Bipartisan solution would expose potential conflicts of interest
State Rep. Mark Huizenga today announced a bipartisan plan to increase the transparency and accountability of elected state officials in Michigan.
Huizenga, of Walker, 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.
“Elected officials should have nothing to hide from the people they serve,” Huizenga said. “Enacting this plan will give residents more confidence that their government is acting in their best interest.”
Michigan is one of just two states without a law requiring elected officials or candidates to disclose their personal finances.
Huizenga said the eight-bill solution announced today would disclose potential conflicts of interest without unnecessarily divulging the relative wealth or poverty 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.
“The disclosures required under this bill package are reasonable and substantive. They are not burdensome on the candidate or official and provide easy to understand information to the public,” Huizenga said.
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.