April 1-7, 2009
It was a GOOD week for …
The LITTLE ROCK SCHOOL DISTRICT. A federal appeals court declared it desegregated and no longer in need of court supervision. With that, federal Judge Bill Wilson relinquished control of the remainder of the Pulaski desegregation case and turned it over to Judge Brian Miller.
TAXPAYERS. Recent reappraisals in Arkansas show property values mostly flat. That means no tax increases for most. It also means no dip in income from falling values for governments that count on the money.
CONSERVATION. In an article about a near cataclysmic drop in underground water supplies in East Arkansas on account of agricultural pumping, the Democrat-Gazette quoted a water well driller who said, “There's still a lot of water up in northeast Arkansas.” This kind of thinking got us where we are today.
OPEN GOVERNMENT. The state Senate resisted closing the record of holders of concealed weapon permits. A compromise will shield their mailing addresses, but still reveal names and ZIP codes.
It was a BAD week for …
The STATE BUDGET. March revenues came in more than 6 percent under forecast. The governor already planned to spend $100 million in surplus to balance next year's budget. Absent a recovery, rocky times could lie ahead.
The SICK. A new study shows that about a third of working-age Arkansans haven't had health insurance in the last two years.
U.S. SEN. BLANCHE LINCOLN. She put personal politics ahead of working people and repudiated her past support for the union-backed Employee Free Choice Act.
The UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS. It was discovered that athletes — 18 over four years — were among the recipients of discretionary scholarships awarded during the presidency of Lu Hardin. Interim president Tom Courtway continues to refuse to reveal beneficiaries of such scholarships, though federal officials say federal law doesn't prevent disclosure.