Workers lose 

Workers lose

The Republicans' House Bill 1405 (on its way to the governor as this is written) would reduce a worker's eligibility to receive unemployment benefits from 20 to 16 weeks. Only Florida, Georgia, Missouri and North Carolina provide fewer than 16 weeks. Most states provide 26 weeks. The bill would also reduce the maximum compensation per employee subject to unemployment taxes from $12,000 per year to $10,000. Only 15 states and the District of Columbia have wage limits of $10,000 or less. Seventeen states use more than $20,000 as the wage base.

Sen. Jim Hendren (R-Sulphur Springs) says the tax reduction would allow him to raise wages for his employees. Assuming an unemployment tax rate of 5 percent (the actual rate can vary by employer from less than 1 percent to more than 14 percent), the $2,000 reduction in the tax base would save an employer $100 per year per employee. Over a working year of approximately 2,000 hours, that would provide for a wage increase for that employee of 5 cents per hour! Hendren's employees are probably already contemplating that magnificent raise. And Act 141, already signed into law, newly imposes Arkansas's income tax on workers' unemployment benefits. The picture is clear. With Republicans in control, business wins, workers lose.

Mike Watts

EDITOR'S NOTE: The above letter should say "The bill would also reduce the maximum compensation per employee subject to unemployment taxes from $12,000 per year to $10,000." The letter was edited incorrectly.

Little Rock

From the web

In response to Max Brantley's March 23 column, "Don't cry for Robert E. Lee":

The South hasn't quit fighting.

No, but Robert E. Lee did and he could have caused the deaths of many more Southerners and the invaders, but he chose the high road. Something you cannot do. Lee did more to heal the wounds than all the laws and bigotry of attitudes like yours.

Lee would be the first to congratulate the governor on his decision, but without the pontificating hate speech you promote. Those who fought against Lee were able to forgive, so what right do you have to continue the hatred?

It is still not too late for you to petition the U.S. government to dig up Mr. Lee and still hang him. Many may think that farcical, but for the Brantleys of the world it is a possibility.


Thank you. Max. Wonderful, pointedly laying out what is so obviously true in the attitudes of many people. I refuse to be quiet any longer with letting people dictate to me what I should believe. I wish that everyone could use the energy they devote to destroying what is good about America. I am descendant of Robert E. Lee, love my Southern heritage, love the Confederate flag (as representative of a different time). But I believe in an America where everyone has the opportunity to get an education, is able to vote, has medical care and with laws that protect the helpless and pride in our law enforcement officers, judges, and our representatives in Washington. Do not understand why if people want less federal interference they are so busy adding more laws that are unnecessary. Oh, my goodness, I am ranting!

Ann Wiggins

From the web in response to a March 23 Arkansas Blog item, "It's official: Arkansas Senate resolution blames refs for Hog loss; calls for ref education":

Ingram and Hutchison ought to reimburse the taxpayers for this waste of time. 

Will the Legislature please go home and stop wasting our taxes!


That will surely go over well with SEC football and basketball officials. What a bunch of whiny, crybaby losers. Get over the fact your team gave up the first 8 and the last 12 points in the game.

Sound Policy

WTF? Seriously, what exactly is there the current legislators think they can't do better than dedicated professionals?

Because it's not medicine or education. Now it's basketball officiating? 

And Sound is right about future officiating. Officials aren't likely to take kindly to this sort of bullshit.


Geez! This session has gone on way too long!


They are just joining my longtime mission, but mine is confined to better education for people elected to the Arkansas General Assembly, since so many of their deeds always cost Arkie taxpayers huge fees for court settlements in throwing out much of their legislative "productions."


If Wally Hall said the refs were bad, I'll go with his observation. Unless something is done to follow up, the bad calls would be ignored. Maybe something at this level will get the NCAA's attention. What does it hurt given all of the serious stuff they have been dealing with. Youse guys need to lighten up.


I love it. Some people need to lighten up. It's a stressful job. Let them have a little fun with something that does nothing more than show pride and support for the state's biggest team. The coaches and players sure can't say anything to defend themselves. Yes, there are more important things to deal with, but everyone needs a smile every once in a while. No harm, no foul (pun intended).

Dallas Timpton


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