Leader Blues

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

TOP STORY >> Beebe says Arkansans moving up

By RICK KRON
Leader staff writer

“Thank God for Mississippi” shouldn’t be in our vocabulary any longer, Gov. Mike Beebe told a packed house at the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce annual banquet Tuesday night.

He admitted there was a time he was guilty of saying that, and knew that most people in the room had said it, too.

“We are lapping so many states in so many categories,” the governor said.

He told the crowd that recently a television station in Fort Smith did a report bragging that Oklahoma was 22nd in education.

“As if that was something to brag about,” Beebe quipped. “That same study showed Arkansas was 10th. Not 10th from the bottom, but 10th from the top.”

“That’s not my doing,” Beebe added. “I give some of the credit to former Gov. Mike Huckabee, some to the state Supreme Court and a ton of credit to our state legislature for banding together to do what was best for the state.”

“So let Alabama worry about Mississippi. We should be irritated that Connecticut still has a higher per capita income than us,” Beebe said.

Arkansas, which had been mired 49th in per capita income, has moved past two states in the last two years and is about to pass South Carolina, the governor pointed out. “Most states take 10 years to move up one notch on the per capita ranking,” Beebe said.

“Thank God for Mississippi” shouldn’t be in our vocabulary any longer, Gov. Mike Beebe told a packed house at the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce annual banquet Tuesday night.

He admitted there was a time he was guilty of saying that, and knew that most people in the room had said it, too.

“We are lapping so many states in so many categories,” the governor said.

He told the crowd that recently a television station in Fort Smith did a report bragging that Oklahoma was 22nd in education.

“As if that was something to brag about,” Beebe quipped. “That same study showed Arkansas was 10th. Not 10th from the bottom, but 10th from the top.”

“That’s not my doing,” Beebe added. “I give some of the credit to former Gov. Mike Huckabee, some to the state Supreme Court and a ton of credit to our state legislature for banding together to do what was best for the state.”

“So let Alabama worry about Mississippi. We should be irritated that Connecticut still has a higher per capita income than us,” Beebe said.

Arkansas, which had been mired 49th in per capita income, has moved past two states in the last two years and is about to pass South Carolina, the governor pointed out. “Most states take 10 years to move up one notch on the per capita ranking,” Beebe said.