Friday, November 24, 2006

Unintended Consequences- Mineral Rights Go to Game and Fish

Arkansas government seems full of "Kingdoms Unto Themselves". At least with the State Game and Fish Commission, their kingdom is constitutional. They compare very favorably with State University Presidents who do whatever the bad place they want to, and Supreme Court Justices who think they are supposed to set budgets for the legislative branch of government.

The voters voted in an amendment that said the State Game and Fish Commission gets a one-eighth cent sales tax, and the right to all proceeds arising from the sale or operation of state lands. The language was too broad. At the time, we thought it would apply only to things like park fees. It turns out there are many millions of dollars worth of natural gas leases on state land. Because sales tax revenues are so high, the State Game and Fish Commission is flush with money already. If you see one of their vehicles driving by, take notice of how it is nicer than the one you are driving.

Sen. Steve Faris of Malvern has suggested a constitutional amendment to allow mineral rights dollars from state lands to be used for other purposes besides Game and Fish. It is not because he is against having a strong Game and Fish in our state- it is one of our natural strengths. Rather, this is an unintended consequnce of the amendment. Most laws do have unintended consequences, when they are set in the Constitution, they are that much harder to undo.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This might not be such a bad deal. When one considers the environmental damage that will result from the extraction process and the neglect of environmental protection measures by the bought legislature and the captive state agencies, it is nice to know that the Game and Fish Commission has been a better steward of the Lord's green earth that has been entrusted to our care.

6:24 AM, November 26, 2006  

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