Candidates from Arkansas' closely watched political races in 2014 addressed members of the Delta Grassroots Caucus at a conference in Memphis.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor addressed the crowd in person Friday, while his challenger, Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, spoke with members via speaker phone.
The caucus also included speeches from Democrat Mike Ross and Republican Asa Hutchinson, who are both running for Arkansas governor. The governor's office comes open next year because Democratic incumbent Mike Beebe is term-limited.
Leading candidates for the U.S. Senate and governor's races in Arkansas are scheduled to speak at a conference in Memphis.
Two-term incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor, a Democrat, and the Republican opponent for his Senate seat, U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, will speak Friday at the Delta Grassroots Caucus at the Agricenter in east Memphis.
Also scheduled to speak are former Congressmen Mike Ross and Asa Hutchinson, who are competing to replace Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe.
Arkansas lawmakers gathered at the Capitol Thursday to convene for a special legislative session addressing insurance premium hikes for public school employees. KUAR’s Chris Hickey was there for the opening and has this report.
An Arkansas legislative committee has advanced a bill to use state surplus funds to lower an increase in teacher insurance premiums that are to hit next year.
The Joint Budget Committee on Thursday endorsed the proposal to use $43 million from the surplus to lower the premium which otherwise would increase by as much as 50 percent. The proposal is the centerpiece of a package of bills aimed at reducing the premium increase.
The surplus money and redirected surplus funds in subsequent years is expected to lower the premium increase to 10 percent.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is offering a $119 million settlement to three districts involved in a long-running school desegregation case.
In a letter Thursday, McDaniel said any settlement must involve the Little Rock, North Little Rock and Pulaski County districts.
Arkansas pays about $70 million annually to the districts under a 1989 agreement. The offer was in response to a proposed settlement McDaniel recently received from Little Rock to phase out its payments in either a $297 million lump sum or $42.4 million a year for seven years.
Competing proposals have been filed in the state Legislature over the state's efforts to reclaim excess property tax revenues from a handful of Arkansas school districts.
Two bills were filed Thursday over the property tax issue, which is on the agenda for the special session Gov. Mike Beebe called to address a looming hike in teacher insurance rates.
Democratic Sen. Bruce Maloch filed a proposal backed by Beebe that would phase out the excess money eight districts receive from levying the state-mandated property tax millage. The money would go back to the state.