News Story

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley Explains Proposal For Legislature

He wants to pay lawmakers the same amount per day as the average teacher

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley

When Lt. Gov. Brian Calley proposed a plan for a part-time legislature, he said he wanted to cut legislators’ pay in half, thereby “setting it equal to what our teachers are paid.”

But Calley isn’t talking about gross salary equivalents. Instead, he wants to prorate legislators’ pay based on the number of days they work — meaning the daily wage of legislators would be based on the daily wage of teachers.

Teacher pay varies greatly among Michigan’s 540 regular school districts, but the average annual teacher salary is about $62,000 for 180 days of class. State legislators would be on the job 90 days, half the number of days public schools must hold class. Applying this method to the legislature means an annual salary of $31,000 for lawmakers, which is how much teachers would earn if they only worked 90 days.

“The proposal requires that each year the state officers compensation commission determines the average teacher pay in the state of Michigan and then prorates the number of days in session compared to the number of days required to be in class,” Calley said in an email. “So in this case, the average teacher salary is about $62,000 per year and the requirement is to be in the class 180 days. Legislators would be in session 90 days per year and therefore will draw a salary of about $31,000. So there's a proration, not a gross salary equivalent.”