Legislative fine print | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Legislative fine print

Posted By on Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 8:33 AM

Oh, no, emoluments are BAAAACK. A generally solid legislator, Rick Saunders, perhaps eying a race for Senate in the district that includes a big prison, is proposing to once again let certain Correction Department employees receive freebies. This would include  "farm surplus" (don't you bet there will always be surplus for employees who oversee the operation?). The emoluments could also include items purchased in bulk by the prison, not just farm surplus. The law allows the Correction Board to provide things beyond food -- fuel, for example -- if they can claim a public purpose. (Driving between work and home?) There's even, get this, explicit authorization of a $25 monthly MINIMUM at the prison commissary.

Emoluments are a BAD idea. The history proves it conclusively. If certain employees are due bonuses on account of their work condition, seek legislative approval for extra pay and get it appropriated. Thanks to a careful bill reader for this.

This story prompts reader memories of Knox Nelson, Max Howell, Art Lockhart et al. Bad memories. And a tip that I should disabuse myself of the notion that some kicking back of prison system resources is not already happening.


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