TUESDAY, Oct. 21, 2009 (517) 999-3646

Whitmer plan will force Legislature to share in Michigan families’ sacrifice

LANSING – Citizens watchdog group Progress Michigan today called on the Michigan Legislature to pass a proposal that will cut legislators’ pay and benefits before they can further slash funding for Michigan schools and students.

The Senate has already voted to cut $165 per pupil, an amount that could go up because the Senate has not said how it will pay for education in the 2009-2010 fiscal year. On Tuesday, Sen. Gretchen Whitmer announced a plan to cut legislators’ pay before they slash funds for education.

“People are suffering across our state and it is wrong for elected legislators to protect their pocketbooks while they take money from our students,” Progress Michigan Executive Director David Holtz said. “Before the Legislature takes away a single dime from our students, they must be prepared to cut their own lavish salaries and make tough sacrifices – just like every family in Michigan today. Sen. Gretchen Whitmer is right to call out the Legislature, which must lead by example.”

Whitmer plans to introduce legislation that will pro-rate legislators’ pay when school funding is cut back through pro-ration. The move includes cutting legislators’ salaries when they reduce education funds and reducing their pay when they miss session.

Whitmer will also introduce legislation that will end legislators’ taxpayer funded lifetime health care benefits, and require candidates to disclose income and assets.

“Michigan families deserve legislators who will fight for our citizens, not the special interests or their personal interests,” Holtz said. “Michigan’s government is broken, and the first step toward fixing it must begin in the Legislature.”


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