Seniors hurt by cuts
During the 2015 legislative session, the budget for state Senior Citizens Centers was slashed 20 percent, from $5 million annually to $4 million projected for 2016, despite the fact that the 65-and-older population is steadily growing and is expected to double in the next 20 years.
Senior centers provide essential services, such as home-delivered meals, socialization programs, wellness and fitness activities and transportation. However, the vast majority of funding is utilized in meal programs. The reduced budget for FY 2016 will potentially result in 127,000 fewer meals served to our seniors.
Currently about a third of all Arkansans aged 60 or older — more than 160,000 people — are living with food insecurity. The National Foundation to End Senior Hunger ranks Arkansas first in the nation for senior food insecurity, yet revenue streams to fund meals for seniors continue to decline. The negative health effects associated with food insecurity — malnutrition, poor overall health, cardiovascular disease and extended hospital stays — have the potential for substantially increasing Medicare/Medicaid costs while profoundly impacting quality of life for this vulnerable population.
Older adults attending senior center programs can learn to manage and delay the onset of chronic disease and experience measurable improvements in their physical, social, spiritual and emotional well-being. For this reason, we should all ask Gov. Hutchinson to restore $1 million to fund senior centers from the current budget surplus.
North Little Rock
Unfit to lead
Former Gov. Huckabee, running for the Republican presidential nomination, has said that if elected president, he would ignore his oath of office and use the FBI and troops to deny Americans their legal right to abortion. This he is happy to do in order to force his own view and interpretation of his religion. This is inherently un-American. It's one thing to be against something; it's quite another to threaten to ignore the Constitution. He is unfit to lead anyone.
From the web
In response to Jay Barth's column last week on U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge's possible challenge to U.S. Sen. John Boozman in 2016, "Battle Boozman: worth the fight":
Boozman has been nothing but a yes man his entire career. It is time for him to go and be replaced by someone who is progressive about the USA!
Bozoman will be hard to beat for the reasons Jay mentioned. I suspect that only Mike Beebe could make that race competitive, no matter how attractive a candidate Mr. Eldridge may turn out to be. To challenge a GOP senator effectively will require millions of dollars and high name recognition and high favorability. A lack of negatives by itself won't suffice.
One notable thing: The 2010 election was in a Republican-favored cycle. During those cycles they usually take several seats in Congress. The next cycle will be Democratic-favored.
There will be at least seven Republican senators running for re-election in Democratic or Demo-leaning states.
If Beebe is to be a candidate he's kept it close to his chest. Said numerous times as he finished his second term as governor he would not be seeking election; he was retiring save for some law practice. I've never seen a lawyer retire unless he was a corporate attorney.
They practice until their mind or health gives out.
In response to an Arkansas Blog post reporting Chief Justice Jim Hannah's imminent retirement from the Arkansas Supreme Court:
We are doomed. Who will Asa! appoint? This is a position not for small minds, and Shawn Womack has proved that he is a small mind. His equal protection argument about other state court judges' salaries was utter BS on its face. His recusing in a criminal case because he was "unqualified" is a big red flag that he's not qualified to be an appellate judge.
I met Hannah 15 years ago when he was campaigning for the court position. I was impressed with him in our conversation as to the responses he gave to the few questions I posed. He hasn't disappointed me. Hate to see him go for fear of who will take his seat.
Final sale of the Arkansas Supreme Court will close Sept. 1. Under a new state law passed by the Republican legislature the new owners' names may not be disclosed under penalty of law.
Arkansas justice, thy name is mud.
Well, the Republicans finally have it — their trifecta. They got the Tea Party Lite governor, the Tea Party legislature and a Republican state Supreme Court that flaunts the law. This is all about showing us how they can govern? Right?
Or just how they can enrich their benefactors and their own pockets?
Congrats, Arkansas; it's amazing how you let your hatred of a president of color ruin our future.
How about Hutchinson nominate Milligan to get him away from the Treasurer's office? I am sure that Hutchinson won't worry about any requirement that the person be a trained lawyer. The Republicans have already waived the requirements for so many high level state jobs, e.g. Treasurer's office staff, director of Arkansas Department of Education, et al.
Justice Hannah is an excellent jurist and Arkansans should be thankful for his service. He represented Arkansas well both statewide and nationally. Justice Hannah was no small mind on the court and will be hard to replace.
Let's hope for one who puts the Constitution before all other constituencies.