Friday, September 16, 2016

Legislative overreach again: This time in children's services

Posted By on Fri, Sep 16, 2016 at 7:24 AM

SEN. ALAN CLARK: Wants legislative review of child services cases.
  • SEN. ALAN CLARK: Wants legislative review of child services cases.
Another outrage in the morning paper was the continued assault on child protective services by Sen. Alan Clark of Hot Springs. Praise where due for Sen. Missy Irvin in pushing back.

Boiled down: Clark doesn't like the way the state handles some  decisions involving children in bad family situations. He knows better than trained professionals and neutral judicial fact-finders.

Clark wants a legislative review process by which lawmaker should be able to review these things on a cases-by-case basis.

Why not? Legislators have already usurped the executive power by requiring legislative review of all executive agency decisions. They have threatened to impeach judges for decisions they don't like and have sufficiently cowed many in the appellate judiciary to get what they want in most cases anyway.

Why not let Alan Clark meet on a case-by-case basis on child custody? On police and prosecutors' criminal charging decisions? On every Public Service Commission decision? On hunting license fees and duck bag limits? On Highway Department allocations of slurry seal?

Sadly, Alan Clark is not alone in disdain for a three-branch government. This just happens to be the worst in human cost, because it involves vulnerable children and putting a legislator in charge of decisions best left to trained professionals.

Sen. Missy Irvin isn't a shining light on separation of powers generally. But she stood out yesterday. She called Clark down for badgering a witness and suggested that the committee move on. The legislature has a former Republican member, Kelley Linck, in a lobbyist role at DHS. Gov. Asas Hutchinson controls the agency from top to bottom. There's ample fear already that the dark impulses of the legislature already have too much influence.

Clark was dissuaded from going totally public with what apparently amounted to an aunt's complaint about a child placement decision. But he nonetheless shared private information about the child with legislators anyway. The information would seem to be protected by law from disclosure.

What's lacking here is oversight of legislators. And maybe a good lawsuit or other legal action.


Tags: , , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (13)

Showing 1-13 of 13

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-13 of 13

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • The assault on Obamacare begins

    Donald Trump Friday night signed an executive order directing government to scale back Obamacare to the extent possible. Though the signing was mostly symbolic, it likely has implications for Arkansas.
    • Jan 21, 2017
  • Two dead in North Little Rock shooting

    two people were fatally wounded about 9 p.m. Friday in a home in the 1400 block of Division Street, North Little Rock.
    • Jan 21, 2017
  • 2nd Amendment meets the 1st in Fayetteville on campus carry

    They've had a forum in Fayetteville today on Rep. Charlie Collins' fervent desire to force more pistol-packing people onto the campus at the University of Arkansas (and every other college in Arkansas.) He got an earful from opponents.
    • Jan 20, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Natural gas pipeline ruptures east of I-30 bridge, closing two miles of Arkansas River

    The U.S. Coast Guard has confirmed news that began circulating earlier today: A pipeline carrying natural gas across the Arkansas River ruptured in Little Rock yesterday or over the weekend.
    • Jun 2, 2015
  • AHTD asks Metroplan to lift six-lane freeway cap

    The board of directors of Metroplan has informed the state highway department that it cannot act on the highway department's June 17 request to lift its six-lane freeway cap at the board's June 29 meeting. Consideration of the request should take four months, Jacksonville Mayor Gary Fletcher wrote June 22 to highway department Director Scott Bennett.
    • Jun 23, 2016
  • Child abuse: What about the victims?

    A guest writer in the Arkansas Times, a victim of child sexual abuse, says Arkansas sends a message that it condones abuse by a lack of consequences for the Harrises and Duggars.
    • Jun 3, 2015

Most Shared

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders to be deputy White House press secretary

    Donald Trump announced additional White House staff today, notably including Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy assistant to the president and principal deputy press secretary.
  • Legislation filed for $10 million school voucher program

    The legislation to vastly expand transfer of state tax dollars to private schools came before the school choice day event I mentioned earlier.
  • Pork and more

    Some notes on disparate topics before I take a vacation break.
  • Trumpeting

    When President-elect Trump announced he would, in a few days, force Congress to enact comprehensive health insurance for everyone, poor or rich, that would provide better and cheaper care than they've ever gotten, you had to wonder whether this guy is a miracle worker or a fool.
  • Putin and Trump

    Here's a thought exercise: What do you suppose would happen if Russian strongman Vladimir Putin decided to clarify remarks he reportedly made about Donald Trump during the election campaign?

Visit Arkansas

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Jack Pearadin and Doug Nelsen found a 1.73-carat diamond after nearly a year of searching the park's field.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

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