Beebe mulls teacher insurance fix; Darr's ethics | Arkansas Blog

Beebe mulls teacher insurance fix; Darr's ethics

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Talk Business interviewed Gov. Mike Beebe today. Topics:

* TEACHER INSURANCE: No change. He doesn't favor a special session without a pre-agreed short-term and long-term solution. But he sounds amenable to a solution. Money sources include tapping a school lunch reserve fund in the short run. He also listed rolling back past or future tax cuts. (What say, Bro. Rapert?) He also mentioned dictating school district spending, though unless the state required a bigger contribution (sure to create a howl and a cascade of other unintended consequences) the amount available simply if districts spent every state dollar provided for insurance on insurance would be nominal.

* MARK DARR'S ETHICS PROBLEM: Public records — which Darr has refused to explain or refute — suggest that Darr double-billed his office and campaign for the same travel expenses and spent campaign money on purely personal purposes, such as men's, women's and children's clothing store bills.

As to whether Darr should follow Bookout’s action and resign from office, Beebe noted that what is “good for the goose is good for the gander.”

“If it’s true, it’s wrong and there have to be consequences,” Beebe said of the allegations against Darr.

* ELECTIONS: He had a kind word for Republican Asa Hutchinson as "more pragmatic" than other Republicans. He said Hutchinson supported the private option version of Obamacare passed by the 2013 legislature. He does? I thought he stopped short of full-throated endorsement. But he said he was workiing for Democrat Mike Ross because he'd follow the economic and education course Beebe charted. He said he'd likely campaign for legislative candidates after nominees are set.


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