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Louisiana funds improvements to BSA camp not GUSA

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Louisiana Girl Scouts are lobbying legislators to provide state funding for a project at their Tangipahoa Parish camp.

And they’re questioning why the Boy Scouts got approval for their project in the state’s capital outlay bill while the Girl Scouts didn’t.

“Right now, the message our girls are getting is that they are not a priority, but the Boy Scouts are,” said Mary-Patricia Wray, of the Girl Scouts Louisiana East.

 

...

State Rep. Julie Stokes, R-Kenner, had asked on Monday for the House Ways & Means Committee to add $850,000 for the Girl Scouts in the highest priority section of state’s construction budget.

The money would be used to make repairs on the lake at the Girl Scout’s Whispering Pines camp. The manmade lake – used by the girls for swimming, canoeing, and other water-based activities – is threatening to empty into the TangipahoaRiver, which could cause flooding downstream.

The camp serves 14,000 girls and is used by area churches and other groups.

 

...

Moments before taking up Stokes’ amendment, the committee voted without comment to move $780,000 to the highest priority. That money would be used by a Boy Scouts affiliate to build a base camp in AtchafalayaBasin swamp.

The Evangeline Area Council of the Boy Scouts is expanding the five day/four-night experience. Scouts from around the country canoe on a 70-mile trek through, spending the night at camps.

Ben Pierce, director of the swamp base, said Louisiana Swamp Base is building a complex of classrooms, orientation center, and a science facility, which would allow non-scouts to also access the environment, wildlife and culture of AtchafalayaBasin.

...

Ways & Means Chair Neil Abramson, D-New Orleans, has been pushing to keep the projects more in line with the money and borrowing capacity available.

This year some legislators have been opposing the addition of projects by nongovernmental organizations. Though not opposing either project, Rep. Phillip DeVillier said during Monday’s hearing that state shouldn’t be funding projects that in the end are not owned by taxpayers. The Eunice Republican has sponsored legislation to change the historic procedures for selecting the projects that will be funded.

http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/politics/legislature/article_172797fa-47df-11e8-b91b-e728b1a62b51.html

https://www.theadvertiser.com/story/news/2018/04/24/no-attempt-put-boy-scouts-over-girl-scouts-edwards-official-says/545971002/

Edited by RememberSchiff

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Good question.  But then, I don't think it is the function of Government to be funding private organizations with taxpayer dollars.  I agree with Rep. DeVillier.

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1 hour ago, scoutldr said:

Good question.  But then, I don't think it is the function of Government to be funding private organizations with taxpayer dollars.  I agree with Rep. DeVillier.

I disagree - many times government funding of private organizations meets the governments objectives with far more efficiency and cost reductions.  Its usually much more efficient for the government to fund private organizations providing mental health services than providing it themselves, for instance.

In the girl scout camp situation, the spillway in the manmade lake is in poor shape and if it fails will cause sever flooding downstream - it seems to me that government has an interest in preventing that and it would be much more efficient to pay the girl scouts for the repairs.

 

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1 hour ago, CalicoPenn said:

I disagree - many times government funding of private organizations meets the governments objectives with far more efficiency and cost reductions.  Its usually much more efficient for the government to fund private organizations providing mental health services than providing it themselves, for instance.

In the girl scout camp situation, the spillway in the manmade lake is in poor shape and if it fails will cause sever flooding downstream - it seems to me that government has an interest in preventing that and it would be much more efficient to pay the girl scouts for the repairs.

 

The problem of course is what to do with the 4H comes calling, or the PNA, or the local Catholic Parish, or.....When the government picks winners and losers we all lose.

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On 4/25/2018 at 9:44 AM, walk in the woods said:

The problem of course is what to do with the 4H comes calling, or the PNA, or the local Catholic Parish, or.....When the government picks winners and losers we all lose.

This.  If there is a immediate public need, the gov should use tax dollars to fund whatever repairs/mitigation are needed.  Otherwise, cut taxes and let the citizens have more of their earned capital to fund whatever private orgs they wish. 

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1 minute ago, Gwaihir said:

This.  If there is a immediate public need, the gov should use tax dollars to fund whatever repairs/mitigation are needed.  Otherwise, cut taxes and let the citizens have more of their earned capital to fund whatever private orgs they wish. 

If there is an immediate danger to the public, the government should safely drain the man-made lake and then allow the camp to refill it only after they have met all of the applicable safety codes.

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1 minute ago, David CO said:

If there is an immediate danger to the public, the government should safely drain the man-made lake and then allow the camp to refill it only after they have met all of the applicable safety codes.

agreed. 

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14 minutes ago, David CO said:

If there is an immediate danger to the public, the government should safely drain the man-made lake and then allow the camp to refill it only after they have met all of the applicable safety codes.

Probably cheaper for the government to just give the money.

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4 minutes ago, ItsBrian said:

Probably cheaper for the government to just give the money.

then the government should have never collected those taxes.  Taxes should be used for just the jobs they have to perform and nothing more.  If the private sector can accomplish the task cheaper and more effective, the government is supposed to step aside.  These are foundational principles. 

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49 minutes ago, Gwaihir said:

then the government should have never collected those taxes.  Taxes should be used for just the jobs they have to perform and nothing more.  If the private sector can accomplish the task cheaper and more effective, the government is supposed to step aside.  These are foundational principles. 

Not necessarily. Although reasonably good at negotiating contracts, government is not good at mobilizing volunteers to improve park lands to suit community needs. Often times groups like BSA are very good at mobilizing volunteers and negotiating salaries, so depending on the desired outcome, it is often in the peoples' interest to invest grant some revenue to groups like the BSA.

GS/USA had also been good at this, until recent years, and then its sell-off of multiple properties around the nation resulted them in loosing their "park cred". Thus, I can see how an appropriation for urgent repairs wouldn't sit well.

Then again, appropriations for maintenance have not been popular for as long as I can remember. At least not as popular as new infrastructure that's likely to crumble within 3 decades.

There are certainly other things that the private sector is very good at (tourism, resource extraction), and government should and does lease land use permits accordingly.

The balance, however, varies from state to state. And, frankly, if I were BSA in the shape that it's in, I would be very wary of state appropriations. I suspect there are a bunch of local private donations that are justifying the state's appropriation.

Edited by qwazse

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1 hour ago, David CO said:

If there is an immediate danger to the public, the government should safely drain the man-made lake and then allow the camp to refill it only after they have met all of the applicable safety codes.

Would have prevented the Johnstown Flood...those who don't learn from history...

 

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5 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

Would have prevented the Johnstown Flood...those who don't learn from history...

Nobody ever learns from history.  That's why that saying exists in the first place.  :D

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1 hour ago, ItsBrian said:

Probably cheaper for the government to just give the money.

No, not at all.

My town has a man-made lake that has to be emptied and dredged out about every 15 years or so. Emptying the lake is a simple and inexpensive process. Doing the dredging work and making repairs to the bank are the expensive parts of the project.

Just like other properties, man-made lakes require maintenance. If a camp owns a man-made lake, they should be budgeting for maintenance. They shouldn't be neglecting their property and sticking the tax payers with the bill.

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