Tuesday, June 17, 2008

MEDC to Legislature: Trust Us!

HB 6208, introduced by Rep. Ed Clemente on June 5, 2008, to allow the “21st Century Jobs Fund” to purchase convertible loans, equity investments, or warrants, and also make some minor revisions to the fund’s procedures.

The bill is apparently targeted at a couple of specific projects that are also being courted by Tennessee and Alabama. According to the MEDC, enactment of the legislation is time sensitive and if the bill is not enacted by summer break, Michigan will not be a contender for the projects. MEDC says it is not permitted to disclose the specific companies that are being targeted.

So, the MEDC wants us to give them $18.1 million with no real restrictions to lure two unnamed manufacturers to Michigan, but MEDC can't tell us, (the ones appropriating the money) who it is. Somehow, it just doesn't seem right that the legislature is being asked to spend money-give the MEDC an open checkbook-that they can't tell us who the money is for.

And oh, by the way, if the projects fall through, they get to keep the money and use it however they see fit as long as it is for future "economic development projects."

They used to say the two great lies were "I'm from the government and I'm here to help" and "Trust me." Now we have combined them into one statement. "Trust me with your money, I am from the government and I am here to help."

The bill passed today.

No comments: