Wednesday, October 27, 2010

OHD-18: Matt Patten Lied About Voting to Cut His Pay

...but don't take my word for it, check out this PolitiFact piece:
The pay cut was actually a Republican idea before Democrats seized it. Rep. Seth Morgan, a Dayton-area Republican, included the 5-percent pay cut bill idea as stand-alone measure in House Bill 210, which was introduced on June 9, 2009.

That bill went nowhere for months. Democrats latched onto the idea in October 2009 and inserted the 5-percent pay cut plan into a measure that delayed a 4.2 percent state income tax cut for all Ohioans.
The so-called freeze on the income tax cut provided $844 million the state needed to shore up its budget, which had a hole in it after legal wranglings halted a plan to raise revenue by allowing slot machines at Ohio's horse tracks.
Republicans saw the freeze as a tax increase, so the bill containing the freeze and the pay cut passed on a mostly partisan vote. Only two Republicans joined all 53 Democrats in voting for it. Later, the Republican-controlled Ohio Senate stripped the provision from the legislation, so it never actually became law.
So Patten and the other House Democrats did vote to cut their own pay, right? Not so fast, dear reader.
A section of the the Ohio Constitution actually prohibits members of the General Assembly from changing their own pay.
Patten and other House Democrats are making an issue out of a vote that purported to cut lawmakers’ pay by 5 percent.
They claim they cut their own pay in the measure which ultimately wasn't adopted.
However, even if the measure had been adopted, the Ohio Constitution would have prevented the pay from taking effect until the next General Assembly is seated.
So they actually didn't vote to cut their own pay. They cut the pay for members of the next legislature, which may or may not include them.
Therefore, we find this claim to be false.