Waste of the Week: Weinberg Center HVAC Project
Welcome one and all to the new 2015 legislative session in Annapolis. We have many a new faces in the State Senate and House of Delegates, so I’d like to begin our first Waste of the Week of the session in a bipartisan fashion. I’m picking our first piece of pork legislation which is co-sponsored by a bipartisan pair of State Senators, Ronald Young (D) and Michael Hough (R). The pair are proposing a quarter million dollars in new state debt to pay for an HVAC unit at the Weinberg Center in Frederick in SB0024.
The Weinberg Center for the Arts is a non-profit theater house which provides art performances to Frederick. It provides access to the community to a variety of different performance arts events. It sounds like a lovely place to catch a show, but should the state be in the business of putting itself a quarter million dollars in further debt in order to loan them money to install an HVAC unit? I think not.
We need to hold legislators accountable for these decisions to endorse additional state debt. I understand fully that bond bills are loans to organizations in the community. I also believe that on a fundamental level the government should not be getting into the loan business. Period. Leave that to the private sector. If the Weinberg Center for the Arts needs money, seek a bank or seek donations. I recommend Senators Young and Hough check this link and donate since they believe in the Weinberg Center so much as to put the state in further debt to build them a new HVAC system.
In all this, I’m actually disappointed in Senator Hough. In the 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 legislative sessions as a Delegate, he proposed $0 in new debt. He has been in office a week as a State Senator and in addition to this legislation with Senator Young, Hough has already proposed an additional $400,000 total in new debt across two other bills (SB0032 and SB0039). The guys over at Red Maryland expended a lot of political capital endorsing Hough in a tough primary as the conservative alternative. I am disappointed for his new found support of creating new state debt upon arrival in the upper chamber.
For that set of reasons and the ridiculous amount of debt our state continues to carry, SB0024 is this week’s “Waste of the Week.”
Congratulations Senators Young and Hough for your bipartisan efforts to put the state a quarter million dollars further in debt to gain votes in Frederick!
Feel free to submit your suggestions in the comments section of wasteful spending in Maryland.
Cross-posted from Old Line Elephant