The final days | Arkansas Blog

The final days

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Brummett Blog predicts a couple of big issues in the legislature's final days -- first a push from business to spend some of the surplus on seed money (AKA corporate welfare) for technology-based companies and, less troubling, special pay for science, math and technology teachers. Beware when government gets into private enterprise. The free market is usually a better judge of potential than government, subject to influence by special interest lobbyists and woefully ill-equipped to legislative effectively, much less judge the merit of high-tech enterprises.

And then there's the coming push to propose a constitutional amendment to provide for annual legislative sessions. (Oh, yeah, one would strictly be for "fiscal" matters, but it's an annual session any way you slice it.) He's far too kind in describing Shawn Womack's proposal, which should be a non-starter in its current form, with its virtual end to tax increases and authorization for unlimited pork barreling. What's missing entirely is any obvious benefit to citizens from paying legislators more to hang around longer (unfettered by any ethical rules and thus able to swill even more on the lobbyists' credit card) to spend more time beating tax increases for worthy purposes with a bare 25 percent vote and otherwise greedily carving up surpluses for the local rodeo arena. Whatever you want to call it, don't call it "reform."

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