Free eats, drinks continue for state legislators | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Free eats, drinks continue for state legislators

Posted By on Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 7:05 AM


The free lunch/drinks/dinner calendar for state legislators remains busy today, despite Amendment 94's ban on gifts to legislators. A ruse by which multiple parties at multiple locations can be termed "scheduled activities" for the whole legislature or specific committees has allowed lobbyists to continue their old practices as if nothing happened in November.

And legislators are soon to get a 150 percent pay raise, plus the ability to serve as many as 18 years in one chamber at that higher pay, plus draw per diem that is NOT adjusted downward for all the free meals or days in which a legislator doesn't go to work at the Capitol.

This is post-Amendment 94 ethics, Arkansas-style, just as Sen. Jon Woods hoped when he layered pay, more years in office and tricky free meal language into what began as a straight ethics amendment.

By law and chamber rules all the following "scheduled activities" are open to the public as official meetings of the legislature or its committees:

BREAKFAST: 7:30-9 a.m., Diamond Beer Brewing Company, Arkansas Brewers Guild. (Really. Breakfast.)

LUNCH: Noon-1:30 p.m., Association of Counties Building, Arkansas Circuit Clerks Association. Another one of those taxpayer-financed lobbies doing some lobbying.

LUNCH: 11:30-1 p.m., Capitol Square Apartments, #13, Arkansas Health Care Association (nursing home lobby).

RECEPTION: 4-6 p.m., Capitol Square Apartments, #13, Arkansas Health Care Association (nursing home lobby). 

RECEPTION: 6-8 p.m., Capital Hotel, Arkansas Realtors Association.

RECEPTION: 5-7 p.m., Capitol Square Apartments, #4 "Choo-Choo Room."  The following lobbies provide this floating daily cocktail party:

Arkansas Automobile Dealers Association
Arkansas Hospital Association
Arkansas Medical Society
Arkansas Pharmacists Association
Arkansas Podiatric Medical Association
Arkansas State Dental Association
Independent Insurance Agents of Arkansas
Pfizer, Inc.
Arkansas Community Colleges

"RECEPTION": 6-10 p.m., Bevis Farm, North Little Rock, "Country Caucus." This is paid by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials.

Here's the lineup of committee "scheduled activities," also open by law to the public:

RECEPTION: 5-6 p.m., Association of Arkansas Counties, Arkansas Circuit Clerks Association, for Senate and House judiciary committees.

COCKTAILS: 6:30 p.m., Capital Hotel, nurse anesthetists, for the House Public Health Committee.

DINNER: 6:30 p.m., Arthur's Prime Steak House, by the House Odom Law Firm for the Senate Judiciary Committee.

DINNER: 6:30 p.m., Cajun's Wharf, by the Association of Arkansas Counties for the Senate and House City, County and Local Affairs Committee.

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (22)

Showing 1-22 of 22

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-22 of 22

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Womack gets questions. He doesn't answer

    The resistance mustered a turnout for a rare public appearance by U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, which meant a ferry ride from Peel, Ark., and a drive almost to Missouri. He didn't seem happy to see them.
    • Aug 22, 2017
  • Democratic Party calls for resignation of Jake Files

    The Arkansas Democratic Party says Republican Sen. Jake Files of Fort Smith should resign over news about handling of state General Improvement Fund money that wound up with him, not the project for which it was intended.
    • Aug 22, 2017
  • Rutledge touts effort to allow discrimination against gay people

    Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is braying about her intervention in yet another out-of-state lawsuit — this one to protect a Washington state florist who doesn't want to sell flowers to gay people for use at their wedding.
    • Aug 22, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Al Gore remembers Dale Bumpers

    Former Vice President Al Gore, a former U.S. Senate colleague of Dale Bumpers, sent a statement on Bumpers' death Friday:
    • Jan 3, 2016
  • In Little Rock, Marco Rubio sells American exceptionalism

    This is Rubio's axiomatic answer to Donald Trump's insistence that he and he alone will Make America Great Again: America is the greatest, always has been.
    • Feb 22, 2016
  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Tuesday's open line

    • Sorry--I posted the wrong list above. The current list is for the class of 2021…

    • on August 23, 2017
  • Re: Tuesday's open line

    • To distract from the Trump craziness, here is the annual Beloit College Mindset List. It…

    • on August 23, 2017
  • Re: Womack gets questions. He doesn't answer

    • Big thanks to the Indivisible members who took the time to make that out-of-the-way trip…

    • on August 22, 2017



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation