approved by voters in November, banned freebies for legislators
. They keep taking them, under the legislature-declared exemption for — cough, cough — "scheduled activities." Here's today's ring-around-the-rule slopfests, which include some of the finest steaks in town, but only for very select committees:
LUNCH: 11:30-1 p.m., Capitol Hill Building, Junior League of Little Rock.
STANDING LUNCH: 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Capitol Square Apartments, #13, Arkansas Health Care Association.
The nursing home industry spends some of its Medicaid revenue to slop the hogs.
LUNCH, noon, Senate Judiciary Committee at the Governor's Mansion
RECEPTION (ALSO KNOWN AS COCKTAIL HOUR): 4:30-6:30 p.m., UALR Stephens Center, White River Regional Economic Development Coalition.
This is one of this taxpayer-subsidized groups that helps funnel money, in many cases unconstitutionally, to political interest groups like local chambers of commerce. The event is conveniently scheduled to provide refreshments for the House-Senate charity basketball game crowd.
STANDING COCKTAIL HOUR: 4-6 p.m., Capitol Square Apartments, #13, Arkansas Health Care Association. (Those tireless nursing home lobbyists yet again.)
STANDING COCKTAIL HOURS: 5-7 p.m., Capitol Square Apt. #4, lobbyists from Mike Mitchell's law firm
entertain on the tab of:
Arkansas Automobile Dealers Association
Arkansas Hospital Association
Arkansas Medical Society
Arkansas Pharmacists Association
Arkansas Podiatric Medical Association
Arkansas State Dental Association
Independent Insurance Agents of Arkansas
Arkansas Community Colleges
DINNER: 6 p.m., Arthur's Prime Steak House, Senate Public Health Committee by Cranford and Associates
, lobbyist for many mental health agencies, insurance and vending interests.
DINNER: 6:30 p.m., Sonny Williams Steak House, Senate Judiciary Committee by Bi-Partisan Strategies,
Hosts Leo Hauser
and Marvin Parks
Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)
Johnson & Johnson
Arkansas Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics
American Diabetes Association
American Tort Reform Association
DINNER: 6:30 p.m., Copper Grill, Joint Energy Committee by AT&T.
DINNER: 6 p.m., Riverfront Steakhouse, House Agriculture Committee by the Arkansas Farm Bureau.
All scheduled activities of the legislature, by law and rule, are open to the public. The law does not require that lobbyists pick up your bar tab.
CORRECTION: I misread the spread sheet of events I obtain from the Bureau of Legislative Research with periodic FOI requests. The committee special events listed here wet for FEBRUARY 4, not MARCH 4. Those steaks were already eaten.