Double-dip watch | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Double-dip watch

Posted By on Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 6:02 AM

State Rep. Allen Kerr (R-Little Rock) says as many as 200 elected county officials could be drawing both retirement and regular pay. A stickier question is how many of those legally terminated employment to qualify for benefits. Did they stop pay? Were positions publicly declared vacant. Did they stop work? Did they stop taking any public assistance in insurance? A 10-year review of the practice will take time.

The good news is that a 2009 law that requires a six-month retirement period of public employees before returning to work probably means the end of sham public employee "retirements." Over the years, these produced hundreds of sham rehirings (employees were rehired for their jobs regardless of other applicants), often at the very top of state agencies. See list here of state double-dippers.

But, ironically, the six-month "retirement" requirement doesn't necessarily cut ELECTED officials out of their gravy train. Here's why. Next year, a county elected official can file for re-election. If no opponent emerges by the spring filing deadline, he's good to go. Assured of another term, he can retire for six months and then return to office the following Jan. 1 with both a retirement check and a new paycheck in the same office. Since elected officials can double-count their years of service, some of them can retire at full pay, unlike garden variety state employees who can only draw roughly half their pay. I think  that the noise made by Kerr will at least require full public notice if future elected officials try to continue to perpetuate this unnecessary emolument. Shame might discourage some of them. Might.

UPDATE I: Rep. Kerr has posted a newsletter about his work to date.

UPDATE II: Attorney General Dustin McDaniel mentioned the topic in a talk today to Arkansas sheriffs. He said:

"I'm deeply concerned and disappointed that things were allowed to become so confused.  However, I'm not jumping to any conclusions until I have all the facts.  One thing that I think all concerned will agree on is that things cannot continue in the future exactly as they have in the past.  That's truly all I intend to say at this time.""I'm deeply concerned and disappointed that things were allowed to become so confused.  However, I'm not jumping to any conclusions until I have all the facts.  One thing that I think all concerned will agree on is that things cannot continue in the future exactly as they have in the past.  That's truly all I intend to say at this time."


Favorite

Comments (16)

Showing 1-16 of 16

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-16 of 16

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Trump's 'deal' on wall and dreamers is no bargain

    Donald Trump unveiled his great plan today — temporary protection for "dreamers" in return for  $5.7 billion worth of wall — but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has already explained why it falls short and some on is side are already crying "no amnesty."
    • Jan 19, 2019
  • An open line for reproductive justice

    Rain drove the speakers inside to the old Senate chamber at the state Capitol, but the rally for reproductive justice went on today as does the fight in a state where the majority who assemble at the Capitol most often act to restrict women's medical rights. The line is open on this and other topics.
    • Jan 19, 2019
  • Cotton, Boozman propose estate tax bonanza for billionaires

    Tom Cotton and John Boozman are dishonestly touting legislation that is a bonanza for the super wealthy as help for small businesses and farmers.
    • Jan 19, 2019
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Is Arkansas in or out on Kobach voter data effort?

    The Washington Post has published a map that counts Arkansas as among states that will "partially comply" with a sweeping request for voter data by the so-called election integrity commission set up by Donald Trump in an effort to cast doubt on Hillary Clinton's 3 million-vote popular defeat of him in 2016.
    • Jul 2, 2017
  • Rep. Mary Bentley's website now supports gay rights

    Somebody has cybersquatted on Republican Rep. Mary Bentley's website, replacing her messaging with a call for equal rights for LGBTQ people.
    • Jul 18, 2017
  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders becomes White House press secretary

    Sarah Huckabee Sanders, daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, is the new White House press secretary.
    • Jul 21, 2017

Slideshows

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2019 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation