Michigan Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville has often disappointed those who yearned for desperately needed bipartisan leadership in Lansing. The Monroe Republican refused for two years to advocate needed road spending. Last year, he helped win approval for expanded Medicaid funding, but declined to push for putting the legislation into effect immediately — a failure that cost Michigan an estimated $600 million.
In recent months, Mr. Richardville seems to have realized that the good of the state matters more than narrow partisan concerns. He tried hard to advance an innovative road-funding plan, only to be defeated by a combination of cowardice, stupidity, and ideological pigheadedness among lawmakers.
He also has come out in favor of extending Michigan’s main civil rights law to cover sexual orientation. He expressed outrage that maggots had been repeatedly found in the food service areas of Michigan prisons. “It doesn’t matter if they are prisoners,” he said. “People don’t deserve that kind of treatment.
When a recent investigation by the Detroit Free Press uncovered massive irregularities in Michigan charter schools, some officials responded by attacking the newspaper or denying the report. But Mr. Richardville, a past supporter of charter-school expansion, said more checks and balances now are needed. His change of heart seems sincere.
Other lawmakers have similarly grown in office. But Senator Richardville has barely five months left in his legislative career, thanks to Michigan’s unreasonable system of term limits.
Mr. Richardville thinks these limits should be modified. The best thing Michigan voters could do is repeal them. The Founding Fathers gave us the best system of term limits ever devised. They’re called elections.
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