More news and notes: School employee insurance deal in works | Arkansas Blog

Monday, October 14, 2013

More news and notes: School employee insurance deal in works

Posted By on Mon, Oct 14, 2013 at 7:46 PM

A few more items:

* HEISKELL LECTURE ON MEDIA TOMORROW: My friend Ed Gray at CALS reminds me of a good speaker at the children's library on W. 10th Street tomorrow in the J. H. Heiskell Lecture series. Thomas Patterson, who teaches on government and the media at Harvard and is the author of "Informing the News" will talk about misinformation among the American public at 6:30 p.m. A book signing and reception will follow. The American public? Getting bad information?

* SCHOOL EMPLOYEE INSURANCE: Say what you will about Rep. Nate Bell, but he believes in sharing the workings of government with constituents and others. He's posted on his Facebook links to legislation proposed to mitigate the big increase in the cost of public school employee health insurance. You've read about it before. State surplus would provide $43 million. A combined single board would oversee public employee and school employee plans. Money would be redirected in future years from school construction and teacher education set asides to cushion health insurance rate increases. A big ruckus is developing because Tea Party Republicans, including Bell, oppose a bill from Gov. Mike Beebe to restore the intended shape of school finance under legislation Beebe sponsored years ago. A law change inadvertently created a court-declared problem. A handful of small, property-rich school districts sued to claim that the 25-mill property tax contribution all school districts must make to the state basic school funding formula was capped at the state's per pupil payment, currently more than $6,000 per student per year. That was never the intention. All districts are supposed to contribute 25 mills to the pot, however small or large that amount might be. Districts are always free to raise taxes to exceed the state per pupil payout. Many do. These small districts, some of which the beneficiary of giant industrial facilities, think they should keep their windfall from a base mill that exceeds the state payment. Sure. That way they don't have to make the same taxing effort others have made. The Supreme Court has already settled the larger issue, saying the base millage is a state tax, not local district funding untouchable by the state. But Bullet Bob Ballinger and some other teabaggers see it as wealth redistribution. A number of solid Republicans favor Beebe's plan because it's fair to all and it was what the law always intended. But there will be a fight.

* ANOTHER HOMICIDE: Little Rock police Sgt. Cassandra Davis reports that Marcus McFee was found about 6 a.m. this morning at 1600 Elm withmultiple stab wounds in his torso. He died at a hospital about 7 p.m. The police are seeking a former boyfriend of a female friend of McFee, Davis said. Kenneth Smith, 59, was arrested later in the evening.

From the ArkTimes store



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • IHOP coming down, but .....

    I always scan the Little Rock City Board for items of interest this week and this one caught my eye: A zoning measure required by a proposal to tear down the IHOP at Markham and University.
    • Apr 30, 2016
  • Donald Trump declares war on Hillary Clinton's marriage

    Donald Trump gave a remarkable interview to the New York Times yesterday in which he declared open season on the marriage of Bill and Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton's past infidelity. Seems like a loser, but I've been wrong before.
    • Oct 1, 2016
  • 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.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: The aftermath of Alabama

    • I'm still not hopeful. Even with all the positive framing of the situation in the…

    • on December 13, 2017
  • Re: The aftermath of Alabama

    • No one should forget the role played by Republican Senator Shelby in the defeat of…

    • on December 13, 2017
  • Re: The aftermath of Alabama

    • Moore said he wont concede and that he must wait on God to check the…

    • on December 13, 2017



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