Lawmakers to Gather Today in Eureka Springs; Taxpayers & Lobbyists Footing the Bill

JUNE 30, 2004 - Posted at 7:37 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Legislators are meeting at a Eureka Springs hotel today and tomorrow in the latest of a series of outside-the-Capitol business and pleasure mixers for which taxpayers and lobbyists shell out thousands of dollars.

The potential state tab for meetings Tuesday through Thursday of the House and Senate Judiciary committees at the Crescent Hotel and Spa was $4,500 for rooms alone.  The costs of legislators driving to and from the meeting site also will be picked up by the state, at a rate of 37.5 cents per mile.

The arrangements are not unusual for legislative meetings held around the state, or in Little Rock for that matter, when the Legislature is not in session.

The trip to Eureka Springs could be the second in a month for some Judiciary Committee members, and their third set of meetings outside Little Rock since the last full day of this year's special session on education February 6.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)