Office of the Governor

 The following is a transcript of Governor Asa Hutchinson's Radio Column for the weekend of May 22, 2015:

Sometimes being governor is a bit like being a farmer. Especially when it comes to economic development. You plant seeds — water them, nourish them, tend to them — and hope the effort pays off at harvest time.

Last week, we planted seeds from Arkansas all the way to California.

Private option eligibility by county.
Arkansas Department of Human Services

The number of Arkansans approved as eligible to enroll in the state’s expansion of Medicaid, known as the private option, has surpassed 250,000 people. That’s an upward tick of 8,696 people deemed eligible from March 31st to April 30th.

A release Friday by the state Department of Human Services reports 234,791 people have actually been enrolled, up from 229,599 in the previous month.

walmart wal-mart
Walmart

Walmart, the nation's largest food retailer, is urging its thousands of U.S. suppliers to curb the use of antibiotics in farm animals and improve treatment of them.
 
That means asking meat producers, eggs suppliers and others to use antibiotics only for disease prevention or treatment, not to fatten their animals, a common industry practice. The guidelines also aim to get suppliers to stop using sow gestation crates and other housing that lacks sufficient space.
 

Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

A measure filed Thursday by Arkansas's Fourth District Representative would direct expanded Medicaid funds to the ailing Federal Highway Trust Fund. Republican Bruce Westerman's bill would direct expanded medicaid funds to the Fund. The bill would lower the amount the federal government contributes to state Medicaid programs, expanded under the Affordable Care Act, by returning the federal matching rates to pre-expansion levels.

Governor Asa Hutchinson
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Governor Asa Hutchinson is asking the Arkansas Legislature to approve an $87 million dollar bond package to help Lockheed Martin secure a multi-billion dollar federal military contract. 

The Arkansas Supreme Court has upheld a man's driving while intoxicated conviction, saying his argument that a blood sample was taken illegally was an "absurd" interpretation of state law.

In an opinion released Thursday, the court affirmed the DWI conviction of Ernie Charles Metzner.

Arkansas' highest court has upheld the conviction of a doctor serving a life sentence for killing two men at a Conway home in 2002.

The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the 2013 capital murder conviction of Richard Conte in the deaths of Carter Elliott and Timothy Robertson. Prosecutors charged Conte in 2011 as he was being released from prison in Nevada, where he was serving time for kidnapping his ex-wife, who was once married to Carter Elliott.

Hytrol Conveyor Co. in Jonesboro has announced plans for a $12 million expansion that will include at least 36 new jobs.

The company said in a news release Thursday that the project includes a 62,000-square-foot expansion of its manufacturing facility, a new paint system, lasers, brake presses and computerized numerical control equipment.

Hytrol designs and manufactures advanced conveyor systems and currently has about 800 employees.

An Arkansas couple is facing charges after authorities say they transported methamphetamine in Arizona.

Yavapai County Sheriff's officials said Wednesday that 59-year-old Wallace McMaster and his wife, 56-year-old Sherri McMaster, each are being held on $80,000 bonds on suspicion of possession of dangerous drugs for sale and the transportation/selling of dangerous drugs.

Cheryl Smith Gardner, Executive Director Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace Board and board member Mike Castleberry speaking to a legislative committee.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

A section of the Affordable Care Act – called a 1332 waiver – is being hailed by one of the legislative architects of the private option and the director of the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace Board as a path toward consensus in a Legislature riddled with uncertainty over healthcare. 

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