This week we travel to Montgomery County for our Waste of the Week as we profile a string of bond bills from the killer combination of Senator Craig Zucker (D), and Delegates Eric Luedtke (D) and Anne Kaiser (D). What are we talking about? SB0983/HB0991 ($40,000); SB0984/HB0988 ($50,000); SB0985/HB0897 ($75,000); SB0986/HB0985 ($150,000); SB0987/HB0997 ($200,000). These total…$515,000 in new debt proposed for the state of Maryland. A half million dollars all proposed by this ridiculous trio in Montgomery County. Let’s dive a little deeper, shall we?
Let’s break down where all this money the state doesn’t have so they’re talking about indebting our future for would theoretically be going:
- SB0983/HB0991 – Repairs/construction at the Sandy Spring Museum – a museum about the city of Sandy Spring
- SB0984/HB0988 – Repairs/construction for Weinberg Building at Our House Youth Training Center
- SB0985/HB0897 – Repairs/construction at Maydale Nature Center
- SB0986/HB0985 – Repairs/construction at Olney Theatre Center
- SB0987/HB0997 – A turf field for Damascus High School
Okay, so – first we have a local museum for a local city. Why would we put the entire state in debt to loan a hyper-local museum money? Seems unreasonable to me, even at the low price of $40,000.
Our House Youth Training Center sounds like a fine organization doing some lovely things for the community. Teaching abandoned/orphaned teenage boys a trade, particularly in construction, is a great goal. I applaud their efforts. Frankly, why don’t more of these types of places exist is a good question? But, again the question comes up – why are we going in debt for this? Can we pay all our current debt off before going further into debt for this cause? Why not fundraise to help them match their funds? It’s a genuinely good cause I’m sure you can find others in the Maryland delegation willing to donate. They still need $750,000 in donations to meet their goal to build this new dorm. Why don’t you ask your normal donors to each give to this cause – there’s three of you, that’s a nice little network to be reaching. Try it once and give yourself, it’s a good thing.
Maydale Nature Center is a nature center built into a park (Maydale Conservation Park) owned by Montgomery County. Until there is no debt with the state – let the county pay for it and figure out how to fix up their nature center. Period.
Olney Theatre Center is exactly what it sounds like – a performing arts center / theater. Lovely. I love the seeing a live show at the theater. So do many people. Raise your already relatively high ticket prices and fundraise the same as everyone else instead of trying to put the state $150,000 in debt for a loan. Or, if you need the loan and will be good for it – seek it from a private bank. That’s what normal businesses do. Why can’t this theater?
$200,000 for a local high school to build a turf field. Isn’t this the responsibility of the local school board/county? Yes, yes it is. If it’s not in the budget, plan to budget for it in the future. Save for it like any other school would. Don’t try to take a shortcut by taking from money we do not currently have do loan the school money directly.
I continue to call on our legislators to fight back against the corruption, fight back against bond bills. This is vote buying at it’s finest – a flurry of random little projects inside of their district so they can all show up together at ribbon cuttings and look good. Stop it. Seriously.
For that set of reasons and the continued debt our state carries, these bills collectively are this week’s “Waste of the Week.”
Congratulations to Senator Zucker, Delegate Luedtke, and Delegate Kaiser for wanting to put the state further in debt to buy votes in Montgomery County!
Feel free to submit your suggestions in the comments section of wasteful spending in Maryland.