Some Michigan lawmakers push back on part-time legislature proposal
LANSING, Mich. (SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP) --- Some Michigan lawmakers are pushing back against Lt. Gov. Brian Calley's part-time legislature proposal.
The Lt. Governor is also getting called out for proposing the idea in the first place.
The reason why some top Senators are calling Calley out has to do with his potential ambitions for a higher office.
"I don't blow any smoke. I'll tell you how I think it is,” said Republican State Sen. Rick Jones.
The Republican lawmaker from Grand Ledge is calling Calley out for his push for a part time legislature.
“Quite frankly, I think, Brian got behind the idea to try to promote himself as for Governor,” said Jones.
Several Senate Democrats agree.
"I think he's [Jones] absolutely right. I think this is a very self-serving move by the Lt. Governor,” said Sen. Curtis Hertel. “I think this is all about Brian Calley and not about the people in the state of Michigan."
The Democrat from East Lansing is against a part time legislature.
"Part time legislatures don't work,” he said.
But Calley says they do.
Calley and other lawmaker’s points to 41 other states that have some form of a part time legislature.
"I've been clear. I support a part time legislature,” Speaker Tom Leonard told Political Reporter Nick Minock earlier this summer.
"I've always said I support part time legislature. Anything that would add to fewer regulations, I can support,” said State Rep. Lee Chatfield.
But with strict term limits in Michigan, Hertel says going part time will mean less experienced lawmakers, in Lansing.
That's not all.
Hertel says going part time means the Governor and un-elected bureaucrats would get more power.
"Do you want someone working on those kinds of issues part time in the legislature or do you want somebody working full time on your behalf trying to make the state better?" asked Hertel.
"If you want government experience a full time year round system is probably what you want,” Calley told Minock. “If you want real world community based locally focused experience than the part time legislature is the way to go."
Calley continues to ask for support for his part time legislature ballot initiative
He released this statement when asked to respond to his critics:
I have been working to implement a part-time legislature for almost a decade. I proposed a part time legislature in 2009 when I was a State Representative. I signed the part time legislature petition and attended organizational meetings in 2014 when grassroots conservatives attempted to get it on the ballot. I decided to focus this effort in 2018 to get it on the ballot so that voters could finally have a voice on this important change to business as usual in Lansing.
So far, Calley has not announced he’s running for Governor.