Bipartisan plan would require financial disclosure from elected officials
State Rep. Graham Filler today announced a bipartisan plan to increase the transparency and accountability of elected state officials in Michigan.
Filler, of DeWitt, said the plan will expose potential conflicts of interest by requiring candidates for and officeholders of the legislative, executive and judicial branches to fill out a financial disclosure form.
“Michigan is one of just two states that allows people to seek elected office without disclosing their personal finances,” Filler said. “It’s time to end this dubious distinction and bring more accountability to our state government.”
Filler said the eight-bill solution announced today would disclose potential conflicts of interest without unnecessarily divulging specific personal wealth of elected officials and candidates in Michigan.
Under the proposal, elected officials and candidates for state-level offices would be required to disclose sources of income; stocks, investments and real estate assets owned; business associations above certain thresholds; and any relatives registered as lobbyists. The same information would be required for the filer’s spouse and any dependent children.
If enacted, the disclosure rules would apply to candidates and legislators in the state House and Senate, the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, circuit court judges, court of appeals judges, state board of education members and elected state university board members.
“This plan will build upon our efforts to increase transparency across state government as a whole,” said Filler, who also sponsored legislation to expand open records laws to legislators and the executive branch. “We will help restore the public’s faith in government by requiring officials to disclose potential conflicts of interest and comply with open records requests.”