What’s in a Name?
A prefiled bill that is only 49 words long may go a long way to deter politicians from spending public funds on personal legacy projects.
House Bill 1235 simply adds the following language to Missouri statutes:
No state land or building shall be designated in honor of an individual unless such person has been deceased for more than two years. This section shall not apply if money is donated to a state entity in exchange for the right to name state land or buildings.
If former U.S. Senator Christopher “Kit” Bond wants to give his own money to Missouri to build a bridge, or former Governor Jay Nixon wants to reach into his own pocket to build a state park, that’s fine. But spending taxpayer dollars is different, and rewarding individual politicians for doing their official duties by naming public assets after them—at least while they’re still alive—seems a questionable practice at best.
In fact, why not extend the same restriction on all political subdivisions. To me, Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard is just . . . tacky. Shouldn’t taxpayers be confident that those who spend their money are not seeking fame and self-aggrandizement? House Bill 1235 helps get us there.
This is a revised version of the original post.