Sen. Johnson tells lawmakers not to be ‘patting themselves on the back’ on transparency bills

Sen. Johnson tells lawmakers not to be ‘patting themselves on the back’ on transparency bills

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Ruth Johnson on Wednesday voted for a bipartisan package designed to implement the financial disclosure measures of Proposal 1 of 2022 but told her fellow senators that they must do better.

“I urge that not a single member of this body walk out of this chamber patting themselves on the back. I have been around long enough to know that the financial disclosure bills passed today are not a start, they are a snow job,” said Johnson, R-Holly. “This is all smoke and mirrors to deceive the voters of Michigan into thinking they are actually going to get some real accountability from their state government.”

Johnson cited a 2015 report card from the Center for Public Integrity that gave Michigan an “F” grade for integrity, ranking Michigan 50 out of 50 states dead last for ethics, accountability, and transparency.

“We must do better,” Johnson said. “I am nothing if not a fighter, so I will keep fighting for it. I hope sincerely that the words of some of my Senate colleagues and those of other state officials who claim to yearn for real reform and accountability are not just platitudes, and that they will work with me.

“We continue to live in one of the very worst states in this country for transparency, accountability and integrity measures and it is our job to fix it.”

Senate Bills 613-616 attempt to implement Proposal 1’s financial disclosure section and would require the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, members of the Legislature, candidates for those offices and spouses in limited instances to disclose certain financial information every year.

But Johnson argued that the bills do not go far enough.

“As though the bipartisan scandals of the past few years do not serve as a good enough warning, we intentionally left holes the size of Texas for current and future legislators and state officials to exploit as they please. Meanwhile, the people of Michigan are the ones who are going to pay the price,” Johnson said.


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