Government ethics reforms a bipartisan priority in 2021
State Rep. Ann Bollin of Brighton Township and the Michigan House today 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.
“When I talk to people in our community, I often hear about how sick and tired they are of the old political games,” said Bollin, chair of the House Elections and Ethics Committee. “The ethical standards for state officials are disgracefully low in Michigan. People are losing faith in their government and the time for real change is overdue. I am glad we’re taking action now to raise the bar and earn back the trust and confidence of our residents.”
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 measures announced today have already been drafted into legislation and will be introduced this week. A full list of the reforms is available here.
Rep. Bollin speaks on the House floor Wednesday, prior to House passage of her House Bill 4728, which would prevent state or local emergency orders from prohibiting or limiting graduation ceremonies at schools for the graduating class of 2020 or 2021.
State Rep. Ann Bollin said a metrics-driven plan to end COVID-19 restrictions is long overdue – and while the plan announced by the governor Thursday needs improvement, it moves the state in the right direction by providing more transparency and accountability.