Corruption Risk Report Card
Rank among 50 states: 44th

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The story behind the score

Reform efforts have repeatedly failed in Michigan, where it’s difficult for the public to track lobbyists’ activities and public officials’ campaign spending. Read more from SII State Reporter Chris Andrews.

Latest state news for Michigan

State Integrity news for Michigan from Michigan Radio:

Democrats are calling for a special inquiry into whether House Speaker Jase Bolger (pictured) and state Representative Roy Schmidt are guilty of ethics violations. A report by the Kent County prosecutor determined the two attempted to undermine the integrity of an election.

Their scheme included recruiting and paying a fake Democrat who would appear on the ballot against Schmidt. The idea was, the decoy would not campaign.   

Some Democrats have called on Schmidt and Speaker Jase Bolger to resign. Both say they don’t intend to quit.  

Read more from Michigan Radio.

State integrity news for Michigan, from the Detroit Free Press:

Aggressive fund-raising by lame-duck officeholders is controversial because a major donor motive -- helping an officeholder get re-elected -- no longer exists. "It really makes it a more direct connection between money and policy," said Rich Robinson, executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, a Lansing-based watchdog group.

It's not surprising that Michigan's two top lame-duck fund-raisers are the appropriations committee chairmen in the Senate and House, he said.

Read the rest of the story at the Detroit Free Press.

By Caitlin Ginley

Early last month, lawmakers in Iowa completed work on a new open records statute. Senate File 430 creates the Iowa Public Information Board, a nine-member commission charged with enforcing the state’s open records and meetings laws.

For good government advocates in the Hawkeye State, the new legislation was cause for celebration — sort of.

Indeed, there were smiles all around as Gov. Terry Branstad signed the law on May 3 in the ornate Capitol Building, surrounded by lawmakers and journalists — many of whom spent six years on the effort. And the law is undoubtedly a victory of sorts for open government in the state, where enforcement was spotty at best, divided among several local and state entities. If a citizen’s request for information was denied, the only option was to sue — a time-consuming and costly course of action. Now, the Board can investigate complaints and bring them to court on citizens’ behalf.

It all sounds good — except for the fine print.

State integrity news for Michigan, from CBS Detroit:

The Michigan House has passed two measures aimed at making government more transparent. Both won unanimous approval Wednesday. The bills now go to the Senate.

House Bill 5274 would require that all government contracts of $25,000 or more be publicly posted on local or state government websites. The information would have to be updated monthly starting June 30.

Read the rest of the story at CBS Detroit.

State integrity news for Michigan, from

The Michigan Republican Party is accusing an East Lansing lawmaker of ethical lapses by running for a judgeship while at the same time he is trying to help Democrats win back control of the state House. Rep. Mark Meadows, who is in his final term in the House because of term limits, announced in April that he would run for a district court seat in East Lansing.

On Monday, he appeared with other House Democrats at a news conference in Lansing to explain why he thinks they can wrest control from Republicans in November. The Michigan Code of Judicial Conduct says judges and judicial candidates should refrain from political activity that is "inappropriate to judicial office."

Read the rest of the story at


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