Two months ago, we featured as a Bad Bill of the Week HB 245, which was a bill that would funnel state taxpayer funds to a local children’s museum in the bill sponsor’s district.
Similarly, House Bill 416 Sampson County History Museum Funds, would direct state tax dollars to a local museum. Sponsored by Rep. Larry Bell, a Democrat from (of course) Sampson County, this bill fits the classic definition of “pork barrel” spending, which is “the appropriation of government spending for localized projects secured solely or primarily to bring money to a representative’s district.”
HB 416 would appropriate $25,000 to “maintain the facilities, expand the collections, and promote the Museum to attract additional visitors.”
Clear and simple, this is another classic case of a politician trying to “bring home the bacon” to his district.
We’ve written before about how attractions like museums fall outside the scope of core government services and should be funded by voluntary support, such as visitor fees and private donations.
It makes matters even worse, however, when a legislator wants to dip into the state taxpayer trough to fund a local project of this nature.
Because it fits the classic definition of pork spending, and would fund an attraction outside the scope of core government services, House Bill 416 is this week’s Bad Bill of the Week.