Thanks to CS, for noting that Rep. Steve Harrelson’s Under the Dome blog yesterday provided a handy link to this year’s General Improvement Funding spending. Pork barrel is the more common phrase.
Read, report and view with alarm or approval, depending.
CS wonders about projects such as money to study African-American gravesites and build big cat and giraffe housing at the LR Zoo, with lesser amounts for the likes of the state Crime Lab.
The answer is that projects with statewide value (both of those he listed would qualify, I think) sometimes need state support not otherwise available anywhere else. The Crime Lab, too, has needs, but it receives millions on an ongoing annual basis. When surpluses develop, it has been custom to share the money among a variety of worthy projects. Etc. How you feel about that invariably correlates with how you feel about individual expenditures.
Here you’ll also find the dairy farmer bailout money, money to purchase acreage in the Lake Maumelle watershed, Civil War commemoration money, the attorney general’s new one-man police force, $70 million to give away to business prospects in direct grants or infrastructure support and lots more.