Arkansas legislative session begins; also the gimmicks | Arkansas Blog

Monday, February 10, 2014

Arkansas legislative session begins; also the gimmicks

Posted By on Mon, Feb 10, 2014 at 12:43 PM

LOOKING BUSY: The legislature went to work today. Inside the office without an officeholder, the quarter-million-dollar staff of four endeavored to look busy. - DAVID RAMSEY
  • David Ramsey
  • LOOKING BUSY: The legislature went to work today. Inside the office without an officeholder, the quarter-million-dollar staff of four endeavored to look busy.

The Arkansas legislature opened its fiscal session today with a pro forma quick beginning.

Bills have been filed. aAlong with the dozens of appropriation bills came some renegades — the Common Core deterrent I mentioned earlier; an effort to do something to correct new feral hog legislation (which apparently may be considered; it tightens rules for containment of feral hogs in shipment); and, among political gimmicks, including a bill by Republican congressional candidate Bruce Westerman to give a state tax break to businesses in 2015 to make up for their costs under new federal health insurance mandates. Does Bruce Westerman provide givebacks to individuals? Of course not. The business of Arkansas is business. He provides no money to pay for this as-yet-unquantified gift of taxpayer money. Surely it's headed for the scrap heap. If the state is going to get into the business of holding Arkansans harmless for federal mandates, the treasury won't last long.

UPDATE: Westerman's giveback to businesses would only cost $38 million a year, he says. But David Ramsey thinks the number is low because Westerman's estimate didn't apply to all payments made in behalf of all recipients of expanded coverage. Pure dee gimmick is what it is, not serious policy, in other words.

Never mind. Looks like it's been tabled in House Rules, according to a Tweet from David Goins of Fox 16.

ALSO: The bill to bypass a special election to fill the office of lieutenant governor has bipartisan sponsorship.

Lots more political claptrap coming, including a federal balanced budget amendment from, need I say more?, Rapert and Bell.

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