PRESS RELEASE
 
For Immediate Release March May 4, 06
 
Women's Action Group
 
Four of the Lieutenant Governor Candidates
 Supported Measures That Could  Cost $3.2 Billion
 
   Women's Action Group  has computed the approximate cost for measures which the 5 legislative candidates running for Lieutenant Governor voted or supported.   Four of the candidates supported measures that could cost the taxpayer as much as 3.2 billion.

     Lt. Governor candidate  Representative Doug Matayo, who voted for all the bills that could cost the taxpayers as much as 3.2 billion, is telling everyone on the campaign trail, and getting it reported in the paper, that he never voted for a tax.  Then he is saying that Lt. Governor candidate Senator Jim Holt did vote for taxes when Senator Holt voted against all the $3.2 billion measures above.   See the particular bills in question below.  

 
 These are bills which Women's Action Group has classified as  new spending, government control, and an increase in government employees(Candidate Republican Chuck Banks has no voting records to evaluate since he has not been in the legislature. However Banks views, as reported by Doug Thompson, would indicate he would agree with the votes for the spending: "The state Supreme Court's ruling on the Lake View school funding case is the 'law of the land, 'and attempts to undo that ruling and its effects are 'extremism and obstructionism,' Republican lieutenant governor's candidate Chuck Banks of Little Rock said Monday."  Effects would surely include the spending for these issues.)
 
 
 
Candidate                    Cost of New Spending
Senator Jim Holt :                                        $0
Rep. Doug Matayo:                    $3,213,000.000
Senator Tim Wooldridge:          $3,213,000,000
Former Rep. Mike Hathorn :      $3,213,000,000
Representative Jay Martin :      $3,213,000,000
 
  To put that in perspective,  $3.2 billion  would  take a 1% sales tax increase in Arkansas  for about 10 years to fund  these measures. (1% sales tax generates approximately 1/3 billion in Arkansas )  In ten years or before that time, it would  be time to fund them again.   (Not all of the candidates  have voting records.
   
The figures are for each measure are as follows:
 
Act 90 (School Facilities). The Facilities Study estimated implementing this bill will cost taxpayers $2.3 billion (4.5 billion was the 5 year projection) ADG article  June 22, 05 by Cynthia Howell.  The legislature scaled that figure back when they funded it, but the legislators who voted for this had no idea how much it would cost.  Now the Court has stepped back in and said legislators did not do enough for facilities;  and since the experts had said it would cost this much,  no one knows where it will wind up.  In Ohio because of court intervention,  they are spending 23.1 billion on facilities.  Their state has about  4 times the population of Arkansas so in comparison that would be  about 6 billion.  Therefore,  the 4.5 billion five year  figure is fairly close to what they had to do in Ohio as a result of  court intervention.  Seven new positions in the Arkansas Facilities Division have been approved by the Facilities commission. Ohio started with one position and now has 50.   (Population: 11,353,140  in Ohio  2,673,400 in Arkansas)  Senator Jim Holt voted NO;  Senator Tim Wooldridge, Representaive Doug Matayo, Representative Jay Martin, and Representative Mik Hathorn voted YES..
 
Act 84 (a “study” for school facilities) has already cost taxpayers  $10,000,000.  This one is a great example of  how bureaucracy works.  Randall Fischer, former Facilities Director in Ohio who pled guilty to ethics charges in Ohio, was one of the subcontractors on this facilities study.  And there were numerous errors in the study.  Agriculture barns on some campuses were evaluated as school buildings and repairs or replacement estimated high enough to buy a barn and a farm.  Then there were numerous estimates for specific repairs that superintendents and journalists pointed out like the 110 doorknobs that needed to be replaced at Brookland where the replacement cost was, according to these experts, $439 apiece.  The  superintendent found them for $75 each.  The 10 million dollars were basically wasted since the report had no credibility.  Senator Jim Holt voted NO;  Senator Tim Wooldridge, Representaive Doug Matayo, Representative Jay Martin, and Representative Mik Hathorn voted YES.
 
 
Act 98 cost taxpayers $107,000,000, as a supplement to Arkansas Department of  Education to add up to 32 new bureaucrats to the Arkansas Department of Education and other expenses. Senator Jim Holt voted NO;  Senator Tim Wooldridge, Representaive Doug Matayo, Representative Jay Martin, and Representative Mik Hathorn voted YES.
 
 
HB1529 (failed in the senate) This one mandated scholarships and in state tuition  benefits for persons in this state illegally.   We conservatively estimate this bill would have cost taxpayers at least $3,000,000 over the next three-five years.  Senator Jim Holt voted NO;  Senator Tim Wooldridge, Representaive Doug Matayo, and  Representative Jay Martin voted YES.  Mike Hathorn was not in the legislature at the time of this vote.
 
Referred Question One.  This was the Highway Bond Plan.    Our main objection to this was that it violated Amendment 20 of the Arkansas Constitution because it would allow a government body to issue new debt without a vote of the people.  This measure would have spent $575,000,000 that we would have had to repay someday- plus interest and bond fees.   Thus the total cost of this measure, had it passed, would have been $793,000,000.   Opposition to this measure was not based on whether the legislator voted to refer it to the people, but on whether they endorsed or opposed the measure once on the ballot.  Only Senator Holt and Drew Pritt  of the Lt. Governor candidates actively opposed the bond plan.  Senator Tim Wooldridge, Representaive Doug Matayo,  Representative Jay Martin and Mike Hathorn supported it. 
 
 
         Consider the following when looking at these expenditures taxes for which the Lt. Governor candidates voted. 
 
.

Contact: 

Iris Stevens

870-935-8320

istevens@inet-direct.com

Women's Action Group

www.wpaag.org

 

Documentation and Footnotes:
 
1.  Arkansas Democrat Gazette Jan 9, 2005 in a chart in an article by Michael Wickline, "Arkansas state government payroll"
Total Jobs Increase 1997-2004     4,662 (10.3%)
Total Salaries Paid Increase, 1997-2004 $1,103,221,692 (74.1%)
2. Arkansas ranks 29th on income per capita in nation.http://www.taxfoundation.org/files/7aa0853f85671331ca0cfe2d1eb04bdd.pdf
 3. Arkansas ranks 8th in the nation in the percent of their income paid in total taxes.  http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/rate/04taxbur.html
4 Arkansas pays more in local and state revenue as a percentage than does Massachusetts http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/rate/02stl_pi.html
5. Arkansas ranks #1 in the nation in the amount allowed for combined  state and local sales tax.  (up to 11.5 cents.) 5 http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/rate/sl_sales.html
6 Arkansas ranked 9th in state tax revenue growth compared to income growth from 1992-2002. In 2001 to 2002 it ranked 5th in the nation in this area.    That was before the big tax increases in education. http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/349.html
7.   Arkansas was one of the three states in the country to raise taxes by 5 percent in 2004  plus study finds.  From Arkansas News Bureau, "Arkansas one of three states to raise taxes by 5 percent-plus, study finds" by Doug Thompson, July 21, 04.
8. A two-parent family of four living at the poverty line paid $406 in Arkansas state income tax in 2005, the third-highest in the nation.    Arkansas Democrat Gazette, State's poor paying 3rd-costliest taxes, research group says, http://www.nwanews.com/adg/News/146820/ and original source for this article:
   http://www.cbpp.org/states/2-22-06sfp-fact-ar.pdf 
9.  Arkansas has 50,055 government employees in 2004 - Arkansas Democrat Gazette Jan 9, 2005 in a chart in an article by Michael Wickline, "Arkansas state government payroll"
  
Figures – Add these four together to get 3.2 billion figure
2.3 billion for facilites law
 $10 for Facilities Study
107 million for ADE
793 million for bond plan
 
Contact: 
Iris Stevens
870-935-8320
Women's Action Group
www.wpaag.org
 
 

 

 

 

 

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