Senators Patterson, Thomas and Hunter, under their constitutional right of protest (Art. 4, Sec. 18), protested against the passage of House Bill No. 5872.
Senator Patterson 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, in which Senators Thomas and Hunter concurred, is as follows:
Those who actually listened before were quite on point. So that is why I would like to reincorporate my “no” vote explanation on this bill. Having referenced the United States Republican Conference and the state GOP, I will now take the liberty of referencing a Wall Street Journal article that I understand Senator George circulated yesterday:
“Washington and the Fiscal Crisis of the States. The states have faced and will face combined budget shortfalls estimated at $350 billion in fiscal years 2010 and 2011. Past experience suggests that these deficits will continue even if a national economic recovery takes hold.
The federal stimulus has provided significant budget relief to the states, but this relief is temporary and makes it harder for states to cut expenditures. These strings prevent states from substituting federal money for state funds, require states to spend minimum amounts of their own funds, and prevent states from tightening eligibility standards for benefits.
Because of these requirements, states, instead of cutting spending in transportation, education, and health care, have been forced to keep most of their expenditures at previous levels and use federal funds only as supplements. The net result is this: The federal stimulus has led states to increase overall spending in these core areas, which in effect has only raised the height of the cliff from which state spending will fall if stimulus funds evaporate.”
This is a perfect example of kicking the can down the road. Stop spending future generation’s money. Have the guts to cut spending now and not keep spending our grandchildren’s money. That is easy.