Benji Hardy 
Member since Nov 15, 2012

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  • No, there is a not a "bailout" for the Arkansas private option

    Apparently if you call something a “bailout,” people won’t like it! This is the approach taken in a piece on the private option posted earlier last week at Forbes, the third article Forbes has published in the last month or so criticizing the Arkansas plan. We take a look at some of their insinuations, and where things actually stand on the policy and politics of the private option.
    • May 19, 2014
  • Does Dustin McDaniel have duty to defend ban on same-sex marriage?

    Early this week, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder had a message for folks in Dustin McDaniel's position. Holder called on the nation's state attorneys general to consider taking up the cause of marriage equality by refusing to defend their states' laws that block same-sex couples from access to marriage.
    • Feb 27, 2014
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Recent Comments

Re: “The Little Rock millage question: taxation without representation?

@Elizabeth --
Not quite. The extension of the debt will allow the district to immediately access $160 million in capital that it doesn't currently have. Think of it as getting a second mortgage on a home that you own. The district can't pay for new construction and improvements without having the cash in hand, and the debt extension will allow it to borrow that cash. (Just as a homeowner might refinance a mortgage or take out a line of credit in order to pay for a home improvement project.)

So, the debt extension really is necessary for the district to find the capital necessary to do $160 million worth of construction right away. That's the short answer. Whether the urgency of addressing facilities needs *right away* trumps the urgency of getting local governance returned ASAP is a matter of opinion.

The picture is further complicated by the fact that the 12.4 mills in question doesn't all go toward debt service, due to the fact that property values appreciate over time. Theoretically, if the district had been putting all of the annual revenue generated from the 12.4 mills into a fund for capital projects, there would be no need for a debt extension. However, that's not practical. I could explain more if you want.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Benji Hardy on 04/22/2017 at 12:25 PM

Re: “Death penalty demonstration at Capitol today

@Perplexed: There are 34 total, including the eight (now seven) with upcoming dates.

From ADC: http://adc.arkansas.gov/death-row

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Benji Hardy on 04/14/2017 at 2:56 PM

Re: “Update: School accountability bill would replace 'academic distress' with new tiered system

@SP -- Elliott said legislators received a draft of the amendment on Friday, so they had the weekend to review it. The timestamps listed on the state website aren't always accurate. I suspect it lists the time the document was uploaded to the website, rather than when it was actually filed.

It helps to look at the date/time listed on the bottom of the amendment itself, which I believe indicates when the document was drafted.

Posted by Benji Hardy on 03/21/2017 at 12:41 PM

Re: “Bill filed to give lottery winnings of public assistance recipients to DHS

@arkygiirl: The way I read it, the bill from Sorvillo is a good one that would crack down on the state's unregulated and frequently abusive puppy mill industry.

Posted by Benji Hardy on 03/07/2017 at 1:25 PM

Re: “UPDATE: Bill to prohibit smoking marijuana passes Senate committee

"So the only thing which might be obtained at a dispensary is a $(#*($ lozenge?"

@Arkanzin -- No, the bill doesn't strictly forbid marijuana flowers (ie, buds) from being sold at dispensaries. If it passed, patients could presumably still buy "raw" marijuana, but they'd have to have another way of ingesting it. That would most likely mean vaporizing it or making edibles.

As commenter TuckerMax pointed out above, it seems unlikely this could be enforced in private residences.

12 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Benji Hardy on 03/01/2017 at 5:31 PM

Re: “Campaign finance transparency bill advances out of Senate committee

@cbb -- That's a great point.

Posted by Benji Hardy on 02/23/2017 at 1:06 PM

Re: “Senate committee advances bill to exempt school security from FOIA

I wish everyone would be more careful about throwing around the "fake news" label. Or maybe we should all stop using it entirely.

A bad headline is a bad headline. It may be intentionally misleading, or it may be an attempt by a busy, overworked person to write something neutral and objective when the intent of a bill isn't fully known. It's much worse to write a headline that claims to know too much than one that errs on the side of caution by saying too little.

Journalists aren't oracles that know every side of every story, and not every instance of a news story omitting information is nefarious. Just my opinion.

Posted by Benji Hardy on 02/10/2017 at 10:24 AM

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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


 

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