State Reps. Donni Steele, Tom Kuhn, and Jamie Thompson introduced a plan this week to keep Legislators in the capital doing their jobs until the end of the year.
The plan comes as the Democrat majority in the House and Senate prepare to stop legislative business and break for the year, instead of adjourning in late December as usual.
“I drive to Lansing swerving potholes and hearing from local residents tired of blackouts and failing schools,” said Steele, R-Orion Township. “Those are all issues I’ve been trying to fix since I was elected, but the majority has blocked our plans at every turn. Adjourning nearly two months early instead of working through complex issues and oversight is a complete waste of state resources. We need to stay here and do the people’s work.”
Steele’s plan, House Concurrent Resolution 9,would keep the Legislature in session until Monday, December 28. House Democrats are currently planning to adjourn Thursday afternoon until the new year.
“Less work, less pay. Taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for the extended vacation Democrats have decided to award themselves,” said Thompson, R-Brownstown. “People I represent are struggling. They want their life to be more affordable, and they want their representatives to address the high costs of groceries, health care, and electricity. There’s still work to get done. If legislators aren’t willing to work, they shouldn’t get paid.”
Thompson’s proposal would guarantee that if the Legislature does adjourn early, elected officials would not be paid a full-time salary for the remainder of the year.
“House Democrats apparently want a part-time legislature with full-time pay,” said Kuhn, R-Troy. “House Democrats want to ignore important issues facing our communities and take an early Christmas holiday. But state lawmakers earn their wages by doing the people’s work, not sitting at home watching Christmas movies. If anyone else stopped showing up to work, they wouldn’t just stop receiving pay, they would be fired.”
Kuhn’s plan would cut the pay of staff who work on legislative policy if the legislative session ends. Staff continuing to help constituents navigate the state government bureaucracy would not be affected.
Regardless of the adjournment date, House Republicans remain committed to doing the people’s work and will continue to serve in their communities, even if Democrats go on vacation.
“We live in a time where our freedom of speech is being questioned all too often,” said Steele, R-Orion Township. “This contest gives our students the opportunity to explore their first amendment right and communicate how essential that liberty is to them. To me, nothing is more important than our freedom of expression. Our ability to partake in civil discourse is the absolute bedrock of our nation.”
“All people have a moral obligation to speak out against hate whenever it rears its ugly head – this is one of those times. As elected officials, we are the voice for our communities. We are held to a higher standard and must answer to all comments we make, including any and all social media posts.”
“In a time when political divides keep deepening, the House needs something for everyone to agree on; I’m confident this school safety legislation is that something,” said Steele, R-Orion Township. “This week, we’re remembering a tragedy at Michigan State University. Being from Lake Orion, I can’t help but draw the connection to our neighboring sister community of Oxford and the terrifying events which occurred there over two years ago. The best was to prevent these horrific events from repeating themselves is to bind together and pass school safety bills. Our kids and communities depend on it.”