Highway Funding
3:41 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Arkansas Highway Funding Bill Voted Down In Committee

A bill that would have directed a portion of state revenue from certain sales taxes to the Highway and Transportation Department failed to pass a house committee Thursday, though its sponsor says it could get another try in committee.

Representative Jonathan Barnett, a Republican from Siloam Springs, sponsored HB 1418 and says if he does bring it back up, it will have to compete with other bills cutting or reallocating state funding.

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Tattoo and Peircing Regulation
3:34 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Body Art Regulation Bills Head To Arkansas House

Two bills regulating body modification procedures are headed to the full House with support of the tattoo industry.

One bill would set an age limit for piercings without parental consent and another would ban sub-dermal implants. The bills passed the House Public Health Committee Thursday.

The bills' sponsor in the House, democratic Representative Deborah Ferguson of West Memphis, said the industry opposed earlier forms of the legislation but now they are working together.

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Public Speakers
3:34 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

McCain's Little Rock Appearance Postponed

John McCain
Credit / Dan Bennet

Those who had hoped to attend a speaking event with John McCain for the Clinton School of Public Service this Friday will have to wait until April to see the U.S. Senator.

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Local & Regional News
12:34 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Arkansas Leaders Say They're Closer To Tax Cut Deal

The leaders of the Arkansas House and Senate say they believe they're moving closer toward a deal on about $100 million in tax cuts.

Senate President Michael Lamoureux and Speaker Davy Carter said Thursday that they hope to have an agreement soon on what cuts would be included in that package. 

Gov. Mike Beebe declined to name a specific figure for a tax cut agreement, but said he believed a deal could be reached soon.

Beebe said cutting taxes would depend on the Legislature agreeing to a plan to expand insurance to low-income workers.

Local & Regional News
11:46 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Major Accident Closes I-40 East Of Hazen

Drivers in stopped traffic near the White River Bridge mill about, waiting for the accident to be cleared.
Credit Malcolm Glover

Interstate 40 was closed in both directions east of Hazen because of an accident mid-morning Thursday near the White River Bridge involving three tractor-trailers and a car.  Around noon police began letting some westbound traffic through.

KUAR’s Malcolm Glover was at the scene and reports an official with the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department told him that a car stopped on the interstate and was struck by one truck, with two others then colliding into the wreckage.

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Winter Storm
9:23 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Winter Storm Warning Issued For NE Arkansas

A winter storm warning is in place for northeastern Arkansas, where a springtime storm system is predicted to bring 3 to 5 inches of snow.

The National Weather Service issued the warning for Clay, Craighead, Greene, Lawrence, Poinsett and Randolph counties. It's in place from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m. Thursday.

Forecasters say the snow is expected in the area in the late afternoon Thursday and will continue until midnight.

Other areas in north Arkansas could see 1 to 3 inches of snow on Friday. In central Arkansas, rain and occasional sleet are predicted.

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School Choice
9:21 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Arkansas House Panel To Vote On School Choice Bill

Arkansas House lawmakers are weighing a proposal to rewrite Arkansas' school choice law that was struck down as unconstitutional by a federal judge last year.

The House Education Committee is scheduled to vote Thursday on a proposal that would allow students to transfer to a school in a neighboring district for a variety of reasons. One of the rationales could be promoting greater racial integration in the receiving school.

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Lobbying Reform
9:18 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Arkansas Lawmakers Back Expanded Lobbying Moratorium

Arkansas lawmakers have given final approval to a bill to ban the state's constitutional officers and judges from becoming a lobbyist for a year after they leave office.

The Senate unanimously approved and sent to the governor the bill that expands a 2011 law placing one-year moratorium on lobbying for former House and Senate members.

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9:14 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Mexican Consulate Gives Grant To UAMS

The Mexican Consulate in Little Rock is giving a grant from the Mexican government to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Public Health to continue a health program.

Officials are expected to announce more details about the grant during a news conference on Thursday.

Tax Cuts
9:11 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Arkansas Senate President Hopes Deal Soon On Tax Cuts

Arkansas Senate President Michael Lamoureux says he hopes to reach agreement by the end of the week with Gov. Mike Beebe and House leaders on a tax cut package.

Lamoureux told reporters Wednesday that legislative leaders are still discussing what would be in that tax cut agreement - but he hoped to have a deal soon. House Speaker Davy Carter has called on lawmakers to approve $150 million in tax cuts, while Lamoureux has said he thinks $100 million in cuts is more likely.