Apr 30, 2024

Arkansas attorney general's office could net 26 positions under house bill

A photo of Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin.

Photo: Courtesy Attorney General Tim Griffin

A net of 26 positions would be added to Attorney General Tim Griffin's office if lawmakers approve House Bill 1037, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports.

Why it matters: Griffin told the Democrat-Gazette that "... if we are serious about improving public safety and maintaining law and order — just like with national defense — you have to pay for it."

State of play: The bill would increase the maximum salaries for positions in the AG's office by 9%-22%.

  • Griffin said the AG's office budget is being cut in other areas.
  • Chief Deputy Attorney General Ryan Owsley told a subcommittee last week that the office's total appropriations increase for fiscal 2025 is only 2.2% over 2024.

The intrigue: During her inaugural address, Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced a hiring freeze for state jobs.

Between the lines: The opinions division of the AG's office has been rebuilt, with the average turnaround time dropping from about five months during the previous administration — under now-Lt. Gov. Leslie Rutledge — to about 40 days, Owsley told the subcommittee.

What's next: The House will consider the bill when it convenes today.

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