The open line: Bedtime reading on the Republican state agenda | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The open line: Bedtime reading on the Republican state agenda

Posted By on Sat, Jan 3, 2015 at 3:12 PM

click to enlarge CHAMBER OF HORRORS: Arkansas House plans to advance an already conservative state agenda.
  • CHAMBER OF HORRORS: Arkansas House plans to advance an already conservative state agenda.

Here's an open line. And to spur nightmares, some bedtime reading from the Washington Post on what the expanding number of states with Republican-controlled legislators and executive branches have planned for the year ahead. The Post illustrated the article with a photo from the Arkansas House chamber.

Interestingly enough, the agenda for the states covers much groundalready achieved in Arkansas during its years of putative "liberal" Democratic control.

Right to work law? Check.

Abortion ban at 20 weeks? Check.

Stout opposition to Common Core education standards? Check. (Though these haven't yet been nullified here.)

Fighting EPA anti-pollution rules? Check. (Is there any elected official of any party talking in favor of these rules in Arkansas?)

Cutting taxes? Check. $100 million in cuts is coming on line from the Beebe Democratic tenure. But Republican Asa Hutchinson promises to double that.

ALEC, the corporate-financed lobby that provides cookie-cutter legislation for Republican lawmakers, wants to do away with defined-benefit pension plans. As yet, not much talk of that in Arkansas. Heck, dozens of Republicans just got swept into offices that HAVE defined-benefit pension plans. Paying for your own retirement and health care in "savings accounts" is for the working stiff, not politicians.

And then there's Medicaid expansion. Many Republicans who once were foes now see the budget bounty of this  Obamacare program for their states. As yet, Arkansas's continuation of the program is a question mark.

Side note: Arkansas's "leadership" on these popular issues hasn't exactly zoomed us to the forefront of national achievement to date. No reason not to keep banging our head on the wall, though.

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