pass for state inmates possible=Prisons
are overcrowded, but the Legislature is not ignoring the problem.
At least two bills address the challenge of crowded jails, but neither
bill calls for building more prisons.
killer stays behind bars for now After
a year of lawsuits from prosecutors and victims' rights groups and
coverage in this newspaper, Gov. Huckabee has again withdrawn his
offer of clemency to yet another murderer.[FULL
to pay bills,
so it cuts back
C-130J program is the latest casualty of the war in Iraq. As we
reported here on Saturday, the Defense Department could soon halt
production of the new airlifter, saving $5 billion. Little Rock
Air Force Base will get seven C-130Js rather than the 16 it was
scheduled to receive, and construction plans for an additional training
center have been halted at a savings of $26.5 million.
job in Iraq
soldiers from Arkansas flew home last week from Iraq for a couple
of weeks of vacation.
got on an airplane in Kuwait and flew to Ireland and then went on
to Dallas, where they caught a commuter flight to Little Rock. Specialist
Jordan Lackie of DeValls Bluff was one of the soldiers flying home.
He's only 18, but he's a big fellow, and he was the only soldier
who didn't seem tired.
friend Jack Sallee was with the Jaycees in Fayetteville, they'd
put an ad in the paper at Christmas-time, saying that for $2 you
could have Santa come to your place.
prey on military and working poor
state Supreme Court on Thursday could put the so-called payday lenders
out of business in Arkansas.
Consumer advocates are challenging Act 1216 of 1999 that allows
predatory lendin in the state with rates as high as 650 percent.
our water source The Arkansas legislature
never stands taller than when it stoops to help a rich private interest.
___ We were reminded of that cynical
maxim last week when 21 members of the state Senate sponsored a
bill to give private real-estate developers a virtually free rein
to corrupt municipal water supplies.
hay while the sun shines Hardly
a week passes that we are not reminded of how farsighted the Founding
Fathers were and how improvident we nearly always prove ourselves
to be when we forsake their wisdom.
far this session
Rarely does the Arkansas legislature get
into as much mischief as when it goes in search of sins to vanquish.
hope sharks' days
Arkansas Supreme Court Wednesday gave us fresh occasion to ruminate
on how slowly justice grinds when the justices declined once again
to say whether the payday lenders who violate the state's lending
law are violating the state's lending law. [FULL
Gov. Huckabee is a masterly politician,
but he sometimes betrays a tin ear for his craft. Those are the
occasions that our suspicions turn to admiration. His quixotic fight
for massive consolidation of small school districts was such an
should get down to work
The openings of regular legislative sessions are
always fine days, full of mutual admiration, optimism and promises
of cooperation and consultation, but we hope we are not amiss in
detecting a more genuine attitude in the beginning hoopla at Little
Rock this week. It needs to be because to achieve the big goals
that both legislators and Gov. Huckabee outline will require higher
taxes and public debt. Harmony alone won't get those done but it
put off facilities funding
legislators are talking about postponing until a special session
next year any consideration of the school facilities issue because
it is just too complicated for the regular session, where lawmakers
will have to wrestle with 3,000 bills. House Speaker Bill Stovall,
D-Quitman, said representatives were enlisting his support for the
postponement but that he was undecided. [FULL