WUOMFM

part-time Legislature

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson released her response to a request from the Trump administration’s election commission for voter data on Monday. She agreed to turn over some information but not all, citing Michigan law.

Ken Sikkema, senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants and a former Republican legislative leader, and Vicki Barnett, a former mayor of Farmington Hills and a former Democratic legislator,  joined Stateside to discuss that and other political headlines from the past week.

Michael Dorausch / Flickr, http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan's elections bureau is satisfied with the form of a ballot petition to make the Legislature part-time.

Republican Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, a likely gubernatorial candidate who is spearheading the drive, said Thursday the secretary of state is recommending that the Board of State Canvassers approve the petition form. A state spokesman confirms that election officials think it meets technical requirements in state law.

The fiercest rivalry in Michigan politics right now is between two candidates for governor who still have not actually announced they’re running.

We are seeing this rivalry play out between Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley in the nascent petition drive to make the state legislature part-time.

Michigan Legislature
Michigan Municipal League

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley is getting pushback for his big announcement earlier this week. Calley says he’ll push for a ballot proposal that would make Michigan’s legislature part-time.

Calley and other advocates say it’ll help clean up Michigan’s government. They argue it would cut down on taxpayer expenses and lawmakers should have to live and work at home under the laws they pass.

But even term-limited lawmakers, with no dog in the fight are arguing against the proposal.

michigan state capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Lt. Governor Brian Calley is speaking at an event this afternoon at the Mackinac Policy Conference.

Many observers believe today he'll announce a ballot drive to make Michigan a part-time legislature state.

A ballot campaign to make Michigan a part-time Legislature state could be on the horizon - an effort, perhaps, to make state government more efficient, but the effort carries at least a whiff of gubernatorial politics.

The Capital Dome in Lansing, Michigan.
Joe Dearman / Flickr

Yeah, it's dead, and petition organizers partly blame what we are still talking about in Michigan: the freezing cold winter.

More from Jonathan Oosting from MLive:

Chairman Norm Kammeraad said an unusually cold winter made it difficult for the group to collect 322,609 (signatures) by July 7 in order to put a constitutional amendment on the fall ballot.

"Every time we hit the field with these things, we were overwhelmed by people who wanted to sign them," Kammeraad said Tuesday evening. "It was just phenomenal. Problem is, we couldn't get organized enough because of the weather."

Kammeraad, the chair of the Committee to Restore Michigan’s Part-time Legislature, also blamed "elite Republicans" for coming up short.

The Michigan House of Representatives in Lansing
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio file photo

A group behind a petition drive to return Michigan to a part-time Legislature is ramping up its efforts.

Most states have a part-time legislature. Michigan used to, but the 1963 state constitution changed that.

Norm Kammeraad thinks lawmakers now have to please lobbyists and rich people to keep their full-time jobs.

“We’re at a point where, unless you’ve got a lot of money or financial clout – which that’s probably only about 2% or 3% of Michiganders – you’re not being represented,” Kammeraad said.

David Defoe / flickr

This Week in Review, Jack Lessenberry and Rina Miller discuss General Motor's investments in the state, the fate of state employee benefits, and the part-time legislature debate.

Screenshot parttimemi.com

Should Michigan revert to the kind of legislature originally called for when Michigan voters drafted the first constitution in 1835?  A part-time legislature? 

Norm Kammeraad says absoluetly, yes.

He is the Chairman of The Committee to Restore Michigan’s Part-Time Legislature. They’re hoping to gather nearly 400,000 voter signatures between January and June in order to put the question on the November 2014 ballot.

Yesterday, we spoke with Michigan columnist Dennis Lennox. He is against a part-time Michigan Legislature. You can find that interview here

Listen to the full interview above.

Capitol Building in Lansing, MI
Matthileo / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Starting next month, the Committee to Restore Michigan's Part-Time Legislature says they will be looking for your signatures. They've got six months to gather 400,000 voter signatures to get a big question on the November 2014 ballot: Should we amend Michigan's Constitution to switch our state to a part-time Legislature?

We'll be looking at both sides of this idea. Today we welcome a Republican strategist who believes this proposal is not in the best interest of Michigan.

Dennis Lennox is a columnist for The Morning Sun and a public affairs consultant.

Listen to the full interview above.

Aaron Olson

You might be asked to sign a petition next year to cut Michigan legislators’ pay and make their job part-time. The state constitution will have to be amended to accomplish that.

There could be some unintended consequences in doing that.