Calley expected to tout part-time Legislature, announce bid for governor this week

Likely gubernatorial candidate Brian Calley is leading a ballot drive to make Michigan's Legislature part-time.

Some argue part-time legislatures encourage lawmakers to get more accomplished in a shorter amount of time, and cost the state less taxpayer dollars. The state Board of Canvassers was scheduled to consider the proposed petition language at their May 18 meeting, but it was pulled from the agenda due to technical issues with the proposal's language. There is also speculation that Calley also will announce sometime this week that he's running for governor. "We sure don't need any more laws or regulations than other states", Calley said at a press conference just hours before the state's business and political leaders were set to gather at the Detroit Regional Chamber's annual Mackinac Policy Conference. Organizers say the three topics to be focused on are winning the race in connected technology, increasing economic opportunity and restoring civility in American politics. Schuette also has supported a part-time legislature.

Sixteen states have part-time legislatures, the NCSL reports, and 24 states have a hybrid system, with a middle-sized staff.

In addition, Rep. Michael Webber, R-Rochester, introduced a resolution in January to shift Michigan's Legislature to part-time status starting in 2019.

Proposals to make MI a part-time Legislature state have happened in almost every legislative session as well as several ballot proposals over the years, but none of the inititatives have gone anywhere. An exception could be made for "extraordinary occasions".

"I have a lot of ideas of how we can overall make our government work better, and so I think that this is the most important step that we can take today", Calley said.

"Corporate lobbyists already have too much power in Lansing and this proposal would only exacerbate that problem", said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. Gov. Rick Snyder is term-limited and can not run for re-election.


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