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.
Republican John Cooper has won a northeast Arkansas state Senate seat, giving Republicans an extra seat in the Legislature in a race that was viewed as an early bellwether for this year's general election.
Cooper defeated Democratic nominee Steve Rockwell and replaces Democratic state Sen. Paul Bookout.
Bookout resigned last year after he was fined by the Ethics Commission for spending thousands in campaign funds on personal items such as clothing and theater equipment.
Complete but unofficial reports showed Cooper winning 57 percent of the vote.
Primary care physicians who enrolled to be Patient Centered Medical Homes will start to see the benefits this month. The concept encourages doctors to treat chronic conditions and encourage prevention for their patients.
In return, the participating physicians receive financial support and 24/7 phone lines for patients, among other things. Medical Director for Arkansas Medicaid, William Golden, says enrollment has already exceeded expectations.
A federal judge has approved a settlement phasing out payments from the state to three Pulaski County school districts in the state's long-running desegregation lawsuit. Federal Judge D. Price Marshall said the settlement to the “exceedingly complex” case was “fair, adequate and reasonable” and noted how few objections there were in the case.
After the ruling, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel called the settlement “historic.”