State Rep. Bill G. Schuette today unveiled the House Republican plan that will improve Michigan’s lackluster standing on government transparency through comprehensive ethics and transparency reforms.
The plans follow through on a clear call for greater accountability and transparency in government that’s been sent by voters and residents throughout the state. The multi-bill package works in harmony with Sunshine Week – which runs from March 12-18 and promotes greater access to public information.
“Michigan has long been toward the bottom of national rankings for transparency in government. It’s unacceptable and it’s time we forgo this status quo,” said Schuette, of Midland. “These proposals are steps in the right direction. Voters approved Proposal 1 last year and sent a clear message that the people of this state demand greater transparency from their public officials.
“This is the fifth Sunshine Week of Governor Whitmer’s administration, but we’ve yet to see here act on any of her campaign promises. House Republicans are done waiting. We are leading the way to deliver this transparency. This is the right move for our state and people we all represent.”
The bills continue efforts to expand the Freedom of Information (FOIA) Act to ensure the governor and legislators will no longer be exempt from Michigan’s sunshine laws. They also create constitutionally required financial disclosure forms for lawmakers, so conflicts of interest can be better regulated and officials can be held accountable to the people they are working for.
The legislative package establishes better standards going forward by prohibiting legislators from voting when they or an immediate family member could personally benefit, creates a cooling off period that prohibits legislators and government department heads from becoming lobbyists for two years after the end of their term or tenure, and forms new bipartisan ethics committees.
The permanent panels – one in each chamber – will have an equal party split and alternating co-chairs to enforce ethics and conflict of interest laws, issue advisory opinions and recommend disciplinary action. In addition, the committees will be able to receive and investigate public complains about legislator misconduct – a critical component to ensuring state government is accountable to the people it represents.
The ethics and transparency legislation is contained within House Bills 4261-72. Schuette’s bill is HB 4261, which amends the state’s Freedom of Information Act to subject the governor and lieutenant governor and their employees to FOIA beginning Jan. 1, 2024. The proposals will be formally read into the record today.
PHOTO INFORMATION: Rep. Bill G. Schuette (at podium) speaks on new ethics and transparency legislation spearheaded by House Republicans on Tuesday, March 14. Schuette was joined by (from left) state Reps. Mike Harris (R-Waterford), Tom Kunse (R-Clare) and John Roth (R-Interlochen).
State Rep. Bill G. Schuette today criticized state Attorney General Dana Nessel’s legal opinion designed to block full implementation of the Republican income tax rollback plan. “Attorney General Nessel’s opinion is a blatant, all-hands-on-deck plan by Democrats in Lansing to raise taxes on hardworking Michiganders. Democrats have tried every trick in the book to prevent […]
The next “Ask Bill G.” Office Hours with Representative Bill G. Schuette event will take place on Monday, March 20. “Ask Bill G.” events are part of Bill’s commitment to listening to residents across the 95th House District in Midland and Gladwin counties. “As we have seen throughout this term and especially these last few […]
State Rep. Bill G. Schuette (R-Midland) today enrolled new legislation that would fortify religious freedom protections and clarify language in the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. House Bill 4345 has more than 30 co-sponsors in the House and has companion legislation in the Senate to be introduced by Sen. Joe Bellino (R-Monroe). “I want to be […]
State Representative Bill G. Schuette voted today to protect Second Amendment freedoms by voting no on House Bills 4138, 4142, and 4143. This bill package requires universal background checks for firearm transfers and creates universal firearms licensing. “These bills will do nothing to stop future gun violence and are a serious infringement on the Second […]
© 2009 - 2023 Michigan House Republicans. All Rights Reserved.