Reps. Garrett, Ellison, Haadsma, Kuppa, Liberati, Manoogian, Shannon, Sneller and Sowerby offered the following resolution:

            House Resolution No. 22.

            A resolution to declare February 2019 as Transparency in Government Month in the state of Michigan.

            Whereas, Transparency in Government Month calls attention to the fact that the government has an obligation to its citizens to share information; and

            Whereas, Governments exist to serve their citizens. Therefore, their citizens should receive information on what their representatives are doing, how their officials are spending taxpayers’ money, and how their government is handling various issues; and

Whereas, In 2015, a study by the Center of Public Integrity ranked Michigan last among all the states concerning government accountability and transparency. A lack of government transparency creates mistrust and frustration and increases the risk for corruption. The absence of government transparency impacts every person in Michigan; and

Whereas, Government transparency fosters government participation, promotes good governance, improves government efficiency and effectiveness, and combats corruption. Information on the activities and policies of government allows the public to participate in the democratic process and hold their government accountable and allows residents to influence the decisions affecting their lives and encourage their representatives to use their power to affect change. Knowledge of government decisions and processes empowers Michiganders to give feedback on how policies are working in practice and how the allocation of government resources can be improved. Access to information increases the likelihood of discovering corrupt practices, acting as a deterrent to corruption in the future; and

Whereas, Our state and local governments must be committed to government transparency and accountability. When we actively increase information between the government and its citizens, we can foster good governance, improve government efficiency, and combat corruption. We must work together to promote information flowing freely between our government and its citizens; now, therefore be it

            Resolved by the House of Representatives, That the members of this legislative body declare February 2019 as Transparency in Government Month in the state of Michigan. We strongly support the efforts of national, state, and local partners to actively engage in efforts to encourage government transparency.