John Williams with a Capitol report:
The bill to make the blue catfish the state fish, HB 1348, failed to clear committee today on a 10-10 vote, with 11 needed for a good report. Politically correct, pantywaist Republicans accounted for most of the opposition. They argued for affirmative action for other fish.
CORRECTION TO EARLIER: The same committee GAVE A DO-PASS to the Republican Trojan Horse bill to make prosecuting attorney a non-partisan office. The vote was 11-9, with three Democrats -- Gene Shelby, Butch Wilkins and Clark Hall --joining eight Republicans on a bad idea. Republicans want this as a tool to elect stealth Republicans and to decrease Democratic filing fees, which help the party. There's no argument that prosecutors are hampered by partisan affiliation and candidates may run non-partisan if they choose. If prosecutors should be non-partisan, so should legislators, county judges, JPs, etc.
The House sent the egregious bingo deregulation bill to the Senate 90-7. Fingers crossed that the Senate will, for once, act like the grownup and prevent this travesty.
The big booze permit fee increase bill passed the House 60-31, amended somewhat to lower the bite on small wholesalers.
Rep. Kathy Webb's bill to simplify the numbering of ballot issues cleared committee without a peep of protest, the Family Council apparently having learned to count to 11.
Also, Rep. Debra Hobbs, R-Lunatic Fringe, wants Arkansas to more or less declare its independence from the fed'ral gubmint. Somebody who's lives near Lunatic Fringe, Ark., says that this is part of a "state sovereignty" movement begun in Oklahoma. And you thought O.E. Faubus was dead.