Surplus, election year, has lawmakers scrambling to bring home bacon
During the Great Recession, budget deficits and tea party protests meant pork barrel spending gave way to austerity. But now it's an election year and legislators are looking at a $1.2 billion surplus in what is expected to be a total budget of around $75 billion. So lawmakers are scrambling to haul in projects to benefit their districts.
"I must have 30 pounds of member requests, stacks and stacks of them, in my office," said Ed Hooper, the Clearwater Republican who chairs the House appropriations committee on transportation and economic development. "It was easier to do budgets when we had no money. Now that there's this perceived surplus, there's four to five years of pent up demand."
Read what that demand is here.