Legislation would mandate all campaigns file reports by removing loophole

LANSING, Mich. – State Senator David Knezek (D–Dearborn Heights) introduced Senate Bill 841 today, legislation that would require all campaigns to disclose their contributions and expenditures.

“Senate Bill 841 takes a proactive approach to our elections process by requiring all candidates to disclose the amount of money spent and raised during their election,” said Knezek. “Michigan residents expect their elected officials to be open and honest about their campaign practices. Transparency is tantamount to building trust with those you will be serving.”

Senate Bill 841 eliminates the ability for an individual who is running for office in the State of Michigan to use the “$1,000 checkoff” to avoid filing campaign statements. The checkoff was created to allow individuals to pledge that they would neither spend nor receive more than $1,000 during the course of the campaign and in return exempts them from filing campaign reports.

“Unfortunately, individuals who have been claiming that they are exempt from filing their campaign finance reports are doing so only to hide how much money they are raising and spending. In the process, they are violating the public trust,” said Knezek.  “I believe that this legislation is necessary to remove this loophole. If you run for office and raise and spend money, you should have to report where it is coming from, no matter how much it is. By standardizing this practice, we are creating a more transparent culture in Michigan.”

The legislation was co-sponsored by both Republicans and Democrats and referred to the Senate Committee on Elections and Local Government where it awaits further legislative action.