LANSING — State Rep. Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) introduced a package of two bills and a resolution that would prohibit legislators from voting on a bill if they, or a person they are related to, have a direct financial interest in the bill.
“My bill will only help to strengthen our democracy, making sure we are putting the people of our state first,” said Dianda. “Michiganders want to know that the legislators they send to be their voice at the state Capitol are not using their position to enrich themselves or their family members, and my bills and resolution would make sure that we prevent this. I came to Lansing to work for the hardworking families of my district, and this legislation holds everyone in the Legislature to the same standard of accountability.
Dianda’s two bills would provide for penalties if a legislator votes for a bill they or a relative have a direct financial interest in. A related person is defined as a spouse, parent, stepparent, child, stepchild, sibling, or half sibling of the legislator. A legislator would be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than four years or a fine of not more than $5,000 or both. Dianda’s resolution would amend the state Constitution to state that a legislator shall not vote on a bill in which the legislator knows or reasonably should know a related person has a direct financial interest.
“Legislators should be held to the highest standard, and be fully transparent about financial matters and their motivations,” said Dianda. “House Democrats have been at the frontlines of the battle for transparency in Lansing, because we know that our government should be by, of and for the people. My legislation will help us win some of the trust lost during Republican control of our state by making sure that legislators are not voting to help pad their bank accounts at the expense of the people who sent them to Lansing.”