Deadline Approaches for Arkansas Legislators

December 30, 2003 — Posted at 6:28 CST

LITTLE ROCK — All eyes were on the House Education Committee today, but as the deadline approaches, an amendment was introduced on a key bill that will likely delay any type of action by at least another day.

Like a tennis match, questions were tossed around back and forth, and back and forth, concerning the details of Senate Bill 28, otherwise known as the Consolidation Bill.

State Senator Jim Argue is fighting to keep this bill alive, realizing a deadline approaches.

"This is about restructuring , so when we send the new resources to that school we get maximum bang for our buck," said Argue

For school superintendents in the audience they say these legislative Q&A sessions have left them with less of an understanding of what exactly is going on in the state capitol.

"People are changing positions overnight," said Weiner Superintendent Betty McGruder. "It makes you weary about what's causing this change in support."

But at least 2 Region 8 House Members are confident about their feelings toward the consolidation bill.

"That's a bill that I'm very strongly leaning towards voting for," said State Representative Paul Bookout of Jonesboro. "I think that bill in particular is more fair."

State Representative Chris Thyer of Jonesboro wants everyone to be honest with kids and patrons of small school district.

"Let's take care of that now and start fresh, so I'm leaning towards supporting the consolidation bill," said Thyer.

A vote was not reached on Senate Bill 28, because an amendment was introduced at the beginning of the House Committee Meeting. Senate members want the House to have more time before making a final decision.