LANSING, Mich. (MIRS News) – A total of 68% of 110 former state lawmakers said they would serve in the Legislature again if given a chance, according to a University of Michigan study published Tuesday.
Some of them may soon get that chance.
Voters are projected to adopt Proposal 1 next Tuesday, which would allow state legislators to serve a combined 12 years in the state Legislature. Currently, House members are capped at three two-year terms and senators are capped at two four-year terms.
Proposal 1 would allow former House members who didn’t serve in the Senate to return for six more House years. Of those who responded to the survey, 66% served only in the House while 29% served in both.
The survey was overseen by Rusty Hills, a longtime Republican Party political official who is now a lecturer at the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy. He conducted the survey between May 17, 2020, and Feb. 21, 2021 through email. Hills invited 308 former legislators to participate. The response rate was 35.7%
It found that 67% of these respondents favor reforming term limits and 27% favor abolishing them altogether. A final 6% favored leaving them as they are.
Of the two-thirds majority who favored reforming term limits the most common alternative is to extend the allowable time in office with 12 years being the most common target mentioned.
On another question, 78% said they wouldn’t do anything differently in spending time with lobbyists while 16% said they would spend more time with lobbyists because of their greater knowledge of specific issues. A final 6% said they would spend less time with lobbyists because they’re paid to advocate for specific position.
“This survey underscores the desire for some change, from both sides of the aisle,” Hills said. “These public servants want the Legislature to work better for everybody, so their opinions and comments are particularly relevant during this election season.”