Local Politics

Group: House Budget Document Heavy on Pork

Posted April 30, 2007 5:31 p.m. EDT
Updated April 30, 2007 6:56 p.m. EDT

— House leaders said they hope to unveil their proposed budget sometime this week, but bits of information keep trickling out about their plans.

The House Leadership Priority Appropriation Requests contains millions of dollars in proposals and amounts to a legislative wish list still in progress. The document doesn't include revenue figures or tax ideas.

The proposed numbers shows fairly common legislative funding requests, including $8.2 million to add a step raise in teacher pay, $4 million for a drug treatment court plan and $750,000 for a new truck for the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

But the list also includes items that might draw more scrutiny, such as $3 million for a Drag Racing Hall of Fame in Henderson, $100,000 for the United Arts Council of Greensboro, $3 million for Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte and $3.5 million for advanced vehicle research.

"There's a bunch of pork barrel in here," said Francis DeLuca of the conservative non-profit watchdog group Americans For Prosperity, which obtained and released what is labeled as a confidential budget document.

"There's no openness," DeLuca said. "Who knows why people are getting the money that's included in this list of budget items?"