Sunday, July 22, 2012

Legislators' expense reports

Posted By on Sun, Jul 22, 2012 at 6:48 AM

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported today (pay wall) on the post-legislative-expense-lawsuit situation at the Arkansas legislature. Reimbursements are down.

A few points to remember before cheering:

1) It's election season. The grabs will increase once legislators are safely re-elected to another term. Republican Rep. Nate Bell of Mena, for example, told the D-G he'll file all his expenses at the end of the year. Hmmm. Maybe rules ought to specify monthly filing, so as to prevent legislators from hiding election-related expense reimbursements until AFTER the election.

2) We've seen only the leading edge of what legislators hope are legitimate ways to charge off home and private expenses to taxpayers, along with a little egg money for spouses in the form of reimbursements for answering the telephone. There will be abuses. Legislators with professional office jobs will have an edge on others in claiming a portion of their pre-existing costs can be attributed to legislative service. Some will be greedier than others in trying to direct more money into the family till.

The good news is that the public can see the reimbursement claim forms and make their own judgments. Local opponents will have every opportunity to put those reimbursements and payments to family members under a microscope. No more blanket claims, filed in a batch before the year begins.

3) A couple of lawmakers won approval for reimbursement for travel to partisan political activities. Is that official business? The call of the leadership is, apparently, that it is. Fine. Let that be considered by the public and potential opponents, too. Same thing for attendance at national conferences and road trips organized by special interest lobbies. If legislators think these are legitimate business expenses, turn in the claims and let taxpayers foot the bill. Just be prepared to explain.

Tags: ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Speaking of Legislative Expenses, Arkansas Politics

Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Executionpalooza

    Appearances count. I was struck by a single sentence over the weekend in a full page of coverage in The New York Times devoted to the killing spree in Arkansas, beginning with a front-page account of the recent flurry of legal filings on pending executions and continuing inside with an interview with Damien Echols, the former death row inmate.
    • Apr 20, 2017
  • Death Row inmates argue to keep stay of execution in place; urge 8th Circuit not to 'rush' analysis

    Early this morning, attorneys for nine Death Row inmates, filed an argument with the 8th United States Court of Appeals contesting the state's effort to override Judge Kristine Baker's order Saturday that halted executions scheduled this month.
    • Apr 17, 2017
  • Federal judge denies execution stay for Don Davis but larger stay continues

    Don Davis, who's been moved to the killing facility of the state prison for killing tonight at 7 p.m. if a stay of execution is lifted in another federal suit, sought a stay in another federal court Sunday, but the request was denied.
    • Apr 17, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Democrats name new House minority leader

    Rep. Michael John Gray of Augusta has been elected leader of the House Democratic Caucus, the minority party. He succeeds Rep. Eddie Armstrong of North Little Rock. He's a farmer and small business owner.
    • Sep 25, 2015
  • Free Zinn book for Arkansas teachers

    Arkansas teachers! Get your free Howard Zinn book here! Whether Kim Hendren likes it or not.
    • Mar 3, 2017
  • Al Gore remembers Dale Bumpers

    Former Vice President Al Gore, a former U.S. Senate colleague of Dale Bumpers, sent a statement on Bumpers' death Friday:
    • Jan 3, 2016

Most Shared

  • Judge Griffen writes about morality, Christian values and executions

    Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, who blogs at Justice is a verb!, sends along a new post this morning.
  • The Ledell Lee execution thread

    Arkansas Times contributor Jacob Rosenberg is at the Cummins Unit in Grady filing dispatches tonight in advance of the expected execution of Ledell Lee, who was sentenced to death for the Feb. 9, 1993, murder of Debra Reese, 26, who was beaten to death in the bedroom of her home in Jacksonville.

Visit Arkansas

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism

Most Viewed

  • The Jack Jones, Marcel Williams execution thread

    The Arkansas Department of Correction is planning for the first double execution in the U.S. in 16 years tonight. Jack Jones, 52,  and Marcell Williams, 46, are scheduled to die by lethal injection. They would be the second and third prisoners put to death as part of a hurried schedule Governor Hutchinson set in advance of the state's supply of one of the three drugs used in the execution protocol expiring on April 30.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

Slideshows

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation