Senate OKs 

pay freeze


LITTLE ROCK (AP) — The Arkansas Senate has given final approval to legislation that keeps the pay for the state’s elected officials flat this year.

By a 33-0 vote, senators on Thursday approved the proposed General Appropriation Act funding the executive, judicial and legislative branches. The $35.5 million bill keeps the salaries flat for lawmakers, constitutional officers, judges and other elected officials paid by the state.

The measure now heads to the governor’s desk.


Panel says 

no police power 

for lotto commission


LITTLE ROCK (AP) — A legislative panel is no longer recommending that the Arkansas Lottery Commission be designated a law enforcement agency.

The lottery’s legislative oversight committee on Thursday removed the recommendation from proposed lottery legislation. A day earlier, the panel made the recommendation after the lottery’s director said it was needed for the commission to hire its own armed security.

The panel is recommending changes to the state’s lottery law to be included in legislation setting lottery-funded scholarship amounts.

Spending plan 

back on agenda


LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas lawmakers are trying again with a resolution to consider Gov. Mike Beebe’s $4.5 billion spending plan. The effort comes a day after the resolution stalled in the Senate.

The Senate planned to vote Thursday on a resolution to introduce the proposed Revenue Stabilization Act, which sets the state’s spending priorities based on expected revenues. The resolution fell two votes shy of the 24 needed in the 35-member Senate on Wednesday.

The House had approved a similar resolution, but some senators said they wanted more details on Beebe’s spending proposals.

The proposed act is not an appropriation bill and requires a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate to be introduced during the fiscal session.