Legislature: Marijuana, governor and free drinks | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Legislature: Marijuana, governor and free drinks

Posted By on Tue, Jan 10, 2017 at 7:38 AM

The Arkansas General Assembly enters day 2 today and it begins to look more official than ceremonial.

Joint Budget meets. First item of business, including constitutionally, is approving the bill authorizing pay and expenses for the members.

The House Rules Committee meets at 9 a.m. and the agenda includes a packet of bills related to the new medical marijuana amendment, including a short delay in implementation. The Rules Committee is traditionally home to alcohol and gambling-related legislation, as well as rules. A change in local option election law for alcohol sales is among the bills on the agenda today, for example. House Speaker Jeremy Gillam controlled the decision of putting marijuana in Rules as opposed to, say, the Public Health Committee.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson will outline his vision for the session at 10:30 a.m.

Today's free drinks:

The Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce and ASU System will entertain legislators from 5 to 7 p.m. today at the ASU System Office at 501 Woodlane, Suite 600.

The leaders of the legislature have decreed these free drink/eat sessions are closed to the public though all members of the legislature are invited and the Constitution requires that all meetings of the legislature be open. BUT, in this case, the ASU System has sent notice that members of the ASU Board of Trustees have been invited to the session, triggering the public notice requirement of the Freedom of Information Act. The presence of trustees dictates that the public may NOT be barred from this party.

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