Narrowing the constitutional amendments | Arkansas Blog

Monday, March 21, 2011

Narrowing the constitutional amendments

Posted By on Mon, Mar 21, 2011 at 12:44 PM

It appears the Joint House-Senate State Agencies committee will have seven proposed constitutional amendments from which to choose a maximum of three to refer to voters. The House today sent five to join two from the Senate for joint consideration.

Full details here from Roby Brock.

They are a pretty bad lot. Republican Sen. Jake Files wants to authorize a scam already in use in other states to set up development districts in which private companies can get subsidies by grabbing the state sales tax on their enterprises rather than sending them out for distribution to all state taxpayers. There's no prohibition on using state tax money to subsidize retail stores, a non-addition to a state's gross product. In some states, these so-called STAR bonds have been sought to subsidize Walmarts. It's a lose-lose for taxpayers statewide. I'm still looking to see if this could operate like some scams in Texas where undeveloped areas are established as tax districts and a single voter is moved onto the property to establish residency and vote in the district.

Republican Rep. Jonathan Barnett wants a half-cent sales tax to build freeways to nowhere. This $180 million annual sales tax increase would, in a year, raise five times the savings supposedly generated by the tax-cutting demons of this General Assembly.

The only true cost-cutting and non-special-interest offering comes from Rep. Keith Ingram, who'd abolish two offices that are little more than the proverbial teats on a boar hog — lieutenant governor and land commissioner. Hold your horse before you cry partisan foul. I've been for a reduction in constitutional offices — throw in the treasurer, too — since the days when only Democrats held them.

Republican Rep. Ann Clemmer's amendment to require 35 percent of lottery income to go to scholarships would make playing the lottery so unprofitable that revenue — and scholarships — would drop. It's a lottery killer. That's OK with me, but I'd rather do it straight up.

Wait. Rep. Jim Nickels' idea to return to legislative sessions every two years would save money — and untold aggravation.

Ma and Junior Hutchinson want to mess with the Highway Commission in two proposals.

Tags: , , ,


Sign up for the Daily Update email
Favorite

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Former Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel applauds Trump's EPA choice of climate change denier Scott Pruitt

    Dustin McDaniel gives the thumbs up to a man set to dismantle EPA regulations.
    • Dec 8, 2016
  • French Hill votes against disaster aid to Puerto Rico

    Republican U.S. Rep. French Hill alone among Arkansas's House delegation voted last week against a measure that provided $36.5 billion in disaster aid, a portion  for hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico as well as money for wildfire response and to support the flood insurance program.
    • Oct 14, 2017
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017

Most Recent Comments

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation