How many Arkansas legislators does it take to hold a conference in Alaska? | Arkansas Blog

Friday, September 19, 2014

How many Arkansas legislators does it take to hold a conference in Alaska?

Posted By on Fri, Sep 19, 2014 at 1:50 PM

click to enlarge NORTH TO ALASKA: Sen. Alan Douglas, with his wife in Skagway, was among the 26 legislators authorized to attend a Council of State Governments convention in Alaska in August.
  • NORTH TO ALASKA: Sen. Alan Douglas, with his wife in Skagway, was among the 26 legislators authorized to attend a Council of State Governments convention in Alaska in August.

August in Alaska. Beats August in Arkansas as a rule.

A gang of legislators went to an August 9-13 session of the Council of State Governments. At least 12 from the House and 14 from the Senate were authorized to attend, at a cost that seems to be ranging generally from $3,000 to $4,000 a pop.

Note that the list includes opponents of wasteful government spending, particularly when it means allowing working class poor people to get federally paid health coverage from Obamacare in the private option version passed by a bare margin of Arkansas legislators. Travelers included Sen. Alan Clark, who took his wife along to Alaska and found time outside of a heavy meeting load to enjoy the scenery.  His wife, Jana, wrote on her Facebook page a sentiment most would share, if they could afford it:

We highly recommend a summer time visit to Alaska.

Want to attend vicariously? Clark's Facebook page has lots of photos. You'll see some of his colleagues. Judging by the placesClark covered — Denali, Hubbard Glacier, Ketchikan, Skagway — Clark extended his visit beyond the CSG function (I've been trying to get in touch). Oh, and don't forget Wasilla.

I am not posting pictures of Sarah Palin's house in Wasilla. But did we find it and drive by? You betcha.

You have to check with officers of the House, Senate, Legislative Audit and the Bureau of Legislative Research to find out who was authorized to attend and how much they've sought in reimbursement.  Here are those authorized to attend (spouses may accompany legislators, but must pay their own travel expenses, apart from sharing rooms), but I don't have a final count on attendees or the final reimbursement tally:

House approved (12)

Charles Armstrong, Duncan Baird, Nate Bell, Ann Clemmer,  Charlene Fite, John Hutchison, Andrea Lea, Stephanie Malone, George McGill, Micah Neal, Tommy Thompson, Butch Wilkins

Senate approved (14)

Cecile Bledsoe, David Burnett, Alan Clark, Jim Hendren, Keith Ingram, Bryan King, Michael Lamoureux, Bruce Maloch, Bobby Pierce, Bill Sample, Gary Stubblefield, Larry Teague, Robert Thompson and Jon Woods.

Here are the requests so far for state reimbursements:

Legislative Audit

Sen. Cecile Bledsoe 2621.29
Sen. David Burnett 3301.89
Sen. Bryan King 3220.97
Rep Nate Bell 2043.21 hotel receipt is currently being reconciled and has not been reimbursed as of 9-18-14
Rep. John Hutchison 4041.36

Bureau of Legislative Research

Senator Lamoureux $3432.76
Senator Maloch $3051.30
Senator Pierce $3184.20
Senator Teague $1999.45
Senator Woods $3747.16
Senator Hendren $2940.58
Senator Robert Thompson $2253.93
Representative Tommy Thompson $4375.48
Representative Wilkins $4032.54

Cue Johnny Horton: " ... North to Alaska, go north the rush is on."

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