Last-minute foolishness UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

Last-minute foolishness UPDATE

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I mentioned yesterday that rural legislators -- waving the banner of tiny schools -- had held up the Education Department budget because of anger over defeat of the bill to preserve the Weiner school district, smaller than the 350-student minimum on the official reporting date.

Doug Thompson of Stephens Media says the blockage continued today. Surely Gov. Beebe can (and apparently has) solve this one. Education bills are an exception to the three-fourths vote requirement on appropriations to prevent exactly these sorts of shenanigans.

It's a sad day when the death rattle of a 336-student school district holds up a billion-dollar budget. If the rules don't apply to them, why should they apply to anyone?

UPDATES: The adults -- Gov. Beebe, Speaker Wills -- etc., say they are firm on not backing away from school standards and believe the Education budget will be approved when it gets another vote in Joint Budget Wednesday morning. A little timeout for the Weiner lobby might be in order.

UPDATE II: State Rep. Buddy Lovell of Marked Tree, the Weiner champion, has released his hold on the Education Department budget. He will try one more time to save Weiner tomorrow morining.

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