Wikipedia defines “pork barrel” spending as “the appropriation of government spending for localized projects secured solely or primarily to bring money to a representative’s district.”
Senate Bill 245, Exploration Station/Grassroots Science Funds, is sponsored by Sen. Jane W. Smith (D-Robeson) and fits perfectly into that definition.
The bill would appropriate $58,000 per year in taxpayer money to the Exploration Station, a children’s museum in Lumberton – Smith’s hometown and the heart of her district.
Appropriating state funds for a localized attraction is the kind of “bring home the bacon” abuse of political power loathed by taxpayers.
Moreover, so-called grassroots science museums should not be funded with taxpayer funds anyway, as explained when the museums were dubbed a Waste of the Week last November:
“Museums such as these fall well outside any reasonable definition of the ‘core services’ of state government, and should be supported financially through voluntary fees, donations and sponsorships.”
Because it fits the bill for pork barrel spending by directing state funds toward a local attraction that should be funded by voluntary support anyway, Senate Bill 245 is this week’s Bad Bill of the Week.