $13,250, $21,350, and $25,000 in severance agreements, and the Senate has reached 30 separation agreements with payments totaling $632,144.17. The details of these agreements are confidential.

“Michigan Republicans often pay lip service to government ethics and transparency—but only when it suits their agenda and provides fuel for political attacks,” said Lonnie Scott, Executive Director of Progress Michigan. “If the MIGOP really cared about transparency, they would stop playing games and pass full FOIA for both the Legislature and Governor’s office as Progress Michigan has repeatedly called for and as our ballot initiative will do. For weeks, the Republican legislature has put themselves up on a pedestal only for the truth to come out and topple their entire narrative. It’s clear more transparency is needed in Lansing, but the legislature needs to get their own house in order before they can claim to take any sort of moral high ground on this issue. We need real transparency and accountability in Lansing, not politically motivated hot air and bluster from Republican lawmakers, whose sole purpose seems to be attacking the governor — even from a place of rank hypocrisy.”