There is a herd of antis determined to screw up the Michigan government. You know them – they are against everything governmental from adequate taxation to vaccination. “Make America Great Again” means eviscerating “gubmint” at all levels so Big Pharma can charge $600.00 for a $6.00 EpiPen, Big Medicine can charge $1,500.00 for a CT Scan that costs $150.00 in Europe, Big Insurance can break the budgets of most of us, and Big Energy can turn our lakes and rivers into tarpits.
Having done half the job of screwing up the Michigan government with term limits, the antis want to further the wreckage by making legislators part-timers. This is a stupid idea, right up there with the Zilwaukee Bridge and eight-track tapes. Tom McMillin a TEA Party activist is pushing this idea through his so-called “Clean Michigan Committee.”
Term limits are bad enough. They ensure a steady stream of clueless newcomers, ready to be gulled by lobbyists with years of experience. This makes it easy for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the National Rifle Association to ram whatever they want through the legislature. Think about it. Would it be a good idea to limit doctors to eight years of practicing medicine? Should police officers be required to find a different occupation as soon as they become experienced in law enforcement?
Well-funded political action committees and business interests have the public convinced that all politicians are corrupt. Fake news! Talk to legislators and elected officials and you find dedicated, public-spirited citizens whose sole purpose in seeking office is keeping America great. Some of them have bad ideas, but they are sincere in their conviction. Why did plutocrats like Charles and David Koch, Sheldon Adelson and Rupert Murdoch fool us into voting for term limits? Amateur legislators are easier to herd.
Now the push is on to limit the legislative calendar to 90 days per year and pay the members accordingly. This is unfair to the members and their constituents. Legislators who take their responsibilities seriously – nearly all of them – work full time. Writing, reviewing, changing and voting on legislation is a small part of their work. Constituent services, participating in committees, attending events, and campaigning for election or re-election occupy legislators for 40-50 hours per week, all year. Trying to limit this work would deprive Michigan citizens of the level of service they should expect from their elected senators and representatives.
When a paid petition circulator asks you to sign on to the part-time legislature proposal, just say, “No!” Either that or write in the URL for this blog instead of your name and address.
John B. Payne, Attorney
Garrison LawHouse, PC
Dearborn, Michigan 313.563.4900
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 800.220.7200
©2018 John B. Payne, Attorney