WXYZ Editorial: Michigan's bad roads & term limited lawmakers on vacation

WXYZ Detroit - To our disappointment the Michigan Legislature went on summer recess without getting their work done!   Shame on them!  How many us can do that and keep our jobs? 

Michigan voters have made it perfectly clear that fixing potholed roads is their #1 concern.  But instead of working together to come up with a long-term funding plan to fix them, our Lansing leadership decided to pack up and take a vacation break.  You and I will have to drive a lot longer on roads that look like Swiss cheese.

So why aren't state lawmakers tackling the tough issues that affect our lives?  We think it has a lot to do with term limits.  They have fostered a system of political insecurity where powerful lobbyists and political fringe groups call the shots.  Term limits work against lawmakers trusting each other, building strong relationships and gaining valuable legislative experience.

In 1992, Michigan voters overwhelmingly approved term limits, 59 to 41 percent.  They hoped it would improve legislative service.  In 2010, Governors Jim Blanchard and John Engler spoke out against the amendment..  They rightfully concluded that Michigan term limits have been "disastrous!"

Just two years ago, an EPIC MRA poll found that 39 percent think term limits have made government better compared to 34 percent who say it is worse.   And, if voters had had a proposal before them to eliminate term limits but make state lawmakers part-time, they would have approved it 64 percent to 32 percent.

So, as we all dodge potholes this summer, let's ask ourselves this question:  Is it time to vote out term limits or at least lengthen the terms legislators can serve?  The current system is killing the Michigan legislative process.  Lawmakers, your job is to stay on the job - as long as it takes - for the people! 

I'm Ed Fernandez, Vice President & General Manager

Broadcast: June 26 - 29, 2014

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