As session action picks up, so do the free meals for legislators (and staff) | Arkansas Blog

Monday, February 13, 2017

As session action picks up, so do the free meals for legislators (and staff)

Posted By on Mon, Feb 13, 2017 at 7:39 AM

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While I've been away we've been remiss in keeping up with the round of free meals and drinks being provided the legislature. Here's a partial listing of the hog slopping on tap this week, not including any possible committee hog slops arranged by the legislative staff and not posted routinely on the General Assembly webpages.

From the House calendar:

TODAY
Reception, Arkansas State Employees Association, 5-7 p.m., Capitol Hill Apartment. House staff invited

TUESDAY
Reception, lobbying firm Mullenix & Associates LLC, 5:30-7 p.m.,  501 Woodlane Avenue, 6th floor
House staff invited.

Lunch, Arkansas Community Colleges, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 1415 W. Third St.

Breakfast, Little Rock Municipal Airport Commission, 7-9 a.m., Capitol Hill Apartments, House staff invited.

WEDNESDAY
Reception, Arkadelphia Regional Economic Development Alliance, 5-7 p.m., Next Level Events, House staff invited.

Lunch, Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Capitol Hill Building, House staff invited.

THURSDAY
Reception, Arkansas Bar Association, 4:45-6:45 p.m., Marriott Hotel.

Lunch, Arkansas Center for Health Improvement, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m, Capitol Hill Apartments.

The Senate calendar lists most of the events above, plus this:

TUESDAY
Lunch, American Association of University Women, League of Women Voters, National Association of University Women, Arkansas Literacy Councils, Women's Foundation of Arkansas, Arkansas Association of Women Lawyers-Bowen Chapter, The Birthing Project and Zonta of Fort Smith.\, noon, Capitol Cafeteria.

Voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2014 to outlaw lobbyist wining and dining, but the legislator wrote loopholes  for events to which all legislators are invited. And legislative leaders have decreed that these "meetings" of the legislature are NOT open to the public, though legislative staff can sometimes be included.

This session, House Speaker Jeremy Gillam is pushing further erosion of the ethics amendment to expand special interest-provided travel opportunities, including to foreign countries.

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