IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR …
SEWAGE. They care, they really care, where a new sewage treatment plant goes in western Little Rock. Angry neighbors care so much, in fact, that the Sewer Committee put off a decision until April.
NEPOTISM. Legislators keep hiring wives and, in the case of House Speaker Bill Stovall, a brother, for part-time state jobs. They seem to think nothing of it, dismissing $431 weekly for wifely receptionists as small change. Tell that to a grocery sacker who makes a lot less for real work.
HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETICS. A new report showed that Arkansas school districts spent only 2 percent of revenues on sports. The figure is almost certainly incomplete. Bentonville, with maybe a half-million dollars in new football coaches, a new football field with a jumbotron and other new jock facilities, wasn’t even in the top 20 in reported spending. But who’s going to make the districts tell the truth if the law cannot?
NURSING HOME RESIDENTS. Surprise. The greedy nursing home lobby lied. It does have legislative “tort reform” plans this session after all. It’s a backdoor plan to end most lawsuits by diverting payments for mistreatment of residents from the victims to Medicaid.
IT WAS A BAD WEEK FOR …
The DEMOCRATIC PARTY. The race for party chair got ugly, divisive and petty. Thank goodness it’s over Saturday.
The HEALTH DEPARTMENT. Its own boss, Dr. Fay Boozman, admitted the agency has significant management problems and is incapable of fixing itself. Er, governor, tell us again why Boozman is still employed?
PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY. The draft bill to implement the giant corporate welfare amendment voters approved in November exempts information about the giveaway of tax dollars from public inspection.
The AP reports that the Southeastern Conference, from which millions flow into University of Arkansas coffers, has asked the state to exempt college sports events from a newly expanded gun law that allows concealed weapons on college campuses, in the Capitol, in courthouses, in bars and in many other places.
Hog fans just can't quit blaming the refs for the NCAA men's basketball tournament loss to North Carolina. Now the Arkansas Senate has gotten in on the act, with this resolution introduced by Democratic Sen. Keith Ingram and getting bipartisan co-sponsorship from that brutish and short sandlot roundball player, Republican Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson.
Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen ruled today that he had no choice based on a past Arkansas Supreme Court decision but to dismiss a lawsuit by Death Row inmates seeking to challenge the constitutionality of the state's lethal injection process.But the judge did so unhappily with sharp criticism of the Arkansas Supreme Court for failing to address critical points raised in the lawsuit.