LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Jim Runestad said Thursday that he will introduce legislation to address transparency and accountability concerns with the state’s major utility companies after the Legislature returns from its spring break next week.
“Michigan continues to rate very poorly when it comes to government transparency, and I will continue to push legislation that will shine light into the darkest corners of our bureaucracy,” said Runestad, R-White Lake. “This legislation will directly address how the government protects certain utility companies that essentially enjoy a monopoly here in Michigan. It is long past time that we should be able to expect the maximum level of transparency from any government-protected entities. The residents who pay the bills to fund these colossal energy companies deserve better.”
Runestad said his legislation would help increase accountability in the state’s utility companies by requiring Michigan Public Service Commission members to be elected by statewide vote rather than be appointed by the governor and establish lobbying transparency requirements for utility providers.
“These are commonsense measures that I would expect the average Michigander to probably already assume are state requirements, unfortunately that is not the case,” Runestad said. “It is time to give the people of Michigan more oversight when it comes to our utility providers and to shine more light on this powerful and influential interest group.”