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Coalition calls for tightening state government lobbying rules

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

A coalition of groups wants to close what it calls loopholes that allow lobbyists in Lansing to abuse the system.

The Coalition to Close Lansing Loopholes is comprised of liberal and union groups, including Progress Michigan, the Michigan Nurses Association and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan.

Lonnie Scott is the executive director of Progress Michigan.

He says the coalition is proposing banning gifts from lobbyists to lawmakers and a cooling off period before an ex-state lawmaker can become a lobbyist.

“People should know that their lawmakers aren’t just in office to take advantage of the revolving door or using their last months in office to find a job as a lobbyist for when their term is up,” says Scott.

Scott blames lobbying rules for business taxes in Michigan generating less than five percent of state tax revenues.

On Wednesday, he stood next to a person wearing a costume resembling a pie chart. The costume depicts where state tax revenues come from, ranging from 41.2% from income taxes down to 3.6% from business taxes. 

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Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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