IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR …
The ARKANSAS SUPREME COURT. Rather than wait another 10 years or so, a narrow majority decided to review constitutionality of the legislature’s efforts to comply with the Lake View school equity ruling.
HOUSING BARGAIN. Jefferson County has the second-lowest home prices in the country, with prices under $65 a square foot for country-club area new homes. Of course, one reason for low home prices is absence of demand.
KURT KNICKREHM. After six years, he quit his job as head of state Human Services to move to the more lucrative and less headache-inducing private sector. He’ll be universally missed as a quiet, competent administrator.
IT WAS A BAD WEEK FOR …
The STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION. Marching to Gov. Mike Huckabee’s orders, it made proposed nutritional and physical activity guidelines for junior and senior high schools mostly optional. Wouldn’t want to make them spend money on P.E. or give up addictive soda pop vending deals.
ASA HUTCHINSON. The Ethics Commission told him what the law already made clear – he can’t transfer old federal campaign money to his race for governor. The man who wanted to remove a president for trying to cover up a sex act then had the bad grace to whine about the law.
ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY STUDENTS. Their tuition is going up 5.5 percent. The increase will produce a sum in the range of the amount the school pumps into its losing football program.
ARKANSAS WINERIES. The legal implications of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling are coming clear. If the wineries want to ship wine, Arkansas needs a law that permits out-of-state wine shipments to Arkies. And grocery stores that sell wine can’t sell Arkansas wines only. It’s unconstitutional to give preference to in-state businesses.
ACXIOM. A major investor in the Little Rock-based data merchant made noises about a hostile takeover attempt. The hurting point was the investor’s harsh criticism of Acxiom management.
Sen. Linda Collins-Smith (R-Pocahontas) made a run at imposing a stronger ethics requirement on the legislature, but she fell short. Her bill got a 20-6 favorable vote in the Senate, but as amendment to an initated act, an ethics reform measusre of 1988, she need 24 votes.
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.