No financial oversight for athletics

(January 13, 2004) — (Little Rock-AP) -- Conway Representative Betty Pickett says she is astonished that legislators are not for keeping track of how money is spent on athletics in Arkansas. For the third time in either the House Education Committee or the House, a bill requiring school districts to track spending on athletics and other extracurricular activities was voted down. Pickett said she won't quit trying to get a bill through the House. She said her bill included the same language in a state law that mandates Arkansas colleges and universities track athletic expenditures. Pickett originally proposed capping athletic expenditures - a move that had no support in the committee. Committee members then said they favored stronger accounting instead of limiting spending on athletics. The bill needed 11 votes to pass the 20-member committee. Eight members voted for the bill and four voted against it. Seven members were not in the room when the vote was taken. Committee Chairman Calvin Johnson, D-Pine Bluff, did not vote on the bill.