Last year, it was discovered that a state elevator inspector from Kalamazoo wasted more than $8,000 in taxpayer dollars when he was golfing on the clock. It has been determined that he was doing personal business on 84 days within a two-year period and was using his state vehicle.
To prevent this from happening again, I have introduced legislation to implement a GPS pilot program for state vehicles and to make it a crime to remove or intentionally hide the identification of state-owned vehicles.
Senate Bill 8 will create a pilot program that will install GPS tracking technology on state vehicles. If the pilot program proves successful, the program will be expanded. Taxpayers have a right to know that public employees are where they say they are, and that taxpayer-funded vehicles are being used appropriately. Senate Bill 204 would make it a misdemeanor to conceal state ownership of a vehicle by removing or covering identifying information.
Most of our state employees are hard-working, ethical people. But this situation shows us that appropriate oversight needs to be in place. Both of these bills passed out of committee and are now before the full Senate.