Legislators Upset with Governor's Plans for State's Washington, DC Office

DECEMBER 29, 2004 - Posted at 10:35 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - After voicing dismay with Governor Huckabee's use of state employment agency funds to pay the director of Arkansas' office in Washington, legislators have balked at his proposal to pay the office's entire staff from his budget.

Supporters say the office is effective in representing the state's interest in the nation's capital.  But some leery lawmakers say that's what Arkansas' congressional delegation is for.  And Senator Randy Laverty of Jasper voiced what he says others are thinking...that the office might be more representative of Huckabee's interests than the state's.

The governor has brushed aside suggestions that he might run for president in 2008.  The Legislative Council's personnel committee today endorsed Huckabee's overall office budget.  But the panel did not approve his request for more than one-half million dollars for five new positions to run the Washington outpost for the next two years.

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