LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Michael Webber and Rep. Brad Paquette introduced resolutions in their respective chambers that could shift the state’s full-time Legislature to part-time if the effort wins support in Lansing and, ultimately, with Michigan voters.
“The Michigan Legislature can get their work done under a part-time Legislature,” said Webber, R-Rochester Hills. “States with part-time legislatures move with a sense of urgency, prepare legislation for introduction during the legislative timeframe, and largely avoid work on frivolous legislation that doesn’t make the state better.”
The state’s Democratic-controlled Legislature adjourned sine die on Tuesday — historically early — only having had just 81 voting days in session this year. The last time the Legislature adjourned before December was 1968.
“Early adjournment from the majority party sends a clear message that we can save taxpayer dollars by doing the same amount of work with fewer session days,” said Paquette, R-Niles. “Since we failed to pass ethics reform, such restructuring will also help limit the lazy days where legislators get lobbied and taken further from their constituents’ wishes. The people of Michigan will notice little to no difference in how their state government runs — and this year’s early adjournment will prove it.”
According National Conference of State Legislatures, Michigan is one of 10 states considered to have a full-time Legislature while 14 are identified as part-time and the remaining are listed as hybrids.
Senate Joint Resolution H and House Joint Resolution I would amend the state constitution to prohibit the Legislature from meeting for more than 90 consecutive days beginning in 2025, allowing exceptions for “extraordinary occasions.” Webber introduced similar legislation in 2017 as a member of the state House.
Michigan lawmakers generally meet for session on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays while Mondays and Fridays are reserved for working inside local districts.
“I believe we can be more effective public servants by spending more time directly connecting with constituents in our local neighborhoods and listening about the issues that are important to them,” Webber said. “By condensing the Legislative calendar, we will become better stewards of our limited state resources and have the ability to better serve our local communities.”