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  1. New Fiscal Session, New Rules

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    February 17, 2012 by Matthew Jones

    This week, the Arkansas State Legislature began its second special fiscal session, which was approved in 2008 by a referred amendment to the people of Arkansas. The session is designed to be a time when the legislature can focus on budgets and changes to the budgets to adjust to the needs of their constituents. This being since Arkansas is one of a handful of states whose legislature meets only every other year. However, new rules around how certain members of the legislature raise money for elections and primaries change the nature of the political landscape in Arkansas. While there are no new rules on when senators can raise funds, members of the House cannot raise any money during the fiscal session. Meanwhile their opponents can raise funds, if they are not members of the House. Such is the case of Rep. Tim Summers, R-Harrison, who is running for the new Senate District 1 seat and cannot raise funds due to the fact that he is a member of the house. Sen. Bill Pritchard, R-Elkins, one of the two Republicans running for the District 7 Senate seat, currently held by Sen. Sue Madison, D-Fayetteville, has decided to hold of fundraising until …

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  2. Welcome to Election Cycle 2012!

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    February 8, 2012 by Matthew Jones

    Hello everyone. My name is Matthew Jones. I’m writing this blog as a way to connect the readers of Observerland to the election cycle spinning our heads until November. My main purpose for coming on to this exciting project is that the most vital part of our democracy is an informed electorate. In elections past, I — as I’m sure others — have found myself standing there at the voting booth and staring down a list of people I had no earthly idea who they where, what they stood for or even what they looked like. Our system of government can’t work if people don’t vote, and that when they vote they have no idea for whom they are voting. I will be covering mostly the elections right here in Washington County. The ordinary voter, if asked, would know how the President of the United States is, the VP, their governor, maybe even their Congressman/woman or Senator. Most would not know who their mayor is, the city council, or circuit judge. Even though most people know national-wide issues and people, it’s the government right down the road that has the most impact on your everyday life. Those are the people …

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