Remember the "surplus?" That extra $1.2
billion—give or take a hundred million or
so—that a robust economy might be kicking into the
Don’t get any ideas about laying hands on
any of it. Through
Tuesday of this week, members of the Virginia House
of Delegates had filed budget amendments—865 of
them—that would spend it three times.
Forget the Senate amendments.
Forget the fiscal impact of a couple thousand
House and Senate bills that have been filed.
House budget amendments alone call for net
new spending totaling $3,844,610,353.
The big ticket items—transportation, education,
state employees—generally get plenty of play.
Herewith, a look at some goodies for the
Ward Armstrong, D-Martinsville, wants $115,000 for a
program “intended to assist Virginia
beekeepers in maintaining healthy, productive bee
colonies in consultation with the Plant Pollination
Advisory Board.” Hey,
if you’re a big
donor, there’s one to set your sights on. Get yourself on the Plant Pollination
Del. Preston Bryant, R-Lynchburg, is stepping up for
and Historical Society.
He wants five grand so that outfit can
“finish re-pointing its exterior brick.” Okay. If
says he wants it,
that’s good by me.
Del. Vince Callahan, R-McLean—or, as he’s
affectionately known among his peers, Mr.
Chairman—wants $150,000 “for the Marion
to adjust for increases in the cost of living and
me, Vinny. Is
that for the horses or the staff? (Either way, I’m
taking all bets. I
say he gets it.)
And Callahan is going to bat for the “Virginia
Senior Games.” He
wants a hundred grand for that over-fifty crowd.
And, no. They’re
not going to carry him into the stadium in a sedan
chair if he gets it. He’ll
have to huff and puff with the rest of them.
Del. John Cosgrove, R-Chesapeake, wants $750,000 for
the Great Bridge Battlefield and Waterways History
Foundation “for the construction of a museum
commemorating one of the most important battles of
the Revolutionary war.”
must have missed that one.
How many people would come to something like
that in a year? Six.
And they’d be lost.
Del. Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights, a renowned
tightwad, wants $96,039 to hire a state
be nice. Maybe
he could dig up some money to help pay for this
Here’s a good one for you.
This one’ll make you smack your lips. The ol’ Veined Rapa Whelk!
Cox wants $40,000 to study and find a market
for this “invasive species of snail,” originally
native to the
of Japan. Hey, I’ll
take mine fried!
On second thought, maybe I’ll just have the
Seems there is an abandoned quarry in
home to a population of zebra mussels. Del. Jim Dillard, R-Fairfax, wants $363,000
to… well… kill them. It could get desperate. “Should these mussels escape the quarry,”
the amendment explanation says, they could create
all kinds of havoc in the Occoquan
Whataya think, Jim? They going to make a run for it, or what?
Del. Frank Hargrove, R-Glen Allen, cuts right to the
chase when it comes to the “Church Quarter,” in
Never mind what they’ll do with the $15,000
he wants, this one “is of major historical
significance in Hanover
Glad we cleared that up, Frank. And thanks for sparing us the details.
Del. Bob Hull, D-Falls Church, wants $30,000 for
dental care for indigent patients at the Northern
Virginia Dental Clinic. At northern Virginia
prices, that ought to be good for a couple of crown
jobs, and maybe a root canal or two.
Del. Riley Ingram, R-Hopewell, is passing the plate
for Merchants Hope Church. He wants $50,000 to renovate this “oldest
active Episcopal church in the
States.” And I thought the Baptists were tight with
their money! Hey,
Riley, what about that separation of church and
state thing? Oh,
And this: Delegates
Chris Jones, R-Suffolk, Lionel Spruill,
D-Chesapeake, and Terrie Suit, R-Virginia Beach, are
in cahoots on a $5 million visitor’s center for
the Great Dismal Swamp—in downtown Suffolk!
Keep a lookout here.
Get the red carpet ready.
Those six folks who wander into the Great
Bridge Battlefield are sure to find this one sooner
February 14, 2005