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General Assembly approved $15 million in pork for pet projects

The Maryland General Assembly approved $15 million in bond bills during the 2013 legislative session.  Legislators sponsored 135 bills requesting $39 million.

Bond bills are creation of state debt.

Through this public debt the legislature funded such things as high school concession stands, playgrounds, artificial reefs, and historic preservation programs.

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The top three funded projects totaled $3.5 million, two of which have Republican sponsors

Western Maryland Republicans Del. Wendell Beitzel and Sen. George Edwards requested and received $1 million for the Adventure Sports International Site. According to the bond fact sheet ASCI is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, which promoted adventure tourism.  The Garrett County government acquired the ASCI in 2012 and operates it as part of its County Enterprise Fund.

Eastern Shore Republican Sen. Richard Colburn and Democrat Del. Rudolph Cane asked for $2 million and received $1.5 million to give to the City of Cambridge to acquire, and redevelop an area of the Cambridge waterfront.

Colburn and his Republican colleagues Del. Addie Eckardt and former minority whip Del. Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio are some of the leading bond funding requesters.

Prince George’s County Senator J.J. Peters requested $4 million and received $1 million for the Maryland-National Park and Planning Commission and the Green Branch Management Group to acquire land and design and develop multi-purpose synthetic turf fields to attract more youth sports tournaments to Prince George’s County.

The General Assembly does not vote on the individual bond bills, the bills selected for approval are amended to the capital budget.

Since 2008 the General Assembly has authorized $100 million in bond bills.  In 2008 the legislature authorized $25 million in bond bills or 38 percent of the $72 million requested.  That amount authorized decreased to $15 million per year between 2009-2013.

Mark Newgent

Mark Newgent is the editor of Watchdog Wire – Maryland, and a contributing editor to Red Maryland, the premiere blog of conservative politics in the Free State, voted one of the best state political blogs by the Washington Post two years in a row. His writing has appeared in the Baltimore Sun, Washington Examiner, National Review Online, and more. Contact: Maryland@WatchdogWire.com, Twitter: @MarkNewgent

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Categories: Bond Bills, Budget and Finance, Must Read, Waste, Fraud and Abuse
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