Advocates for a more transparent government in Michigan have been waiting years for movement on legislation to expand public records access and improve state ethics laws.
They are still waiting.
Democratic officials who took power in Lansing in January have long voiced support for transparency reform measures like expanding the scope of the Freedom of Information Act, beefing up campaign finance rules and requiring more disclosure from public officials.
So far this term, though, they have introduced no bills to accomplish those goals. During a recent Senate session, Sen. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake, said “it’s way past time for us to act.”
Sen. Jeremy Moss, a Southfield Democrat and backer of government reform, said legislation is coming in a few months, telling Bridge there is “new energy for this on my end now that we’re in a position to really get this thing done.”
Nancy Wang of Voters Not Politicians, an advocacy group focused on government transparency issues, told Bridge Michigan she’s not concerned transparency isn’t front and center. She said she’s encouraged lawmakers take ethics issues seriously and sees the current session of the Legislature as a “really great opportunity” to move the needle.
“We’re hoping it won’t take very long for them to introduce the bills and then once they do to get them passed — we know there’s energy,” she said.
This story was originally published by Bridge Michigan. Read more here: https://www.bridgemi.com/michigan-government/despite-vows-democrats-do-little-improve-michigan-government-transparency