Feb 22, 2007
The Michigan House Democrats are taking a real step forward in campaign finance reform with the introduction of a bill that requires elected officials to file personal financial disclosure statements.
Majority Floor Leader Steve Tobocman, D-Detroit, introduced House Bill 4285 yesterday that will require “candidates for state office or judge, state department heads and current office holders to file personal financial disclosure statements that include the names of all family members; his or her employer; the source and amount of earned income and other or her spouse; a list of assets including real and personal property, stocks, bonds; a record of transactions involving the previous items; a list of liabilities over $10,000 of the candidate or a family member; any business ownership; any trustee, director, etc. positions held by the individual in a business, union, non-profit, educational or other institution; any future employment agreement, including leave-of-absence agreements; any honoraria received by the office holder or spouse; and more.”
The House Democrats introduced an eight-bill package last spring that included the financial disclosure that died in committee, but now that the Democrats are in the majority chances are very good this bill will finally become law.
Michigan has the worst record for financial disclosure in the country, according to the Center for Public Integrity. The Center for Public Integrity - a nonprofit, non-partisan organization dedicated to producing original, responsible investigative journalism on issues of public concern – has consistently ranked Michigan among the worst in the nation for its public financial disclosure laws. In addition, many laws in Michigan don’t apply to all state elected officials in the same way, creating different standards for different officials.
The bill was referred to the Committee on Ethics and Elections, chaired by Rep. Marc Corriveau, D-Northville.