95.3 / 88.5 FM Grand Rapids and 95.3 FM Muskegon
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Michigan House Personal Conflict of Interest Disclosure Package draws bipartisan support

Michigan legislature photo

A bipartisan coalition of state representatives are pushing legislation increasing transparency among political candidates and state officials.

Michigan has nationally ranked near the bottom among states when it comes to government transparency.

State Representatives David LaGrand, a Democrat from Grand Rapids, and Mark Huizenga, a Republican from Walker, are introducing an eight-bill package aimed at disclosing elected officials and political candidate personal finances and screening conflicts of interest.

“We’re one of two states left in the country that doesn’t require some kind of financial disclosure from elected officials." Idaho being the only other state. Rep. LaGrand explains it’s required at the federal level, too.

“Relationships with no trust don’t work. It doesn’t work in marriage. It doesn’t work in friendship and it certainly can’t work in democracy. So, it’s really urgent I think, that we electeds start working to restore voter trust.”

LaGrand says the Personal Conflict of Interest Disclosure Package would require elected officials and candidates to disclose their principle sources of income and financial interests.

The package carries with it a clear house majority with 63 co-sponsors. LaGrand and Huizenga are working with senators generating consensus.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.