press release

News from Progress Michigan

April 29, 2021

Contact: Sam Inglot, (616) 916-0574,

‘Transparency’ Bills Don’t Pass the Smell Test; Progress MI Demands Real Reform

Close Lansing Loopholes FOIA and lobbying reform initiatives will offer real ethics and transparency changes

MICHIGAN  In the wake of a Bridge Magazine article outlining the extreme deficiencies in an ethics reform package moving through the GOP-controlled legislature, Progress Michigan is calling attention to the real efforts to reform ethics and transparency in Lansing through the Close Lansing Loopholes campaign.

“If lawmakers in Lansing want to hold themselves to a higher standard, they would think twice before passing this flawed financial disclosure bill with no teeth,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “For years, we’ve heard the same thing from Lansing that they’d pass reforms, but this stuff doesn’t pass the smell test. What the people of Michigan need is for their elected officials to be held to the highest level of integrity in office. That means full financial disclosures with no black boxes, no carve-outs, and no treats for GOP leadership who just want to check a box so they can pretend they did something good.” 

If passed, these bills will do little to curb conflicts of interest and corruption, as Michigan remains only one of two states that do not require financial disclosures from public officials. This is why Progress Michigan recently announced a new ballot initiative, Close Lansing Loopholes, which would dramatically expand transparency and ethics requirements for lawmakers in a way that brings true accountability to Lansing. The initiative requires full transparency requirementswhich don’t include a black boxand expands the Freedom of Information Act to the governor and state legislature.