Arkansas legislative watch | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Arkansas legislative watch

Posted By on Tue, Jan 22, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Action was light at the Capitol today, but David Ramsey reports comments by House Speaker Davy Carter at his daily news conference on House Republican Leader Bruce Westerman's bill to arbitrarily cap state spending growth at 3 percent — or even less when revenue growth over a rolling period falls below that. Beebe administration officials have questioned the constitutionality of the idea, noted the legislature's existing ability to control spending through the revenue stabilization act and cited the possibility for unhappy consequences in balancing mandated spending limits with mandated arbitrary cuts in times of slack or even declining revenue.

Said Carter of the Westerman proposal:

“In theory, that’s something that as a conservative, I agree with. There’s been some concerns voiced about the practicality of how that would work and maybe some unintended consequences, just general concerns. Everybody is at the point where we need to sit down and drill those down and see what they are and see if some of the practical concerns outweigh the concept. I don’t expect that to move quickly either way. That’s a big piece of legislation.”


Ramsey followed up. Given that they already have balanced budget, what about the concern about Westerman’s bill interfering with the General Assembly's power/flexibility to spend or raise revenue as needed?

“Part of that practicality part…we have adequacy in K-12. That’s certainly part of that decision making process. Then we get in to other financial issues. I just gotta sit down and hear all the concerns. I’ve heard them generally. I saw [deputy finance director] Tim Leathers this morning and asked him to come see me and talk about it and see what the issues are. We’ll know more about that next week as far as what we’re really dealing with.”

On other matters:

The deadline for filing retirement-related bills is approaching. This one popped up today —
a bill by Rep. Allen Kerr related to deferred retirement option programs that have been popular throughout state government. It's a shell proposal. State employees, recognizing Republican interest in holding down the cost of public retirement programs, have feared for some time that the DROP program could be on the chopping block. They'll be watching this evolve. It could create a big problem if fleshed out to require retired workers who go back to work to resume making retirement contributions.

Tags: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • LR speakers blast state board for double standard

    A series of speakers, beginning with Sen. Joyce Elliott, denounced what they saw as a hidden agenda favoring charter schools at the state Department of Education and asked the state Board of Education for return of local control.
    • May 12, 2016
  • Your daily dose of Jason Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert really, really didn't like it when a KATV reporter asked him about the hypocrisy of his political arguments.
    • Feb 4, 2017
  • Kenneth Starr: A comment from Betsey Wright

    Betsey Wright, former President Bill Clinton's chief of staff when he was Arkansas governor, responds bitterly to a New York Times article today quoting Whitewater Prosecutor Kenneth Starr's warm words about Clinton. She can't forget the lives Starr ruined in Arkansas.
    • May 24, 2016

Most Shared

  • Industrial hemp pilot program coming soon to Arkansas

    One of the booths at this week's Ark-La-Tex Medical Cannabis Expo was hosted by the Arkansas Hemp Association, a trade group founded to promote and expand non-intoxicating industrial hemp as an agricultural crop in the state. AHA Vice President Jeremy Fisher said the first licenses to grow experimental plots of hemp in the state should be issued by the Arkansas State Plant Board next spring.
  • The prayers of Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert is keeping a close eye on the Alabama Senate race.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

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