Dec 12, 2014
Full-Time Arkansas Legislature?
People who don’t believe in fortune-tellers know that sometimes all it takes are keen powers of observation to pull off earthshaking “predictions” about someone’s future. For the Arkansas Legislature, though, it doesn’t even take keen powers of observation to predict the future of the unlimited salary-setting to be performed by the “Committee Appointed by the...
For the Arkansas Legislature, though, it doesn’t even take keen powers of observation to predict the future of the unlimited salary-setting to be performed by the “Committee Appointed by the Politicians Whose Salaries Are Being Set.” (We said our piece on that before the November election.)
But, do observe anyhow:
Following in the new tradition of full disclosure we’ve seen so far surrounding the newly passed Arkansas Ethics Amendment, the committee’s first “transparent” meeting will be mid-morning on a workday in an obscure room at the Capitol with no video or audio streaming.
We predict — no, we know — this will make it almost impossible for an everyday, working Arkansas citizen to see what actually occurs during those deliberations.
And, for your inspection, this from State Senator David Sanders, speaking with Alice Stewart on her radio show Friday morning:
It’s interesting. Being a lawmaker in Arkansas used to be sort of part-time job, but realistically, it’s a full-time job year-round because there’s so much work that we do in the interim — not only in terms of interim studies in preparation for legislation but literally the interim work of the Legislature, whether you’re reviewing a contract, looking at rules and regs, deciding agreements between agencies, deciding personnel issues…
Clearly there’s a lot of interim work that needs to be done in the interim — all those interim studies and reviews and stuff — because, after all, the state runs its business year-round while the Legislature meets only a couple months a year. And, thanks to the newly passed Amendment #1, lawmakers are now required to look at and approve all those state agency rules and regulations, just like Senator Sanders pointed out.
We predict it will not take long for someone (maybe that hand-picked salary-setting panel?) to float the idea of having a full-time Arkansas Legislature.
Are we fortune-tellers, or what?