LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Michigan could end up being the only state where legislators pass and reject laws without the public knowing about their personal finances.
It’s a distinction good government watchdogs say is an embarrassment that must be changed.
Forty-seven states require lawmakers to file some type of financial disclosure that lists their occupation, income or business associations – information that indicates if a legislator might benefit personally from supporting or opposing legislation.
Vermont will begin mandating disclosure reports next year. And in Idaho, lawmakers recently agreed that elected officials should disclose financial information and forwarded a proposal to the full Legislature.
An analysis by The Associated Press and Center for Public Integrity found examples around the country of lawmakers voting on bills that ended up benefiting their own business interests.