Thursday, March 08, 2007

High marks for legislature

Let us now praise the Arkansas General Assembly. This will require setting aside such numbskullery as messing with local impact fees, grandstanding over foster kids, and making seat belt use a primary offense. This session certainly has had its’ very human lapses. Nonetheless, we should look at what has been done, and it is impressive.

Lawmakers have passed real tax relief, both cutting sales taxes on groceries and income taxes for the working poor. They have given the governor some extra economic development firepower. We may still attract a large manufacturing plant.

By far, the most impressive accomplishment has been the increased funding of an adequate and constitutional public school system. It looks constitutional from here, and the State Supreme Court is likely to agree. Long neglected school facilities will get an infusion of cash. It’s not as important as good parenting, but exactly what you need to do necessary repairs.

The governor and lawmakers have worked together on education reform, and that has always been job one. Do not ascribe the good will to one-party politics. State Democrats have plenty of divisions and they have worked through the little stuff. Well done.

(Broadcast March 7, 2007)

Don't forget about the new $300 million in general obligation bond authorization for the Grand Prairie irrigation deal and other development projects to be funded by Governor Beebe's Soil and Water Commission.
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