Let's open the line | Arkansas Blog

Let's open the line

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But before we go, a couple of items:

*Mayor Stodola tells me that the dollars that would be produced if residents vote to extend the property tax millage that expires this year would be channeled to streets, roads and drainage and not to the Little Rock Technology Park Authority.

Stodola said in yesterday's State of the City address that he'll ask the city board to consider a referendum on extending the millage at 3 mills, lower than the 3.3 now collected.

The Technology Authority needs to raise at least $15 million to realize its goal of putting up a building on 30 acres for nano- and biotech research. The city sales tax passed last year will provide $22 million toward site preparation. Stodola said he did not anticipate any future city dollars going to the tech park and that he would "resist" any move by the board to include funds for the park in the millage election. He said citizens have spoken "loud and clear" about street and drainage needs, to the tune of $700 million, which is 10 times what the new tax would produce for public works.

What about the project to build a road to extend the River Trail behind the Dillard Department Stores headquarters on Cantrell? Doubtful, he said, but possible. It's up to the board of directors.

* On the national front, the Washington Examiner has video and a story about the removal of Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., from the House floor for wearing a hoodie and sunglasses in honor of Trayvon Martin, the teen-ager shot by a neighborhood watch person in Florida Feb. 26. From the report:

Rush was wearing a grey hoodie under his suit jacket. He took off his jacket, pulled the hood over his head and put on sunglasses while saying "racial profiling has to stop, Mr. Speaker. Just because someone wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum," he said.

"The member will suspend," said a visibly frustrated Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., the speaker pro tempore presiding over the morning session. "The member is no longer recognized."

Harper (Republican from Mississippi; you noticed that, right?) said he was enforcing rules that prevent the wearing of hats in the House chambers.

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