Ac­coun­tant named to salary com­mis­sion

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - ARKANSAS - MICHAEL R. WICKLINE

House Speaker Matthew Shep­herd, R-El Do­rado, has ap­pointed El Do­rado ac­coun­tant Nathan Evers to the seven-mem­ber Arkansas In­de­pen­dent Ci­ti­zens Com­mis­sion that sets the salaries of the state’s elected of­fi­cials.

Evers will serve a fouryear term, re­plac­ing Mitch Berry, whose term ex­pired Dec. 31, the House said last week in a news re­lease.

Evers is a cer­ti­fied pub­lic ac­coun­tant with more than 40 years of ex­pe­ri­ence. He re­ceived his de­gree from South­ern Arkansas Univer­sity. He pre­vi­ously served on the SAU board of trustees and the board of di­rec­tors for its foun­da­tion.

The In­de­pen­dent Ci­ti­zens Com­mis­sion was cre­ated in 2015 un­der Amend­ment 94 to the Arkansas Con­sti­tu­tion, which vot­ers ap­proved in Novem­ber 2014.

Amend­ment 94 shifted the re­spon­si­bil­ity for chang­ing the an­nual salaries of the state’s elected of­fi­cials from the Leg­is­la­ture to what the amend­ment calls an “in­de­pen­dent ci­ti­zens com­mis­sion.” The House speaker, Se­nate pres­i­dent pro tem­pore and the gov­er­nor each ap­point two mem­bers to the com­mis­sion. The chief jus­tice appoints an­other.

Amend­ment 94 also ex­tended term lim­its for law­mak­ers, im­posed a ban on cer­tain gifts from lob­by­ists to elected of­fi­cials, in­creased the two-year cool­ing-off pe­riod be­fore ex-law­mak­ers may reg­is­ter as lob­by­ists from one to two years, and barred di­rect cor­po­rate and union con­tri­bu­tions to can­di­dates.

The com­mis­sion also in­cludes at­tor­ney Chuck Banks and Jan Zim­mer­man, both of Lit­tle Rock and ap­pointed by Gov. Asa Hutchin­son, and for­mer Supreme Court Jus­tice Annabelle Im­ber Tuck, ap­pointed by Jus­tice Dan Kemp, ac­cord­ing to state Au­di­tor An­drea Lea.

Se­nate Pres­i­dent Pro Tem­pore Jim Hen­dren, R-Sul­phur Springs, hasn’t made his two re­place­ment ap­point­ments yet. Shep­herd still has a sec­ond ap­point­ment to make.

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