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Hune Supports Legislation for Part-Time Michigan Lawmakers

Michigan is one of four states with a full-time legislature.

State lawmakers are looking at legislation that would change Michigan's politicians from full-time to part time positions.

Michigan is one of four states with a full-time legislature; the others are California, Pennsylvania and New York.

The bill was introduced by Sen. John Proos (R-St. Joseph) and would limit session days to 90 per year, reported Channel 4 WDIV.

Sen. Joe Hune (R-Hamburg Township) said he is in favor of a part-time legislature.

"I think I'm one of the handful of few in Lansing that have consistently supported a part-time legislature," Hune said. "The majority of states have a part-time legislature—and many of them with a better economy and a better unemployment rate. All of the numbers that show a better economy than Michigan have a part-time legislature. I don't see why Michigan can't be more efficient in getting our work done in Lansing."

Gov. Rick Snyder addressed the question of a part-time legislature in front of more than 400 people during a recent visit to Brighton, saying he didn't support it because there is too much work to be done in the state right now.

"We certainly have a lot to get done," Hune acknowledged. "But maybe we could do the bulk of our work earlier in the year, like most states with part-time legislatures do. They meet early in the year, get their work done, then they're done for the year."

In 2012, Michigan's lawmakers spent 81 days working in Lansing.

This year, the Senate schedule, which goes through June, has 66 sessions, but shows a two week break during the end of March and beginning of April.

The 2013 House schedule has only one day of work in both July and August, two weeks off during the end of March and beginning of April and two weeks off in both November and December.

Hune said that large states like Texas meet every other year and adopt two-year operating budgets then go home.

"Certainly they'll have special sessions and committee meetings and whatnot," he said. "But to get your work done in a matter of three months or four months makes sense to me. I just think we'd be more efficient."

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