Sunshine Squad Gets Major Updates in Honor of Sunshine Week

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from Progress Michigan

March 13, 2017
Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org

Sunshine Squad Gets Major Updates in Honor of Sunshine Week

Online tool gives citizens access to hard-to-find info, helps hold elected officials accountable 

LANSING — In recognition of Sunshine Week, a time that highlights the need for transparency and accountability in government, Progress Michigan is rolling out several major updates to the Sunshine Squad, an online tool that now allows citizens to keep track of legislative votes, campaign finance info, committee assignments, and lobbying.

“Information is power and what we wanted to do with the Sunshine Squad is put data at the finger tips of Michigan residents that is often hard to locate, sporadic, or difficult to decipher all in an effort to hold their elected officials accountable and create more transparency in the legislative process,” said Sean Tobin, lead data and policy analyst at Progress Michigan. “Michigan has some of the worst transparency and ethics laws in the country and we’re doing what we can to fix that problem. Citizens deserve to know how their elected officials are voting, where they’re getting their campaign money from, and who is lobbying them. This tool will help them do that.”

The updated Sunshine Squad website features:

  • Recently introduced bills
  • Upcoming committee meetings
  • House and Senate committee assignments
  • Individual legislator’s recent voting records
  • Monetary figures showing how lawmakers are lobbied
  • Top 100 contributors to elected officials

“We hope that this tool will be used by citizens, activists and reporters to shine more light on what’s going on in Lansing,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “The saying ‘follow the money’ is great advice for holding elected officials accountable, but that data is often not easily available for regular folks. With the Sunshine Squad, anyone can dive into campaign donations and lobbying expenditures with ease.”

The Sunshine Squad is purely informational and features no analysis or input on bills or voting records. The site self-updates on a regular basis so the most recent and accurate information will be available to users. The website for the Sunshine Squad is www.SunshineSquad.progressmichigan.org

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