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Michigan lawmakers prepare to discuss amendment for a part-time legislature

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September 7, 2011

By Bailey Ludlam

Michigan

LANSING, Michigan: The Michigan Legislature is back in session and may tackle a proposed amendment for this year's ballot. Rep. Tom McMillin and others are calling for an amendment to change the legislature to part-time status.

The proposed measure would change the state legislature from full-time to part-time, would reduce compensation and eliminate benefits.[1] Specifically, it would amend Sections 12 and 13 of Article IV of the Michigan Constitution. Additionally it would add Section 55 to Article IV.[2]

Other supporters include Reps. Mike Shirkey, Kurt Heise, Ken Goike, Martin Knollenberg, Amanda Price, David Agema, Margaret O'Brien, Andrea LaFontaine.

Proponents argue that the amendment would require the legislature to make financial sacrifices like the private sector in the state of Michigan. Additionally, they argue that the legislature is capable of completing its work in 90 consecutive days.[1]

Opponents, including Rep. Bill Rogers, argue that they do ot think pay on a per-diem basis will cut costs for the state. "A lot of other states also have packages where they call it 'part-time' but by the time they get called in numerous times, they didn't save a nickel," said Rogers. Others argue that a part-time legislature may make it harder to create seasoned state legislators.[1]

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