House committee expected to OK bills to change ethics rules for lawmakers

May 11, 2021

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A state House committee is expected to vote Tuesday on bills that would set tougher ethics standards for lawmakers.

A central element is a measure to create House and Senate ethics committees to hear complaints and impose sanctions, such as docking the pay of lawmakers who don’t show up for work.

The committees would be equally divided between Republicans and Democrats so their decisions would have to be bipartisan. A key lawmaker said the standards would help ensure better behavior by lawmakers between elections.

“Ultimately, the people determine whether the Legislature has been ethical because every two years, they can fire us if they don’t think we have been, but in the meantime, this gives us some tools,” said Representative Andrew Fink (R-Hillsdale), who is one of the sponsors.

The bills are expected to clear the House Elections and Ethics Committee and sent to the House floor.

While House Republican and Democratic leaders have agreed ethics reforms are a priority, the Senate leadership is not board yet.