Consensus Hard in New Arkansas Statehouse (AP Analysis)

by Andrew Demillo, The Associated Press  on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012 3:19 pm  

"Nothing on the extreme end is going to happen," said Michael Lamoureux, a Republican elected incoming president of the state Senate. "Anyone who was planning on changing the world in 2013 probably needs to look for another job."

Beebe, who said he doesn't plan on changing his agenda because of the new makeup of the Legislature, said the new landscape of the House and Senate offer a test. Both parties stand to lose if they can't work together despite party differences, Beebe said.

"I think gridlock and non-cooperation is a bipartisan issue," Beebe said. "It cuts both ways."

The result could also be a test for an Arkansas electorate that seems as divided as the Legislature next year.

"If we believe elections express the will of the people, that's a pretty divided will," Lamoureux said. "We've got a divided allocation of power. That's what people wanted and that's what we'll deal with."

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten, broadcast or distributed.)



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