State Rep. Sarah Lightner and the Michigan House this week announced a sweeping, bipartisan reform plan that will greatly improve ethics and transparency laws for government officials.
The comprehensive list of reforms includes improvements to public record laws, ethical standards, financial disclosure requirements, bans on conflicts of interest, and more.
“The people I talk with in our community are totally fed up with political games and politicians who don’t have the best interests of Michigan families at heart,” said Lightner, of Springport. “I’ve been listening. I understand why people are losing faith, and I’m working hard to raise the bar on the disgracefully low ethical standards currently in place, which do nothing more than invite skepticism and mistrust.”
Some of the reforms announced today have already begun moving in the state Legislature, including the expansion of the Freedom of Information Act and changes to the “lame duck” legislative session.
Other reforms are new, including gift restrictions, lobbying disclosures, new penalties for state legislators who fail to show up for the job or act unethically, and permanent, independent ethics committees in the Legislature to investigate complaints and ensure compliance.
“The changes we’re working on have real teeth,” Lightner said. “They will make state government more open and responsive to the people of Michigan and they will make sure that state officials who screw up can be held accountable.”
The measures announced on Tuesday have already been drafted into legislation and will be introduced this week. A full list of the reforms is available here.
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