The line is open | Arkansas Blog

Monday, November 19, 2012

The line is open

Posted By on Mon, Nov 19, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Monday, Monday. Some final words:

* SCHOOL LUNCHES: U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor lends his voice to those complaining about new guidelines for federally supported school lunches. He and Republican John Hoeven said in a letter to the Agriculture secretary:

Pryor and Hoeven made their case in a letter to Secretary Vilsack, asking him to address their concerns regarding strict calorie limits, protein sufficiency, increased costs, and lack of flexibility to adapt the program to the individual needs of some students.

The senators say the new rule adopts a one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition, leaving some students hungry and some school districts frustrated with the additional expense, paperwork, and nutritional research necessary to meet federal requirements.

* ALIMONY: Maybe an indicator of where the Republican majority intends to head? FromRep. Nate Bell on Facebook today:

Discussing alimony reform in today's Judiciary Committee meeting. Arkansas places no limit on the time a spouse may be assessed alimony nor do we provide for it to be stopped if the former spouse is cohabiting. There are proposals to modify these statutes to limit the time alimony may be assessed, the amount of alimony, and the circumstances where it may be stopped. Your thoughts?

... Judges in AR are not limited in the amount of alimony awarded. Award amounts are not based on ability to pay by statute. Awards are essentially at the judges discretion.

Facts matter to you? If so: Alimony (as opposed to child support) is rarely awarded in Arkansas. And when it is, it can come with a time limit. When you talk alimony, you are most often talking about a man paying to a woman (though a woman apparently complained about paying alimony to a layabout ex-husband in the committee today). But let's leave that alone. At a minimum, the proponent of this idea is saying an unmarried woman or man should be restricted in their sex life as a condition of receiving alimony. So. Would they penalize, with enhanced alimony, a payer who's getting some sex? Sexual conduct clauses can be included in such court-approved arrangements already, by the way. And "discretion" is not a judicial whim. It's based on ability to pay, a spouse's ability to provide his or her own support and other objective factors. This proposal smells a bit like a bone tossed to an unhappy alimony payer.

* UCA PERP WALKS: Not-guilty pleas were taken from two former UCA officials today - former Chief of Staff Jack Gillean and former President Allen Meadors. Gillean's charges stem from his allegedly giving a student a master key to steal tests from professors' offices. Meadors is charged with tampering with a public document related to a campus catering contract. Log Cabin Democrat has details.

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