by Dick Hall-Sizemore

The Richmond Times Dispatch reports that Governor Northam will include $27.4 million in his budget bill for a new Center for Firearm Violence Intervention and Prevention in the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). What a dumb proposal!

Setting aside the obvious politics  surrounding the subject matter, as a budget analyst, I would ask, “What in the world are they going to spend $27.4 million on?” In his remarks, the Governor talked about collecting data on gun violence and analyzing it. OK.  I am always in support of gathering data. So, add two or three well-trained analysts and statisticians to DCJS’s existing research center. Now we are down to about $27 million. What is that to be used for? There was some vague reference to providing resources to localities and community-based organizations, but no explanation as to what that means.

And why do you need a “Center”? That is just more bureaucracy.

This was not an item requested by the agency; at least, it is not included in the budget requests submitted to the Department of Planning and Budget (DPB). That means it originated in the Governor’s policy office and the amount of money attached to it was probably pulled out of the air.

When I was at DPB, we analysts would hate items like this that came out of the policy office. They were usually not well thought out and the appropriations attached to them bore little resemblance to reality. Another reason we hated them was that we knew that the proposals were bound for oblivion and the Governor had just handed money over to the General Assembly to use on its priorities when we knew there were things in the agencies we worked with that needed support, but were not getting it because those items did not have political sex appeal. I am sure that the staff members of the General Assembly money committees rubbed their hands with glee when they saw this story, saying, “Oh boy, another $27 million for us to use!”

Items like this getting funded at this level are a sure sign that there is too much money around. I cannot imagine what other goodies are tucked into the Governor’s budget.

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23 responses to “It’s Silly Season”

  1. James Kiser Avatar
    James Kiser

    Govt has become one big welfare machines for numbnuts they call bureaucrats. Apparently all the people killed by knives hammers and fists don’t count and BTW they have all that data all ready.

    1. Stephen Haner Avatar
      Stephen Haner

      The following Democratic press release/Twitter/Facebook rhetoric has already been written and is just waiting on the “send” button in January….

      “Our new governor clearly is hostile to (police, teachers, gun safety, conservation) and wants to destroy Virginia. Why else would he slash the glorious new budget and wreck the state’s economy by proposing foolish tax cuts that mean nothing to individual families, which enrich fat capitalists, but which doom the poor to a horrible fate.”

      That’s all that is going on here. Lard it up, and when one dollar gets diverted to lower taxes, cry like the banshee. Check out this drivel on Virginia Socialist Media:

      1. dave schutz Avatar
        dave schutz

        Took the pixels right outta my keyboard, you did!

  2. Carter Melton Avatar
    Carter Melton

    I would like to see money in the governor’s budget to seed The Virginia Museum of Racial Redemption and Hypocrisy and put it on the VMI Post.

  3. Virginia Project Avatar
    Virginia Project

    Audits are coming.

    1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
      Dick Hall-Sizemore

      Audits on what? These types of state programs are not audited.

  4. James McCarthy Avatar
    James McCarthy

    It’s always a good idea for government to be behind the curve and not anticipate societal needs. Better in the opinion of some to wait for the disaster, school shootings, firearm suicides, children accessing weapons in the home. Never, ever agree with an expenditure that might save lives made at a time when the resources are available.

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      I believe VDOT refers to that approach as “Blood on the Road”. Other departments and agencies can substitute an appropriate noun for “road” as is necessary.

    2. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      I believe VDOT refers to that approach as “Blood on the Road”. Other departments and agencies can substitute an appropriate noun for “road” as is necessary.

    3. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
      Dick Hall-Sizemore

      I don’t object to the idea of collecting, analyzing, and reporting data related to gun violence. In fact, I think that is a good idea. I just question why one needs $27 million to do that.

      1. Paul Sweet Avatar

        It takes a lot of money to establish a “Center”, staff it, and provide it with nice office spaces befitting such a prestigious body. A “Center” can attract a lot more funding and grow faster than a couple bureaucrats in the lower tier of some agency, who could probably do a better job. Unfortunately, nobody would pay as much attention to their findings as a “Center’s” findings.

  5. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    It’s called a “sacrificial zinc”, Dick. You attach a cheap piece of metal with an affinity to corrosion to your more expensive bronzes and steels under the boat. Sort of a rope-a-dope.

    One of my first forays into government contracts involved a subcontract to a large company who shall remain nameless, but sight rhymes with Boink.

    They asked for a necessary sounding but superfluous sub task that could be easily cut in negotiations. I asked, “But what if they don’t negotiate? Then, we’re stuck doing it.”

    “Not so, Grasshopper. After award, we demonstrate than it is unnecessary and we can save the government money by not doing it, and we get paid a reward for not doing it.”

    And they wonder why they are called “Beltway Bandits”.

    1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
      Eric the half a troll

      aka sandbagging…

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Speaking of sandbagging… Our man in Kentucistan, Rand Paul is demanding disaster relief, ya know, after voting against it for all other States.

    2. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
      Dick Hall-Sizemore

      The General Assembly, i.e. the Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees with their budget amendments. The legislature does not bargain with the administration in that manner.

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Well, clearly they SHOULD.

        I think part of the problem is the fed is supposed to be collecting this data, but have been precluded by really, really good lobbying by the NRA. The local PDs were supposed to track their bullets too, and report per a law from the 1990s but it had no teeth, so they don’t either.

        1. The federal government has not been prevented from collecting data on firearm-related violence. The CDC has been prevented from using any data they collect to advocate for additional gun control. Such a restriction is appropriate. The CDC have chosen not to collect data on firearm-related violence.

          The “forbidden from collecting data” lie is a long-time favorite of the anti-gun fanatics, and love repeating often in hopes the casual listener will never check the actual law.

          I hope you will stop repeating their lie now that you know it is a lie.

          1. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Consider it done. Based on your word. I respect you too much to haggle.
            No, wait. Let’s haggle.
            Stymied? That’s what the government does best even unto itself. Can I get an “Amen”?

          2. I guess whether they’ve been stymied or not depends on what they were going to do with whatever data they were planning to collect, but chose not to collect after being told they couldn’t use it to bash law-abiding gunowners.

          3. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            They do not have the means to collect the data. I think, not sure, that the local PDs were required in that “law and order act” that Biden voted for in the 90s to collect and report, but of course, there was no repercussions for not doing so, and so many don’t.

  6. I guess C**nman doesn’t believe the stats the FBI provides each and every year.

  7. Or he could emulate Danville’s Project Freedom with that money….but such action would actually solve a problem as it did in that city.

  8. The money could be used to resuscitate Project Exile , which would actually reduce gun-related violence in the state. But actually reducing violence is not their goal. Make no mistake, disarming law-abiding citizens is, and always has been, the goal of the anti-gun radicals in this country.

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