FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from Multiple Organizations
May 18, 2021
Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, firstname.lastname@example.org
Organizations Call for Improved Financial Disclosure Policies
HB 4680-4686 are not the financial disclosure we need
Lansing – On Tuesday, a group of 14 organizations who support government ethics and transparency released the following joint statement about HB 4680-4686, which deal with financial disclosure policies for state lawmakers:
“While our organizations work on a litany of different issues, we’re all in agreement that Michigan deserves to have elected officials who are transparent and accountable to the people.
Michigan ranks dead last in the country in government ethics and transparency, and our lack of financial disclosure laws is a big part of the reason why. We’re glad to see both parties in the House taking up this important cause and opening a discussion about joining the 48 other states that require lawmakers to disclose their finances.
Unfortunately, the proposal outlined in HB 4680-4686 falls well short of the real transparency Michiganders need and deserve. Instead of making financial disclosures available to the public, which is standard practice in Congress and dozens of other states, this law would create a private legislative committee to view legislators’ finances and determine when a conflict of interest has occurred. This committee would have full control over when and if any information about legislators’ financial interests would be disclosed to the public.
We have several concerns about this policy and the numerous ways in which it would open the door for legislators to evade real accountability, including the fact that legislative leaders would be able to remove committee members at any time, for any reason.
If the lawmakers sponsoring this transparency bill package are serious about restoring trust in our state government and ensuring legislators now and in the future are fully accountable to the people, we urge them to reconsider their approach to financial disclosure — because Michiganders deserve to know the full truth about their lawmakers’ financial interests.”
Center for Change
Detroit Disability Power
Interfaith Council for Peace & Justice
Michigan Alliance for Justice in Climate (MAJIC)
Michigan Clean Water Action
Michiganders for Fair and Transparent Elections
Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council
Sierra Club Michigan Chapter
We the People – Michigan