Financial Disclosure | Michigan Radio
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Financial Disclosure

State capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

A bipartisan coalition of state representatives is reintroducing a package of eight bills that would require state officials and candidates to disclose some personal financial information.

The lawmakers said the goal is to increase transparency by helping to screen for potential conflicts of interest.

"It's critical that we have elected officials who are willing to be transparent with their financial interests and share that information with the voters in order to restore and try to rebuild voter confidence in elected offiicials," said Rep. David LaGrand (D-Grand Rapids), one of the bills' sponsors.

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Some Michigan lawmakers are trying – once again – to pass legislation that would require elected officials to file financial disclosures. It’s an issue that lawmakers have been trying to get past the finish line for decades.

Money
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State lawmakers will start discussions this week about whether they – and other elected officials – should have to produce personal financial disclosures.

Craig Mauger is with the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. That’s a nonpartisan watchdog organization that follows money in politics.

Mauger says bills up for debate in a state House committee on Wednesday would help the public get a better sense of who their lawmakers are, and see potential conflicts of interest.

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Michigan is one of only two states in the nation that does not require candidates for statewide office to file financial disclosures, according to state Rep.Yousef Rabhi, D-Ann Arbor.

Rabhi is one of 31 Democrats in the State House to voluntarily submit the documentation, in a show of support for bills spearheaded by Rep. David LaGrand, D-Grand Rapids.

Rabhi says voters deserve more transparency in government.

BRIDGE MAGAZINE: Three of four Republicans share tax returns. Bill Schuette said he will soon.

May 22, 2018
income tax
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Three of the four GOP candidates for Michigan’s governor have released their 2017 federal income tax returns, following a financial disclosure request from Bridge Magazine.

The fourth, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, the presumed frontrunner, filed for an extension with the IRS, his campaign said, with 2017 returns to be released when they are available.

But it was real estate, not tax returns, that has escalated tensions in the last week between Schuette and Republican rival Lt. Gov. Brian Calley over Schuette’s finances.