January 15, 1985
United Press International
West Virginia, in the throes of difficult economic times, Monday threw the most expensive tax-paid inaugural festivities in the country.
West Virginia taxpayers paid $120,000 to usher Republican Arch Moore into his third term as governor, along with the other elected officers such as attorney general, treasurer, secretary of state, auditor and agriculture commissioner.
Among the costs were $39,000 for a new inaugural platform and the salaries for dozens of law enforcement officers and military personnel who handled security.
The bill also covered receptions and entertainment at the Cultural Center, including Up With People, the West Virginia University marching band and various high school groups.
People paid $25 each, however, to attend the inaugural ball Monday night and $100 each for a Republican gala fund-raiser Sunday night.
Still, the $120,000 in state money, was many times more than what many other states paid.
In Utah, for instance, only about $5,000 in state money was spent on inaugural activities.
In Indiana, the state paid about $4,400 for a podium and sound system. Most of the $70,000 in events were paid for by the Republican State Committee.
Inaugural hoopla for Rhode Island’s new governor, Republican Edward D. Diprete, cost an estimated $40,000, not including overtime for police.
Ron Rowe, president of the Washington State Inaugural Ball Committee, says $40,000 was budgeted, but it will cost about $10,000 more to pay for a closed-circuit TV system for some of the guests who won’t be able to get close enough. The figures include state building personnel, but apparently not state patrol security, which is assigned to guard the governor anyway.
Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton was sworn in for a third two-year term. His office said Monday the cost of the inauguration would be “modest,” with most of it paid for by a private inauguration committee funded by contributions and $20 tickets to the inaugural ball. Press Secretary Joan Roberts said costs had not been determined for state police who served as security.
Montana inauguration ceremonies totaled $3,019.85. Montana officials said the breakdown in costs included $2,142.79 from the governor’s operating budget, $270.75 in staff time for National Guard personnel and $606.32 for 19 rounds for a gun salute and practice shots.