Governor Asa Hutchinson is doing something conservatives never expected from a Republican Governor. The Governor directed his staff to look for a way to pass budget bills with a lower number of votes. WHAT? He wants to find a way to make it easier to spend money! What happened to conservatives wanting less spending and wanting to make sure spending is for essential programs. Seeking a procedure for a lower vote threshold means it would be easier for politicians to make deals to waste even more money.
Hutchinson’s chief of staff, Michael Lamoureux, said the Republican governor’s administration is exploring whether the Legislature could require a two-thirds vote rather than a three-fourths vote of the state House of Representatives and state Senate in the fiscal session to authorize funding for the private-option program. The Legislature traditionally has approved appropriations bills with a three-fourths majority.[i]
Why does the Governor want to find a way to lower the vote requirement for spending? He wants to find an easier way to continue the Obamacare Medicaid Expansion program under a new name “Arkansas Works.” (The big government program is currently called “Private Option” in Arkansas. Despite the new name “Arkansas Works” the Obamacare Medicaid Expansion program grows government dependency and is overwhelmingly for able bodied working age adults with NO dependents, and nearly half do not work at all.)
Even with the current three-fourth’s vote requirement, the Arkansas legislature passes hundreds of spending bills every year.
Trying to find a way to make it easier to spend taxpayer money is something you might think a Democrat might come up with, not a Republican. If the Governor is successful in his effort to lower the threshold for spending bills related to Obamacare Medicaid Expansion, get ready for more budget “deals” and the spending of more and more your tax money.
[i] Governor sets private-option special session: 75% vote threshold studied, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 2/20/2016