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conflict of interest

Mark K. / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

It’s Sunshine Week – a time of year when issues of transparency and open government are put front and center.

 

Democrats in the state House and Senate celebrated the week Tuesday by announcing a package of bills they say will make Michigan government more transparent and accountable.

 

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

 

Bridge Magazine and the Michigan Campaign Finance Network teamed up for an investigative report on votes in the Legislature that could easily be seen as self-serving.

These votes include:

  • The owner of a business that installs septic systems sponsored a bill that would grant emergency waivers from season vehicle weight limits on people who haul around septic systems.

  • The president of a real estate management company sponsoring a bill that would make it more difficult to sue landlords for damages arising from bedbug infestations.

  • A state senator telling a hometown newspaper he could not vote on a bill that came to the Senate floor because it would give his daughter, a judge, a raise. He then turned around and voted “yes” on the same bill when it returned to the Senate.

en.wikipedia

When hearing the phrase: "Your state is in danger of government corruption," a movie plot may come to mind.

But this is real life.

And with current Michigan laws, there may be some plot holes that could use revisions.

The Better Government Association (BGA) and Alper Services released a study this week ranking the states based on their "Integrity Score."