Skubick: Package of bills calls for state lawmakers to disclose financial interests

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FILE – In this Jan. 30, 2020 file photo, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, right, and House Speaker Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, left, speak to the media at the Michigan Capitol in Lansing, Mich. Shirkey and Chatfield are headed to the White House on Friday as President Donald Trump made an extraordinary and sure-to-be futile attempt to block Joe Biden’s victory in the battleground state and subvert the results of the 2020 presidential election. (AP Photo/David Eggert)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A bipartisan package of bills is receiving strong support in the State Legislature. The bills call for state lawmakers to disclose their financial interests, ensuring there’s no conflict of interests in their votes. 6 News’ Tim Skubick has the latest.

Let’s imagine a hypothetical scenario for a second.

Let’s say a Michigan lawmaker owns a bar, and the State House is voting to raise a beer tax. Under the current rules, that lawmaker is supposed to voluntarily admit they own a bar and are voting against the bill because of that.

However, it’s not mandatory, and they could lie – and get away with it.

Citizen Nancy Yang says “we’ve had 16 instances where Bridge Magazine reported lawmakers voting on bills that helped their own businesses.”

62 out of 110 house members are cosponsoring eight bills that would require lawmakers to disclose all their financial interests.

Backers of the bills believe the citizens are on their side.

The bills are gaining traction in the house, but in the State Senate, GOP Leader Mike Shirkey has not embraced the concept, saying it’s something the media can use against politicians.

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