Arkansas lawmakers are moving closer toward keeping the lieutenant governor's office vacant rather than holding a special election to fill former Lt. Gov. Mark Darr's office for just a few months.
The Arkansas Senate voted 32-0 on Tuesday to consider changing the law to give Gov. Mike Beebe the choice to not hold a special election. Current law requires Beebe to call a special election within 150 days of declaring the office vacant.
Darr resigned Feb. 1 over ethics and campaign finance violations.
After a week and a half of searching, the Arkansas Forestry Commission is hopeful it will find its missing pilot.
Commission spokeswoman Adriane Barnes said the sunshine on Tuesday will allow the search crew to do a very detailed search.
“We have real visibility paired with some very detailed maps with layered pieces of information in there about areas already searched, about areas of priority based on communication with Jake’s cell phone provider, and most valuable is all of the leads are mapped.”
Arkansas lawmakers are gathering for the second day of a legislative session focused on the state's budget, with questions remaining about the future of a compromise Medicaid expansion approved last year.
The House and Senate were scheduled to convene Tuesday afternoon as lawmakers faced a light schedule for the start of the fiscal session. This is the third fiscal session under a constitutional amendment approved in 2008 requiring the Legislature to meet and budget annually.
The popular "Stuck on a Truck" contest at Conway's annual Toad Suck Daze festival is off this year.
Centennial Bank, which sponsored the annual vehicle giveaway, announced Monday that it won't be bringing back the contest during this year's festival in May. The giveaway began in 2001 as "Hug a Bug" and has become a major attraction at the festival in downtown Conway.
Before lawmakers milled about in the two legislative chambers, state police color guards posted their flags and roll was called Monday, preparations for the month-long fiscal session had long been underway with months of hearings and reviews of budget proposals. The session will deal with those budget proposals for various state entities as put forward by Governor Mike Beebe. Members of the House and Senate must reach three-fourths majorities to approve them, amending certain sections along the way.
On this week's edition of Talk Business & Politics: Gov. Mike Beebe is optimistic about the private option; The state's new business hall of famers -- Who are they and how did they make the cut? Also; the latest state revenue report; gambling numbers from Oaklawn and Southland; the session gears up on Monday and Speaker of the House Davy Carter joins Roby for a sit-down to explore what it might take to achieve the votes for the private option.
Search crews got a rare bit of clear weather and launched two aircraft to help in the search for an Arkansas forestry pilot who disappeared on Jan. 31.
More snow is in the forecast over the massive search area in western Arkansas. Before it moved in, an airplane and a state police helicopter flew over the rugged forestland as ground crews again fanned out to try to find Jake Harrell.
Officials say Harrell failed to check in the afternoon of Jan. 31 during what was to have been about a two-hour flight to look for wildfires.
A bill aimed at avoiding a special election for the lieutenant governor's office following Mark Darr's resignation over ethics violations has been filed in the Senate.
Senate Republican Leader Eddie Joe Williams and Senate Democratic Leader Keith Ingram filed legislation Monday that would give the governor the choice to not call a special election within 10 months of the November general election.
Ingram said the cost of having a special election would be in the millions and added that it needed to be addressed in the fiscal session.
Arkansas' attorney general says absentee voters who don't include proof of identification with their ballots shouldn't be given additional time to show their ID under a new state law.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said in an advisory opinion issued Monday a voter ID law approved last year didn't provide additional time for absentee voters who didn't submit proof of identity with their ballots.
The Republican-led Legislature approved the voter ID law last year, overriding a veto by Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe.