Huckabee Wants Session Soon, Tells Legislators to Compromise

MARCH 23, 2006 - Posted at 7:57 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Governor Huckabee has told legislators that he wants them to convene in a special session on April 3 and that the call may include more than school funding issues.

Huckabee said in a news conference that court-mandated improvements to the school funding system cannot wait until the fall, as some Republican lawmakers have said.

Huckabee advised legislators to be ready to compromise.

The governor provided copies of draft legislation he said he will begin shopping to legislators over the next week.  The proposals include nearly $139 million worth of school-related recommendations adopted by a legislative panel, as well as a separate $130 million appropriation to improve school facilities.

Huckabee's legislation also includes a plan to ban smoking in workplaces.  He also proposes to restrict the percentage that school districts can pay on central office administration.  The governor also says he'll ask legislators to consider two proposals that would toughen penalties and monitoring of sex offenders.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)