Bad idea | Arkansas Blog

Bad idea

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I was just reading about Rep. Bruce Maloch's bill to give a $12,000 housing allowance to state constitutional officers and members of the Supreme Court. It's a terrible idea and probably unconstitutional -- the last constitutional pay raise includes language meant to stamp out all the little extra payments previously awarded public oficials to get around constitutional pay limits. This just starts a new one.

You're probably wondering why he'd give a housing allowance to the hated Supreme Court, targeted by others for term limits, recall, etc. Maybe so they'd all have to recuse from hearing the inevitable court challenge. The hope then would be that Gov. Mike Beebe would appoint a gang of lawyers sympathetic to the needs of the poor, downtrodden constitutional officers.

You have to sympathize with the constitutional officers, a bit. Legislative pay is also limited to less than $15,000, but they all most of them knock down more than $40,000 -- a big chunk of it untaxed -- through a  variety of expense account scams.

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