Part-time Legislature group eyes MI ballot

Michigan state capitol (File photo)
Michigan state capitol (File photo)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Advocates proposing to make Michigan’s Legislature meet part-time instead of year-round have gotten the green light to collect signatures for a constitutional amendment.

The Michigan elections board on Thursday said the Committee to Restore Michigan’s Part-time Legislature created a proper petition form. The group must collect roughly 322,000 valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

The initiative would limit lawmakers to meeting 60 straight days every year, with exceptions for special sessions. Legislators’ pay would be capped at $35,000 a year. They now make roughly $71,000 annually.

Leaders of the ballot drive say Michigan’s full-time Legislature is a failed experiment. The Michigan Chamber of Commerce already is opposing the proposal as tipping the balance of power to an unchecked executive branch when combined with term limits.

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