Sen. Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing, recently argued that $2 million to $3 million could be saved now if all 37 senators agreed to get along on the lower office budget awarded each minority Democrat. It looks like at least another $190,000 could be saved by doing the same thing in the House.
Whitmer's claims have been dismissed as partisan grandstanding, but citizens are tightening their belts. Businesses are cutting back. Lawmakers should do the same.
The Senate has finally put their budgets online, and this small step towards transparency should be acknowledged (insert sound of one hand clapping here), but there still is the issue of the difference in staff funding on the table...
From the Senate Dems release:
“This is a small victory on transparency for the taxpayers, but it only reinforces the need for permanent transparency and additional savings,” said Sen. Gretchen Whitmer (D-East Lansing), sponsor of SR 15. “We must make sure that this online access is solidified into law so some future politician can’t take it away if they so choose. And we need to cut the bloated majority budgets for some immediate savings, as we consider other cuts to our state budget.”
The Secretary of the Senate listed the budgets on the official Senate webpage at www.senate.michigan.gov. You must then select the “Senators” link and the “Budgets” link will be posted on the bottom left hand corner. Anyone viewing the links will note that the individual Majority office budgets are approximately $100,000 more than the minority budgets, with the Senate Majority Leader’s office topping $760,000.
Three quarters of a million dollars ?!? No wonder they want to divert attention to the Executive. And it's no wonder they can afford to have "advisors" tell them how bad they suck. And here I was, doing it for free for all that time. If they would just have listened to me years ago, we could have saved the taxpayers a lot of money.