By Brian Dickerson, Detroit Free Press
Sixteen newly elected Democratic Michigan state senators learned last week that they're in line to get half the number of staff, and about 60% as much money to provide constituent services, as their Republican colleagues.
Per Michigan law, each of the 38 state senators elected to four-year terms last week represents approximately 238,000 Michigan residents. Each gets an annual salary of about $72,000 a year, plus expenses to staff and operate an office.
But that's where the golden rule — you know, the one ordaining that whoever owns the most gold makes the rules — comes in.
Because their party will continue to hold a majority (albeit a majority diminished by the loss of five seats) in the Senate, each of the 22 Republican state senators who take office Jan. 1 will be allocated benefit packages for up to four staffers and an annual expense allowance of $212,700.
Newly elected Democrats like Mallory McMorrow, who beat incumbent state Sen. Marty Knollenberg to flip an Oakland County state Senate seat Republicans had held for a generation, and former state Rep. Jeff Irwin, who will succeed term-limited Democratic state Sen. Rebekah Warren to represent Ann Arbor and surrounding municipalities, say the disparity is a slap in the face not just to them, but to their constituents, who deserve representation supported by the same resources provide to Republican senators.
Read the rest of the story at > https://www.freep.com/story/opinion/columnists/brian-dickerson/2018/11/19/michigan-senate-partisanship/2025584002/