In the legislature, “technical corrections” are sort of like the “consent agenda” you hear about in city council and county commissioner meetings. Meant to be for correcting things like spelling, grammar and other typos, “technical corrections” are a fantastic opportunity for the honorables to sneak stuff in under the radar to take care of their friends.
Take SB 469 for instance. The bill, sponsored by senator Harry Brown (R), was vetoed by the governor but easily overridden by the legislature. Here’s one of the more interesting sections of the bill:
[…] “SECTION 15.9.(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of law or a provision of the Committee Report described in Section 39.2 of this act to the contrary, the grant-in-aid in the amount of seven hundred thousand dollars ($700,000) provided to the Town of Cedar Point for downtown revitalization in Section 15.8(a) of this act shall instead be provided as follows for the purpose of downtown revitalization or any other purpose provided below:
Ninety thousand dollars ($90,000) to the Town of Trenton.
Ninety thousand dollars ($90,000) to the Town of Pollocksville.
Twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) to the Town of Maysville.
One hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) to the Town of Princeton.
Fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) to the Town of Mount Olive.
One hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) to the City of Goldsboro.
Fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) to the City of Kinston.
Fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) to the City of New Bern.
Twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) to the Town of Pink Hill.
Twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) to the Town of Lillington.
Fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) to the Town of Tabor City.
Fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) to Tyrell County for the purpose of disaster
recovery assistance.” […]
Okay. Let’s do a little math. So, we’re taking $700,000 away from the Carteret County town of Cedar Point. (Their downtown apparently doesn’t need as much revitalization as some others, apparently. Oh, and you have to love the “or any other purpose” condition tossed in there at the end.)
So, $200K of that $700K ($90K +$90K+$20K) goes to three towns that just happen to be represented by senator Harry Brown — the sponsor of this very legislation!
So, we’re down to $500K taken from Cedar Point. Let’s move on, shall we?
$100K goes to the Johnston County town of Princeton — represented in the House by Donna McDowell White (R) and Senate by Rick Horner (R).
Down to $400K.
$150K ($50K +$100K) goes respectively to the towns of Mount Olive and Goldsboro. That’s House Majority leader John Bell country.
So, we’re down to $250K.
$50,000 went to the Columbus County town of Tabor City — represented by Brenden Jones (R) in the House and Danny Britt (R) in the Senate.
Down to $200K.
$25,000 went to the Harnett county town of Lillington — home of House Rules chairman David Lewis.
Down to $175K.
Pink Hill got $25,000. Kinston got $50,000. Those folks are represented by senator Louis Pate (R).
Down to $100K.
New Bern got $50k and Tyrell County got $50K.
So, there goes $700,000 of our money with nary a detail of explanation as to what will be done with it. And, really, no restrictions on what can be done with it.
*Viva la (“conservative”) revolución!*