Part-time Legislature group eyes 2014 Mich. ballot

Part-time Legislature group eyes 2014 Mich. ballot

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Advocates proposing to make Michigan's Legislature meet part-time instead of year-round are seeking the green light to collect signatures for a constitutional amendment.

The Michigan elections board on Thursday will decide if the Committee to Restore Michigan's Part-time Legislature created a proper petition form. The group hopes to collect at least 400,000 signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

The initiative would limit lawmakers to meeting 60 straight days every year, with exceptions for special sessions. Legislators' pay would be capped at $35,000 a year. They now make roughly $71,000 annually.

Leaders of the ballot drive say Michigan's full-time Legislature is a failed experiment. The Michigan Chamber of Commerce already is opposing the proposal as tipping the balance of power to an unchecked executive branch when combined with term limits.

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