HB 4 (Extra Session 2007)
PAUL STAM’S SPEECH – GOOD YEAR INCENTIVES
September 11, 2007 – edited for clarity
I opposed the $40 million bill (HB 1761 and vetoed by the Governor) and I certainly oppose this $60 million bill and I would like to give a few of my reasons.
First of all there are no additional safeguards in the bill to speak of. All of the safeguards talked about can be imposed by the Governor’s Economic Investment Committee as part of the contract.
Secondly, the underlying argument here for most of the proponents is that people will suffer if we don’t pass the bill. Of course they can’t know that because that is an unknowable, and a predicate to that assumption is that this bill is actually enough to change the behavior of these firms and corporations. Within a reasonable degree of certainty (maybe 99%) we know that is not true for a couple of reasons:
First reason, Firestone. We were told in committee that a couple of years ago Firestone was turned down for this type of grant and they made the investment anyway. The bill is retroactive to pick up the investments they have already made of $60 million. How a grant to Firestone can possibly induce an investment that is already in the ground just boggles the imagination. I don’t fault the people from Wilson who got Firestone in the bill because Firestone was being treated unfairly, as are all other businesses in this state that are being treated unfairly by the resulting bill. Read full speech.