Gov. Mike Beebe is set to sign into law legislation that will allow Arkansas to use federal Medicaid dollars to purchase private health insurance for thousands of low-income residents.
Beebe is expected Tuesday to sign into law bills setting up the "private option" program that supporters have touted as an alternative to the Medicaid expansion called for under the federal health care law.
The proposal would allow the state to purchase private insurance through an exchange set up through the law. The federal government must still approve Arkansas' plan.
Arkansas State Police say they have investigated threats against state legislators but found no reason to believe their safety was in jeopardy. House Speaker Davy Carter was one of the legislators threatened when he was targeted in a tweet.
Carter said Monday that he never felt he was in physical danger but said the threat made him angry. Also Monday, the editor of the Benton County Republican Committee newsletter apologized for approving an article by her husband that discussed shooting legislators.
Jefferson County authorities are searching for relatives of deceased military veterans whose metal plates were taken from the headstones of their graves.
Sheriff's Maj. Lafayette Woods says 44-year-old Harold Law was arrested last week after trying to sell nine of the brass plates that are worth up to $2,000 each to a scrap metal dealer. Law's name was originally spelled Lawes by both sheriff's officials and by the jail's website.
A Republican lawmaker who was one of the key supporters of a plan to use federal Medicaid money to provide private insurance to thousands of low-income residents will lead the state Senate in the 2015 legislative session.
Sen. Jonathan Dismang of Beebe was elected Monday to lead the 35-member Senate in the 90th General Assembly that begins in 2015.
Dismang was the only candidate running for the Senate president pro tem position.
Dismang has served in the state Senate since 2011 and served a term in the House before then.
Lawmakers in both the Arkansas House and Senate will wrap up with their final vote on the state’s budget on Tuesday. Each chamber voted on identical versions of the budget today Monday.
The state’s budget for its fiscal year that begins July 1st and ends June 30th of 2014 is 4.9 billion dollars and includes increases for the state’s Medicaid program and education, as well as a 2 percent cost of living raise for state employees. It passed by a vote of 80-15 in the House.
The editor of the Benton County Republican Committee is apologizing for approving an article by her husband that mentioned the threat of shooting legislators who voted for the "private option" insurance expansion.
Leigh Nogy said Monday that her husband, Chris Nogy, didn't literally suggest murdering elected officials.
And she says she didn't perceive that his writing would bring such strong criticism from within and outside the Arkansas Republican Party.