$8,000 for a 2-day expedition? *facepalm*
Breathe easy, libertarians. New Mexico has finally come to its senses by introducing a bill that would protect government moolah from going to half-baked monster hunts.
Senate Bill 243, introduced in January by State Senator George K. Munoz, calls itself “An act relating to higher education; restricting expenditures on certain activities.” Among those expenditures? Any endeavor to locate or capture fictional creatures.
The story starts back in October, when University of New Mexico professor Dr. Christopher Dyer incurred $7,458 worth of expenses for his on-campus conference called “Bigfoot in New Mexico: Evidence, Ecology, and Behavior.” Dyer used university funds to hire, house and feed two guest speakers: “Bigfoot expert” Dr. Jeff Meldrum and New Mexico naturalist Rob Kryder.
No skeptics were invited. Dyer’s excuse? “I didn’t know where to find such skeptics, frankly.” Hint: Look pretty much … anywhere.
The conference spanned two days. Then, Dyer and his pals set out on an expedition in search of the creature.
“Even though there were no students or faculty on the expedition, UNM paid for everything,” KRQE News, the local Fox affiliate, reports. “There were hotels in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, meals, and mileage. Taxpayers also paid $140 for seven pairs of snowshoes for the field trip participants.”
Outraged by this use of taxpayer money, Senator Munoz included a provision in his bill to ensure wackos like Dyer pay their own way from now on. Section 1B of the proposed law requires that public funds “shall not be expended by a state higher educational institution for the purpose of looking for or catching a fictitious creature, including: (1) bigfoot; (2) sasquatch; (3) yeti; (4) abominable snowman; (5) Pokémon; (6) leprechauns; or (7) bogeyman.”
Dyer won’t be cowed by naysayers like Senator Munoz. When asked by KRQE News if he’s ever seen the legendary monster, he admits: “I haven’t seen it, but I’ve heard it. I’ve had a rock thrown at me by one at night, I think. And it certainly smelled. That’s because they have a very strong odor.”
Of course they do. Maybe next year Dr. Dyer and his friends can start a GoFundMe to find Pikachu.