Lawsuit seeking Ecclesia records to move forward

Posted: April 19, 2017 at 9:27 a.m.
Updated: April 19, 2017 at 9:44 a.m.

NWA Democrat-Gazette/ANTHONY REYES @NWATONYR A Washington County circuit court judge denied Ecclesia’ motion to dismiss a lawsuit seeking documents related to the school’s receipt of state money. Ecclesia, a private Christian college in Elm Springs, used state money to purchase many parcels of land over the past several years.

FAYETTEVILLE -- A Washington County Circuit judge has denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit seeking documents related to Ecclesia College's receipt of state money.

Follow the money

The General Improvement Fund consists of unallocated state tax money at the end of each fiscal year and interest earned on state deposits. Each legislator is given a share and can direct where he wants it to go as long as it goes to a nonprofit group or government entity. The money is distributed through the state’s eight economic development districts, nonprofit corporations encouraging regional economic development. The legislature didn’t put restrictions on or abolish the General Improvement Fund process during the last session but the money isn’t included in the state’s new two-year budget.

Source: Staff report

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