Arkansas Politics Blog

Judge Wendell Griffen at Truthful Tuesday on the steps of the state Capitol in 2014.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Judge Wendell Griffen is calling some of Little Rock’s most prominent black leaders “enablers” of a “deeply racist” system following a failed vote to require police officers to live in the city they have pledged to protect. The Little Rock City Board of Directors voted down a residency requirement on Tuesday along racial lines but approved a package offering incentives for living in the city to new hires across all the city’s departments.

A lawsuit intended to introduce a second taxi cab company into Little Rock has passed an early hurdle. A motion by the City of Little Rock to dismiss the suit about a monopoly operator was denied in Pulaski County Circuit Court. Judge Alice gray issued the ruling on Thursday.

A city ordinance requires new cab companies that want to compete with the city’s one existing company obtain a permit granted based on “public convenience and necessity.” Ken Leininger, who wants to operate Ken’s Cab, had a permit denied in 2015.

Arkansas Education Commissioner Johnny Key testifying to a joint meeting of the Education Committees.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key says the way he handled the decision to bring in a new superintendent for the Little Rock School District was a "mistake" that has led to the "poor implementation" of new leadership.

State Senator Jason Rapert (R-Bigelow).
Arkansas Times

The governor may have found a solution to the Medicaid budget impasse caused by just 10 of the state Senate's 35 members in the form of a creative new use of the line item veto but he hasn't done it yet. Into the void steps some last minute finagling and fine tuning.

Morning After Pill

State Senator Jason Rapert told me Tuesday night and then announced to the public via Twitter that he's going to try and stop insurance plans under Arkansas Works from paying for The Morning After or Plan B pill.

The new head of the Little Rock School District Michael Poore.
bentonvillek12.org

We weren't supposed to know who would replace Baker Kurrus as Superintendent of the Little Rock School District until Wednesday morning but news from northwest Arkansas confirms that Michael Poore has the job.

He's been superintendent of the Bentonville School District since 2011-12 school year. Prior to that he developed some job experience as a deputy superintendent that he'll be deploying once again if the state's plan to close schools in Little Rock continues.

File photo: LRSD Superintendent Baker Kurrus, Democrat Gazette publisher and charter advocate Walter Hussman, and Governor Asa Hutchinson.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Little Rock School District Superintendent Baker Kurrus confirmed to multiple news sources this evening that his contract will not be renewed by the Department of Education which has controlled the district since January of last year.

Democratic Party of Arkansas Chair Vincent Insalaco in his office in Little Rock.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

With the special session on Medicaid expansion all but upon us Democrats are continuing to show signs that their support is not to be taken for granted by the Republican governor. Democratic Party of Arkansas Chair Vincent Insalaco released a statement today making the case for Democratic leverage.

HRC Arkansas Director Kendra Johnson and HRC President Chad Griffin speaking at the Capitol about an ad HRC is running opposed to a so-called religious liberty law proposed in 2015.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Late this afternoon our often-slighted neighbors to the east in Mississippi are expected to send a so-called religious freedom bill to their governor. Governor Phil Bryant now faces a decision that Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson had to make last year.

The twitter logo superimposed on an undetailed map of the state of Arkansas.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The Arkansas politics Twitterverse is a pretty a small place but it has its share of state legislators, who are prolific users, that turned out Tuesday night to add to the endless stream of comments about the Republican and Democratic presidential primaries in Florida, Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, and North Carolina.

Check her for NPR’s coverage of primary results.

Little Rock Trojans' home court the Jack Stephens Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
ualr.edu

Your Little Rock Trojans are headed to the NCAA Tournament so I'm sure we're all ready to dream big on our brackets and root for the home town team.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock men's team secured the bid to college basketball's national championship tournament this weekend. Little Rock handily put away the University of Louisiana-Monroe squad 70-50 to win the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. UALR last won the Sun Belt title in 2011.

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