LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The controversial financial disclosure package sailed through the state Senate yesterday on a 36-2 vote–but it landed with a thud in the Michigan House, where an internal struggle in the House Democratic caucus threatens final passage.
Democrats Jason Morgan from Ann Arbor, Carrie Rheingans also of Ann Arbor, Betsy Coffia from Traverse City, Erin Byrnes of Dearborn, Joey Andrews of St. Joseph and Phil Skaggs of East Grand Rapids are holding out for a provision for spousal financial disclosure–a requirement that spouses of elected lawmakers and candidates disclose their finances.
That forced a showdown with the House Democratic Speaker Joe Tate, who does not support that. An inside source said of the whole situation, “It’s a mess.”
On top of that, several Democrats were going to attend a conference and were set to leave at 2 p.m. on Thursday, thus preventing any kind of vote–but the speaker told them they could not go.
Meanwhile, there are House Republicans such as Rep. Tom Kunse of Clare, who want spousal reporting. House GOP floor leader Bryan Posthumus (R-Cannon Township) has hinted that there could be a lawsuit if the Democrats don’t beef up the package to shed more light on how top state officials earn their living.
One source reports it’s the Young Turks versus the powerful speaker, with the winner yet to be determined.