Democrats Introduce Bill to Cut State Furniture Spending

FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2013 file photo, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder presents his third state budget before the state Legislature in Lansing, Mich. Snyder is taking questions under oath as labor unions and other creditors in Detroit�s bankruptcy try to understand why he signed off on the largest public filing in U.S. history. Three months later, no assets have been divided and no major deals have been struck. In fact, a judge soon will hold a trial to determine if Detroit even is eligible to be in Bankruptcy Court to restructure at least $18 billion in long-term debt. Snyder�s answers during a three-hour deposition Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, can be turned into evidence at the trial. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
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Minority Democratic lawmakers are turning a debate over furniture into a legislative issue with bills that redistribute contract funding and increase financial disclosure requirements.
House Minority Leader Tim Greimel says the legislation announced Thursday addresses what Democrats say are abuses by Gov. Rick Snyder's administration and House Republicans. Democrats say the Snyder administration has favored his cousin's furniture company and one of Snyder's financial backers.
The Republican governor has dismissed the allegations, saying "there's nothing to this at all."
The legislation is unlikely to advance in the Republican-controlled Legislature. It would transfer $22 million of a $41 million furniture contract to schools, and would limit annual furniture purchases to $1 million.
It would also require high level-state employees and contractors to disclose financial information and potential conflicts of interest.

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