Readers: Make state lawmakers part-time
Full-time is overrated
Re: Nolan Finley’s August 22 column, “Make Legislature part-time”: I’m stunned at the lack of work that dribbles from the desks of elected state officials. I often wonder if they haven’t lulled themselves into a sense of security, filling positions that never should have been full-time to start with.
Had they filled positions in today’s traditional workforce, many would have been let go, or (at the very least) had several written warnings of poor performance entered into their personnel files.
They don’t appear to be forward thinkers, and do very little from a proactive perspective. There’s a sense of bandwagon thinking, and absent of that, well, they go on vacation. But they’re at every photo op, looking for all the world as if they’re solving the state’s problems. And they don’t appear to worry about losing their jobs.
Cut their hours. The positions are opportunities to serve, not long-term boondoggles. Lots of municipalities manage cities — and manage them well — using part-time officials.
Lynne Price, Detroit
Make the Legislature unicameral. No more adding complexity, ideologies, por to a bill when it reaches the next body. There is one body.
Seat them all alphabetically, not by party, as a reminder that we are all in this together; we expect them to work together, dare I use the word??... as a TEAM. No more refusing to bring something to the floor of your chamber after approval in the other. ONE body. Maybe we could return to some level of sanity, like the Milliken era, with combined efforts toward governance.
And finally, in cases of total nonfeasance like on the road maintenance, let’s just stop the legislators pay altogether.
Bill Malvitz, Pleasant Ridge
The problem of part-time
Though I am a native of Michigan, I have also lived in Florida with their part time legislature.
The big problem I noticed with this was that since legislators not getting paid a livable salary the people running for elections were largely lawyers working for firms (who would capitalize on their partner) or retired people. Even though the positions were part time, legislators couldn’t really earn any other living. What you are left with are rich people, lawyers in big firms and retired people.
Our legislature is doing a terrible job but the problem is not their full time status.
Thomas K. Mahoney, South Lyon
Virginia is for part-time
I just toured the Virginia state capitol in Richmond this past spring and their Legislature is part-time. They govern and are allowed to do so by the “consent of the people whom they govern.”
If you ‘re ever in Richmond, I highly recommend this tour.
Bruce Sanders, Livonia
I’m all for a part-time legislature. They have to meet a mandatory 110 days a year, right? Well, do the math. They’re part-time already, and need to be paid as such.
Dominic Frontera, Flushing