This article is the second installment in a series of recommendations currently being released on a weekly basis. Future weeks will detail how much the state can save by freezing corporate welfare handouts for a year and temporarily abstaining from buying land.
Eliminate $12.4 Million in new pork spending.
As estimates for the current budget hole grow to $1.6 billion or more, lawmakers need to examine more than $12 million in new “pork” spending included in this year’s budget.
While $12.4 million may be a small amount compared to the massive budget shortfall, voters need to keep in mind how lawmakers prioritize the spending of their tax dollars. For instance, it was recently reported that the “Meals on Wheels” program would receive a cut in their funding. Meanwhile, several questionable items receive new tax dollars in this year’s budget that could otherwise have been directed to the program that helps feed elderly and indigent citizens.
North Carolina’s elected officials should reconsider spending taxpayer dollars on the following items, and instead use the savings to help balance this year’s budget. And more importantly, taxpayers should ask the question: Should our tax dollars be spent on these items during a budget crisis?
- $500,000 for a child obesity pilot program for the K-12 system
- $985,000 to expand the “minority male mentoring program” in the North Carolina Community College System
- $500,000 to the “motorsports consortium” – a community college training program for students interested in the motorsports industry
- $2,000,000 in HHS “demonstration projects” to reduce obesity
- $500,000 for a tobacco quitline
- $2,000,000 for an oyster sanctuary program
- $100,000 to upgrade the Building & Sites Web site
- $175,000 for an international trade office in China
- $300,000 in funds to the Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development
- $1,000,000 to increase Internet connectivity in underserved areas of the state
- $1,000,000 for a “community development initiative” in the Department of Commerce
- $135,000 to the North Carolina Indian Economic Development Initiative
- $75,000 for the CSS Neuse
- $500,000 for the Civil Rights Museum
- $150,000 for the Queen Anne’s Revenge archaeology project
- $250,000 for art museum transition
- $175,000 for arts council grants
- $1,000,000 for a performing arts group to perform for school children
- $500,000 for a grassroots arts program
- $25,000 for the outdoor drama “Horn in the West”
- $75,000 for the John Coltrane Music Hall
- $25,000 for the Penderlea Homestead Museum
- $450,000 increase in funding for the North Carolina Symphony