|Do you have an opinion? Your letters 8-23
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
I had you and your family on my thoughts again this week. So, I send you and yours love and blessings in Jesus’ name. I trust all is well. Yes, I enjoy reading your publications that I pick up at Meijers.
New Directions, Inc
16753 Industrial Parkway
Lansing, MI 48906
Bouchard lays out more specific changes:
"A part-time Legislature is a step in the right direction for fixing Lansing"
Oakland County- Mike Bouchard, Republican candidate for governor and former state legislator, calls for a part-time legislature in Lansing.
"It is obvious that Lansing is broken. For me, it is a Return on Investment move (ROI). We are one of the few states left in America that still has a full-time legislature. And yet, the state's budget process almost sent our government into shutdown for the second time in three years. Having a part-time legislature will ensure that our lawmakers focus on priorities vital to Michigan," Bouchard said.
Bouchard's plan would have the legislature meet a total of 120 days every other year. Additionally, the term limit that now allows an individual to serve six years in the House and eight years in the Senate for a total of 14 years would be changed to allow one to serve a total of only 12 years, which they could serve in any combination between the two chambers. This will eliminate the incentive to jump chambers and encourage members to build relationships both across the aisle and between chambers. The proposal would also permanently eliminate all future members of the legislature from getting taxpayer funded health care coverage or pensions.
In September, Bouchard called for other systemic reforms, including to the annual budget process. Under Bouchard's budget plan, a balanced budget must be in place by May 15th. Until then, no other non-essential legislation may be considered. The budget adopted would be a two-year rolling budget with a three-year look out that would be independently verified for accuracy. For every day after May 15th that the budget is not in place, the Governor and all legislators would be docked a day's pay.
"Our budget is in a continual state of crisis. Just over a month ago, State Troopers were being laid off. During that time, a few legislators introduced a bill to allow former legislator's funerals to receive a police escort from the Michigan State Police," Bouchard added. "We lead the Midwest in violent crimes and have the lowest number of police officers per capita. Funding for lawmakers to have a police funeral escort while our state is hemorrhaging clearly shows priorities in Lansing are out of whack. It is time to fix Lansing so Michigan can get back to work."