Some Michigan lawmakers suggest greater efficiency can be achieved working part-time

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January 29, 2013

Michigan

By Zac Humphrey

LANSING, Michigan: Some Michigan state lawmakers are debating the merits of maintaing a full-time legislature versus converting to a part-time legislature.[1]

State Senator John Proos (R) introduced a bill to the Michigan Senate that would give the voters of Michigan the power to decide whether the Legislature should transition to part-time. This would mean that state lawmakers would be in session for only 90 days per year, with the ability to be called back in cases of emergency. State Representative Tom McMillin (R) plans on introducing a similar bill in the Michigan House. Proos and McMillin cite cutting cost and improving efficiency and government transparency as the chief reasons for introducing this legislation. This idea does not have widespread support at this time, Gov. Rick Snyder being a chief opponent.[1]

In the transition to part-time, state legislators would see a 75% pay cut as well as staff reductions. Some lawmakers also believe that term limits should be re-examined at the same time. Jim Stamas (R) has said that shorter sessions combined with current term limits could have a negative impact the institutional knowledge within the chambers of the legislature. Presently, representatives can serve three two-year terms and senators can serve two four-year terms.[2]

This is not a new issue, McMillin sponsored similar legislation in 2012.

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