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


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


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…

  • LR speakers blast state board for double standard

    A series of speakers, beginning with Sen. Joyce Elliott, denounced what they saw as a hidden agenda favoring charter schools at the state Department of Education and asked the state Board of Education for return of local control.
    • May 12, 2016
  • Mitch Landrieu on the removal of Confederate tributes in New Orleans

    You want to hear the words of a strong mayor? Read the speech delivered by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu on the removal of the last of four Lost Cause tributes in the city. THIS is a strong mayor. Brilliant.
    • May 22, 2017
  • Saturday's open line

    Got any thoughts? Put them here.
    • May 21, 2016

Most Shared

  • Conflicts of interest in the legislatures

    The Center for Public Integrity and the Associated Press collaborated for a project aimed at highlighting state legislators whose lawmaking might be affected by private business interests.
  • Industrial hemp pilot program coming soon to Arkansas

    One of the booths at this week's Ark-La-Tex Medical Cannabis Expo was hosted by the Arkansas Hemp Association, a trade group founded to promote and expand non-intoxicating industrial hemp as an agricultural crop in the state. AHA Vice President Jeremy Fisher said the first licenses to grow experimental plots of hemp in the state should be issued by the Arkansas State Plant Board next spring.
  • Cats and dogs

    I've always been leery of people who dislike animals. To my wife and me, a house without dog hair in the corners and a cat perched on the windowsill is as barren as a highway rest stop. We're down to three dogs and two cats, the smallest menagerie we've had for years.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



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