Lansing, Mich (WLNS)– Last month, Progress Michigan announced the launch of the “Coalition to Close Lansing Loopholes”, a growing group of organizations pushing for changes to Michigan’s democracy and economy.
“Michigan has some of the worst ethics and transparency ranking in the country and a big part of that is because of the loopholes in our lobbying and transparency laws,” Lonnie Scott, Executive Director of Progress Michigan said.
This afternoon, the coalition revealed their proposals to make lobbying more transparent in addition to their new mascot.
“One of the main focuses of the Coalition to Close Lansing Loopholes is to reform outdated state laws that have allowed lobbyists to run the show in Lansing,” Scott said.
The group’s newly revealed mascot named “Pie Guy” is a life-size pie chart of the actual Michigan budget.
“Right now, thanks to their corporate lobbyists, businesses contribute a measly four percent of the state’s overall revenue,” Scott said.
Scott said the budget debate that they’ve seen play out all year, is a prime example of the need for more revenue options.
“Especially ones that require everyone, including corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share,” Scott said.
Leaders of the group believe revenue and lobbying reform are directly linked.
The coalition is proposing a ban all gifts to lawmakers, a cooling-off period for elected officials before they can serve as lobbyists and mandatory reporting of all lobbying activities.
“People should have confidence in knowing that their lawmaker is not being bought with free food and booze,” Scott said. “It’s time that we work to restore faith in government by reigning in out of control lobbying culture in Lansing.”