It was a good week for…
JUDGE JAY MOODY. The U.S. Senate, after months of delay, finally took up the confirmation of the Pulaski County circuit judge for a federal district court judgeship. Moody was approved 95-4.
SEN. MARK PRYOR. He lent his support to Give Arkansas a Raise, the grassroots group hoping to raise the state minimum wage by an initiated act from $6.25 to $8.50 an hour.
CLEARING DEAD WOOD. The four people who make up the staff for a non-existent lieutenant governor announced that they would resign effective June 30.
NOT TAKING A POSITION. Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson continued to dodge stating a preference for easily the most significant policy question facing the state — whether to continue the private option expansion of Medicaid, which at press time remained stuck in limbo in the Arkansas House.
It was a bad week for…
LEGISLATIVE ETHICS. Sen. Johnny Key said he was seeking a lobbyist position at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville that pays $200,000, despite currently serving as the chair of the Senate Education Committee and on the Arkansas Legislative Council Higher Education Subcommittee, key positions for influencing legislation and budgetary decisions that affect the UA. State law prohibits sitting legislators from taking another state job. They’d have to resign first. State law also prohibits legislators from moving from the legislature to a lobbying job for a year after they leave office. But that law exempted current members of the legislature when it was passed in 2011, which Key was.
AN ARKANSAS NATIONAL GUARD SOLDIER. The Arkansas National Guard announced that a member of the Arkansas Guard had been suspended for taking part in a joke photograph featuring an empty flag-draped casket. The photo, posted on social media, was taken at a training course at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock. Citing an ongoing investigation and concern for the safety of the soldier, the Guard member’s name wasn’t released.
PHILANDER SMITH COLLEGE. The historically black institution announced the abrupt resignation of President Johnny Moore to pursue “other personal and professional opportunities.” Moore had been president only since July 2012.