Today's Assembly Highlights: January 13

January 13, 2003
Posted at: 4:50 p.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Here are the highlights from the first day of th 84th General Assembly session at the State Capitol in Little Rock:

Arkansas legislators started their biennial attack on state poverty and poor-quality education with the opening of the regular session Monday. The 84th General Assembly convened at noon with a swearing-in ceremony for both the House and Senate.

Arkansas Treasurer Jimmie Lou Fisher and Secretary of State Sharon Priest said good-bye to the state Capitol today with a dance down the front steps. The two were greeted by dozens of supporters as the song ``Your Love is Taking Me Higher'' played from loudspeakers.

Secretary of State Sharon Priest certified the election results today before a swearing-in ceremony that started the session. A long session is expected, as the Legislature faces the difficult task of dividing up a budget of $7 billion.

Education is set to be the hot issue for legislators this session. State Senator Tim Wooldridge of Paragould called the session quote ``a unique opportunity for us to take some historical strides in providing quality education for our children.''

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