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Attorneys for eight Arkansas death row inmates scheduled to be put to death next month are asking the state's highest court to void Gov. Asa Hutchinson's orders setting their execution dates.

The inmates asked the state Supreme Court on Wednesday to invalidate the proclamations scheduling their executions. On Monday, Hutchinson set four double executions during a 10-day period in April, though the state is lacking one of the drugs needed to put the men to death.

Arkansas State Capitol
Chris Hickey / KUAR News

A bill that would freeze enrollment in Arkansas' hybrid Medicaid expansion program has advanced out of a state House committee.

Republican state Rep. Josh Miller's proposal would require the state to ask federal officials for permission to end enrollment. The bill calls for new enrollment to end as of July 1, 2017.

The proposal now heads to the full House.

Miller says more people have enrolled than anticipated and lawmakers have expressed concern about the program's costs amid uncertainty about the fate of the federal Affordable Care Act.

Outside the Arkansas House chamber in the state Capitol building.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The Arkansas House has voted to place on the ballot a proposed state constitutional amendment that would ask voters to limit some attorney's fees and punitive damages in lawsuits.

The House voted 66-30 Monday for the joint resolution and sent it back to the state Senate to consider a House amendment. A previous version of the proposal passed the Senate earlier.

Supporters say the proposal would reduce legal judgments against health care providers, which they say would lead to a decrease in medical malpractice insurance rates.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has set execution dates for eight death row inmates, even though the state lacks one of three drugs needed to put the men to death.

The Republican released a statement Monday saying he signed a proclamation scheduling executions for the eight inmates, though no dates were released.

The move comes days after the state's attorney general told the governor the men had exhausted their appeals and there were no more legal obstacles to their executions.

File photo. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge (R).
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has been elected vice chairwoman of the Republican Attorneys General Association.

The group announced Monday that Rutledge was elected to serve in the post through the 2017 election cycle. The position opened after West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey was named the association's chairman to replace former Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange. Strange was appointed to fill U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' vacancy in the Senate.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has named a new leader for the Arkansas Department of Veteran Affairs.

The governor said Friday that he's appointed retired U.S. Army Col. Nathaniel Todd to serve as the agency's director. Todd will replace former director Matt Snead, who is resigning.

Todd now serves as chief financial officer of the Central Arkansas Veterans Health Care System. He's previously worked as director of health financial policy for the U.S. Army Surgeon General and as chief financial officer for the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Voter ID Vote photo ID
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Arkansas House has passed a resolution that, if approved by voters, would require residents to present photographic identification in order to vote.

A proposed constitutional amendment by Republican Rep. Robin Lundstrum would also require the state to issue IDs at no charge to eligible voters if they don't already have one.

Lundstrum says the measure approved by the House on Thursday will help ensure voter security at the ballot.

The Arkansas Supreme Court has struck down a city's ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, but it stopped short of saying whether a state law aimed at prohibiting local LGBT protections is constitutional.

Sen. Tom Cotton faced an angry reception at a town hall forum in the Northwest Arkansas Ozarks. The crowd of 2,200 people filled the Springdale High School auditorium to capacity Wednesday to pepper the conservative Arkansas Republican with questions about everything from immigration and health care reform to President Donald Trump's ties to Russia.

A state Senate committee has endorsed legislation requiring online retailers who don't collect Arkansas sales taxes to provide a list of purchases made by state residents.

The Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee on Wednesday advanced the House-passed proposal aimed at collecting millions of dollars that lawmakers say the state is missing out on from online purchases. It would require out-of-state companies without a physical presence in Arkansas to inform customers that they owe state sales taxes on their purchases.

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