News

Governor Asa Hutchinson
Karen Tricot Steward / KUAR News

After being called to the White House earlier this week to discuss healthcare, Governor Asa Hutchinson says the Trump administration appears to be reaching out in a broader way for input on the future of the nation's healthcare system.

"There's going to be a slower and more thoughtful process coming up. What we saw in the Senate last week was a bill that did not go through the committee process and did not have hearings. It was limited and it failed to pass. And so now I hope that you will see... broad coalitions come together," Hutchinson tells KUAR News.

Governor Hutchinson and the Arkansas Research Alliance (ARA) gave recognition to five university researchers in the state by awarding them an ARA fellowship that comes with a $75,000 grant.

The ARA Fellows program supports distinguished researchers already working at one of the five research universities in the state, including Arkansas State University, University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

Christopher Columbus Pinta Nina
Great Lakes Today

Replicas of two ships used by explorer Christopher Columbus, which led to the European colonization of the Americas, are to visit Arkansas in October and November. The replicas of Niña and Pinta are traveling together around the U.S. to help people learn more about the voyage in 1492 that led to the discovery of what was called the New World.

But a recent stop along Lake Ontario in north-central New York drew protests from Native Americans who say the ships only tell half of the story.

The Arkansas Supreme Court has rejected an effort to make it easier to challenge proposed constitutional amendments placed on the ballot by the Legislature.

Justices on Thursday rejected an attorney's request to change court rules to allow challenges to be filed directly with the state Supreme Court over proposed amendments referred to voters by the Legislature. The proposal would have also required the same standard on ballot measures initiated by voters to be used on legislatively referred ones.

RAISE Act Senator Tom Cotton
Getty Images / NPR

President Donald Trump was joined by U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., at a White House news conference on Wednesday to tout an overhaul of the nation’s immigration system. Republican Georgia Sen. David Perdue also will co-sponsor the bill.

Arkansas has started its fiscal year with the state's revenue coming in higher than expectations and above what was collected the same month last year.

The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration on Wednesday said the state's net available revenue in July totaled $454.5 million, which was $53.8 million above July 2016 and $10.5 million above forecast.

The department said individual and corporate income tax collections were above forecast and the same month last year. Sales tax collections were slightly below forecast but ahead of July 2016.

Susan Inman
AETN

A former state and local elections official says she's making another run for Arkansas secretary of state.

Susan Inman announced Tuesday she's seeking the Democratic nomination for the post, currently held by Republican Mark Martin. Martin was first elected to the post in 2010 and is barred from seeking re-election next year because of term limits.

The federal agency tasked with economic development in the Delta is without a leader. It’s up to President Donald Trump to appoint a new federal co-chairman for the Delta Regional Authority. The DRA’s supporters are hoping for the President to act quickly so that tens of millions of dollars can be freed up for investment. But the Trump’s budget proposals have called for eliminating the authority entirely.

An educator and activist says she's running for a U.S. House seat in central Arkansas, becoming the second Democrat to launch a bid to unseat the district's incumbent Republican congressman.

Gwendolynn Combs announced Monday she's filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run for the 2nd Congressional District.

Asa Hutchinson governor
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says a meeting in Washington with other governors and Trump administration officials to discuss the health care overhaul was productive and that he's encouraged there's a commitment to include him and leaders from other states to find solutions to concerns with the law.

Hutchinson's office said the Republican governor traveled to Washington on Monday morning for the White House meeting to discuss options for improving the health care system. Hutchinson spokesman J.R. Davis said the governor will return to the state Tuesday.

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