December 23, 2009 As we ready to enter a new year, a group of lawmakers are hoping for a brighter future for Michigan's legislature by pushing a pair of initiatives that have garnered bi-partisan support.
Termed as "modest but essential reforms," by co-sponsors and first-term legislators Bill Rogers (R-Brighton) and Timothy Bledsoe (D-Grosse Pointe), the measures are aimed at impacting the way state government operates.
The first, sponsored by Rogers, would require lawmakers to place a balanced budget before the governor by July 1 of each year. If that deadline is missed, legislator's pay will be suspended until the budget is submitted.
Bledsoe's bill would amend term limits to increase the number of years State House Reps. and Senators may serve. "Together, these proposals offer a real opportunity to repair a legislative body crippled by term limits and a budget process that hinders effective fiscal planing by school districts and local governments," the hopeful co-sponsors say.
Like our local State Rep. Kevin Daley, these freshman legislators are taking on some of the biggest problems in Lansing, though the fact that a law is required to get lawmakers to do their job seems somewhat ironic.
Whatever the case, we say 'welcome to the real world,' and applaud the bi-partisan efforts to shake up the status quo and change the course of an abysmally dysfunctional state legislative system.