North Carolina’s so-called Welcome Centers are indeed a welcome site for full-bladdered motorists in need of a pit stop. And the available maps and tourism brochures may come in handy for curious travelers as well. But are these facilities a “core function” of state government? Should taxpayers be forced to pay $1.9 million annually to subsidize them? North Carolina features nine “Welcome Centers” located on interstate highways near state lines. The centers are home to “clean, modern facilities” that offer visitors abundant copies of “the state’s Official North Carolina Travel Guide, the Department of Transportation’s official state map, and other marketing publications exclusively about North Carolina.” Most of us already knew that. But did you know that each center also has on staff “professional, nationally-certified travel counselors” ready to book room reservations at no charge? Also part of the nearly $2 million annual cost to taxpayers for the Welcome Centers is more than $35,000 worth of cell phone and email services for the 44.25 full-time equivalent staffers, along with $5,940 for cable TV service.