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Lt. Gov. Calley: Part-time legislature would give voters “more efficient” government, better laws

Jun 2, 2017

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley said he would make a big announcement at the Mackinac Policy Conference. It was widely expected that he would announce his candidacy for Governor. That’s not what he did.

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley
Credit Michigan House Republicans

Instead he released a ten point plan he calls “Clean Michigan’s Government.”

Some of what Calley is proposing calls for more transparency in the Michigan Legislature. Making sure legislators and the public get a chance to read bills before a vote, expanding the Freedom of Information Act and making sure it’s applied equally to the executive branch and the legislative branch. It would also require legislators to disclose their financial interests so the people are aware of any conflicts of interest. He focuses on steps toward a more open government.

One controversial aspect of Calley's announcement was suggesting that the legislature would switch to part-time, limiting its work to three months, and cutting legislators’ pay.

Lt. Gov. Calley joined Stateside to explain how he thinks by joining 41 other states with part-time lawmakers, it will make the legislative process "more efficient". 

"They get rid of the posturing and the procrastination and pushing things off to lame duck sessions," Calley said. "With a part-time legislator system, there is no lame duck. And so what you have is a system that requires that you get in, do the important work, and go back home."

According to Calley, this would lead to fewer laws being proposed (currently, he says, thousands of laws are proposed every session), and would add value to the taxpayers.

Listen to the full interview above to hear why Calley thinks Michigan voters will get better laws with a part-time legislature and why, despite what some research says, lobbyists will lose power in Lansing.

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