LANSING, Mich. (Great Lakes News) – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer sent out a press release on Monday stating she’d signed several bills into law, including one designed to strengthen government transparency.
House Bill 4778 requires the Department of Technology, Management, and Budget to ensure all state departments and agencies do not use any app, software, or other technology on an electronic device that prevents the maintenance or preservation of a public record.
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“In order for Michiganders to have full faith in our state government, is critical that state departments and agencies are transparent,” Whitmer said in her press release.
News of this signing comes after a year of criticism regarding Whitmer’s own transparency, as well as the straightforwardness of her staff.
Former Michigan Department of Health and Humans Services (MDHHS) Director Robert Gordon abruptly resigned in January. Documents revealed a $156,506 payout for his resignation and silence. In addition, Sarah Esty, a Gordon colleague received a payout along with former Unemployment Insurance Director Steve Gray.
This past spring, Gov. Whitmer urged Michiganders not to travel for spring break and instead stay home to stop the spread of COVID-19. Later, documents showed that Whitmer traveled to Florida and concealed her trip before it leaked. In addition, talks with the FAA forced Whitmer’s team to use the proper campaign account to cover the cost of the private jet flight to Florida in March and her D.C. trip to President Joe Biden’s inauguration in January.
During that same time, Whitmer’s Chief Operating Officer Trish Foster went on Spring Break in Florida. Foster, who is in charge of rolling out the vaccine in Michigan, traveled to Florida while her COVID-19 positive child recovered at home. Elizabeth Hertel, who at the time had been newly appointed as director of MDHHS following Gordon, traveled to Alabama for vacation.
In May, Whitmer was spotted violating her own coronavirus mandates at The Landshark in East Lansing.
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House Bill 4711 amends the Michigan Liquor Control Code to allow the Michigan Liquor Control Commission to issue a license to a private entity to sell alcohol at baseball stadiums at Eastern Michigan University and Oakland University under certain circumstances.
House Bill 4694 streamlines the Uniform Commercial Code to require a filing office to accept certain financing statement forms approved by the International Association of Commercial Administrators and adopted by the Secretary of State (SOS) and any other form adopted by the SOS.