Democratic Leader Wants to Limit Top State Senate Post to Majority Party

NOVEMBER 30, 2004 - Posted at 7:53 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - State Senator Dave Bisbee of Rogers is in line to become president pro tempore of the Arkansas Senate in 2007.

Senator Jim Argue of Little Rock is to serve in the post for two years, starting in January.

But if Senator Percy Malone of Arkadelphia has his way, the job could go to someone other than Bisbee.

Malone is the majority leader in the chamber and is a Democrat.  Bisbee is a Republican.  But Malone said his proposal to change the rules has nothing to do with party politics.

Historically, the Senate has selected its president pro tempore on the basis of seniority.  But Malone wants to change the chamber's rules to allow the party whose members hold the majority of the Senate's seats to select the president pro-tem.

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