Money for Virginia
I’m back on the House floor for the night session of the legislature. The House was supposed to adopt the conference committee and be done with it. However, Democrats are bringing up some interesting issues. The conference committee report has the same local project spending the House originally objected to. House Democrats are bringing up a Chattanooga Times-Free Press article about where some of the money is going. Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey has included $500,000 for a museum in Bristol about the birthplace of country music. However, the location of that museum would be Bristol, VA. Several lawmakers are uneasy about giving taxpayer money to a building in another state.
This debate is causing some tense moments. Rep. Richardson objected to Rep. Sargent pointing out that the state gave money for a museum in Ft. Campbell, KY. Big difference, she says. Later, Rep. Joe Pitts corrects Sargent. Turns out that museum is in Tennessee after all. Oops. Rep. Montgomery gave a passionate speech about how the museum is a collaboration between two states that share a city. He says the economic impact of the museum will benefit both Virginia and Tennessee.
Will this derail the budget? Probably not. It seems to be a one-sided issue. Democrats object, Republicans don’t see a problem with it. I’ll update once this gets resolved.
Update: The budget passes the House 64-28. Bristol, VA museum included.