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Amendment would create constitutional legislative ethics panel

Court Gavel - Judge's Gavel - Courtroom by weiss_paarz_photos is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

A proposed amendment to the Michigan constitution seeks to scrub partisan politics from the Legislature’s oversight of state government agencies.

A legislative resolution would create a joint House and Senate oversight committee. The eight-lawmaker panel would be evenly divided between House and Senate members, Republicans and Democrats, with a rotating chair. Democratic Senator Jeff Irwin is one of the resolution’s sponsors.

“It makes it so that both sides have to work together. If one side wants to use it just as a partisan tool, well they have to give up the gavel in a few months.”

The resolution also has a Republican sponsor.

The amendment would have to be adopted by super-majorities of the House and the Senate to put it on the November ballot, and then voters would decide whether to make it part of the state constitution.