(WWJ) The Michigan State Board of Canvassers meets Wednesday, when they could decide to okay petitions for a part time legislature.
Lt. Governor Brian Calley is leading the way for this piece of legislature that would trim down the work calendar for legislators.
According to a previous AP story, legislators could meet no more than 90 consecutive days a year under the plan, unless the governor calls a special session. They now meet off and on throughout the year.
Their annual pay would be slashed from about $72,000 to an amount equaling about half of the average teacher’s salary, if lawmakers meet the full 90 days. Calley isn’t surprised that many of his former colleagues in Lansing aren’t happy with his idea to make Michigan’s legislature a part-time job.
“Well naturally the system is built to protect itself so it will always resist this change or reform,” Calley told WWJ. “But it already works in 41 other states that have limited calendars for law making. The idea that you have to make laws all year round is just not true. It’s not the way most states operate, including some really big states that are every bit as big and complicated as Michigan.”
Calley says his plan would make for a more efficient system and allow more people to run for public office. Right now, Calley says the only people who can afford to serve in the legislature are those who can completely walk away from the life and career they have.
“It’ll produce fewer laws likely because you’ll have a limited calendar or schedule for the lawmaking activities but then you’ll also open up service to a lot more people,” Calley said. “Today the only people that can serve are the ones that can completely walk away from whatever life or career that they have for a period of years.”
On a side note, Calley has been mentioned as a candidate for Governor in 2018, but he said he’s not ready to make any announcement right now.