by Max Brantley
Gov. Mike Beebe will announce this afternoon that he's found money to meet the January payroll for trial court assistants.
This presumably will avert furloughs planned in January for the 125 employees. Shades of the Forestry Commission. The assistants' salaries have been paid by special money from a fund supplied by court fees. For reasons not yet clear, the fund has been declining and hasn't been sufficent to meet payrolls. Beebe provided emergency money earlier and the courts also imposed some cost-cutting measures. The governor will release $40,000 from his emergency fund, as he did earlier, to meet the January payroll.
The legislature will meet in February and will work on a longer term solution.