Harris steps down from House committee vice-chairmanship | Arkansas Blog

Monday, March 16, 2015

Harris steps down from House committee vice-chairmanship

Posted By on Mon, Mar 16, 2015 at 2:22 PM

An Arkansas House of Representatives spokesperson says Rep. Justin Harris has "asked to step down" as Vice Chair of the House Committee on Aging, Children and Youth, Legislative & Military Affairs, as well as the Joint Performance Review Committee.

UPDATE: Although he's relinquishing his vice-chair position, Harris will remain on Aging, Children and Youth as a voting member. He'll also remain a member of Joint Budget, a powerful committee that approves all appropriations for state agencies.

The Aging, Children and Youth committee often deals with matters pertaining to the Department of Human Services (DHS), which has developed a tangled personal relationship with Harris. 

The Arkansas Times investigation into the Harris "rehoming" has raised questions about whether Rep. Harris improperly used his position to influence DHS into approving his adoption, which later failed. On Sunday, Spencer Willems at the Democrat-Gazette took a close look at email exchanges between Harris and Cecile Blucker, the head of the DHS division over adoption and foster care, that suggest the representative maintained regular contact with Blucker and used his partial control over the division's budget to exert pressure at times.

Harris, however, has placed the blame for the failed adoption and subsequent "rehoming" squarely on DHS. He said the agency has intimidated him and his family.

Harris did not hold a chairmanship on Joint Performance Review, which conducts periodic investigations and reviews of state agencies and services.

Think this reporting is important? Help us provide deeper and broader coverage of Arkansas's child welfare system by contributing to our crowdfunding campaign

Tags: , , ,


Comments (13)

Showing 1-13 of 13

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-13 of 13

Add a comment

More by Benjamin Hardy

Readers also liked…

  • Your daily dose of Jason Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert really, really didn't like it when a KATV reporter asked him about the hypocrisy of his political arguments.
    • Feb 4, 2017
  • The LR chamber does the public's business. Is it accountable? Blue Hog on the case.

    Matt Campbell, lawyer and Blue Hog Report blogger, has sent a Freedom of Information Act request to Jay Chessir, director of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Mayor Mark Stodola related to the publicity stunt yesterday  built around withdrawing from the mayor's rash pronouncement that the city would seek an Amazon HQ2 project even though the city  didn't meet the company's criteria.
    • Oct 20, 2017
  • Free Zinn book for Arkansas teachers

    Arkansas teachers! Get your free Howard Zinn book here! Whether Kim Hendren likes it or not.
    • Mar 3, 2017


Most Viewed

  • Marijuana makes Harding University grad a billionaire

    Meet a new Arkansas-native billionaire — Michael Blue, who grew up in Searcy and graduated from Harding University. He owes his wealth to marijuana.
  • Are the Razorbacks out of their league?

    Ouch. The Southeastern Conference football schedule hasn't yet begun and the New York Times offers an article suggesting the Arkansas Razorbacks aren't up to playing in the league.
  • French Hill carefully vetting crowd for Mike Pence visit

    Mike Pence will appear at a campaign rally for Republican U.S. Rep. French Hill today in Little Rock and the campaign is monitoring carefully who'll be allowed to attend or cover the event. Hill is running a hide-and-seek campaign, making himself available only in safe settings. Maybe 1,200 of the right sort of people will atternd.

Most Recent Comments


© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation