In March I proposed an amendment to the state constitution to mandate that the legislature finish its work each year by May 1st. We would still have 100 or so days to get the work done, (we average 92 days per year every 12 months!) and we would be much more efficient in the process. Pay would be cut to match the time spent on the job.
The Grand Rapids Press and the Oakland Press have both shown support for the idea. Read the stories here: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/stories/070507/opi_20070705170.shtml
Here are some excerpts:
They command nearly $80,000 a year, receive $12,000 for expenses and enjoy lifetime health insurance that begins at age 55 after six years of service.
Michigan legislators found time this year to authorize Be Kind to Animals Month, pondered a bill on "Ride Your Motorcycle to Work Day" and considered a state poet laureate. (Grand Rapids Press)
Less government usually means less intrusion, both in the lives of state residents and businesses, which provide employment opportunities. It also should translate into fewer tax dollars going to fund legislators and their health care and pension provisions. Think of a part-time Legislature as a preventive measure. With fewer days in Lansing, lawmakers would have less time on their hands to tinker with laws and propose useless, feel-good legislation that turns out to be unenforceable.
They would also have fewer hours to plot methods to further skin taxpayers. The restricted legislative sessions would force them to get down to the people's business rather than dallying with proposals that we didn't send them to Lansing to deal with. (Oakland Press)
Please feel free to comment or email me at JackHoogendyk@comcast.net.