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Former Gov. John Engler, in this month’s Downtown newsmagazine, blasted Michigan’s legislative term limits for killing off valuable long-term knowledge needed by state lawmakers, and said the recent push for a part-time legislature in the state could only “make a bad situation worse.” In May, Michigan’s Lt. Governor Brian Calley was expected to announce a 2018 campaign for governor. Instead, in what many thought was a ridiculous move, Calley announced an initiative to amend the state’s constitution to set up a 90-day legislature and cut lawmaker’s pay in half. “That is singularly the dumbest idea that has been brought forward in a while,” Engler said. “I heard Calley has backed away from it, but his consultant was running it for him.” In July, Calley revised his proposal, causing a reset on the petition drive to get the issue on a statewide ballot. Yet in August, Calley continued to push for the proposal. While Engler said a form of part-time legislatures does work in some states, “you need a system and lawmakers that can get things done quickly, which isn’t the case in Michigan,” he asserted. “It is incredibly dumb.” Take that.


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