Governor: legislators making power grab

(March 5, 2004) — (Little Rock-AP) -- Governor Huckabee is criticizing the Legislature for not adjourning its special session. Legislators met yesterday for the first time in about a month and then agreed to go into recess for another 90 days. Huckabee says that if the House and Senate return and pass additional legislation, he would consider legal action. Huckabee says the Legislature could threaten the balance of powers between the legislative and executive branches of government. Legislators say they want to be available to reconvene if the state Supreme Court orders further changes in state public schools. Before yesterday, the Legislature had been in recess since February sixth, when it suspended a 61-day special session on education reform. Legislators dismissed Huckabee's criticism, saying they are acting legally and that they feel they've addressed mandates from the high court. Arkansas' constitution gives the governor sole authority to call a special session. Huckabee accused legislators of usurping that authority, and trying to extend themselves into a full-time Legislature. Huckabee says future governors would be reluctant to call special sessions.