Just when you thought you saw all superfluous spending from this year’s legislature, HB 197 floats to the surface. Introduced by Reps. McLawhorn (D-Pitt), E. Warren (D-Pitt), Tucker (D-Duplin) and Haire (D-Jackson) , HB 197, titled “Funds for Queen Anne’s Revenge,” authorizes government spending for continued research on the sunken ship.
Queen Anne’s Revenge is believed to be the flagship of the legendary pirate Blackbeard, which is said to have sunk in 1718 near Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina. The funds totaling $400,000, distributed over the next two years, will go to Queen Anne’s Revenge Project, a team of archaeologists who “investigate, interpret and preserve the remains of Blackbeard’s flagship.” The bill explains that the money will allow critical matching of federal and private grant funds already given to the project.
Beneath the water lies not only the begotten ship of the dreaded pirate Blackbeard, but a complete misuse of government spending. Amidst the crisis of rising unemployment and increased budget cuts across education, public safety and healthcare, it is irresponsible for our legislators to fund such underwater excursions. Researching history should be a priority; however, using public funds to support this project when private money already exists is not acceptable. Spending like this has already led to another shipwreck – North Carolina’s economy.
HB 197 is this week’s bad bill of the week as the modern day pirates of the legislature plunder our pockets yet again.