Associated Press

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Marissa Marisa Pavan Birth Certificate certificates same-sex marrriage
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A bill that would allow married gay couples in Arkansas to list both spouses' names on their children's birth certificates without a court order has failed to advance out of a Senate committee.

Democratic Sen. Joyce Elliott's bill failed to advance Monday from the Senate Judiciary Committee due to a lack of a second motion. The proposed measure would have changed the presumption of parentage under the state's artificial insemination and surrogacy laws.

A lawsuit contends Arkansas is violating the state’s open records law and its own execution policy by refusing to release documents proving they obtained lethal drugs from legitimate sources ahead of four double-executions set for next month.

Steven Shults says he can no longer receive product labels from the Arkansas Department of Correction. The agency used to release the material, but said it will no longer do so after The Associated Press used the label’s distinct typography to unmask the manufacturers in 2015.

Asa Hutchinson
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he believes Congress will ultimately agree on a replacement for the federal health overhaul despite House Republicans failing to dismantle the law.

The Republican governor said Friday he has no doubt Congress will revisit the issue, but said he'll move forward with a plan for new limits on the hybrid Medicaid expansion Arkansas enacted under the law.

Arkansas' governor has signed a measure requiring voters to show photo identification before casting a ballot, reinstating a voter ID law that was struck down by the state's highest court more than two years ago.

Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Friday signed the measure, which allows voters without photo ID to cast a provisional ballot if they sign a sworn statement.

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.

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.

Voter ID Vote photo ID
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas lawmakers have approved a measure requiring voters to show photo identification before casting a ballot, sending to the governor's desk a requirement that was struck down as unconstitutional more than two years ago.

The House had already approved a previous version of the legislation. On Monday, it signed off on changes added by the Senate that allow voters without identification to cast a provisional ballot if they sign a sworn statement.

Jason McGehee
Department of Correction

The Arkansas Supreme Court has rejected an effort to block the execution for one of eight inmates who are scheduled to be put to death next month.

Justices on Thursday denied a motion to recall the mandate in the case of convicted murderer Jason McGehee, who is scheduled to die by lethal injection on April 27. McGehee's attorney had asked justices to vacate his death sentence and send his case back to a lower court for resentencing, citing problems with the verdict forms in his resentencing.

Arkansas Capitol
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The agency that protects Arkansas' state Capitol and grounds now has the authority to operate in secret after the governor let a Freedom of Information exemption become law without his signature.

A spokesman said Gov. Asa Hutchinson did not sign the bill, which was intended to close loopholes that some believed would let anyone access security assignments. Spokesman J.R. Davis said he could comment later.

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