Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Article X Section 10

Neither the credit of the Commonwealth nor of any county, city, town, or regional government shall be directly or indirectly, under any device or pretense whatsoever, granted to or in aid of any person, association, or corporation; nor shall the Commonwealth or any such unit of government subscribe to or become interested in the stock or obligations of any company, association, or corporation for the purpose of aiding in the construction or maintenance of its work; nor shall the Commonwealth become a party to or become interested in any work of internal improvement, except public roads and public parks, or engage in carrying on any such work; nor shall the Commonwealth assume any indebtedness of any county, city, town, or regional government, nor lend its credit to the same. This section shall not be construed to prohibit the General Assembly from establishing an authority with power to insure and guarantee loans to finance industrial development and industrial expansion and from making appropriations to such authority.
That is from the Virginia Constitution. Article X Section 10 to be precise. The way I read that it simply means that the Commonwealth of Virginia may not include in it's budget funds for any non-governmental agency.

However, the 2007 budget contains the following items;
  • AARP of Virginia: $100,000
  • An Achievable Dream, Inc.: $400,000
  • Art Museum of Western Virginia: $500,000
  • Belmont Bay Science Foundation: $500,000
  • Celebrating Special Children: $50,000
  • Chesterbrook Residences: $200,000
  • Children’s Home Society of Virginia: $100,000
  • Children’s Museum of Richmond: $25,000
  • Children's Museum of Virginia: $250,000
  • Chrysler Museum: $500,000
  • Community Lodgings, Inc.: $100,000
  • First Freedom Center: $250,000
  • Greater Reston Arts Center: $50,000
  • Hampton Arts Foundation: $200,000
  • Hispanic College Fund: $200,000
  • Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia:$200,000
  • Loudoun Cares: $100,000
  • Prevent Blindness Virginia: $100,000
  • Richmond Area Association of Retarded Citizens: $200,000
  • Science Museum of Western Virginia: $100,000
  • Schooner Virginia: $200,000
  • Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum:$100,000
  • Southside Business Technology Center: $75,000
  • Special Olympics Virginia: $100,000
  • Tangier Island Health Foundation LLC: $200,000
  • US Slavery Museum: $250,000
  • USS Monitor Center at the Mariners Museum:$250,000
  • Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center:$500,000
  • Virginia Arts Festival: $250,000
  • Virginia Holocaust Museum: $200,000
  • Virginia Living Museum: $250,000
  • Virginia Museum of Transportation: $150,000
  • Visual Arts Center of Richmond: $50,000
  • Wakefield Foundation Center for the Arts:$10,000
  • Western Virginia Foundation for the Arts and Sciences (Center in the Square): $200,000
  • William King Regional Arts Center: $100,000
  • Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts:$500,000
To paraphrase a sentiment often attributed to Everette Dirksen, a few hundred thousand here, a few hundred thousand there, and pretty soon you're talking real money. Or in this case, real money that the real Constitution of Virginia expressly forbids the spending of. In the case of 2007 (so far) this list adds up to 7.5 million dollars.

All of the above agencies or organizations are charitable groups. Groups I can freely donate to if I so desired. In fact I do donate to a couple of them, and no, AARP is not one of them. Strike that previous sentence. I do donate to all of them I suppose, I just do not do so freely.

No comments: