Friday, February 24, 2012

Arkansas Dems' Sell Out Taxpayers And Vote To Protect Taxpayer-Funded Perks in State Budget

Arkansas Democrats demonstrated their unwillingness to compromise with legislative Republicans today by rejecting a proposal that would cut funding for lawmakers' dues to the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Council of State Government.
“It’s clear we need to trim our state budget and it’s even clearer that state lawmakers should start with themselves,” said Republican Party of Arkansas Chairman Doyle Webb. “If we cannot find responsible spending reductions today, where will we find the money to a fund a projected $250 million Medicaid shortfall next year? It’s time for state Democrats to stop playing Washington politics and start working towards a bi-partisan budget compromise on behalf of hardworking Arkansas taxpayers.”

The proposal, sponsored by Republican Rep. Nate Bell of Mena, would have equaled a spending reduction of $267,400.

Democrats Reject GOP-Proposed Spending Reduction

“Arkansas lawmakers have rejected a proposal for the state to stop paying dues for membership in two national legislative organizations. The Joint Budget Committee on Wednesday rejected a proposal to cut funding for lawmakers' dues to the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Council of State Government. Republican Rep. Nate Bell of Mena said his proposal would help fund new firefighting positions at the Arkansas Forestry Commission by saving $267,400.” (“Ark. lawmakers reject proposal to stop paying dues,” Associated Press , 2/22/12)

DHS Projects $200-$250 Million Medicaid Shortfall

“Senate Republican Whip Michael Lamoureux of Russellville suggested an alternative Republican proposal early Tuesday evening that would put $40 million in state surplus into the Medicaid Trust Fund in light of a $200 million to $250 million shortfall projected by the state Department of Human Services for the fiscal 2014 Medicaid budget.” (Michael Wickline, Sarah D. Wire, “Beebe sees service sag, layoffs in GOP plan,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette , 2/22/12)

Tags: Arkansas, legislature, democrats, taxpayer, funded, perks, state budget

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