It is well past due for Michigan to have a part time legislature. There are 40 states that operate with a part time legislature, and Michigan has consistently chosen to not be one of them. Part-time legislature has numerous effects, including accountability and sensible economic reform.
An aspect of part-time legislatures is that the salary of representatives would be near $35,000 a year, which would put them in line with the average Michigander salary of $28,000. Our legislators are already overpaid as they are the 4th highest paid legislative body in the nation. In the age of fairness, it is only fair for the representatives to not make substantially more than their constituents.
Not only are legislatures paid more than their constituents under a full time legislature, but they receive benefits that are top notch such as individual retirement funds and phenomenal health insurance coverage. As the Mackinac Center wrote, “Cutting legislative pay and benefits could save Michigan $11.1 million.”  This money could be used to help the victims of the Flint Water Crisis as well as fund various underfunded State programs, such as tuition subsidization for low-income families.
Since the legislators under part-time legislation would have their salaries substantially decreased, it would encourage them to spend the rest of their time getting jobs in their districts. There is no better way to understand the will of the people than to work alongside them. By working alongside the average Michigander, legislators would think twice before passing senseless regulations such as robbers can file a lawsuit if they are injured on your property. 
Part time legislature works! A state that has had phenomenal success with part-time legislature is the state of Texas. The part-time legislature in Texas has allowed for industry to flourish and as a result their GDP would rank 13th in the entire world.  Michiganders would love for the Great Lakes State to have nearly as much success as Texas does under a part-time legislature or even Florida where they are part-time and have strict term limit laws.
It is clear that citizens favor a part-time legislature, whether they know it or not. Michiganders are fed up with the status quo in government, and we will continue to advocate on the side of their beliefs. Moreover, Nolan Finley of the Detroit News is clear on this issue, “For years I’ve been listening to folks carp about the quality of Michigan’s Legislature, bemoaning the inexperience and incompetence of its members. ..there’s little downside to making lawmakers part-time.” 
The citizens of Michigan are demanding their voices to be heard, and a part-time legislature is a way to accomplish this objective. As it was up until 1963, the legislature would depend solely on the citizens, instead of government funded lobbyists and special interests.  It is time for the power to be redistributed from Lansing to the people, and that is why part-time legislature is one of our three core, primary policy goals.
– “Why you should support the part-time legislature ballot initiative,” Michigan Populist Blog, 4/16/14
- “12 Crazy laws in Michigan that will leave you shaking your head,” Only in Your State, 6/17/15
 – “11 staggering facts about the Texas economy,” Business Insider, 11/2/14
- “Legislative pay evidence of a larger problem,” Mackinac Center for Public Policy, 5/11/10
 – “Finley: Make legislature part-time,” The Detroit News, 8/22/15
 – “Petitions for Michigan part-time legislature approved, backers to begin drive toward ballot,” MLive, 2/6/14
Leave a Reply