Saturday, March 24, 2007

High Drama on Lottery, Child Protection

The week ended with a couple of dramatic turns in the state legislature this week. In an amazing turn-around, Lt. Governor Bill Halter is going to get his lottery amendment sent to the ballot. Each year the ledge can only refer three to the voters. Two weeks ago it looked like this one would not make the cut- too many good ones were lined up in front of it.

When I asked my capitol source how the unpopular Halter managed to pull off this coup, I was told, "He gave away the store. He promised everything to everybody." Aahhh, but what about the biggest chip he had? Did he promise not to run against Pryor in the Democratic primary in 08? "Yes" said my source. To preserve peace in the Democratic party and avoid a war of attrition that could hurt Pryor in November, the democratic legislators gave Halter what he wants the most- a lottery amendment. Stand by for battle-stations on that one.

Not only do they manuver to get things on the table, but they are pretty adept at manuvering to keep things off it too. Consider SB959, which would protect disadvantaged children from being turned over to the control of homosexuals through foster parenting or adoption. A generation ago, we knew that would be terrible for young children. Today's left cares more about being PC than harming children. Still, the average legislator has enough decency to vote for that bill- if it gets before them. Governor Mike Beebe is more PC than he wants you to know on this issue. He has manuvered, along with Rep. Benny Petrus, to send this bill to a committee controlled by doctrinaire liberals- the judiciary committee. They won't let it out.

Interesting how well leftists understand where the key power levers are. They are counting on judges implementing a leftist agenda that they know they cannot get passed by demoratic means. So they go to the committee where they can protect the judges. Any conservative measures that are popular, but Beebe wants killed get sent to that committee. The Governor makes a deal with Petrus to get the bill sent to the right committee to keep it under wraps.

To protect these children, the legislature is going to have to vote to bring the bill to the floor outside of the committee process. That takes a 2/3rds vote and risks the wrath of Petrus and Beebe. It is not that it would make them look bad, their own actions do that. This would simply expose them. Someone up there needs to care about kids enough to pull the trigger on this and bypass the doctrinaire liberals on the Judiciary committee.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you have some bad informaiton regarding Halter's lottery amendment. It failed to get out of the joint State Agencies Committee on Wednesday, and I don't think it's been re-visited since then.

12:58 PM, March 24, 2007  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

My source is usually reliable. You may be right, but I am going to leave this up until Monday I think. If some deal has been made, I want inquiring minds to be alerted.

2:41 PM, March 24, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may have the jump. I know from looking at the activities on the General Assembly website that it has not passed out of committee yet. Last I heard it failed on Wednesday. Will Bond and Hop-a-long Halter were seen working the members very hard Friday. They wouldn't have needed many.

6:29 PM, March 24, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you got some bad information on the lotto.

It was greased for last Wednesday (Senate was going to approve it on a voice vote) when one of the house members did not follow through on a commitment to vote yes on the voice vote. It appears now that that one vote will keep it off the ballot.

I second run at the lotto is not going to happen. I believe the joint committee will not even meet again.

6:13 PM, March 25, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the Arkansas Senate approved HB 1575 today with a $1 per month per liability insurance policy surcharge. The bottom line is that they may call it a surcharge but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a s a TAX!

The bill originally passed the House overwhelmingly with increased fines on convicted drunk drivers and other reckless driving offenses. The Senate was originally told this would not raise enough funds for the trauma system. Today it was confirmed that statement was not true and that the original funding mechanism would have been adequate.

2:52 PM, March 26, 2007  

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