Incoming Speaker of the House Robbie Wills, D-Conway, is making the media rounds, part of preparations for the launch on Monday of the new Arkansas legislative session. Today, he took e-mailed questions from viewers on “Today’s THV at Noon.”
As expected, popular topics from viewers revolved around the governor’s plan to raise the state tax on cigarettes to fund a statewide trauma system and for other purposes, as well as the state lottery. Wills and Senator Pro Tem Bob Johnson, D-Bigelow, meeting with journalists earlier this week, said the lottery was pretty much the main priority for legislators this session. But the cigarette tax figures to be another important issue.
After appearing on-air, I talked to Wills briefly about another topic, one close to the Gov. Mike Beebe’s heart: The grocery tax. Beebe, having already cut the tax in the last session, wants to knock another penny off it during this session, despite an increasingly tight state revenue picture. Wills noted that eliminating the tax, as Beebe has promised to do, had been a goal of his as well. But Wills has said before that he wants to wait until later in the session to take up the grocery tax issue so the state will know more about its financial standing heading into the spring.
And, yes, Wills is giving blogging and Twittering a whirl with his own Web site, RobbieWills.com. He’s already posted video from his Wednesday appearance on “Today’s THV This Morning,” and says he’s going to try his best to keep the site as updated as possible, even as things get busier and busier with the session.
More on the lottery (ArkansasBusiness.com)
Beebe Hints at Cigarette Tax (ArkansasBusiness.com)
Filed under: business, KTHV, Photos, Politics, TV | Tagged: Arkansas General Assembly, Bob Johnson, lawmakers, legislature, Little Rock, Mike Beebe, Politics, Robbie Wills, Stefanie Bryant, Today's THV, Today's THV at Noon, Tom Brannon |