Ethics reform, schmethics reform: It seems like everybody but the legislators that co-sponsored the bi-partisan ethics bill filed today like it (Don’t forget Max’s take on the proposals). The bill would grandfather in a “cooling off period” of one year instead of two, meaning it wouldn’t apply to any lawmaker that voted for it. Gov. Beebe has said the cooling off period should be two years. Jason Tolbert writes, “It amazes how many legislators are fearful of standing up to Gov. Beebe on the budget but not to protect their own ability to land lucrative lobbyist jobs.”
Dropped call: Lawmakers voted down a bill that would have banned the use of cell phones in school zones. I honestly can’t imagine why. Seems like a good idea to make sure people aren’t distracted by their phones while zooming past kids. The bill’s sponsor, Fred Allen, D-Little Rock, says he thinks he can get enough votes to bring the bill back up for a vote.
Limiting lotto benefits: The Joint Committee on Public Retirement and Social Security sent a bill to the full Senate that would limit retirement benefits for top lottery officials like Director Ernie Passailaigue. Benefits would be paid on the employee’s base salary under the law, not what they actually make.