Despite the existence of several excellent museums dedicated to Texas music, some liberal state lawmakers want to make another one funded by taxpayers on the grounds of the Capitol.

Legislation by State Rep. Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth) and State Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin) would open a museum at the Texas Capitol and allow the facility to be used for fundraising purposes. This creates an untenable ethical conflict, while pitting existing museums that operate purely through charitable donations against one subsidized by taxpayers.

Don’t be fooled. Geren and Watson are less interested in celebrating good music than creating a venue for lawmakers and corporate cronies to schmooze on the Capitol grounds at the expense of taxpayers.

The Geren version of the measure was recently the subject of State Rep. Jonathan Stickland’s “Bad Bill of the Week” video feature. The Bedford Republican described it as a “pork barrel project.”

“No one back at home said this is what we need to be doing. Not one Republican legislator has ever sent out a political mailer asking for your vote because they’re going to do the Texas State Music Museum,” said Stickland.

The Watson version had a hearing Monday before the Senate Committee on Business and Commerce, where numerous Texans lined up in opposition.

NOTE: Empower Texans will negatively consider votes in the House and Senate for the measure on the Fiscal Responsibility Index.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."


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