Mich. lawmakers debating merits of going part-time
Michigan lawmakers are looking at legislation that would make themselves part-time politicians. Backers of bills that have been or will be introduced in the new legislative session say the state Legislature is only one of four in the nation to be truly on the job full-time. They argue there's no reason they can't do their work in fewer days and with fewer dollars.
"We can certainly do more for less. That is what we are asking our residents to do....in our schools and municipalities. I think it is reasonable for us to enter into that same discussion," said State Senator John Proos, R - 21st District.
According to the National Conference of State Legislators, Michigan, California, New York and Pennsylvania "require the most time of legislators, usually 80% or more of a full-time job." Illinois, Ohio , Massachusetts, New Jersey and Ohio also have full-time legislatures.
Critics including Gov. Rick Snyder and some legislative leaders say the demands of the work require full-time attention.
"I really believe that I'm giving my full time to this job. That is what the hard working people of Michigan deserve," said State Rep. Wayne Schmidt, R-104th District.
If passed, lawmakers would go part-time in 2015.