The part-time legislature ballot initiative is dead. The following message is now posted on the committee’s website:
The Committee to Restore Michigan’s Part-time Legislature regrets to announce the suspension of its campaign to restore Michigan’s citizen-driven, part-time legislature. It is now apparent that we will fall short of collecting enough valid signatures before the end of June to get our amendment on the ballot this coming November.
Our campaign faced many obstacles including an organized political opposition determined to maintain the status quo in Lansing.
While I supported their effort, I am not too disappointed because there were several flaws in the language of their initiative. First, the ballot initiative allowed for about half of the necessary staff members needed to run the legislature. Second, since the starting salary was pretty low, they should have provided for yearly increases in pay, above the cost of inflation, similar to a teacher’s pay scale. Third, a law preventing the dismissal of employees for missing work to serve in the legislature should be included so that anyone could logistically hold office in the legislature. The group stated they will be back with a “revitalized approach” in 2016. Maybe the next time around the ballot language will be improved and that will lead to more grass roots support. It’s doubtful they will ever get support from the mainstream political establishment.