State Rep. Timothy Beson yesterday introduced legislation, House Bill 4683, that would create a bipartisan ethics committee as part of a sweeping reform plan put forward by the Michigan House. This legislation will increase transparency and improve ethical standards for government officials.
The comprehensive list of reforms within the package includes improvements to financial disclosure requirements, public record laws, ethical standards, bans on conflicts of interest, and more.
“I am proud to be leading the charge with fifteen of my colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, to reform transparency standards in our government,” said Rep. Beson. “As one of only two states to exempt the governor and one of only six states to exempt state legislators from open records requests, an overhaul of our system is long overdue. Our government salaries are paid using hard-earned taxpayer funds, and it is important we take these actions to restore their confidence in the state government.”
Some of the reforms announced today, including changes to the “lame duck” legislative session and the expansion of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), have already begun moving in the state Legislature.
Other reforms are new, including gift restrictions, lobbying disclosures, new penalties for state legislators who fail to show up for the job or act unethically, and permanent, independent ethics committees in the Legislature to investigate complaints and ensure compliance.
The reforms announced today have been drafted into legislation and will be introduced this week. A comprehensive overview of the plan can be found here.
Allyson Kemp of Unionville, the 2021 Michigan Sugar Queen; Makenna Karst of Frankenmuth, an attendant on the Queen’s Court; state Rep. Timmy Beson of Bangor Township; and Raven Wieland of Pinconning, an attendant on the Queen’s Court, stand at the state Capitol on Wednesday, Oct. 13.
Rep. Beson talks about House passage this week of House Bills 5404 and 5405, creating the Student Opportunity Scholarship program, which would provide resources to support the education of K-12 students.
The Senate Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure today approved state Rep. Timmy Beson’s plan to rename a Bay County bridge in honor of Sgt. Kristopher Gould, who was killed in the line of duty in the U.S. Army.