Bipartisan solution would expose potential conflicts of interest
State Rep. Steve Marino today announced a bipartisan plan to increase the transparency and accountability of elected state officials in Michigan.
Marino, of Harrison Township, 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.
“Requiring financial transparency from elected officials will expose potential conflicts of interest and deter corruption,” Marino said. “The public deserves access to this information so they can hold public officeholders accountable.”
Michigan is one of just two states without a law requiring elected officials or candidates to disclose their personal finances.
Marino said the eight-bill solution announced today would require elected officials and candidates for state-level offices 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.
“This plan provides all of the necessary financial information,” Marino said. “Citizens will be able to read the form and easily see where the people they elect have financial interests and potential conflicts.”
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.