A Pulaski County judge says a court rule that suspends Arkansas lawyers who don't pay their annual dues on time is unconstitutional.

Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen ruled Wednesday in a case involving Angela Byrd, who is seeking a judgeship in the 20th Judicial District.

A resident challenged Byrd's eligibility for the ballot, citing a state law that requires judges to be licensed attorneys for six years before taking office. Byrd's license was suspended for a day after she paid her dues 36 hours late.

A new study shows that the percentage of children without health insurance in Arkansas declined from 2008 to 2012.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report shows that the percentage of kids who were uninsured in the state dropped from 8.8 percent in 2008 to 5.9 percent in 2012 - the most recent year that data was available.

Researchers say that nationwide, the percentage of uninsured children declined from 9.7 percent to around 7.5 percent during the same time period.

The National Archives plans to release more documents from former President Bill Clinton's administration on April 18, officials say.

The White House papers are being closely monitored by media organizations and historians as former secretary of state and U.S. senator Hillary Rodham Clinton considers a second presidential campaign.

The documents have covered the Clinton administration's ill-fated health care overhaul plan, Republicans' victories during the 1994 midterm elections and steps Mrs. Clinton's aides took to enhance her public image.

Pulaski County Courthouse

Temporary emergency rules regarding absentee ballots submitted without a photo ID have been made permanent provisions. A 2013 state voter ID law allowed for in-person voters without ID to cast provisional ballots and gave them a period of time to show ID. But no similar allowance was given to absentee voters.

In February the Arkansas Board of Election Commissioners created a rule giving absentee voters the same recourse as in-person voters. Wednesday that was made permanent, which board Director Justin Clay viewed as procedural.

Tom Cotton
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

An ethics panel has dismissed a complaint that accused Republican Senate hopeful Tom Cotton of soliciting contributions illegally during a radio interview at his congressional office in the U.S. Capitol.

Cotton's campaign Wednesday released a copy of a March 13 letter from the House Ethics Committee dismissing the state Democratic Party's complaint.   Democrats complained last October about an interview Cotton gave to a radio talk show host.

Business, environmental and civic leaders will gather Thursday at the Clinton Presidential Center to discuss the future of Little Rock's “green” efforts.

The 5th Annual Sustainability Summit is free, with the public encouraged to come share their thoughts.

The city’s Sustainability Officer Melinda Glasgow said Little Rock has made some improvements since last year.

election voter ID vote
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas's Board of Election Commissioners are set to consider whether they will permanently adopt the emergency rules for absentee ballots that they approved last month.

Board Director Justin Clay says the seven-member body will vote on approving the rules as permanent provisions in their scheduled Wednesday meeting.

The rules passed by the board in late February allow a brief grace period for absentee voters to submit proof of identification if they didn't attach them their ballot when voting.

The Arkansas panel that investigates claims of judicial misconduct says its inquiry into Circuit Judge Mike Maggio will likely take months.

The Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission said Tuesday that Maggio is cooperating in the investigation into alleged ethics violations. In a statement, the commission said it anticipates either a disciplinary charge or sanctions to be announced by mid-August.

The panel is investigating campaign contributions made to Maggio before the judge reduced a multimillion-dollar judgment against a nursing home.

Two potential issues that may be on the November ballot offer contrasting attitudes from Arkansas voters.

The latest Talk Business-Hendrix College Poll of more than 1,000 likely voters shows that an overwhelming majority of Arkansans are in favor of raising the state’s minimum wage to $8.50 per hour, while voters are evenly split on a possible medical marijuana proposal. Both citizen-led initiatives are collecting signatures before a July deadline to qualify for the November ballot.

KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman spoke with investigative, liberal blogger Matt Campbell who runs Blue Hog Report to talk about his research identifying 59 sitting judges who failed to pay annual bar dues seeking election May 20th and what it means for their eligibility to hold and seek office. Scrutiny has been cast upon all 59 justices after a decision last month disqualified a candidate.