Arkansas Supreme Court face questions about employees | Arkansas Blog

Monday, November 26, 2012

Arkansas Supreme Court face questions about employees

Posted By on Mon, Nov 26, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Arkansas News Bureau reports today on haggling over a controversy likely to arise in the coming legislative session.

A legislative audit last month raised questions about 15 Arkansas Supreme Court jobs that are paid for with attorney license fees instead of being authorized by the General Assembly via the state budget process, as required by the state Constitution. At a legislative budget hearing last week, Supreme Court Justice Jim Hannah avoided commenting on the audit in depth, but implied that the practice was authorized by a decades-old amendment to the Constitution and upheld by a prior Supreme Court decision. He called the audit’s raising of the issue “unusual.” Frank Arey, attorney for the Division of Legislative Audit, has suggested that a lawsuit might eventually resolve the dispute. Of course, who would likely decide that suit? The Arkansas Supreme Court.

In any case, it sounds like the legislature will act to clear things up before it gets to that.

After the meeting, Sen. Larry Teague, D-Nashville, who will be co-chairman of the Joint Budget Committee during the next session, said he expects some legislative action to be taken.

“I am fine with them spending the money and I don’t want to mess with the program, but I think that it’s a legislative issue,” Teague said. “I think that the Legislature ought to appropriate the dollars and I would assume if nobody else tries to do that then I would do that in the next session.”

Sen. Johnny Key,R-Mountain Home, agreed, saying the state Supreme Court’s budget could be amended to add the 15 additional employees and legislation could be passed allowing the attorney licensing fees to be used for salaries.

“In our discussion it sounded a whole lot more complicated than that and there was talk of lawsuits and everything,” Key said. “I do think it is something we need to have a thorough conversation about amongst our members.”

Tags: ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by David Ramsey

Readers also liked…

  • Super Bowl line

    Over to you.
    • Feb 7, 2016
  • Hospitality, restaurant groups oppose bathroom bill

    Add the restaurant and hospitality association to those opposed to Sen. Linda Collins-Smith's bill to keep transgender people out of public restrooms that match their gender identity.
    • Mar 16, 2017
  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation