UPDATE: Irrevelevant legislation and some action as the legislature gets cranking | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

UPDATE: Irrevelevant legislation and some action as the legislature gets cranking

Posted By on Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 12:28 PM

The Legislative Digest's Benji Hardy has rounded up the non-budget legislation filed so far for a legislative session nominally devoted only to fiscal issues.

Guns, tax cuts and other hobby horses are on the list, sponsored almost entirely by the extreme right fringe of the legislature. Most of these are almost certainly non-starters, with the exception of the  legislation to ensure that operations established to allow hunting of feral hogs have adequate means of preventing the hogs from escaping to property of innocent landowners. That bill is likely to get consideration.

I've mentioned before a variety of tax cut bills to give Arkansas money to people who incur new health insurance costs on account of federal legislation, a pet balanced budget measure of the far right and other irrelevancies. The bill to bypass filling the lieutenant govenror's office would also fit the description of much ado about nothing, but it will get consideration.

UPDATE: The list was up for consideration in House Rules today.

The bill to skip a special election for lieutenant governor was recommended by the committee. This was expected. The big question is whether sponsor Rep. Bruce Westerman will do something about the egregious waste of money on a staff for somebody who not only doesn't exist but whom Westerman sees no need to exist.

A group of people were on hand for the measure to put a roadblock on Arkansas implementation of the Common Core curriculum, but it remained on the table as the chair gaveled the meeting to a close, much to the unhappiness of some in the audience.

UPDATE II: The Senate approved with little objection some of the non-money measures, including the bill to forego an election for lieutenant governor and a resolution to express support for popular names suggested by Attorney General Dustin McDaniel for three constitutional amendments put on the 2014 ballot by the 2013 legislature. The legislature failed to give the measures the required popular name. They hope this will paper over the clear deficiency. I'm told a lawsuit could be filed, particularly ove the amendment aimed at making it harder to qualify petition-driven initiatives for the ballot.

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