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December 8, 2023

Will Michigan’s new financial disclosure law change the “culture” of undisclosed conflicts in Lansing? Not likely.

Guest Host Simon Shuster, senior political reporter at MLive, discusses the long-awaited passage of bills requiring financial disclosure of public officials with Research Director Craig Thiel. Michigan is likely to continue to be rated as one of the worst states for government ethics, transparency, and accountability.  Proposal 1, a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2022, required the ethics reform (financial disclosure) legislation to be enacted by December 31. While the new law meets the bare minimum standards set by Proposal 1, Michigan is likely to continue to be rated as one of the worst states for government ethics, transparency, and accountability. Because of several major loopholes in reporting for elected officials and candidates for office were left unaddressed in the legislation, “sunlight” on elected officials' financial conflicts will be intentionally dimmed, and important information will continue to be shielded from public view.  The lack of substantive financial disclosure requirements for top state officeholders is part of the reason Michigan receives an “F” and ranks at the bottom of states in terms of government ethics, transparency, and accountability by the Center for Public Integrity.

Will Michigan’s new financial disclosure law change the “culture” of undisclosed conflicts in Lansing? Not likely.

Guest Host Simon Shuster, senior political reporter at MLive, discusses the long-awaited passage of bills requiring financial disclosure of public officials with Research Director Craig Thiel. Michigan is likely to continue to be rated as one of the worst states for government ethics, transparency, and accountability.  Proposal 1, a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2022, required the ethics reform (financial disclosure) legislation to be enacted by December 31. While the new law meets the bare minimum standards set by Proposal 1, Michigan is likely to continue to be rated as one of the worst states for government ethics, transparency, and accountability. Because of several major loopholes in reporting for elected officials and candidates for office were left unaddressed in the legislation, “sunlight” on elected officials' financial conflicts will be intentionally dimmed, and important information will continue to be shielded from public view.  The lack of substantive financial disclosure requirements for top state officeholders is part of the reason Michigan receives an “F” and ranks at the bottom of states in terms of government ethics, transparency, and accountability by the Center for Public Integrity.
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