LANSING (AP) – A citizens’ group is trying to build momentum for a possible petition drive aimed at making Michigan’s Legislature part-time.

The group wants to place the issue on the November 2008 ballot. But it won’t be easy.

More than 300,000 valid signatures of Michigan voters would have to be collected to make the ballot.

The as-yet-unnamed group plans organizational meetings this week in Clarkston.

The proposal would call for limiting the Legislature to 90 session days.

The number of lawmakers would drop from the current 148 to 100. Lawmakers would not get lifetime health benefits and salaries would be frozen.

The proposal would extend the length of term limits for some elected officials.

Michigan budget debates are typically wrapped up by July or August, well in advance of fiscal years that start in October.

But as autumn slowly turns to winter, lawmakers still haven’t finished the job for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1.

An unprecedented four-hour government shutdown highlighted the budget crisis in the early hours of Oct. 1.

A 30-day emergency extension was passed to delay the start of the new budget year to Nov. 1.

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