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Opinion: By R. Al Bain
“Full Time Pay for Part-Time Representation”
Here’s yet another good reason and example for a part-time legislature. Our new legislators were sworn in on January 12 2011 that’s about half way through the first month of the new legislative session. The Michigan Legislature began a two-week legislative recess on March 28 that will end April 8. This is just the first one of the many such recesses during the year. Let me see, if a citizen works in the private sector can they work at a new job for less than 3 months then not only take two weeks off let alone with pay? I think not!
Shouldn’t we the taxpayers who elect these “so-called” representatives be outraged and demand that this policy be stopped and a part-time legislature be implemented? They already work less than half the working day’s excluding weekends of a given year with salaries and benefits that the majority of citizens don’t receive for a full year of employment! Does anybody but me see we are being taken to the cleaners with this type of arraignment not afforded to the citizens who pay their salaries and benefits?
What we hear out of these elected representatives is that Michigan is in dire straights and we all have to share in the sacrifice and pain in order to right the ship as to bring Michigan and jobs back to this once great state. There are 38 Senators and 110 State Representatives and with each comes the cost to the taxpayers of Michigan approximately $300,000.00 for each in salaries that include but not limited to staff and their salaries, allowances, extra money for each committee that each individual representative sits on, and other perks and expenses.
Although I’m not a mathematician according to my calculations that’s upwards of approximately $44,400,000.00 “Million Dollars” per year at the taxpayers expense for the representation we have been and are receiving! I would suggest that if we had a part-time legislature and cut that number in half that would go a long way with balancing the budget along with money for infrastructure, roads, and bridges. Now, that’s sharing the pain and sacrifice equally among all Michigan’s citizens.
GOP Senate Backs Failed Status Quo
Senate Republicans seem determined to continue the avoidance and obstructionist practices of the previous Michigan Legislature, a strategy that will almost certainly produce the same disastrous results. A spokesman for House Speaker Jase Bolger, R-Marshall, said the speaker remains committed to “bold change and big ideas.” That’s encouraging. Because his counterpart in the Senate, Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, aided by the disappointing Senate Finance chairman, Jack Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township, seem committed to maintaining the failed status quo.
Expanding Big Government in Michigan Alive and Well!
I hope the Tea Party folks who helped elect and re-elect these so called conservatives see the light! 2011 Senate Bill 144 (Expand 21st Century Jobs Fund corporate subsidies) is nothing more than corporate welfare and picking winners and losers in the business community. When it comes to our tax dollars these representatives are thick as thieves!
Amid Tougher Times, Spending on Payroll Soars at Michigan Universities
It’s all about our children and their education they say! A group of these high priced and over paid University Presidents lead by Mary Sue Coleman of the University of Michigan were in Lansing last week crying foul at a legislative subcommittee hearing on the proposed cuts to their universities of taxpayer monies. These people have the gull! Michigan Universities increased their spending on administrative positions by nearly 30% on average in the last five years, even as university leaders say they’ve slashed expenses to keep college affordable for families. I can’t say it enough, we the taxpayers should not be funding these university’s when it’s all about cushy salaries and benefits and not our children’s education. During this same time period tuition has increased on an average of 8% per year!
Real Redistricting reform must come from the People
At the heart of our democracy is the principle that voters choose their representatives. But it might be more accurate to say that in Michigan, representatives are choosing their voters! When it comes time to draw the boundaries for the districts that will enable voters to send representatives to Lansing and to Congress, elected representatives themselves draw the lines. And they can choose which voters will be in their district. This process is flawed and needs to change. But current reform efforts from both parties continue to fall short.
States Pushing Back on ObamaCare, but Michigan Takes the Money
Some States have returned the $1 million exchange planning grant to the federal government as to implement Nationalized Health Care. Unfortunately, Michigan has already taken its share of this same loot, $999,772 worth. Whether our Department of Community Health bureaucrats have spent it already is not known at this time.
150 Michigan School Systems are on the Verge of going Broke
More than 150 school districts and charter schools in Michigan are teetering on the edge of going broke, a situation that is likely to get worse under Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed cuts of $470 per pupil. These are the districts that have so little set aside in rainy day funds that Snyder’s cuts — coupled with a huge increase in retirement costs this summer — could put them in a deficit, joining the 43 districts and charters already there.
Jobs in Michigan like finding a Needle in a Haystack
Last year, 36% of Michigan’s 590,000 unemployed workers had been searching for a job for a year or longer, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That was the third-highest rate in the country. In Michigan alone, 150,000 residents this year are expected to run out of their unemployment benefits, which last an unprecedented 99 weeks. That’s on top of the 91,287 that have already done so, according to state and federal data hence the drop in the unemployment number.
Ex Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
A local psychiatrist says former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder a more accurate diagnosis would be (Thieving Interruptus.) The claim is made in a lawsuit against the company SkyTel, which released the damaging text messages that triggered Kilpatrick’s down fall. “He’s confined and humiliated. He’s embarrassed. He’s devastated. He’s depressed. He’s anxious,” testified Dr. Miller. Dr. Miller was hired to evaluate Kilpatrick and he testified that his pay rate is $400 an hour to review records and $500 to testify in court. Does this mean his comeback is on hold?
How Is Gov. Snyder Doing So Far?
What a governor does means more than what a governor says or what kind of people he brings to his team. Gov. Rick Snyder has stated intentions and filled appointments, but he must be judged by his executive actions and signatures on bills.
ON POINT: Citizen Blast’s Alan Simpson, Senator from Wyoming
Alan Simpson, Republican Senator from Wyoming , Co-Chair of Obama’s deficit commission, calls senior citizens the Greediest Generation as he compared “Social Security” to a Milk Cow with 310 million teats. August, 2010. Here’s a response in a letter from a true American in Montana and I think he is a little ticked off! He also tells it like it is! This is one of the best letter’s I have ever read on the problems facing our country!
A government which robs Peter to pay Paul, can always count on the support of Paul.
George Bernard Shaw