Downsizing the Government

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From budgets to cars... these days it seems everyone's downsizing. Now one group says it's time state government did the same.

"Government needs to tighten its belt too," Dianne Byrum said.

Reform Michigan Government Now -- the grassroots organization Dianne Byrum represents -- wants to streamline the government by removing positions, salaries and departments.

"The government is broken," Byrum said. "It's not working here in Michigan. It needs fixed and it needs fixed now."

The group is getting signatures now to try to get a constitutional amendment on November's ballot.

"There has to be a better process than what's going on right now that's so bitterly partisan," Byrum said.

-The proposal would eliminate ten seats in the Senate and 28 seats in the House and two supreme court justices.

-It would roll back a lawmaker pay raise

-It would ban lobbying for two years after leaving office.

- It would cut state departments and salaries.

"What we are doing we're having less government, less bureaucracy, more accountability to people," Byrum said.

One Lansing polling expert said these tough economic times have lead many Michigan residents to become frustrated with their government, but this proposal may just be too ambitious.

"One person's reform is another person's catastrophe," John Cavanagh said.

Cavanagh of Epic MRA said reforms of this magnitude might be better served by a constitutional convention and not a ballot vote.

"They are certainly well within their rights," Cavanagh said. "It's a rather unusual and a unique package of numerous sections of the constitution and puts it into one sweeping ballot question. It asks a lot of voters."

The group needs 380,000 signatures by July 7th to get their proposal on the November Ballot.

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