Senators Respond To Petition For Part Time Legislature In Mich. - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Senators Respond To Petition For Part Time Legislature In Mich.

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - A statewide petition drive has been underway to create a part time legislature. Of the 38 Senators, 6 News spoke with 30 of them regarding the issue, which broke down like this:

 

Part Time Legislature

 

(1)  17 - No Votes

(2)  4 - Yes Votes

(3) 7 - On fence

(4) 2 - No Comment-Doesn't Care

"36 other states in the nation are some form of a part time legislature," said Sen. John Proos, who said he thinks that makes it right. He's one of four yes votes and has introduced a proposal to do it, but he also has concerns that a part time legislature tips the balance of power to the governor, so he thinks there needs to be a debate about extending term limits, too.

Sen. Proos contends the proposal forces lawmakers to get their job done and get out of town. "In the last election cycle, we were just over 80 days in session in Lansing."

Organizers of the statewide petition drive to create a 60 day legislature at a salary of $35,000 are not interested in linking it to term limits.

The Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer and the Senate GOP Leader Richardville both oppose the idea.

"It will reduce the strength of the voice of the people," said Richardville. "I think if you go to a part time legislature, you will set the people up for failure and you won't be able to hear the voice of the people anymore."

As for the governor, he chuckled at the idea of his life being easier if Michigan went to a part time legislature. Gov. Snyder believes there is "no value" in getting in the middle of this fight which should be left to the people. So would he sign a petition to let the people decide it?

"I don't sign petitions because it creates too many questions," said Snyder.

Voters may get a chance to answer the question in November, if the petition drive is successful.

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