Beebe and Hutchinson Feud Over Funding
Gov. Mike Beebe was very upset that the legislature passed $35 million more dollars in tax cuts than he wanted. That meant he had to cut somewhere. He decided to take $1.59 million of it from services to children from foster care programs. State Representative Donna Hutchinson (R) objected to those cuts. Beebe retorted that since they cut taxes, the money has to come from somewhere. For a highly left-tilted take on the brouhaha click here.
The Governor has a $50 million dollar personal slush fund, called the "quick action closing fund" which he gives to his favorite businesses at his sole discretion. He could have cut this fund by five percent and more than covered the cost of the cuts headed for foster children's programs. Instead, he chose to keep every penny of taxpayer's money he could get his hands on, cut the funding for the foster kids instead, and petulantly blame those who dared to cut taxes for his own actions. Now that's leadership!
Or perhaps he could get most of the money by eliminating the $1 million dollars that the Republicans stupidly let him have to fund the implementation of Obamacare in this state. If it came to funding Obamacare or helping foster kids, I think it safe to say that a majority of Arkansas tax payers would say to help the kids. OK, so maybe that was a grant from the feds, but there are other places for savings to be found. Example: perhaps Beebe should not have opposed Jon Hubbard's bill to deny public benefits to illegal aliens. There were other places to cut.
Beebe has a history of this tactic where he holds popular and needed programs hostage by dogmatically insisting that tax cuts be paid for by money from those programs. The purpose? To gain leverage for future tax hikes.