Special session begins | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Special session begins

Posted By on Thu, Oct 17, 2013 at 2:52 PM

BACK AT IT: The House begins. - DUNCAN BAIRD/TWITTER
  • Duncan Baird/Twitter
  • BACK AT IT: The House begins.

The special legislative session begins at 3 p.m.

It is supposed to be short. It won't be entirely sweet. Legislation off-topic has been introduced and will certainly occasion some speeches, if not action. For example, as detailed on the Legislative Digest blog, Rep. Bruce Westerman has introduced a patently unconstitutional bill to send tax collections from the required 25-mill base millage that exceed the state's per pupil payment of $6,300 back to taxpayers in the district. He's frosted that legislation is in the hopper to prevent his home Fountain Lake School District, and seven others that benefit from small enrollment and inordinate property wealth thanks to major industrial facilities or retirement communities, from scoring a windfall that hundreds of others don't enjoy. The base millage is a state tax that goes into the state pot. 

Rep. Jim Nickels has filed a bill to combine all state and local government insurance plans into a single efficient and equal system. Not going to happen, but a nice idea.

Opponents of the base millage bill — transferring the excess to support the insurance bailout — tried to move the bill out of the Education Committee but failed. Speaker Davy Carter said the bill was a direct implementation of a core part of the Lakeview school finance ruling and was properly in education. That little event is a likely tip to the likely conclusion of the dispute. The House adjourned about 3:35 p.m. after all the pending bills were read and assigned. The Senate made similarly quick work of assignments. Most hope for all to be done by Saturday.

The plan is to knock insurance cost increases for school employees down to about 10 percent next calendar year through transfers of surplus and some other education money, plus an end to the windfall recently provided by a 4-3 court to eight small school districts. The Court indicated in the decision that the legislature could correct the situation.

Opponents raised an extended ruckus in Senate committee, extending debate well into the evening, but it come out of committee on a 5-2 vote, David Goins of Fox 16 reports. The sponsorship lineup on the bill indicates it started with sufficient votes for passge. Which would figure with Gov. Beebe at the controls of the session.

Sign up for the Daily Update email
Favorite

Comments (8)

Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Satanic Temple: Make Rapert pay for Ten Commandments monument

    A petition drive has begun to encourage a demand that Sen. Jason Rapert pay for the legal fees in defending his Ten Commandments monument proposed for the state Capitol grounds. It's more work by the Satanic Temple, which has fought church-state entanglement around the country.
    • Aug 28, 2016
  • Two plead in fraud of sheriff's office

    A former employee of the Pulaski County sheriff and a North Little Rock woman who sold goods to the sheriff's office have pleaded guilty to mail fraud in a scheme to steal from the sheriff's office, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney's office.
    • May 16, 2017
  • Arkansan on Obama's latest commutation list

    President Obama today announced commutations of the sentences of 111 federal prisoners, including one from Arkansas.
    • Aug 30, 2016

Most Viewed

  • UA Little Rock responds to "racially insensitive incident" involving video of fraternity and sorority

    A video uploaded to Facebook shows members of the  Chi Omega sorority and Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity singing along to the song "Freaky Friday." The white students repeatedly shout along to the n-word.
  • New development at old Sears site firms up

    In the next year and a half to two years, the 16 acres at the northwest corner of University Avenue and Interstate 630, the old Sears site, will transform into a development featuring retail, restaurants and a hotel — or two — called The District at Midtown.
  • Ten Commandments monument returns to state Capitol next week, Rapert says

    A new Ten Commandments monument will be erected on state Capitol grounds next week, Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway) reports on his Facebook page. Rapert sponsored the enabling legislation and created the American History & Heritage Foundation to pay for it.
  • Car dealership owner, wife found shot to death in Russellville home

    Keith Cogswell, 55, and his wife, Leanna Cogswell, 39, were found shot to death at their Shiloh Road home today by their maid, KTHV-TV, Ch. 11, reports. The Pope County Sheriff's Office, the Russellville Police Department and the Arkansas State Police are investigating.
  • More grants to Ecclesia surface

    Then-state senator and Senate president pro tempore Michael Lamoureux insisted that a state organization that distributed GIF funds approve a grant to Ecclesia College despite problems with the college's application, a witness in the public corruption trial of former Sen. Jon Woods testified today.

Most Recent Comments

 

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