House Okays $500,000 for Beebe's Emergency Fund

JANUARY 26, 2007 - Posted at 7:45 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - A bill allowing lawyers to stand in for defendants representing themselves when cross-examining the children they are accused of sexually abusing passed out of the Senate yesterday.

Meanwhile, the House approved a bill that gives $500,000 to Governor Beebe's emergency fund, which had been depleted by his predecessor, former Governor Huckabee. The House unanimously approved the measure.

A bill making spouses of military members called to active duty eligible for a refund of their college tuition also passed out of the Senate. The bill advanced to the governor's office.

The Senate approved several appropriation bills, including one providing an additional $210,000 to the state treasurer's office to pay for a debt left unpaid by outgoing treasurer Gus Wingfield.

The House earlier approved a bill yesterday that grants visitation rights to step-grandparents and former step-grandparents.

The House also approved a measure to charge people convicted of felonies and some misdemeanors a $20 booking fee to help raise money for county jails and regional detention centers.

House members also approved an additional $40,000 for Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter's office to purchase furniture. Halter came into the bare office after winning the November election last year. The funding, approved a day earlier by the Senate, goes to Beebe's desk.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)