LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Jim Runestad on Wednesday introduced legislation to require transparency regarding perks received by lawmakers and members of the executive branch.
“The people of Michigan deserve to know if members of the Legislature and/or high-level executive branch officials are receiving free perks such as gifts, travel and lodging,” said Runestad, R-White Lake. “The reality is that many elected officials have been taking trips to places like Hawaii, Israel and the Caribbean and those haven’t been disclosed mainly because they aren’t required to be under current law.”
Recent news reports have brought some of Michigan’s lack of transparency to light and Runestad said Senate Bill 381 would help fix that by requiring the reporting of gifts, travel and lodging provided to members of the legislative and executive branches.
“The recent reporting of a trip and hotel stay — more than $8,500 per night — couldn’t make elected officials look less trustworthy,” Runestad said. “I think that trust is earned and not given.
“I hope there are colleagues of mine in this new Democratic Legislature who will get behind me in this vital effort to make Michigan more transparent.”