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Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Bollin introduces plan to strengthen penalties for legislative misconduct
RELEASE|April 30, 2024
Contact: Ann Bollin

State Rep. Ann Bollin has introduced a plan to boost the accountability of legislators, allowing stricter penalties for unethical behavior and excessive absenteeism among legislators.

Under Bollin’s House Joint Resolution R, the Michigan House and Senate would have the authority to suspend the salary and expense allowances of any legislator found to have engaged in unethical conduct or demonstrated a pattern of excessive absenteeism. This measure aims to ensure that elected officials fulfill their duties to the public with integrity and commitment.

“Maintaining the trust and confidence of our constituents is paramount,” said Bollin, R-Brighton Township. “My plan provides a mechanism to address instances of legislative misconduct promptly and decisively.”

The need for reform became evident following a frustrating situation in 2018, where a state representative neglected her duties for several months after losing a primary election. Despite her prolonged absence and failure to fulfill her responsibilities, this representative continued to receive her full salary of $71,685, in addition to mileage and expenses.

If Bollin’s proposal is enacted, a supermajority of members in the House or Senate would have the ability to suspend all or part of the salary and expenses of a member elected and serving in the same body, if that member acts unethically or is excessively absent from session.

“The people of Michigan deserve elected officials who prioritize their interests, and my proposal is a significant step in that direction,” Bollin said. “In order to maintain the trust and confidence of the people we serve, we must hold ourselves to the highest standards of ethical conduct.”

HJR R was referred to the House Government Operations Committee for consideration. If it gains support from two-thirds of legislators in both the House and Senate, it will be placed on the ballot for a vote by the people of Michigan.

“In a term marked by limited bipartisan activity, this measure presents a prime opportunity to attract bipartisan support and demonstrate a commitment to ethical governance,” Bollin said.

A similar proposal was approved by the House in 2021 with overwhelming bipartisan support, but was never taken up for a vote in the Senate.

“Throughout my tenure, I have consistently prioritized reforms to improve ethics and increase transparency in state government,” Bollin said. “I will continue to be a voice for change and an advocate for the people of Michigan who deserve more accountability from their state government.”

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