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New bill would require former lobbyists to disclose who paid them before receiving state appointment

Keith Cooper

A new bill in the Michigan Senate would require former lobbyists appointed to positions by the Governor to reveal who paid them to lobby.

The bill, introduced Tuesday, specifically targets former lobbyists and requires that they disclose everyone they worked for before accepting a governor-appointed position.

Republican State Senator Rick Jones is the bill sponsor. He said he was inspired to submit the bill after the Governor appointed a former lobbyist to a state medical marijuana licensing board.

“I don’t believe lobbyists should be appointed to boards but that is the Governor’s decision. What really bothered me is he did not immediately give a financial report of everyone he had worked for in the past.”

Jones said understanding how board members have made their money is essential to transparency.

“If you have paid for a certain stand and you are suddenly put on a board that would oversee that area of the state I think the public should know.”

He said the bill is unlikely to see passage.

“Although it has bipartisan support I suspect there will people that oppose it and it doesn’t make it all the way through.”

Despite this, Jones said he introduced the bill just in case it can slip through.