Coalition calls for tightening state government lobbying rules | Michigan Radio

Coalition calls for tightening state government lobbying rules

Oct 9, 2019

For too long, wealthy special interests and their lobbyists have run the show in Lansing," says Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. "Big business has spent untold millions on lobbying to make sure they could make untold billions without paying their fair share in taxes.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A coalition of groups wants to close what it calls loopholes that allow lobbyists in Lansing to abuse the system.

The Coalition to Close Lansing Loopholes is comprised of liberal and union groups, including Progress Michigan, the Michigan Nurses Association and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan.

Lonnie Scott is the executive director of Progress Michigan.

He says the coalition is proposing banning gifts from lobbyists to lawmakers and a cooling off period before an ex-state lawmaker can become a lobbyist.

“People should know that their lawmakers aren’t just in office to take advantage of the revolving door or using their last months in office to find a job as a lobbyist for when their term is up,” says Scott.

Scott blames lobbying rules for business taxes in Michigan generating less than five percent of state tax revenues.

On Wednesday, he stood next to a person wearing a costume resembling a pie chart. The costume depicts where state tax revenues come from, ranging from 41.2% from income taxes down to 3.6% from business taxes. 

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