Anticipated Special Session Begins This Afternoon in Little Rock

December 8, 2003 - Posted at 8:19 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The 100 members of the Arkansas House of Representatives and the 35 members of the state Senate are due to meet in Little Rock to begin a special session this afternoon.  Goveror Huckabee issued a formal call for the special session last week.  The legislators and the governor are to deal with the state Supreme Court order declaring that the state's system for funding schools is unconstitutional.

The high court said the system was both unfair in how it distributes money for districts, and didn't provide enough money for an adequate education.  During last spring's regular legislative session, legislators and the governor couldn't reach an agreement on what to do.

The state faces a January 1 deadline for coming up with a new system that meets the court's requirements for fairness and adequacy.

According to House Majority Leader Harmon Seawell (D) of Pocahontas, most lawmakers believe they won't get everything accomplished during the session, but will get enough done to satisfy the court, and that they will be allowed to finish the job soon after the new year begins in January.

K8 News will have a crew on the scene in Little Rock for on-the-scene reports from the Capitol, beginning tonight on K8 News at 6, and on Nightbeat.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)