by Max Brantley
The school funding bills breezed through the House today. Even the most stalwart school people in the legislature seem to think the effort meets the court test, in concert with other plans.
But I still want to note for the record that the state will be spending about $214 more on each school child in Arkansas over the next two years, and finish below $6,000 per student. At the same time, the legislature has voted to spend almost $600 more on every legislator over the next two years, pushing them up near $15,000 per years in state support, not counting per diem, expenses, etc. Good thing there are only 135 of them.
A couple of other legislative notes: 1) the primary seatbelt bill cleared Senate committee 2) Rep. David Johnson, fighting the good fight against the greedy payday lenders, objects to my theorizing that the House, in its 90-3 approval of the bill, saw it as a free vote with an expected road block coming in the Senate committee. He's sure the House routinely voted for a good bill because it was the right thing to do without any expectation of what snares lobbyists might have ready on the Senate end. He knows his colleagues better than I do. I hope to have a bit more on the Senate end of things before the committee meeting tomorrow.