Monday, March 2, 2015

Rutledge to abide by 2013 limit on use of $21.5 million lawsuit win; so where will windfall go?

Posted By on Mon, Mar 2, 2015 at 11:25 AM

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge took office just in time to be in charge when the state of Arkansas completed a long-running piece of litigation against Standard and Poor's over inflated financial ratings, a case that produced a $21.5 million windfall for Arkansas in a multistate class action lawsuit.

When the outcome was announced, the office said the winnings would go to the Consumer Protection and Education Fund. But I was reminded recently that the 2013 legislature moved to rein in Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's free-spending ways with that slush fund. It limited the fund balance to $1 million and limited its use to litigation support, expert witness fees, court filing fees, process server fees, witness fees, court costs, court reporter fees, attorney and staff training, travel expenses, consumer education and office expenses and improvements.

The S&P money is to be paid within 30 days of receiving "written processing instructions" from the state of Arkansas. It also says it is to be paid to the Attorney General's Consumer Education and Enforcement Account to be used "in accordance" with Act 763 of 2013.

I asked the attorney general's office about plans for the money, in that it exceeded by more than $20 million the amount available to the office to spend in the consumer account. This was the response from spokesman Judd Deere:

Attorney General Rutledge will follow the law and guidelines set forth in Act 763 of 2013. Although the State has not received the funds yet, the Attorney General has been consulting with the Governor as well as the Leaders of the House and Senate regarding the settlement dollars. 

$20 million, though one-time money, could come in handy in any number of areas of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's budget. Where? I'm trying to find out.

The settlement was entered Feb. 5. The money is expected March 9.

Here's an idea: How about pre-K?

Tags: , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Speaking of...

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…

  • Polling reported in Democratic Senate primary; includes Bill Halter

    A friend reports an interesting automated poll Thursday night, relating to one announced and perhaps another potential Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate.
    • Nov 7, 2015
  • Arkansas Times Recommends: A Literary Edition

    Arkansas Times Recommends is a series in which Times staff members (or whoever happens to be around at the time) highlight things we've been enjoying this week.
    • Jul 1, 2016
  • Trump bombs on Saturday Night Live

    Correct me if you think otherwise, but commentary across the web seems unanimous that Donald Trump's turn on "Saturday Night Live" wasn't funny.
    • Nov 8, 2015

Most Shared

  • Conspiracy theorists

    Back in 2000, I interviewed Rev. Jerry Falwell on camera in connection with a documentary film of "The Hunting of the President," which Joe Conason and I wrote.
  • Raw feelings in the Arkansas Justice Building over workload, pay

    Strained relations between the Arkansas Supreme Court and the Arkansas Court of Appeals broke into public view this week. I expect more to come.
  • Virgil, quick come see

    There goes the Robert E. Lee. But the sentiment that built the monument? It's far from gone.
  • Real reform

    Arkansas voters, once perversely skeptical of complicated ballot issues like constitutional amendments, have become almost comical Pollyannas, ratifying the most shocking laws.
  • The health of a hospital

    The Medicaid expansion helped Baxter County Regional Medical Center survive and thrive, but a federal repeal bill threatens to imperil it and its patients.

Visit Arkansas

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Underutilized waterway is a hidden gem in urban Little Rock

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments




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