by Max Brantley
I'm seeking more information, but a reliable tipster says a proposal is in the hopper this afternoon before Joint Budget to chop $17 MILLION out of the budget of the state Game and Fish Commission.
Hunting and fishing are popular. The commission itself at the moment? Not so much.
Still awaiting return calls, but the story seems to be that Game and Fish has piled up $17 million from the severance tax on gas leases on its property. Since it has successfully fought sharing that money with the state generally, Rep. Larry Cowling has apparently proposed reducing its budget by that amount. The agency receives money from licenses and a dedicated sales tax, but the legislature has to appropriate its budget.
UPDATE: I've confirmed Cowling made the proposal. Still awaiting word on outcome.
SPEAKING OF MONEY: Roby Brock's Talk Business and Hendrix College polled on preferences between Gov. Mike Beebe's idea to reduce the sales tax on groceries and tax deadbeat Ed Garner's idea to give the wealthy a multi-million-dollar break in the capital gains tax.
Outcome: Respondents FAR preferred the grocery tax cut to the fat cat tax cut. Only 44 percent supported the capital gains tax cut.