Monday, May 20, 2024

A Timeout For The Fab Five

We interrupt our regularly scheduled exposing of the absurdity of “reimbursements” to bring you a bit of positive news.

Following last Wednesday’s first post on statutory expense payments, I requested updated records from both the House and Senate, which I picked up this morning.  Upon further review, there are five legislators who are not taking reimbursements under A.C.A. § 10-2-212.  They are:

Senator David Johnson (D-32, Little Rock).  Continuing the trend that he’s followed since first being elected to the House in 2005, Senator Johnson again elected not to receive any statutory payments, nor does he receive the in-lieu-of flat rate under A.C.A. § 10-2-212(d).  Johnson has long been a favorite of BHR, and this just adds to our opinion of him.

Representative Duncan Baird (R-95, Lowell).  First off, I apologize to Rep. Baird for including him in the first post on this issue; he had taken reimbursements in 2009-2010, so I assumed that he was continuing to receive them.  I was wrong.  It appears that Rep. Baird actually walks the walk when it comes to cutting government spending and fiscal accountability and the like, and he decided not to receive payments this year.

Representative John C. Edwards (D-38, Little Rock).  Following last Friday’s post, in which we explained the scope of the statutory payments and the constitutional problems therein, Rep. Edwards informed the clerk of the House of Representatives that he was voluntarily suspending his receipt of any additional payment under the statute pending resolution of the issue.  It is worth noting that Edwards is the only Representative to have made such a decision.

Representative Nate Steel (D-21, Nashville). As mentioned in previous posts, Steel did not take expense payments in his first term (2009-2010) and he is not taking them now either.  Steel informs me that he has incurred some small expenses during the legislative session, but that he’s unsure if he will even bother to submit a single invoice for actual expenses incurred.

Representative Leslee Milam Post (D-83, Ozark). Post is currently in her first term in the House.  Maybe her election was controversial — had Tom Fite not been ineligible, he would have won handily — but whatever irritation Republicans feel by Post’s victory should be grossly overshadowed by the fact that absolutely none of the newly elected Republicans is doing what Rep. Post is doing and eschewing the expense payments.

That’s it.  Every one of the other 129 legislators, including newly elected Bruce Cozart (R-24, Hot Springs), is not only receiving “reimbursements,” but is receiving the maximum amount available to them.

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