Unseemly note of the day:
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported this morning that Republican state Rep. Mark Biviano of Searcy was one of only two applicants — and the only one from Arkansas — for a job worth as much as $119,000 a year to head an agency planning for a possible state health insurance exchange.
Biviano sponsored the legislation that created the Health Insurance Marketplace Board.
He couldn’t be hired during his term of office, most likely, but that doesn’t mean arrangements couldn’t be made to postpone his hiring until the end of this year.
The Board, because of the small number of applicants, is seeking more.
Biviano’s seeking a job he created — personal pork barreling, you might say — is a fitting act for a fellow we affectionately know as Bourbon and Bacon Biviano. That’s after the name of the Capital Hotel fete Biviano attended shortly before an alleged hit-and-run incident.
I should add that the shuffle of legislators to state jobs is a time-honored and bipartisan tradition in Arkansas. But help me readers: Can you remember another legislator who shuffled directly into a six-figure job he or she created?
Three years of a $100,000 job added to a number of years in state service as a legislator can up your annual public employee pension handsomely, since it is based on a combination of years of service and the three highest-paid years of compensation.