Find out more →

Get unlimited access. Become a digital member!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

UPDATE: Ethics bill will combine with legislative pay, term limits expansion

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 12:27 PM

SIGNING UP: GOP Sen. Jon Woods signs ethics petition. He's on board also with related measures to increase his pay and allow him to serve longer.
  • SIGNING UP: GOP Sen. Jon Woods signs ethics petition. He's on board also with related measures to increase his pay and allow him to serve longer.

SIGNING UP: GOP Sen. Jon Woods signs ethics petition. Hes on board also with related measures to increase his pay and allow him to serve longer.
  • SIGNING UP: GOP Sen. Jon Woods signs ethics petition. He's on board also with related measures to increase his pay and allow him to serve longer.
Regnat Populus, the organization pushing a ballot initiative for stronger ethics laws in Arkansas, says a "comprehensive" ethics reform bill is expected to be filed today. The group will still be at the Capitol canvassing lawmakers for signatures on the initiated act to prohibit lobbyist freebies for legislators; impose a two-year waiting period (the Gilbert Baker rule) on moving to the lobby, and to prohibit direct corporate contributions to individual campaigns (but not to or from PACs).

Paul Spencer, head of the committee, says a filed bill is not a passed bill. Canvassing will proceed. Call the roll on signatories.

UPDATE: The legislative effort is going to be a constitutional amendment. It was filed in shell form today by Rep. Warwick Sabin.

He promises more information later, but says there's emerging bipartisan legislative consensus in support of the Regnat Populus measure, in combination with changes in the existing term limits law and putting legislative pay in the hands of a citizens commission. The last would provide a way to pay increases on which the legislature itself didn't have to vote.

Republicans such as Sen. Jon Woods, also a sponsor of the amendment, are, in other words, supportive of better ethics if they can have higher pay and stay in office longer. The pay commission will come in separate legislation Woods plans. Term limits light would give this bunch 16 years or so total, where the limit is now six years in the House and eight in the Senate (with vagaries of reapportionment allowing some senators a few more years depending on the luck of the draw). A having-it-both-ways kind of measure. Stick around long enough to accrue all the power and all the perks, from pay and retirement to solid gold health insurance, while still claiming you support term limits.

As a matter of principle, I've always opposed term limits and supported higher pay for public service. As a matter of politics ....

Tags: ,

Favorite

Speaking of Regnat Populus, ethics

Comments (17)

Showing 1-17 of 17

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-17 of 17

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • 'John Doe' sues in Saline County over Ashley Madison data hack

    A lawsuit was filed yesterday in Saline Circuit court by a Benton man using a John Doe alias seeking to represent all those damaged by release of personal information in the hacking of records of Ashley Madison, the website that advertises itself as a way for people to have affairs with married people.
    • Aug 28, 2015
  • Martha Shoffner faces federal sentencing today

    Former Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner will be in federal court at 9 a.m. this morning for sentencing on her conviction of taking kickbacks from bond salesman Steele Stephens for state bond business. She resigned after being trapped in an FBI-recorded sting with Stephens, who's never been charged, wearing a wire.
    • Aug 28, 2015
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Will Arkansas raise the minimum wage?

    Ten states began the New Year with increases in their minimum wage rates. According to this article, 19 states and the District of Columbia now have minimum wages above the $7.25 federal rate.
    • Jan 2, 2013

Most Shared

  • Hutchinson's dilemma same as Beebe's and his GOP affiliation doesn't help

    Ernest Dumas writes about the difficulties faced by Gov. Asa Hutchinson in matching the achievements of Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe, even though he, like the majority of the legislature is a Republican. In short, Hutchinson needs Obamacare money, though his party rests on a foundation that hates Obamacare.
  • Visionary Arkansans 2015

    They make an impact.
  • Brantley: South toward home

    A two-week cruise from Vancouver to Alaska was nicely timed for the August heat wave. It dipped into the 40s during my visit to the Hubbard Glacier, loudly "calving" with mighty booms of cracking ice. Here's a brief politically tinged travelogue.
  • New York Times fails again

    If one were of a low and suspicious nature regarding the New York Times' historically inept Washington Bureau, one might suspect yet another example of the "Clinton Rules" — that is, a shaky allegation unsupported by facts.
  • 'The presence of the past'

    A Q&A with poet Davis McCombs

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2015 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation