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To the victor goes the spoils – unless you’re a minority party member of the Michigan Senate, where you’ll receive about 60 percent of what Republicans who won elections in November will receive for staff budgets. While individual senators’ salaries follow the equal pay standard (with exception of those in party leadership positions), the amount of staff benefit packages and staff salary budgets are weighted heavily in favor of the Republican majority. For 2019, staff budgets for GOP senators were set at $222,300 for the year with four staff benefit packages, while Democrat senators will get $135,500 and two staff benefit packages. The amounts, which have followed similar splits each year, are set by the sitting Senate Majority Leader for the following year. “It was a shock to the system,” Senator-elect Mallory McMorrow (D-Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Royal Oak) said after learning of the budget amounts. “Taking partisan politics aside, it shouldn’t matter where you live or who you’re represented by, you should have equal access and representation to those representing you.” McMorrow said she’s aware that office budgets on the House side also favor the majority party, but the disparity isn’t as great – typically equating to just a few thousand dollars. “It’s unfair to all the people,” she said. “Whether you voted for me or not, I want to make sure we have people in the office to address everyone’s needs.”


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