Today’s must-read-as-always Political Scene in the Providence Journal does a good job breaking down the top recipients, both legislator and community-wise, of legislative grants this year. (It was community service, not legislative, grants, that were the subject of the very lame House hearings last week.) Because legislative grants are given out entirely at the whim of leadership, those legislators who are favored are presumably going to get a larger share of the grants. But the result of that selection process is also a disproportionate distribution of grant monies by city and town. Here’s what that looks like.
Of the $537,040 given out by the 10 lawmakers, $113,850 went to organizations in Mattiello’s home district of Cranston, $82,700 went to Providence groups, $42,000 went to East Providence groups, and $38,500 landed in Warren-based organizations.
Legislative grants need to go away, largely because they are unconstitutional. But they also need to be gone because they are obviously unfair. Why should one city or town get more than another? Democrats wring their hands about income inequality. It’s interesting that, when political considerations enter the picture, Democrat leadership on Smith Hill not only tolerates inequality but deliberately creates it via the grant process.