Big Rock Interchange I-630 I-430
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Arkansas Highway Commission has decided to seek a ballot measure to increase money for state roads next year after lawmakers refused to send voters a proposal that would have raised $200 million a year.

The panel voted Wednesday to pursue putting a proposal on next year's ballot to increase highway funding. The panel will spend the coming months studying the level of additional funding it wants to seek. It also will work on the specific type or proposal it wants to put before voters.

Ten 10 Commandments
Wesley Brown / Talk Business & Politics

Construction is underway on the foundation of a Ten Commandments monument at the State Capitol, setting up a possible legal showdown on the constitutionality of religious monuments on public property.

On May 11, the State Capitol Arts and Ground Commission unanimously approved a proposal to place a Ten Commandments monument on the west side of the State Capitol grounds, in between the Arkansas Supreme Court and offices of the State Department of Education.

Amazon is attempting to lure low-income shoppers from Walmart by offering a discount on its pay-by-month Prime membership for people who receive government assistance.

The giant online retailer said in a statement Tuesday that people who have a valid electronic benefits transfer card — used for programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs, or food stamps — will pay $5.99 per month for a year. Amazon is offering a 30-day free trial for qualifying customers.

Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission meeting veterans might have looked around the board room inside the Alcohol Beverage Control Division last week and wondered where the dreamers went. Gone were the cowboy boots and branded T's, the men (some women, not many) who clearly are interested in marijuana and, if given the chance, the business of growing it and selling it — legally. They were replaced by lawyers and other men and women in suits.

The theme for 2017's nationwide summer reading program is "Build a Better World."
Collaborative Summer Library Program / Collaborative Summer Library Program

Libraries across Arkansas will join libraries nationwide to encourage patrons to “Build a Better World” this summer.

The summer reading program is an event in which libraries across the country, united by a common theme, promote reading and educational activities during the months most schools are closed.

marijuana
npr.org

Arkansas officials say they anticipate that between 20,000 and 40,000 people will ask for permission to obtain medical marijuana.

The state Health Department's chief lawyer, Robert Brech, told a joint meeting of the Senate and House Public Health Committee on Monday that running Arkansas' medical marijuana program will cost about $1.5 million over the next year.

Medical marijuana registration cards will cost about $50. Under the proposed rules, an Arkansas driver's license or state ID will be required to obtain one.

A view of the Jefferson County Courthouse in Pine Bluff from inside the historic, but crumbling Hotel Pines.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Early voting starts Tuesday in Pine Bluff on a temporary five-eighths-cent sales tax increase.

Proponents say the seven-year levy will revive the southeastern Arkansas city of 50,000. Opponents say that a "Go Forward Pine Bluff" initiative to be funded by public and private money will take power away from the people and create government secrecy.

Talk Business & Politics

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., agrees with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that 50 votes for healthcare reform don’t presently exist in the U.S. Senate.

Talk Business and Politics reports.

Arkansas Republicans are roundly cheering President Trump's decision to join forces with Syria and withdraw from a worldwide climate change accord. Mayors in Little Rock and Fayetteville take a different tone and pledge to keep the course set under the previous administration.

The podcast also delves into the first movement in the 2018 U.S. House race in central Arkansas. Paul Spencer launched an exploratory committee as a Democrat and Natashia Burch Hulsey prepares for an independent bid.

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola and Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan joined a group of mayors from around the nation to condemn President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement.

They signed an open letter as part of the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda to "adopt, honor and uphold Paris Climate Agreement goals."

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