As we hit the dog days of summer, the state legislature has not met for votes since it adjourned in June. Some in the media, and people on social media, like to give the impression that legislators are on vacation lounging next to a pool, sipping a Mai Tai.
If legislators aren’t in Lansing voting on legislation what are they doing? The reality is, you’ll be hard pressed to find a legislator who isn’t spending their time and energy engaging with constituents and their communities. This recess period is an especially important time for the legislators that travel a significant distance to Lansing to attend session. Legislators living multiple hours away from Lansing spend session weeks in Lansing away from their districts. That takes a significant amount of time away from a legislator’s constituents and communities. Summer recess allows legislators to attend meetings and events they normally miss because of their responsibilities at the Capitol. You’ll find most of the 148 legislators crisscrossing their districts, and the state, talking to regional leaders, touring agriculture plants, understanding how state government interacts with various industries, and preparing for legislative action this fall.
While it’s a good talking point, don’t fall for the myth that legislators get a summer vacation. They’re still working, just in a different capacity than voting at the state capitol.
Michigan Legislative Consultants is a bipartisan lobbying firm based in Lansing, Michigan. Our team of lobbyists and procurement specialists provide a wide range of services for some of the most respected companies in America. For more on MLC, visit www.mlcmi.com or connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.