The Michigan House today unanimously approved a plan from State Reps. Steve Johnson and Andrew Fink to make legislative agencies, state employees and officials more accountable and transparent to the people they serve.
House Bill 4920, sponsored by Johnson, requires public disclosure of sexual harassment settlements between state legislators and staffers. A similar proposal from Fink, HB 5281, requires the same disclosure of sexual harassment settlements with staffers and elected officials in the executive branch.
These transparent measures come on the heels of multiple reported instances of legislators both at the state and federal level who have used nondisclosure or confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements following sexual assaults or documented harassment. The Michigan House has led on the issue during the current legislative term – improving policies to prohibit the use of separation agreements with employees that prevent them from disclosing factual information regarding alleged unlawful conduct, including harassment.
“The public should have a right to know when their elected officials are involved in this type of behavior – especially when taxpayer dollars are being used to keep people quiet,” said Johnson, of Wayland. “We need to get these provisions into law. Faces change in the Legislature and with that can come policy and procedural changes where things like this can be swept under the rug. Putting this into law ensures greater transparency in state government going forward.”
“The people of Michigan need to know when their elected officials are involved in sexual misconduct settlements,” said Fink, of Adams Township. “Our state government should be as transparent as possible – especially when taxpayer dollars are being used to silence those who bring up harassment and assault allegations.”
HBs 4920 and 5281 now advance to the Senate for further consideration.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Steve Johnson (R-Wayland) today testified on plans to make the state’s Unemployment Insurance Agency more efficient and effective for the people it serves. The proposals provide solutions and accountability after numerous people across the state experienced frustration and anxiety as they have tried to get benefit claims fulfilled during COVID-19. An […]
House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Steve Johnson looks ahead to a joint hearing Tuesday, November 30, with his committee and the Senate Oversight Committee to hear from the Michigan Auditor General’s office on their report on the Unemployment Insurance Agency. Rep. Johnson says the UIA made almost $4 billion in overpayments during the pandemic and […]
Members of the Michigan House and Senate oversight committees, including House Oversight Committee Chairman Steve Johnson (R-Wayland), on Tuesday will meet with newly appointed state Unemployment Insurance Agency Director Julia Dale and officials from the state Auditor General’s office to discuss a recent audit detailing mistakes made by the agency. The state Auditor General examined […]
House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Steve Johnson says that Thursday’s Auditor General’s report on almost $4 billion in overpayments by the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency during the pandemic reflect a failure by the Whitmer administration and ineptitude and ineffectiveness on the part of the UIA.