Kildee calls for states to follow federal ethics, transparency rules

Jan 17, 2017

Michigan is ranked at or near the bottom of states when it comes to disclosing conflicts of interest by elected officials.

As Gov. Rick Snyder prepares to deliver his seventh State of the State address, a potential candidate to replace him has called for ethics rules that would align Michigan with what the federal government requires.

Cong. Dan Kildee (D-Flint) has proposed a federal law to require state lawmakers to disclose their sources of income and possible conflicts of interest. That’s the same standard applied to members of Congress.

“Some state governments, Michigan, unfortunately, among them, just don’t get it when it comes to standards of ethics and transparency,” said Kildee.

States that don’t adopt the same standards under the Kildee bill would lose funding for some federal programs.

Kildee is expected to announce soon whether he will seek the Democratic nomination to run for governor next year. Former state Senate minority leader Gretchen Whitmer has already announced. On the Republican side, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley and state Attorney General Bill Schuette are eyeing a run.

Gov. Snyder is expected to focus on transportation, education, and infrastructure in his State of the State address tonight.