The recess resolution for the Arkansas legislature gave the General Assembly until May 8 to reconvene to adjourn, but House Speaker Jeremy Gillam and Senate President Pro Tem Jonathan Dismang have agreed that April 22 will work as a day for sine die adjournment.
That will speed by more than two weeks the effective date of laws enacted without emergency clauses and shorten the time period in which opponents hope to gather signatures to refer Act 137 to a vote. That’s the anti-gay bill that prevents cities and counties from adopting civil rights ordinances as Fayetteville did.
I’ve asked if the legislature will be able to draw a full week of per diem expense payments for the week of April 22 as was customary during the regular session, even on weeks when the House and Senate didn’t meet every day
UPDATE: A House spokesman says per diem will be paid only for April 22 and for any committee meetings attended in the interim. And legislators must show up to be paid.
UPDATE II: David Couch, attorney for the group hoping for a referendum on Act 137 submitted today to Attorney General Leslie Rutledge a revision of the proposal in line with what Ernie Dumas mentioned yesterday was a proven path to the ballot after an initial proposal was rejected. She has 10 days to approve or disapprove. Want to take bets on how much of the allotted 10 days will be used?