Legislature 2015 under new 'ethics amendment': More pay, per diem for no-shows and still plenty of free grub | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Legislature 2015 under new 'ethics amendment': More pay, per diem for no-shows and still plenty of free grub

Posted By on Thu, Feb 19, 2015 at 8:32 AM

unnamed-1.jpg

If I'd been Sen. Keith Ingram's speech writer in his statement opposing a pay raise for legislators made possible by Amendment 94, I couldn't have resisted throwing in other niceties of the new amendment in addition to a 150 percent pay increase. Such as: Longer time in office to accrue more power and perks with an easing of term limits. Also, despite language that seems to bar lobbyist spending on legislators, it has continued unabated, perhaps even at a greater level by a ruse — so far unreviewed by the Ethics Commission — in which a dinner or cocktail party is termed a "scheduled activity" and exempt from the gift ban.

Here's the freebie report for today:

BREAKFAST: 7:30-9 a.m., Capitol H/ill Building, UAMS Area Health Education Centers Regional Programs.

LUNCH: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Capitol Hill Building, Arkansas chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

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

The agenda is light because the Senate won't meet Friday and the House isn't currently scheduled to convene. Only one committee meeting is on the schedule at the moment. So many legislators won't be in town Friday at all and likely will head home this evening. Even if they don't come to town Friday, they will continue to be paid per diem for "expenses" under a continuing abusive practice that hasn't been remedied, either, by Amendment 94.

As official scheduled activities of the General Assembly, all these entertainments should be open to the public. The Constitution says so.

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Charter school accountability: Non-existent in Arkansas

    A state audit finds charter school spending violated state law, but the state Education Department says it has no responsibility for ensuring proper management of charter schools. Say what?
    • Mar 5, 2016
  • Women's March planned in Arkansas to mark Trump inauguration

    Speaking of Donald Trump and in answer to a reader's question: There will be a women's march in Arkansas on Jan. 21, the day after inauguration, as well as the national march planned in Washington.
    • Dec 30, 2016
  • Policy group urges opposition to new charter seats in Little Rock

    The Arkansas Public Policy Panel is urging supporters of the Little Rock School District to tell state Board of Education members they oppose applications to be heard this week to dramatically expand the number of charter school seats in the Little Rock School District.
    • Mar 9, 2016

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

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