Senators Gregory, Whitmer and Anderson, under their constitutional right of protest (Art. 4, Sec. 18), protested against
the passage of Senate Bill No. 172.
Senator Gregory moved that the statement he made during the discussion of the bill be printed as his reasons for voting
The motion prevailed.
Senator Gregory’s statement, in which Senators Whitmer and Anderson concurred, is as follows:
As a minority representative on this committee, I rise today to express my opposition to this legislation. Protecting the
public health of our citizens is one of the critical services our government provides. Unfortunately, instead of making the
level of service we provide toward that effort, our priority in this budget, we instead made it another piece of a political
shell game being played to justify the massive corporate tax giveaway this overall budget plan provides.
Make no mistake, the cuts being included in this bill, including gutting the Healthy Michigan Fund and reducing
graduate medical education and the Michigan Quality Community Care Council to $100 placeholders, are disappointing.
But when we realize that these are symptoms of that much larger problem, I simply cannot support this budget.
I hear the Governor and my colleagues across the aisle call these cuts shared sacrifice. To that, I ask what is your
definition of sacrifice? From what I see, we are asking working families to sacrifice, we are asking seniors to sacrifice,
and we are certainly asking our schoolchildren to sacrifice. Yet, while we ask for these sacrifices, big corporations only
reap the rewards of the $1.8 billion tax giveaway that compounds our budget problem and forces cuts to needed programs,
such as the ones in the Department of Community Health we are discussing in this bill. That isn’t shared sacrifice. It isn’t
right, and it isn’t what the people of Michigan sent us here to Lansing to do.
To my colleagues across the aisle, I say we have actually listened to the voters across our state, and we have news for
you. Yes we all know times are tough, and yes, we are all prepared to chip in if it truly means shared sacrifice. But we
are not willing to raise pension taxes, slash education, and cut vital health programs to pay for a $2 billion tax cut for
businesses. I will be voting “no” on this bill and encourage my colleagues to do so.