Lansing, MI — Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the Public Officers Financial Disclosure Act into law, bringing Michigan into alignment with 48 other states that require lawmakers to disclose finances. The legislation, while an improvement ethics reform, falls short of Common Cause Michigan’s goal of providing the utmost transparency when it comes to elected officials’ finances.
For months, Common Cause Michigan advocated for comprehensive ethics reform—including requiring officials disclose income, assets, and payments received from anyone—which a strong, bipartisan majority of Michiganders voted for in 2022. Common Cause Michigan also advocated for requiring candidates and immediate family members—in addition to current office holders—to disclose financial information to the public.
Statement of Common Cause Michigan Executive Director Quentin Turner
“We’re pleased to see Governor Whitmer sign this long overdue ethics reform into law—but ultimately, the law falls short of voters’ expectations. Despite overwhelming, bi-partisan support for greater transparency from our elected officials, lawmakers weakened the law to shield themselves from public scrutiny.
The people of Michigan asked for full transparency, and this legislation does not go far enough. There are still too many loopholes in the disclosure process. We deserve to know about the financial incentives of our elected officials and how that might influence the people’s business.
Our work is not done until we have a strong and comprehensive disclosure bill that holds power accountable.”