This week, Lt. Governor Brian Calley made two big announcements during the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference. On Tuesday, he announced his support for a constitutional amendment that would enact a part-time legislature. Additionally, he went a step further in announcing that he is not only lending support, but would lead the petition drive to get the proposed amendment on the 2018 ballot.
Lt. Governor Calley’s proposal would state that the legislature will meet ninety-days per-year, unless the Governor calls them into special session. Additionally, instead of the current annual salary, legislators would be paid daily and that amount would be linked with the average salary of a teacher in the state. He supported a similar measure when he was serving in the Michigan House of Representatives. The Lt. Governor said the proposal would make government more efficient and create better law makers because they will spend a majority of the year in-district, living under the laws enacted.
In order to get the proposal on the ballot, supports will need to collect the signatures of Michigan voters, within a 180-day window, equal to 10% of the total number of votes cast for all candidates in the last gubernatorial general election. If the signatures are certified and the proposal is placed on the ballot next year, it would need a vote of approval from a majority of voters.
Those opposed to the proposal have expressed several concerns including, the expanded authority departments and unelected bureaucrats would have as a result of the legislature only providing oversight part of the year. Additionally, every year thousands of constituents contact their legislator for help navigating the system or if they have unresolved problems with one of the state departments. If the legislature is only in for a part of the year, opponents have voiced concerns that it could result in less assistance and resolution of problems for constituents.
On Thursday, the Lt. Governor announced further reforms to state government by expanding Freedom of Information Act laws, enacting personal finance disclosure for candidates, and not allowing a former elected official to become a lobbyist for a certain amount of time. Additionally, he would like to see Michigan move from a one-year budget cycle to a two-year cycle, and ban state workers from conducting political consulting on the side.
For more information on the initiative, please visit https://cleanmigovt.org/.
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