Finagling in Pulaski County -- UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

Finagling in Pulaski County -- UPDATE

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I hear too late tonight to do anything but pass along the report that Pulaski County legislators and County Judge Buddy Villines have been doing some talking about directing General Improvement Fund (pork) money to purposes desired by legislators and Villines.

This could be problematic in any future legal argument that money was appropriated free of strings and without specific coordination by legislators to guide money to a local project that could be held unconstitutional under recent Supreme Court guidance.

Villines apparently wants the money for a jail roof. On the one hand, that sounds like a local need to me. On the other hand, if the jail is backed up with state prisoners, he might have a shred of argument.

I know only enough to be dangerous on the subject. Anybody else care to contribute more background?

UPDATE: See a note from Rep. Jeff Wood of Sherwood on the jump.

NOTE FROM JEFF WOOD

The Pulaski County legislators sent a letter to Judge Villines and cc'd everyone on the council.  The letter informed them about the GIF funds that the county could expect to get.  The letter requested a meeting so that the legislators could give them input and ideas on how we thought the money could be spent.  The letter stressed that ultimately, the county could do whatever it wanted with the money.  The only thing the legislators were looking for was some open input.



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