The Tuesday line | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Tuesday line

Posted By on Tue, Mar 1, 2011 at 5:00 PM

It's over to you.

Some closing notes:

* MIKE HUCKABEE'S BIG MOUTH: Jeez, what next. Now the Huckster has misspoken all over himself about Barack Obama. No, Huck, he didn't grow up in Kenya. No, he didn't grow up with a Kenyan grandfather.

Huckabee's seeming enlistment with the birthers is receiving huge attention (here, the NY Times.) You do really wonder if he's just decided his future gold-plated meal ticket is to become a cartoonish, unhinged Faux commentator, a la Glenn Beck. The folks who respond to this act apparently have an insatiable demand. Washington Monthly comments that Huckabee is "either trying to impress an unhinged base or he's gone a little mad." Brummett, after a timely column on Huckspeak this morning, adds: "Huckabee’s main thing is that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, but keeps talking anyway."

Jason Tolbert meanwhile picks up an interview in which Huck says his $2.8 million home investment in Florida real estate is no problem for a future run for president. Why he could sell it at a profit in a minute if he had to, Florida real estate is so hot. Plus, he continues to insist he doesn't have a mortgage through his Angus Wiles trust on this property, though Florida real estate records (you have to type Angus B. Wiles Trust into search page to see Huckabee-related records) say that's precisely what he has.

* JUSTICE JIM MEMORIAL ACT: A Republican senator has introduced a bill to prevent enforcement of the federal health care law unless state agencies have prepared financial impact statements. (And will somebody so some accounting on how much all this new bookkeeping will cost?) Still sounds like interposition to me. The state can't stop federal law because it doesn't like what it costs, how it looks or for any political reason. News release on that on the jump. More on health efforts here from Roby Brock.

* LITTLE ROCK SCHOOL DISTRICT. The district will hold a series of community meetings next week about the search for a new superintendent. Details here. Participation is encouraged.

* HOG BASKETBALL: ESPN comment that John Pelphrey is out and UA seeking Mike Anderson will be talk of sports shows.

REPUBLICAN NEWS RELEASE

A bill designed to require state agencies to provide cost impact reports on the implementation of the federal healthcare law was filed Tuesday in the Arkansas Senate.

Senate Bill 709 would prevent the immediate enforcement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act unless state departments provide detailed reports concerning what the law will cost the state per provision if implemented or if not implemented, said the legislation’s chief sponsor, Senator Missy Irvin, R-Mountain View.

“There is currently no long-term strategic economic plan in place to sustain the federal healthcare program,” Irvin said. “This bill establishes financial accountability among our state agencies, the Legislature and the people of this state.”

The Healthcare Reform Accountability Act also requires these financial reports to be available online for all Arkansans to access.

Under the bill, state agencies are additionally asked to provide details on what specific provisions within the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are to be implemented, if any state waivers exist to opt out of those provisions, and the number of citizens to be effected by the law’s implementation.

“Arkansas does not need to move forward if we do not know how much the law will cost our state and citizens,” Irvin said. “Before state government starts spending our money, they need to let us know how and how much.”

Irvin said federal stimulus dollars are being used with the agreement to sustain what programs the state implements. “What happens when the federal money runs out?” asked Irvin.

Like adequacy funding for public education, Irvin said the state will be required to sustain federal healthcare funding at certain levels when stimulus money is no longer available.

“The federal healthcare law may force lawmakers to cut funding in other areas,” said Irvin. “What will we have to cut? Funding for higher education, prison or roads?”

The Bill currently has fifteen Senate sponsors and twenty-four House sponsors.

Senate Bill 709 is expected to be on the agenda for the Senate Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs next week.

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