Five Pieces of Pork In The New Massachusetts State Budget

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Not on time, over budget, and replete with pork.

That is the best way to describe the fiscal year 2024 Massachusetts state budget.

The Massachusetts House and Senate voted to pass a $56.2 billion budget (H.4040) last week that isn’t exactly the embodiment of fiscal responsibility.

While it would take days to write about every provision that could use improvement in this budget, here are five pieces of pork the bill contains:


1.  Basketball Hall of Fame

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is a great museum if you’re a fan of basketball. I went a few times growing up and have been meaning to return.

Yet, just because I like basketball, that does not mean the Hall of Fame needs government funding.

Yet, thanks to state Representative Brian Ashe (D-Longmeadow), the state is giving the Basketball Hall of Fame $420,000 (Amendment 289) to make repairs, including upgrading four elevators and replacing a controller, among others.

This is a private museum that honors uber-wealthy basketball players and executives. If the Hall of Fame needs money, why can’t it turn to the millionaires and billionaires with plaques on its premises, as opposed to the working men and women in municipalities like Springfield, where the median household income is about $43,000 per year? Maybe the money could better serve working people in Springfield rather than a basketball museum that could fund expenses privately. 


2.  Chemical Abortions

Sadly, abortion is legal in Massachusetts. Under certain circumstances, it’s legal for all nine months of pregnancy.

Not only is it legal, but we all pay for it; Medicaid funds abortion for poor women and girls, and the state requires us all to purchase health insurance, which the state requires to cover abortion thanks to liberals in both parties.

Yet state Representative Kate Hogan (D-Stow) wants to make matters worse. She filed Amendment 1102, which would provide $1 million to the Public University Health Center Sexual and Reproductive Health Preparation Fund to reimburse public universities for chemical abortion pills known as Mifepristone.

It is sad to see lawmakers push for more funding to destroy unborn lives. They should instead request funding for programs that help women facing unintended pregnancies who are open to giving birth, as well as programs that provide ways to prevent unintended pregnancies.


3.  Celebrating Walpole

Should taxpayers across the state prop up a celebration of Walpole’s 300th anniversary?

Or should Walpole pay for its own celebration?

State Representative Ted Philips (D-Sharon) wants the state to provide the town with $50,000 (Amendment 1302) to help cover the cost of its 300th anniversary in 2024.

Walpole is a nice town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts that borders Foxborough and Sharon. Former Boston Red Sox manager Joe Morgan, who managed the team from 1988 to 1991, is from Walpole. 

But the town shouldn’t need the state government’s help to fund its celebration. This money could go towards helping the less fortunate, providing funding to fire departments, or ensuring that residents have clean water to drink.

Instead, it will go to something that won’t improve the material conditions of anybody’s community and will celebrate one community’s milestone over every other community’s.


4.  Transgender Emergency Fund 

A budget amendment (Amendment 175) sponsored by state Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro) is set to provide $50,000 in public money for something called the Transgender Emergency Fund of Massachusetts.

The organization says it provides “Critical assistance for low-income and homeless transgender people living in Massachusetts.” One of those services:  the program will pay to replace someone’s state identification if the person wants to change the person’s listing for gender on the document.

What a great use of taxpayer money.

To its credit, the organization provides things like prescription co-pays, personal supplies, winter clothing, and other services. That’s good.

But it also endorses something it calls “Trans Pride” and smears skeptical landlords who when approached about renting their building understandably wanted to know if the program serves predators.

Homelessness is a real problem. Mental illness is a real problem. Gender-confused people who don’t have a place to live suffer from both.

Why is our government endorsing mental illness as a means of helping homeless?


5.  Electric Vehicle Chargers

Most working people don’t drive electric cars.

However, the budget provides a $50,000 subsidy to create electric vehicle charging stations in Tyngsborough, Massachusetts.

Thank state Senator Edward J. Kennedy (D-Lowell) for that (Amendment 932). 

Let’s ignore that Tyngsborough has a median household income of about $132,000 per year and how this amounts to a transfer payment from poor people to rich people.

Buying a new electric vehicle has an average transaction price of $56,437; compare that to $46,329 for the average new vehicle. 

If someone wants an electric car, that person can have a charging station at their house. Or, a gas station can respond to the market and create charging stations. We don’t need working people subsidizing rich people’s expensive toys.


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