Senator Gleason’s statement is as follows:
It appears that I am the only Senator who can come back who voted against this. I am glad I did. I was kind of raised that is if you want people who come after you to think as much of you as you have treated them, my statement is pretty simply actually. If not mine, then nobody.
Senator Whitmer’s statement is as follows:
I listened with great interest to my predecessor who just spoke, and I have a great deal of respect for him. I agree with some of the points which he made. I would differ in that I think term limits have had a worse impact on this institution than any action we are taking today. I would also say that had I originally proposed this legislation, I think it should apply to every single one of us because that is the right thing to do.
I’ve been accused that maybe I was pandering for an attorney general spot. Well, I think I proved you wrong on that one. I’ve also heard a lot of people say, “Well, the Legislature, they are a bunch of fat cats who have health care through other jobs.” I don’t. I don’t have a spouse who has health care either. This is a real sacrifice, but I think it is the right thing to do.
Now I have news for you if you think you are sidestepping any possibility this may happen to you in the future. I think you are wrong. I don’t know if you’ve listened to the Republicans and the Democrats who are seeking gubernatorial office, and I’m sure on the campaign trail, we are going to hear a lot about this. So I don’t think this is the end of the issue. I’m not making any predictions or threats. I’m just saying I think you are sticking your head in the sand if you think that this is your get-out-of-town.
There is no courage in cutting someone else. Real leadership is about leading by example, sharing in sacrifice. To my colleague from the 7th District, I don’t believe that you get the best legislators if the Legislature treats themselves better than everyone else. I believe you get a group who is out of touch; a group who thinks it is OK to shut down government, close schools, hurt kids, and get cops off of our streets.
I will never forget sitting here on the second shutdown in three years and seeing no urgency on the faces of my colleagues—out of touch. So I don’t see any candidates for profiles in courage. I see a Legislature that is going to take action to impact a totally different group of people, and that saddens me. So I think that perhaps my colleague from the 7th District and I see similarly but for very different reasons.
This action today is not good enough, in my opinion.
Senator Switalski’s second statement is as follows:
I started out by talking about how this bill goes too far. I note that this bill will affect no one in this chamber but everyone who first enters the Capitol in the future. This is hardly courageous, nor is it fair.
I am disappointed in the defeat of the tie-bar to Senator Kuipers’ eminently reasonable Senate Bill No. 133. Perhaps that was unacceptable because such sensible reform just doesn’t go far enough. If that is your position, perhaps you will wish to co‑sponsor the Senate concurrent resolution I have today requested, which will end the state constitutional ban on capital punishment, but limit its application to legislators only. Although I consider it a modest proposal, you may be reluctant to do something as permanent and drastic as amending the Constitution.
Allow me to reassure you. I brought it up last week in my town hall, and though some listeners were circumspect, several attendees offered to sign it immediately. Furthermore, capital punishment for legislators is the ultimate term limit, and it has the additional benefit of permanently eliminating health care costs for all retired legislators. I am a reasonable man, so understand that I am open to grandfathering in current members if that is what it takes to get a two-thirds vote.