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Lawmakers need to be held accountable

Editor, The Michigan Constitution begins with “All political power is inherent in the people.”

And the people of Michigan, myself included, would like to see enforceable laws about ethics and transparency come to our state.

Right now in 2023, the Governor’s office and the State Legislature does not have to comply with FOIA (Freedom of Information Act). If we are expected to be able to use our inherent political power then we must be able to have public access to records, votes and deliberations. The people of Michigan need this information to know how to be informed voters.

Legislators need to be required by law to account for their personal finances. It’s important to know if a Legislator has a conflict of interest when they vote in law that could benefit their companies or their relatives or friends.

Right now Michigan lawmakers decide for themselves whether they should excuse themselves. Along with this there should be an independent Ethics Commission to investigate violations, enforce the rules and publish what they find.

In Michigan there are no rules for lawmakers when they step down from their term. State Officials are able to become lobbyists immediately after they leave office. We need a “Cooling Off” period by law. Legislators shouldn’t become influencers for at least three years after leaving office.

Currently there are laws that are being drafted that address the problems that we have with Michigan Ethics and Transparency. We will take note on how each and every one of our legislators vote on these laws.

We the people and our representatives need to have enforceable laws in place. If you are interested in having our state government be accountable to the people of Michigan please contact our representatives with your personal note. –Cindy Schwedler Oscoda

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