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Governor Whitmer issues six more executive directives

Michigan governor's office

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed six more executive directives on Thursday. She says they're part of an effort to increase transparency and ethics in state government.

The new rules include a ban on using private emails for state business, a rule prohibiting any campaign activities during work hours or with taxpayer dollars, and a mandate that state employees report “irregularities” they see with public resources.

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A press release from the governor's office outlines the directives in full:

  • Executive Directive 2019-2 restores a practice first initiated by Gov. G. Mennen Williams by issuing instructions to state departments and agencies requiring the reporting of irregularities relating to public money or public property.
  • Executive Directive 2019-3 establishes the basic policy of the executive branch of state government for standards of ethical conduct for department directors, appointees of the governor and employees within the executive branch.
  • Executive Directive 2019-4 focuses on prohibiting soliciting or receiving political contributions in state facilities. Section 57 of the Michigan Campaign Finance Act, 1976 PA 388, as amended, MCL 169.257, prohibits an individual acting for a state agency, department, division, bureau, board, commission, council, authority or other body in the executive branch of state government from using funds, personnel, office space, computer hardware or software, property, stationery, postage, vehicles, equipment, supplies or other public resources to make a contribution or expenditure or provide volunteer personal services that are excluded from the definition of contribution by the Act. Section 1-12 of the rules of the Michigan Civil Service Commission prohibits state classified employees from engaging in unauthorized political activities while on duty and prohibits the levying, solicitation, collection or payment of any type of political assessment, or the authorizing or ordering of any such activity in the state classified service.
  • Executive Directive 2019-5 prohibits the use of private email to conduct state business.
  • Executive Directive 2019-6 establishes the basic policy for the executive branch of state government regarding departmental and autonomous agency activity with budgetary implications. It is intended to reinforce the need for departments and agencies to examine each of their actions for any resulting budgetary implications.
  • Executive Directive 2019-7 establishes the basic policy for the executive branch of state government regarding legislative activity by state departments and autonomous agencies. Coordination of legislative activity within the executive branch of state government is important for the effective and efficient administration of state government.

Tiffany Brown is a spokeswoman for Whitmer.

“It’s important that the people of Michigan know that their government is working for them and this package of executive directives focuses on ensuring good government and ethical practices in her administration and across state government,” says Brown.

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Whitmer signed her first executive directive on Wednesday. It requires all state employees to report imminent threats to the public’s health, safety, or welfare.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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