It was a good week for ...
THE END. The 89th Arkansas General Assembly came to a close. In 100 days, it passed much perniciousness into law — though legal challenges to many of the worst new laws should abound. But it's expansion of health coverage to low-income Arkansans for which this legislature is likely to be remembered.
SEN. JONATHAN DISMANG. The Beebe Republican, one of the architects of the so-called "private option" to expand health coverage, was elected to be president pro tem of the Senate in 2015.
BRIDGE LIGHTS. To celebrate its 100th anniversary, Entergy is donating $2 million towards a lighting project for the Clinton Presidential Bridge, the Main Street Bridge and the Junction Bridge.
PLANNED PARENTHOOD. Amazingly, considering the other legislation that made it through the Arkansas legislature, a Senate bill aimed at cutting off money to Planned Parenthood failed in a House committee.
A CAMPAIGN KICK-OFF. Former U.S. Congressman Mike Ross made a pitch for the moderate vote in his official campaign announcement, contrasting himself with state Republicans. "[S]ome misguided politicians have taken over the state legislature and have made divisive issues of the past their top priority — instead of working to create jobs, improve education and strengthen the economy," he said in his kick-off speech.
It was a bad week for ...
SEN. MARK PRYOR. Same song, new verse: Pryor was one of only five Democrats who voted with Republicans against a bi-partisan gun control measure, which would have expanded background checks for gun buyers was one of only five Democrats who voted with Republicans against the measure, which would have expanded background checks for gun buyers, when it came to the floor.
ARKANSAS. Rep. Nate Bell's stupid and insensitive tweet about liberal Bostonians "cowering" in their homes wishing they had assault rifles with hi-capacity magazines went viral, provoking many to conflate Bell's idiocy with Arkansans generally. National reports about a letter from Benton County Republican Chris Nogy — which included lines such as, "The 2nd amendment means nothing unless those in power believe you would have no problem simply walking up and shooting them if they got too far out of line and stopped responding as representatives" — didn't help matters much either.