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ALSO: The House of Representatives for 2015 caucused today to choose committee assignments. With a big Republican majority, they naturally control just about everything. You can read them all here.
There was one interesting wrinkle: Democrats picked up 10 seats on the Education Committee and Republicans have 10. A chairman is to be named. That person will almost certainly be a Republican. But 11 votes are necessary to move a bill out of committee and it’s sometimes hard to muster them when an issue is split.
Education members includes these Democrats: Greg Leding, Reginald Murdock, Sheilla Lampkin, James Ratliff, John Walker, Scott Baltz, Charles Armstrong, Warwick Sabin, Michael John Gray, Mark McElroy. Note: An old rule that used to limit Pulaski County committee membership was waived. The committee has three members from the Little Rock School District — Walker, Armstrong and Sabin.
Money. Common Core. Charter schools. This could an interesting committee to watch.
Repubs on this group are a mixed bag from across the GOP spectrum — Pluto to Earth: Gary Deffenbaugh, Justin Harris, Jon Eubanks, Jeremy Gillam, Nate Bell, Bruce Cozart, Charlotte Vining Douglas, Mark Lowery, Bill Gossage, Grant Hodges.
* POT-BELLIED PIGS: The Little Rock City Board has an agenda meeting Monday and among the items up to be placed on the following week’s agenda is an ordinance to clarify the great Vietnamese pot-bellied pig question. You’ll remember a complaint about one of these animals led to a prosecution which led to the discovery that city code conflicts — one section allows them, another doesn’t. After much debate, hearings and such, staff has recommended a clarifying ordinance: No more than one porker per house; and they may not be kept closer than 300 feet to another residence or business. This would not be a good outcome for the owner of W.P. Sooie, the pig that started the fuss. Either its owner or the pig would have to move outside the city within 30 days.