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Arkansas House approves whistleblower reward bill

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published February 13, 2013 at 3:20 p.m. Updated February 13, 2013 at 5:37 p.m.

— Arkansas House lawmakers have approved a measure allowing state employees to receive an award if they expose waste and inefficiencies that lead to savings for the state.

By a 65-21 vote, the House on Wednesday passed a measure changing the state's whistleblower law to include a reward for reporting fraud and abuse in government. Under the bill, if an employee's report leads to savings for the state, the employee could receive 10 percent of those savings. The bill limits the award to $12,500; larger awards would have to be approved by the Legislature.

Republican Rep. Nate Bell sponsored the legislation. He says the financial incentive is needed to deter inefficiency in government.

Opponents of the measure called it unnecessary and said it would place a financial burden on the state.

In an earlier version of this story, it was erroneously reported that the maximum reward is $125,000. The number has been corrected in the story above.

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