Senator Patterson’s first statement is as follows:
As has been said, I rise with a heavy heart and no disrespect to the fine chair of the committee through which this bill passed and who is the prime sponsor. Just for a little history, 2001-2002, I was in the House while Ken Sikkema was in the Senate struggling to get a $50 million clean water measure through the Senate. I had a conversation with a former legislator, Kirk Profit, who said: “Why don’t you go ahead and introduce legislation to create a $1 or $2 fund?” So we worked on that. In fact, we did get it passed, and it was supposed to address what SEMCOG predicted was going to be an enormous infrastructure problem. That problem was described as being a $35 billion to $40 billion problem that was going to have to be addressed for southeast Michigan only.
So it is with the specific and articulated intent that this was not to be grant money. This was supposed to be a revolving loan bond fund. Now I understand times have changed and municipalities have difficulties, but this is expressly violative of the expressed intent that I expressed going around this state to editorial boards to promote ratification of this bond obligation, which is required by our Constitution and which was put before the people of the state of Michigan along with three other ballot measures in 2002.
This was the only valid measure that was approved by the people and I fear it is yet again another example of how we tell the people one thing and then turn around and use their money for an entirely different purpose than what they intended.
Senator Patterson’s second statement is as follows:
While I am sure nobody listens to these things, posterity will reflect that the author of the bill that was ultimately approved by the voters of Michigan has so stated the original intent. If by chance this ends up in court, maybe even if I am not around to be called as a witness, they will reflect positively on what I said today; trying to be a strict adherent to the written word, the Constitution, and the oath I swore to my office.