Ark. lawmakers reject changing panel rules

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Arkansas lawmakers have rejected an effort to change the way certain committees vote on matters over Republican concerns that it was aimed at implementing parts of the federal health care law before next year's session.

The revisions failed to win the two-thirds vote needed before the Arkansas Legislative Council on Friday. The proposal would have allowed subcommittees to approve items based on a majority of the members present rather than the majority of the panel's members.

Supporters of the change said it was aimed at avoiding issues stalling in lower committees when lawmakers don't attend meetings. Republican lawmakers questioned why the council would change its rules just a few months away from the new legislative session. Republicans are aiming for a takeover of the majority-Democrat Legislature in the November election.

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