from State Representative Jack Hoogendyk
December 19, 2007
Board of Canvassers Approves Ballot Language for Part-time Legislature
Lansing - Today, the State board of canvassers approved the form of a petition to put a part-time legislature amendment to the state Constitution on the ballot. "This is something I have been working toward since first coming to Lansing", said State Representative Jack Hoogendyk-R Texas Township. "I am very pleased with the language of this proposal because it includes the essential elements of making the legislature more effective and efficient."
Ballot language includes the following provisions:
- Salary for legislators is cut by 50%. Legislators receive reimbursement for actual travel expenses only.
- Legislators receive health care benefits only while in office.
- Legislative session starts on the second Wednesday in March and must finish by noon on July 1st.
- Lawmakers may attend committee meetings and vote from their districts via teleconference.
- Salary adjustments are made by legislators in special session to be held only in election years, three weeks before election day.
"If this amendment were to pass and go into effect, you would see great improvement in the legislature's performance", said Hoogendyk. "Citizen lawmakers would come to town ready to get to the business of approving a balanced budget, which is the most important function of the Legislature."
Organizers of this initiative are expected to have petitions ready to circulate by January 8th. 371,000 valid signatures will be needed by July 7th to put the question on the November 2008 ballot.
The petition was submitted by the Part-Time Legislature Committee, and details can be found at www.parttimelegislature.com. Those interested in volunteering to collect signatures may call Attorney Greg Schmidt, Treasurer of the Committee, at (989) 799 - 4641.