Thursday, May 17, 2007

Part-time legislature

Work is being done on drafting a constitutional amendment to make Michigan's legislature part-time. The proposal would do the following:
  • Reduce legislative calendar to 100 days (Jan-May).
  • Pay legislators only for the days they are in Lansing working.
  • Reduce pay to 1999 level of $56,981 annualized, paid as a per diem.
  • No expense account, only reimbursement for travel to Lansing and lodging.
  • Prohibit any general tax increases unless passed by 2/3 majority.

By doing this, business will get done by May 1st. Municipalities and schools will know what their budget is BEFORE their budget year starts. Instead of taking 365 days to get 100 legislative days completed, it will take 100 days. This will save the state at least $35 million per year and make the government more accountable and efficient.

To learn more go to:


Anonymous said...


Will you support a measure to make this proposal retroactive to include anyone in the current house?

That is the only way to prove you are serious about this proposal, that is, make it apply to yourself.

Fair is fair is fair.

Anonymous said...

$57,000 for 100 days work? Isn't that still a bit much? And, what about the retirement and other benefits?

A very disapointed member of the WMU College Republicans. said...

Per Diem is non-taxable. I can't believe you are trying to do this.

I can't believe I didn't see it before.

It's non-taxable.

Look I'm all for low taxes... very low taxes. But taxes are still necessary, and you have the stones to try and push a measure so you don't have to pay taxes on what the State of Michigan and its people pay you?

Representatives have to pay taxes too!

Jack Hoogendyk said...

Regarding retroactivity. Because this ia a constitutional change, about the quickest we can get it done is by putting it on the ballot this year. But that requires a 2/3 vote of both houses. The next best thing is to gather signatures and get it on the ballot in 2008. As for me, if this passes, I will give up the opportunity to serve full-time in the Senate for 8 years. If I run, it will be as a part-timer.

Jack Hoogendyk said...

Regarding the "per diem" my intention is not to pay reps. non-taxed. I am just using an expression to convey the idea that if the annualized salary is $50,000, for instance, we would only pay based on the days worked. So if the legislature was in session 3 months, they would get paid 1/4 of $50,000, which is taxable income.

oldsalt said...

Thanks for educating and 'splainin'! I got your meaning, but applaud our Young Republican for watching all the angles. If we're ever going to beat these socialist weasels out of Lansing, it will take the craftiest among us watching them like hawks. "Wise as serpents, gentle as doves." Keep teaching and shining the light of truth on things. The Truth shall set us free!

Rogers13 said...

the compensation ceiling for part-time legislators should be set no higher than $10,000 including expenses. it might be worth-while to look at new hampshire's legislative compensation program.

the following excerpt from new hampshire statute is instructive:

[Art.] 15. [Compensation of the Legislature.] The presiding officers of both houses of the legislature, shall severally receive out of the state treasury as compensation in full for their services for the term elected the sum of $250, and all other members thereof, seasonably attending and not departing without license, the sum of $200 and each member shall receive mileage for actual daily attendance on legislative days, but not after the legislature shall have been in session for 45 legislative days or after the first day of July following the annual assembly of the legislature, whichever occurs first; provided, however, that, when a special session shall be called by the governor or by a 2/3 vote of the then qualified members of each branch of the general court, such officers and members shall receive for attendance an additional compensation of $3 per day for a period not exceeding 15 days and the usual mileage. Nothing herein shall prevent the payment of additional mileage to members attending committee meetings or on other legislative business on nonlegislative days.

June 2, 1784
Amended 1792 requiring state to pay wages instead of town.
Amended 1889 setting salary for members at $200 and for officers at $250 with $3 per day for special sessions.
Amended 1960 limiting mileage to 90 legislative days.
Amended 1984 limiting mileage to 45 legislative days in each annual session.

Lee Rogers
Davisburg, MI