I listened to Gov. Mike Beebe on KARN's “Ask the Governor” this morning so that you don’t have to. You’re welcome! Overall, Gov. Beebe did a good job of continuing to sound like both a conservative and a liberal.
Gov. Beebe began by answering a question regarding the scandal with Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. Beebe said that he was one of only two governors that he had not personally met. He wishes Blagojevich had resigned to save the state of Illinois the current constitutional crisis and he cannot see how he can make appointments and he probably should be impeached.
Gov. Beebe addressed what his top priorities are for the upcoming legislative session. Balancing the budget in tough times without putting a greater tax burden on Arkansans is first on his list. At the same time, he wants to see the legislature reduce the grocery tax although he does not fell that can completely eliminate this year. He also would like the see the creation of a new state trauma system as well as a focus on furthering the economic development of the state, noting that Arkansas had risen in per capita income from 48th to 47th passing Utah.
He was also asked about the report just released by Arkansas Governor’s Commission on Global Warming. Gov. Beebe said, “I think global warming is a serious threat to the state of Arkansas.” He went on to add that there is “a whole lot of scientific evidence that global warming is a real problem” citing specific the melting of the glacier ice caps. He went on to add that whatever is done “has to be done on a regional, national, or global basis” and that he is “in contact with Obama’s people” on this.
He also discussed his procedure for handling clemencies and pardons, the unlikelihood of a state fuel tax increase, and some concerns about the credit freeze bill introduce by Rep. Dawn Creekmore.