Legislators return to Little Rock

(March 4, 2004) — (Little Rock-AP) -- The House and Senate are to return today from an extended recess to complete unfinished business from their lengthy special session. It is unclear whether the Legislature will end the session or agree to only another extended recess. Governor Huckabee says if the House and Senate don't adjourn, it would be tantamount to the Legislature admitting it failed to meet a state Supreme Court order to overhaul Arkansas' unconstitutional public education system. The Legislature went into recess February sixth after the special session on education reform. Lawmakers are scheduled to return today to consider overriding Huckabee's vetoes of two bills and take final Senate action on two other bills left hanging last month. The Senate is to consider votes on overriding Huckabee's veto of a bill that would set up a new Arkansas Commission for Coordination of Educational Efforts. The bill has the goal of making the state's education system seamless from kindergarten through college. Both chambers passed the legislation and the House voted to override Huckabee's veto. The Senate did not consider overriding the veto before the recess. Senators also are expected to take up final passage of a House-measure, which would set up payroll deductions of dues from non-teaching classified public school workers' checks. The upper chamber is also expected to take up a House amendment to a bill covering transfers under an addition to Arkansas' School Choice law.