Arkansas' four congressmen have split on a $1.1 trillion spending bill for operating the federal government until just before next fall's election.
U.S. Reps. Tim Griffin and Steve Womack voted for the measure that passed the U.S. House Wednesday and provides money for virtually every federal agency. Reps. Tom Cotton and Rick Crawford voted against the measure. All four are Republicans.
The 1,582-page bill passed the House on a 359-67 vote. The measure eases many but not all of the automatic spending cuts that took effect last year.
The Arkansas Department of Human Services says a significant number of younger adults are enrolling in the state’s private option. It allows people earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level ($15,850 for an individual) to receive subsidized private health coverage using federal money devoted to Medicaid. Andy Allison, state Medicaid director, says its no surprise younger people are qualifying for the private option, since they tend to earn less.
A Republican takeover of a northeast Arkansas state Senate seat dims the prospects for continuing the state's compromise Medicaid expansion plan and could be a troubling early sign for Democrats who had hoped to rebound from recent losses at the polls.
Republican John Cooper's win in the special election Tuesday for the seat vacated by Democratic Sen. Paul Bookout over ethics violations gives Republicans a 22-13 majority in the Senate and takes away a key vote for the "private option" Medicaid expansion lawmakers approved last year.
The Quapaw Tribe and the Arkansas National Guard plan to sign an agreement to protect the tribe's cultural and historical resources.
The agreement will help the tribe protect and enhance sacred sites and resources of historical and cultural importance in the state of Arkansas. The Quapaw Tribe lived in Arkansas for hundreds of years prior to its statehood.
The tribe and the Arkansas National Guard will sign the agreement at a ceremony Wednesday at Downstream Casino Resort.