LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The clock on the wall showed 2:45 a.m. when the Michigan House finally adopted the financial disclosure package for everyone from the governor on down.
Progressive Lansing Democratic Rep. Emily Dievendorf was one of 15 Democrats to vote no, and GOP floor leader Bryan Posthumus was among 15 Republicans who voted yes.
One of the sticking points was whether the spouse of a state official should also have to disclose their sources of income and other financial interests.
House Speaker Joe Tate got votes for a provision that any spouse with any ties to state vendors would have to disclose that information, but for the progressive caucus of the Democratic party, that was not enough.
Advocacy group Common Cause Michigan, meanwhile, had hinted at a possible lawsuit if the House were not to go far enough. “I think [a lawsuit] is absolutely possible,” said Quentin Turner, program director for the organization. “The voters want to see transparency and see financial disclosure.”
In the wake of Thursday morning’s vote, Turner said he is “not prepared to take legal action at this point,” as he and others review the House’s action.
The measure then moved to the Michigan Senate, where the senators were also reviewing the House’s action.
When voters approved Proposal 1 on the ballot in 2022, they ordered the Legislature to adopt this disclosure by the end of 2023. And so the Senate voted and approved the House package, sending it to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for her expected signature.
Leaders in the Legislature have promised this debate about more transparency for public officials is not over, and that they will revisit it next year in Lansing.