Transparency and Term Limits
A Proposal to Require Financial Disclosure by Michigan Elected Officials and Reduce Term Limits
Michigan and Idaho are the only two states in the country that do not require personal financial disclosure by their state elected officials. This is a major reason the Center for Public Integrity ranks the State of Michigan as 50th in the nation in transparency.
Beginning in 2024, annual financial disclosure reports would be required to be filed with and made public by the Michigan Department of State. This proposal would bring Michigan in line with 48 states and Congress that currently require disclosure.
Reduce term limits from 14 years to a combined 12 years. Michigan's current legislative term limits permit three terms in the House of Representatives (6 Years) and two terms in the Senate (8 Years) for a total of 14 years. The proposed amendment, while reducing the total years of service to 12 years, would, unlike current limits, allow a member to serve the entire 12-year period in one legislative chamber.
After 2022, persons could not be elected to terms in the Michigan House of Representatives or Michigan Senate for terms that total more than 12 years. A person could serve 12-years in the Michigan Senate (3 four-year terms), or 12 years in the Michigan House of Representatives (6 two-year terms) or other combination of terms that do not exceed 12-years.
Michigan has been served well by term limits over the last 30 years. One problem that has developed is that 6-year limit on House terms has created a revolving door from the House to other public offices. When House members know they have only 6 years in that chamber, House seats often quickly become little more than stepping stones to the next position.
A 12-year lifetime limit would keep the benefits of term limits, but would also allow House members to focus on the serious work of legislation in the chamber where they were elected. Gone would be the pressure to immediately start seeking out their next position.