Tim Skubick: Part-time legislature is still a long shot - KMSP-TV

Tim Skubick: Part-time legislature is still a long shot

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LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -

The real shocker is not the fact that only four senators support the Part Time legislature; it's the revelation that seven of them have no position at all.

Where the heck has the Gang of Seven been for the last 40 years as this is not exactly a new idea?

But there they were diving into the protective high grass while 23 of the senate's 38 members participated in an informal survey this week without giving it a second thought.

Sitting comfortably on the fence are GOP Senators Phil Pavlou, Jim Marleau, TonyaSchuitmaker and Judy Emmons.  Right alongside them Detroit Democrats Tupac Hunter, Morris Hood III and Virgil Smith.

The last two had daddys who served in the house and senate and betya they'd be shocked to see their offspring unable or unwilling to oppose this concept.

It could be the other Republicans not taking a stand could be involved in close primary elections and perhaps that explains the hesitation to wade in. Ms. Schuitmaker, lacing up on her dancing shoes, reflects the PTL was up to the people adding, "I'm still working on a position."

Take your time. The primary election is not until August.

Among the 17 voting "no" are the two  senate leaders.  GOP leader Randy Richardville noted while the whip count was underway that "Everyone will be a "no" when I'm done talking to them."  Sen. Gretchen Whitmer thinks it's a bad idea, too.

The other opponents include some pretty conservative senators including the GOP FloorLeader Arlan Meekhoff.  The others are Senators Jack Brandenburg, (Macomb County), David Robertson (Genesee County) and Mike Green who waffled a little before saying he was opposed.

The four PTL "yes" votes include Sen. John Proos (West Michigan) Joe Hune (Livingston County) David Hildenbrand (West Michigan) and Tea Party favorite from Canton Sen. Patrick Colbeck although he explains he'd like to see the details.

Sen. Bruce Caswell (R-Hillsdale) had an interesting response, "I don't care. I can live with anything."

But it was Macomb County Senator Tory Rocca who developed a severe case of lock jaw when are porter sought his stance.  He uttered nary word and walked right pass the somewhat startled correspondent.  Not once, but twice.

Maybe he's worried about a primary opponent, too?

But based on this survey, you can see why the folks who want to reduce the house and senate to 60 days a year at a salary of $35,000 are not asking lawmakers to do it.  Hence their petition drive to place it on the statewide November ballot.

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