To the Editor,
A few years back, our state Sen. Danny Britt and the other Republicans in our legislature announced that they all would no longer tolerate line-item expenditures in our state budget. I figured that they wanted to keep the budgeting process fair to all and not add “pork” for special interest groups.
Imagine my surprise when I see that a wealthy Republican donor had convinced one Republican legislator to add $2 millon to the proposed state budget for the exclusive use of the Carolina Ballet in Raleigh. Sen. Britt voted for this expenditure, which is more than 30 percent of the Carolina Ballet’s annual budget.
My question is this. Is this not a line-item expenditure for the exclusive use of one organization/corporation? If so, how does Sen. Britt as a fiscally conservative Republican justify voting for its inclusion in the budget?
As an artist, my comment is this. If the Republicans are truly interested in supporting “The Arts” in North Carolina and Robeson County, wouldn’t it be a better use of this $2 million to add it to the North Carolina Grassroots Arts Program of the North Carolina Arts Council? That way every citizen of our state would benefit by the funds being available locally, and it would boost our Robeson County Arts Council’s state allocation by some $25,000.
If not, then it is obvious that Sen. Britt does support line-item expenditures, and he should work with our Robeson County arts organizations to get some included.