Who'll get the $20 million lawsuit windfall | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Who'll get the $20 million lawsuit windfall

Posted By on Thu, Mar 19, 2015 at 10:01 AM

A class action lawsuit all but completed during Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's tenure produced a $21.5 million windfall from the state of Arkansas from Standard and Poor's over misleading financial ratings.

The money has now been paid, as the court settlement directed, into the consumer education fund of the attorney general's office, now held by Leslie Rutledge.

But there's a wrinkle. A Republican-majority legislator that didn't admire how McDaniel had used lawsuit windfalls as a slush fund to advance his own political interests, put a $1 million cap on the consumer fund in the 2013 legislature.

The $21.5 million has now been paid. Rutledge's office had told me previously she intended to abide by the law and pass the overage, at least $20.5 million, over to the state.

Rutledge still has the money. I asked her spokesman, Judd Deere, about the matter yesterday.

The money has been received, and the Attorney General continues to have conversations with the Governor as well as the Leaders of the House and Senate regarding the use of the settlement dollars.

I've sent messages to those three officials about plans for the windfall. No responses so far. The House and Senate leaders have a party to get ready for tonight. It's being thrown by the Republican Party. Presumably the governor and attorney general will drop by. Maybe they can talk.

Lot of competition exists for the money — more tax cuts, for example. And also more tax cuts. There's pre-K education, too. Rutledge also might find some sympathy to her possible notion that she should have a little more leeway in landing a portion of lawsuit settlements.

UPDATE: This from the governor's office, which isn't exactly an answer:

The Governor has visited with the Attorney General and the Legislature about settlement funds in the normal course of business. He generally believes that settlement funds should be used for statewide purposes consistent with the settlement and the law.

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-6 of 6

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…

Most Shared

Most Viewed

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

Blogroll

 

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