Senator Patterson, under his constitutional right of protest (Art. 4, Sec. 18), protested against the passage of House Bill No. 4860 and moved that the statement he made during the discussion of the bill be printed as his reasons for voting “no.”
The motion prevailed.
Senator Patterson’s statement is as follows:
So where does this money come from that we are spending again today? Well, I am looking at a Legislative Digest from the United States House Republican Conference, certainly a reliable source, and this money comes from Harry Reid and Patty Murray. It is $26.1 billion in federal bailouts for states that is partially offset with permanent tax increases and rescissions. The bill provides $10 billion for state education bailout. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the bill increases the deficit by $12.6 billion.
Whether or not you are convinced by the United States House Republican Conference, perhaps you will be convinced by a Gongwer selection that appears to state: “The state GOP hits House candidates on federal stimulus spending.” Can you imagine that the state Grand Old Party is attacking House Democrats in our own State House for excessive spending of bailout money? “According to the Republican Party spokesperson Jennifer Hoff, she wasn’t aware of the calls that were being made, but the liberals in Lansing supported wasting $862 billion of our tax dollars.” That was a flyer that was sent out. I actually received one of those at my home. The liberals are spending this bailout money like it was their own rather than stepping up and holding the line as true conservatives do.
Rep. Agema, having reserved the right to explain his protest against the passage of the bill, made the following statement:
“Mr. Speaker and members of the House:
There are many additions to this original bill obtaining money from funds that don’t exist. How can we in good conscience vote for things that come from shadow funds. This will result in higher taxes because the legislature has no ability to actually stop spending money that doesn’t exist. Also, in testimony given yesterday, we’re not even sure if we will be required to pay the money back to the federal government because there is not enough maintenance of effort on our part because revenues have declined so much. This is a bad bill made to require a bad vote by legislators for political agenda.”