House Speaker "Adamant" About Finishing Session by March 30

MARCH 13, 2007 - Posted at 7:20 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Ten weeks into the legislative session, House Speaker Benny Petrus says he's determined to wrap up legislative business by the end of March.

Petrus said yesterday that he met with Senate President Jack Critcher (D-Batesville) and Governor Beebe about the Revenue Stabilization Act.  That measure sets state spending priorities for the next two years and is traditionally the last major issue resolved in the regular legislative session.

Petrus said he asked the governor point blank, with Critcher there, if there was any reason they thought the Legislature couldn't finish by the 30th, and he said no one objected.

Critcher said last week that he believed finishing by March 30 was unlikely.  But he said yesterday that the chances may be around 50-50.  Critcher said the Senate, which has not met on a Friday since the session began, will likely have to meet this Friday.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)