Waste of the Week: Great Blacks in Wax Museum Expansion

Delegates Cory McCray (D), Talmadge Branch (D), Cheryl Glenn (D) and Senator Nathaniel McFadden (D) have proposed this week’s $400,000 in waste we’re profiling over in Baltimore City. The cross-filed HB1217/SB0791 proposes the creation of new state debt to hand out a loan to help a wax museum in Baltimore City. Yes, I said wax museum.

The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum is a museum of African American history with wax sculptures in Baltimore. Founded in the early 1980s, the museum gets a lot of visitors on an annual basis. It’s a non-profit which charges admission for visiting. At approximately $13 per person and an estimated 300,000 visitors a year, the museum should bring in about $3.9 million annually. I don’t know their cost to run the facility, but that’s quite a bit of money. It sounds like an incredibly interesting facility with some great exhibits. But, is it the State’s responsibility to loan this local wax museum money? I say no.

If the museum is interested in an expansion – like any other small business or organization, they can get a small business loan. They also can aggressively fundraise (as a reminder to the Delegates and Senator you can donate to the museum here). Expanding a local museum in Baltimore City is not worth putting the state further in debt. If there were budget surpluses, these things would be worth considering. We do not. So, we should not.

As I do weekly, I call upon the members of the state legislature to stop with the bond bills. Stop trying to buy local votes and creating new state debt!

For the aforementioned set of reasons and the ridiculous amount of debt our state continues to carry, HB1217/SB0791 is this week’s “Waste of the Week.”

Congratulations to Senator McFadden and Delegates McCray, Branch, and Glenn for putting the state further in debt to gain votes in Baltimore City!

Feel free to submit your suggestions in the comments section of wasteful spending in Maryland.

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