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Michigan needs a part time legislature

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Michigan needs to go part time. Part time on the legislative front, that is.

Our state lawmakers make $79,000 per year. They meet less than 100 days per year, typically. That's $790 dollars per day. How many people do not make $790.00 per week? Indeed, how many of the people who make less than $790 bucks a week are more productive than state legislators? A good guess is that high schoolers pushing burgers off a grill at McDonald's are more productive than Lansing. They're getting paid for products in demand as well; we can debate whether those products are good for us, but that is certainly a separate question. For well or for ill, they're doing something the general public wants.

Are the products emanating from the State Capitol in demand? Well, they seem to spend a lot of time attempting to name highways. How often has that been a question in your mind? Have you ever had a conversation with a friend, family member, or co-worker about that? Have you ever though that our economy would be very much improved if we could only get a road named after Ronald Reagan or Coleman Young?

We have no quarrel with such honors per se. Yet when they become little more than partisan footballs for which the only obvious purpose is to give a legislator a political soap box (my opponent refused to honor Reagan/Young/insert name here) then what useful purpose is served? Why do we pay people for this sort of unimportant wrangling?

Needless to say, there is more than that. Yet it illustrates our point rather well. If Texas can afford a part time legislature, if the vast majority of the states of our Union can as well (the National Conference on State Legislatures lists only four full time legislatures; see here: ) then surely we can. It might force them to consider more important questions than road signage. It might even help ensure than only those keenly interested in Michigan's welfare run for office.



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