It’s budget time. So, the GOPers were poking through the details. Jimmy Dixon (R-Duplin) was looking for $1 million for a sewer line to be run to a school in his district. (The line was going to be run underneath a solar farm, on school-owned land leased to the solar company.) The caucus voted NO on that one — arguing that the local folks needed to go to local government on that one.
And then there was Donny Lambeth (R-Forsyth) who wanted $9.5 million for a library. That request invoked a big ol’ ‘Hell, no” from the assembled honorables. Said one source in the room: “A lot of people in the room wanted a library. If we can’t have one, he sure can’t have one.”
And, speaking of solar, one of the top solar goons in the caucus — Cumberland County’s John Szoka — was seeking $7.5 million from the budget for Cape Fear Valley Medical Center to finance a “partnership” between the medical center and Campbell University. In order to get the money, the hospital would have to be reclassified with the state from “urban” to “rural.”
Now, for you folks who don’t know — Cape Fear Valley Medical Center is located in the heart of Fayetteville. Fayetteville is currently the state’s SEVENTH largest city with a population of 200,554. There is nothing “rural” about the place.
So, you can guess there were hurt feelings and anger all over the place. I have to pat the group on the back for standing up to pork — even though it was a drop in the bucket.
But their motivation — the fact someone else was going to get it and they were not — was less than desirable.