Cocktail hour for the legislature tonight will be courtesy of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce along with chambers from North Little Rock, Jacksonville, Sherwood and Maumelle. Since local taxpayers foot the salaries for many of the hosts tonight, you’d think the public would be welcome.

Don’t count on a friendly reception if you drop by the party, which starts at 5 p.m. in the Victory Building atrium, particularly if you want to talk about workers rights, universal health insurance, a living wage, access to the courts for corporate negligence. Now if you have some ideas on corporate welfare or paving more of downtown Little Rock, you might get an invite. Just don’t tell any of the chamber people you’ve read the stories about how badly a corporate welfare giveaway went wrong in Wisconsin.

Also on the freebie calendar today: The Arkansas Citizens First Congress, a progressive grasssroots group, is serving lunch at the AEA building.

And, the Arkansas Medical Society is throwing a dinner at the private Little Rock Club tonight for members of the Senate Public Health Committee, which this morning signed off on legislation aimed at pumping money into cancer research at UAMS. Sponsoring Sen. Missy Irvin seems to think there’s a shot the state can come up with $10 to $20 million a year to augment federal and philanthropic dollars.  That might depend on how big a tax cut Gov. Asa Hutchinson wants to throw on millionaires. He’s announcing a revision in his earlier $200 million giveaway to the wealthy at 2:30 p.m. today.

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