Bart Hester and Blake Johnson plan to vote for Medicaid appropriation; line-item-veto tactic may shrink the Tea Party Ten | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Bart Hester and Blake Johnson plan to vote for Medicaid appropriation; line-item-veto tactic may shrink the Tea Party Ten

Posted By on Thu, Apr 14, 2016 at 2:43 PM

Sen. Bart Hester, one of the leaders of the rump group of Republicans blocking the Medicaid budget to try to end the private option, said that he will vote for Medical Services appropriation if an amendment is attached that kills "Arkansas Works," the governor's plan to continue the private option Medicaid expansion. This despite the fact that the governor plans to line-item veto the amendment, allowing the Medicaid expansion to continue. 

"The question is would I vote for a bill that I asked for?" Hester said. "The answer to that would be yes. I don't know what the governor will choose to do at that point. You sit down here and you fight for something and they offer it to you, the answer would be yes, from my perspective." 

I noted that the governor would likely line-item veto the amendment killing "Arkansas Works" and that the Medicaid expansion would continue. "I'm not the governor," Hester said. "There's only one person that's the governor. I don't know how you don't vote for the bill that you asked for. At the end of the day, the governor has the right to veto anything, always. That's his prerogative and that's why he's the governor."

Sen. Blake Johnson, another member of the Tea Party Ten, said that he would do the same. "It's what we'd asked for," Johnson said. Of the line item veto, he said, "that's up to the governor. That's beyond my control." 

If you're scoring at home, that means that there are enough votes to pass the Medicaid budget — and then save the Medicaid expansion via the governor's line item veto. 

There will likely be a handful of senators from the Ten that join Hester and Johnson. From those I've managed to track down so far: 

Sen. Cecile Bledsoe said she was undecided and didn't want to comment until she had seen the actual amendment. Sen. Missy Irvin said that she wanted to "slow down." Sen. Scott Flippo declined to comment. Sen. Alan Clark said that he would vote against the appropriation even though it had the amendment they wanted due to the fact that the governor would veto it. Sen. Bryan King said that he didn't know precisely what would come out of Joint Budget said he was for "taking more time ... this bill should be voted on later in the session." He said the appropriation was being "rammed through." Still waiting on word from the other three: Stubblefield, Collins-Smith, and Rice. 

However, some in the Democratic caucus say they want more time to consider this procedural maneuver. That could be risky, as the Ten will be facing heavy pressure from groups like AFP in the coming days to refuse to go along with the governor's plan. 

Support for special health care reporting made possible by the Arkansas Public Policy Panel. 

Sign up for the Daily Update email

Comments (8)

Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

More by David Ramsey

  • Authorities investigate accusation against Dean Elliott

    An accusation has been lodged against Dean Elliott, the Dillard's lobbyist and former state representative who is running for the District 15 seat in the state Senate, by a woman who claims that he was involved in a 2016 hit and run incident on Tennyson Drive in Conway that left her with severe injuries. Through a lawyer, Elliott says the allegation is false and politically motivated.
    • May 17, 2018
  • Rep. Jana Della Rosa disputes that Randell Shelton's Paradigm Consulting was a "bogus company"

    During the trial of former state Sen. Jon Woods and consultant Randell Shelton, the prosecution described Shelton's Paradigm Strategic Consulting as a "bogus company." But Rep. Jana Della Rosa, who paid Paradigm in 2014 for help with campaign messaging, said that Shelton did legitimate work for her.
    • May 16, 2018
  • A senator's vanity

    Spotted in Little Rock...
    • May 16, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Arkansas Supreme Court refuses to rehear invalidation of marijuana act

    The Arkansas Supreme Court today denied a request to rehear its decision invalidating Issue 7, the medical marijuana initiated act.
    • Nov 3, 2016
  • Honeymoon appears over for Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Baghdad Barbie of Trump White House

    The reviews aren't kind for Sarah Huckabee Sanders' honesty as White House press secretary
    • Feb 9, 2018
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017

Most Recent Comments



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