For 33 years now, I"ve been picking up a Little Rock newspaper with headlines about a backlog at the state Crime Lab. (The string is undoubtedly longer; 33 years just covers my time in The Rock, or South North Little Rock, if you prefer.) Things are currently a little better at the lab, the D-G indicates today, if not good enough. (For now, ice will continue to be the chiller in trucks instead of refrigeration units.) The legislature, in its wisdom, slapped additional fees on every poor schmoe filing a routine legal action, from divorce to debt collection, to improve the lab. A whopping 25 percent increase it was, from $100 to $125.
So, how come the legislature doesn't take a little of that $332 million surplus -- before it fills Bob Johnson's potholes in Bigelow -- and do this job right, for once and all?