Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Rigas says Dem leadership had to ‘torture’ its members to force controversial energy package through the House
RELEASE|November 7, 2023
Contact: Angela Rigas

Rep. Angela Rigas is speaking out following a marathon House session that lasted from 10 a.m. Thursday morning to just after 1 a.m. Friday morning.

The primary issue keeping legislators in their seats while deals were made and pressure applied was a clean energy package that mandates a switch to solar and wind power for Michigan utilities by 2040.

However, in order to achieve that goal, the package also included severe limitations on local control, allowing the state government to zone new construction in rural communities. That particular issue had been bringing protestors and concerned citizens to Lansing for weeks before the issue was finally forced by Speaker Joe Tate on Thursday.

“The Speaker originally told his members we would be done by 2pm,” Rigas said. “That obviously didn’t happen. He let them know that – like it or not – we were all staying until they delivered this energy package. We were not debating or legislating all night. We were sitting on our asses on the people’s dime so Joe Tate could smoke out his opposition.

“Democrat leadership had to basically torture their members and force through a fake local control provision to get their members in line, but he just wouldn’t call it until he got what he wanted for the governor. Well, here it is Gretchen. I hope it was worth it to you, because the people of Michigan can’t afford it.”

The passed package includes the 2040 wind and solar mandate but also includes a controversial provision allowing transferring local control over zoning for large-scale wind and solar farm construction projects to an unelected state board. An amendment added late Thursday allows local communities to provide opinion and input on projects, but not actually prevent them.

“First they wanted to take away the right of these towns and cities to say no. Well now they can say no, but nobody is required to listen or do anything about it. It’s a fake out. They threw their members who wanted to vote NO an escape hatch and they took it. It’s no secret I’m no fan of Democrats, but I don’t think even I can blame them for breaking. The speaker wasn’t going to release his hostages until he got what he wanted.”

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