Friday early summary

Gov. Mike Beebe would prefer the list of Arkansans with concealed weapon permits remain public but has not decided whether he would veto legislation to make the list secret if it makes it to his desk.

Some awmakers say they need more time to understand the state’s financial situation, so the Legislature should wait until May before considering legislation setting spending priorities for next fiscal year.

Rep. Mark Martin ran a bill that would have the state pay for developmentally disabled children to be home-schooled failed in committee.

The State Senate is considering a bill to let home school students take part in athletic programs.

Senate approved Sen. Tracy Steele’s bill to update Workforce Services law so Arkansas can get federal unemployment funds.  That bill also raises businesses unemployment taxes.

Rep. John Lowery’s bill (HB2251) to expand eminent domain powers over industrial plants passed the State House. This looks to be specifically targeted at the closed Pilgrim’s Pride plant in El Dorado.

Legislation allowing underage Jews to drink beer during religious ceremonies has sparked widespread support in the Arkansas Legislature and puzzlement, even laughter, in the Jewish community.

The Legislature’s first fiscal session would begin on Feb. 8 of next year and end March 8 under a bill endorsed by a Senate committee Thursday.

The state Game and Fish Commission on Thursday rejected a proposal to ban the taking of turtles in Arkansas.

A spokesman for Navistar, the parent company of IC Corp said Wednesday that a total of 170 workers were laid off from the Conway plant.

Officials have stopped burning ice storm debris at the Craighead County Regional Landfill, until they receive approval from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality.

Another federal appeal has been filed for for Damien Echols who was convicted in the killing of three West Memphis children. .

Hunters won’t have to take their slain deer to a check station when the season opens this fall in Arkansas, the state Game and Fish Commission decided Thursday.

The Salty Parrot, a barge based restaurant docked in the North Little Rock Maritime area, was partially submerged Thursday morning

Known by your friends?

It’s mighty disappointing to see Senator Lincoln in full shameful desperate retreat from an, as yet, unnamed Republican candidate. To see here so vividly that she has become a total sell-out to the Washington big money business establishment that is dragging this country into oblivion is a darned shame. Here is the latest, if you have the stomach.

U.S. Chamber’s “Spirit of Enterprise” Award
Lincoln Key Supporter of Business Priorities

Washington – U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) has earned the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s “Spirit of Enterprise” award for her strong support of a pro-economic growth legislative agenda in the second session of the 110th Congress.

“I’m honored to receive this distinguished recognition again from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for my efforts fighting for Arkansas’s working families and small businesses, which are the backbone of our state’s economy,” Lincoln said.  “I am very appreciative of the good working relationships I have with our chambers across the state.  My top priorities in the Senate remain getting our economy moving again, helping our small businesses, putting Arkansans back to work, and bringing about a return to fiscal responsibility.”

The Chamber awards the “Spirit of Enterprise” based on rankings it gives members of Congress for key business votes in its annual publication, How They Voted.  Members of Congress who support the Chamber’s position on at least 70 percent of those votes receive the “Spirit of Enterprise” Award.

Lincoln earned a 75 percent score with the Chamber last year.  She has compiled a 71 percent cumulative ranking during her tenure in Congress.

“Last year in particular, Congress had to make some tough choices, and Senator Lincoln clearly demonstrated her commitment to the economy and keeping America competitive in an ever-changing global market,” said Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber.  “The Chamber is proud to present Senator Lincoln with the Spirit of Enterprise Award on behalf of businesses large and small.”

For the second session of the 110th Congress, the Chamber scored eight Senate votes as key votes.  Key votes for 2008 included a bill ensuring the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund and the College Opportunity and Affordability Act.

Lincoln has been awarded the Chamber’s prestigious “Spirit of Enterprise” award for her pro-business voting record seven times in her Senate career.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation, representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector and region.

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