Michigan Democrats draft furniture contract bill

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 Governor 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.