Who doesn’t like Christmas or birthday gifts?
At the end of every legislative session there is the Bill of Bills – the odd name for the bill that balances out the next year’s budget adjustments, like last-minute passage of bills that cost money and so forth.
For the 2015 Legislature, it is SB3 – with all of its interesting spending.
In years past, reporters would pour over the Bill of Bills, looking for stuff like $1.5 million for animal buildings in the Senate budget chair’s district, or $1 million for a state golf course in the speaker’s district. (These things really happened back in the day.)
But you don’t see such goodies so often anymore, more the sadder for reporters.
You can read the whole bill via the above link.
But let me pull out a few items (with snide comments included):
-- $250,000 for the World Parliament of Religions Conference.
This is a big conference to be held in Salt Lake City. Do you think the Utah Legislature would give $250,000 to the World Conference of Atheists?
-- $250,000 extra for Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox’s staff. Let’s hope some of these overworked folks get a pay raise – they’ve had to deal with SB54 this past year.
-- $80 million for prison relocation planning. And they haven’t even picked a place yet. Folks, this is just a down payment. Building a new prison will cost upwards of half-a-billion dollars.
-- $200,000 for Air Quality CARROT Grants. These must be some carrots.
-- $500,000 in an attempt to get wolves taken off the federal endangered species list.
We’ve already shot the only wolf found in Utah. For half a million bucks, we can probably shoot any other stragglers who wander down from Yellowstone National Park.
-- $400,000 in an attempt to manage prairie dogs. See wolves comment above, same thing.
-- $67,300 for Achieving a Better Life Experience Program and Tax Credits.
Only $67,300 to achieve a better life experience? It’s either a great buy or way too little spent on this.
-- $54,000 to continue studying Utah’s use of federal funds.
This may not be enough – Utah is taking billions of dollars in federal funds each year, and it ain’t easy studying all of that money.
-- $12,000 for the White Collar Crime Registry. You really think these criminals are going to sign this registry? We can only hope.
-- $210,000 extra for the Governor’s office.
Hey, the Lt. Gov. got $250,000 extra. Who is in charge here?