Article V Bills Moving Through Legislature

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Both an Article V convention proposal and a balanced budget compact proposal passed out of the House State Agencies Committee Friday morning. Article V of the Constitution provides that, “The Congress…on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments…” Rep. Nate Bell’s HB 1006 would allow Arkansas to create a compact for an Article V convention focusing on a balanced budget Constitutional amendment. Bell said … [Read more...]

UALR Chancellor Ignorant of UALR’s “Glance and Nod” Policies

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As you’ve probably already heard, State Rep. Charlie Collins's "Campus Carry” bill was narrowly defeated yesterday in the House Education Committee. The meeting took nearly 3 hours, much of it filled with ranting testimonies of anti-gun zealots and cautious-to-a-fault campus bureaucrats (sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between the two). One brief exchange, however, caught my attention. That exchange occurred between state Rep. Nate Bell and UALR Chancellor Joel Anderson, who … [Read more...]

Bill Aims To Handcuff Retaliatory Bureaucrats

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Open government advocates should be pleased that a bill by State Rep. Nate Bell cleared a major hurdle today. From the Associated Press: Employees seeking public information would be guaranteed protections under a proposal approved by an Arkansas House committee. The House Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs unanimously supported the bill on Wednesday. The proposal would make it illegal for any public employer to fire, discipline or reprimand an employee who uses the … [Read more...]

Arkansas Needs More Accountability for Executive Sessions

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We’ve previously written about ways Arkansas’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) could be improved. A story in today’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette shows the need for more accountability in government bodies’ executive sessions, which are currently exempt from public scrutiny under Arkansas’s FOIA. From the article: Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Kyle Hunter has issued a letter of admonishment and caution to Jefferson County Election Commission Chairman Ted Davis, ruling that Davis … [Read more...]

Act 312 Stops Illegal Voter ‘Education’ in Texarkana

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We write a lot here about all the bad laws that come out of the state legislature, but today we want to focus on one of the best ones: Act 312 of 2013, sponsored by state Rep. Nate Bell. As we wrote in November, Act 312 prohibits government employees from using taxpayer-funded resources to influence the outcome of ballot measure elections. Violating this act amounts to a Class A misdemeanor; furthermore, whoever violates it will both lose his or her job and be barred from future Arkansas … [Read more...]

“There Is A Lot Wrong” With This Forbes Article, But Legislators Are Too Busy To Explain

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Yesterday, Forbes published an insightful piece about the Arkansas Obamacare “private” option. The bottom line for Arkansas taxpayers: for the second month in a row, the “private” option costs are well above projections and above the federal cap. The Forbes article (authored by Josh Archambault and Jonathan Ingram of the Foundation for Government Accountability) outlines what could happen if “private” option costs continue to climb: ...under terms of the waiver signed by Governor Beebe and … [Read more...]

“Private” Option Play-Doh & Hospital Hoopla (Podcast)

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This week on the show: KATV's (awful) "Play-doh" analogy Broken promises of the "private" option Medicaid cuts delayed Employer mandate delayed Someone predicted the employer mandate would be delayed How bad will Medicaid expansion be for hospitals? What on earth is Nate Bell thinking? … [Read more...]

What On Earth Is Nate Bell Thinking?

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Many observers of the “private” option’s passage through the legislative process were taken aback by Rep. Nate Bell’s amendment earlier this week. Bell has explained that his goal is to end the “private” option, and he believes that his amendment (which appears to make House “private”-option passage more likely) is the best route to achieve this goal. I found this puzzling, so I called him up for a further explanation. Following are my paraphrased questions and his italicized answers; I also … [Read more...]