News

Pipe laying idle in the yard of Welspun Tubular in east Little Rock (2014 file photo).
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Arkansas’s congressman may be divided on healthcare reform but they are squarely lined-up when it comes to cheering the State Department’s green-light for Keystone XL Pipeline. 

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton said the decision puts working families “ahead of the demands of left-wing donors for a change.” Senator John Boozman noted a Little Rock manufacturer, Welspun Tubular, manufactured hundreds of miles of the pipeline. Central  Arkansas U.S. Representative French Hill claimed the cross-nation “pro-growth” pipeline will have “a minimal impact on the environment.”

UPDATE: Pence's visit to Arkansas has been canceled according to state GOP officials.

From earlier:

Vice President Mike Pence will be in Little Rock on Friday, on the heels of whatever happens in the U.S. House of Representatives to efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

The Arkansas Senate has voted to exempt college sporting events from a new law greatly expanding where concealed handguns are allowed, moving quickly to address concerns that the sweeping gun rights measure would lead to armed spectators at stadiums and arenas.

Arkansas Razorbacks
Univ. of Arkansas

The Arkansas Razorbacks loss to North Carolina in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament this week was hard to swallow for many Hogs fans. State Senators Keith Ingram and Jeremy Hutchinson, tongues firmly in cheek, determined the Arkansas Legislature should absolve the Hogs for their loss and instead officially condemn the officiating.

In a very real Senate Resolution filed on Thursday, sponsors state the Natural State has been devastated.

Rick Crawford
Talk Business & Politics

U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford of Arkansas's first district says he has not seen any changes to the American Health Care Act that would alter his opposition and voiced his concerns over government’s role and the Congressional process as reasons for voting no.

“I’m not for it right now and so far I haven’t seen any of the changes that will compel me to change that vote at this point in time,” Crawford told Talk Business & Politics Wednesday. The House could vote on the proposal Thursday.

Governor's Office / YouTube

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has signed into law a high profile bill that greatly expands where concealed carry license holders can bring handguns.

The Republican governor made his announcement flanked by several GOP lawmakers and an executive with the National Rifle Association, all of whom helped shape the new law. Hutchinson said the final legislation wasn’t perfect but the group around him balanced the need for safety and Second Amendment rights.

Jeff Nichols
Eric Hunt / Wikimedia

An Arkansas-born film writer and director will chair a state group hoping to build a film community in Arkansas.

Little Rock native Jeff Nichols was announced Wednesday as the chair the Arkansas Cinema Society, which plans to bring together residents to watch films, share ideas and provide connections with other filmmakers.

Nichols also plans to host three seminars on filmmaking during the first year of the society.

marijuana
npr.org

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has rejected a proposal to legalize recreational marijuana use in the state.

In an opinion dated Tuesday and released Wednesday, Rutledge said the ballot title of the proposal is ambiguous and "that a number of additions or changes" are needed "to more fully and correctly summarize" the proposal.

The proposal by Larry Morris of West Fork would allow for the cultivation, production, distribution, sale and possession of marijuana for recreational use in Arkansas.

Tom Cotton
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas says despite proposed changes to the federal healthcare bill introduced by Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, he still cannot back the measure. He also doesn't think it will have the support needed to pass in the Senate.

In a statement Tuesday, the Republican said:

Despite the proposed amendments, I still cannot support the House health-care bill, nor would it pass the Senate. The amendments improve the Medicaid reforms in the original bill, but do little to address the core problem of Obamacare: rising premiums and deductibles, which are making insurance unaffordable for too many Arkansans. The House should continue its work on this bill. It’s more important to finally get health-care reform right than to get it fast.

A relatively new nonprofit news organization focusing on issues surrounding the U.S. criminal justice system is tracking the cases of death row inmates scheduled to be executed in Arkansas and nine other states. 

The Marshall Project collaborates with other news outlets and journalists to publish investigative reports on national controversy and reform within the criminal justice system.

Pages