Rep. Annette Glenn, R-Midland, last week introduced legislation to improve transparency between state government and the public and to hold government officials guilty of misconduct accountable.
Glenn’s measure, House Bill 5981, would establish a state employee ombudsman to investigate and evaluate reports of suspected misconduct.
“Government officials must be held accountable for their actions,” Glenn said. “Michigan taxpayers deserve to know they can trust what goes on in our state government, and this legislation will make sure those who break the law are held accountable.”
Under the legislation, the ombudsman could start an investigation based on his or her own initiative or if tipped off by a state employee whistleblower. The ombudsman would establish procedures for receiving and processing complaints, conducting investigations, holding hearings, and reporting findings of investigations.
“This bill will create a more open and accountable state government,” Glenn said. “Earlier this month, Gov. Whitmer vetoed a bill that would’ve offered protection to state employees who report suspicious activity, which passed the House and Senate with unanimous bipartisan support. My legislation is taking another run at reform from a different angle, not only helping create greater transparency between state government and the taxpayers who fund it, but ensuring whistleblowers who report bureaucratic misconduct or incompetence to the new ombudsman in confidence are protected from reprisal.”
Rep. Glenn talks about her HB 4558, part of a plan approved this week by the House Regulatory Reform Committee that would allow a wide variety of occupations to seek prorated fee reimbursements if their workplace was closed because of a state mandate in 2020. The measure is now before the full House.