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Bumstead introduces major ethics reform legislation

LANSING, Mich. — Lobbyists in Michigan would face stiffer financial reporting requirements and be required to file reports monthly under legislation recently introduced by Sen. Jon Bumstead.

“One of the unintended consequences of term limits is the fact lobbyists became significantly more powerful and money has been their primary weapon of influence,” said Bumstead, R-Newaygo. “By requiring lobbyists to report more information and submit their financial reports more often, we can make the Legislature more transparent and honest. This will help ensure elected officials conduct themselves in a manner that best serves the people of our great state.”

In addition to the monthly reporting requirement, Senate Bill 963 would make additional changes to existing law to improve transparency. The bill would:

  • Redefine gift to mean a payment, advance, forbearance, or the deposit or rendering of money, services, or anything of value.
  • Require the mandatory reporting of lobbyist expenditures, including any contributions made by an association, corporation, or organization to a public official.
  • Require the reporting of financial transactions, including for travel and lodging, food and beverages, and employees in the monthly filing.
  • Establish a revolving door provision to prohibit elected officials from becoming lobbyists for two years after leaving office.

“Michigan residents expect elected officials to fairly represent the interests of their districts, but lobbyists can have a large impact on votes in both the House of Representatives and Senate,” Bumstead said. “This legislation is a commonsense reform that increases transparency to restore Michiganders’ confidence in the legislative process.”

The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Government Operations for consideration.

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