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.
Arkansas lawmakers have opened a legislative session that's expected to focus on the future of the state's compromise plan to expand Medicaid under the federal health care law.
The House and Senate convened Monday for the state's third-ever fiscal session. It's the third slimmed-down session focusing on the state's budget under a constitutional amendment voters approved in 2008 requiring the Legislature to meet and budget annually.
Former Arkansas treasurer Martha Shoffner is asking for a separate trial on new charges accusing her of improper spending from her campaign account.
Shoffner is scheduled for trial next month on charges she accepted cash payments from a broker to whom she allegedly steered state investments. But last week, federal prosecutors added 10 new mail-fraud charges against Shoffner, accusing her of misspending $9,800 in campaign money.