Chris Hickey

Reporter / Anchor

Chris Hickey was born and raised in Houston, Texas, spending his teenage years in Camden, Ohio. He graduated from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, majoring in English. He got his start in public radio working as a board operator at WMUB in Oxford, Ohio during his summer and winter breaks from school. Since graduating, he has made Little Rock home. He joined KUAR in September 2011 as a production intern and has since enjoyed producing, anchoring and reporting for the station. He is the composer of KUAR's Week-In-Review Podcast theme music and the associate producer of Arts & Letters

Ways to Connect

This time on KUAR's Week-In-Review Podcast:

  • The 45th President of the United States is sworn into office. We’ll talk with central Arkansas's Congressman about what he wants to see President Trump's first days.
  • It’s week two of the 91st Arkansas General Assembly. We'll have an update on several bills involving tax cuts, food stamp restrictions, ethics bills, the lottery, and abortion restrictions.
  • And finally the Little Rock School District announces plans to close several schools, getting outrage from many parents.

Nearly 4,400 people have RSVP’d for a Women’s March to the Arkansas State Capitol, according to an organizer. The event is scheduled for Saturday morning. It is one of nearly 600 similar demonstrations set to occur across the country, mirroring a Washington, D.C. march to protest of the new presidential administration of Donald J. Trump.

Rep. Warwick Sabin
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

An Arkansas House panel on Thursday approved two separate measures that would provide tax relief to low-income citizens.

One, a $50 million dollar cut known as the “Tax Reform and Relief Act of 2017,” would cut the marginal income tax rate for roughly 657,000 Arkansans who make less than $21,000 a year. The bill, adopted from Gov. Asa Hutchinson's plan, would also create a task force to study the possibility of further tax legislation in the 2019 session. The bill unanimously passed out of the House Revenue and Taxation Committee.

Rep. Mathew Pitsch, the bill’s lead House sponsor, tried to reassure lawmakers concerned about the impact of a decline in state revenue if the cuts were to pass. Republican Rep. Dan Douglas questioned Pitsch about what kinds of funding the state may need to reduce.

arkansashouse.org

A bill to establish an official state dinosaur advanced out of a House committee Wednesday Democratic State Rep. Greg Leding of Fayetteville is the measure’s sponsor. The resolution, HCR1003, would make Arkansaurus Fridayi the official dinosaur of Arkansas.

Click here for more information on the bill and the dinosaur.

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

A $50 million income tax cut plan for low-earning Arkansans, initially proposed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson, advanced out of a state Senate panel on Wednesday. The Senate Committee on Revenue and Taxation, consisting of five Republicans and three Democrats, passed the measure with no dissenting voices or votes. The bill would cut taxes for people making below $20,999 annually.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Jim Hendren of Gravette, who’s also the Governor’s nephew, is the lead sponsor. He said the plan would affect about 657,000 people.  

Michael Poore Little Rock Superintendent
Jacob Kuaffman / KUAR News

Little Rock School Superintendent Mike Poore today announced the district’s latest plans for budget cuts in order to contend with a $37 million loss in state desegregation aid. The plan calls for the closure of Franklin and Wilson elementary schools, as well as the Woodruff Early Childhood Center.

Students attending the Hamilton Learning Academy would move to the Wilson campus. Poore announced that Carver Elementary, which had previously been considered for closure, will remain open.

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

Will this be the year Arkansas will end the official recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert E. Lee on the same day? Gov. Asa Hutchinson hopes it is, as do Democratic lawmakers. Several local and state leaders used the national MLK holiday on Monday to call for a change.

Following the Little Rock NAACP’s annual MLK “Marade,” or March/Parade to the State Capitol, the organization took to the building’s rotunda to honor King and remind people of work still left to be done to repair the damage of systemic racism and injustice in society.

House Speaker Jeremy Gillam (R-Judsonia) speaking in the press gallery.
Sarah Whites-Koditschek / Arkansas Public Media

This week, the 91st Arkansas General Assembly convened. KUAR’s Chris Hickey and Political Reporter and Morning Edition host Jacob Kauffman were there for much of it and took a dive into some of the first week’s big issues, including new rules on committee assignment process, party-switching former Democrats and attitudes surrounding proposed ethics reform legislation. 

Welcome to another edition of KUAR's Week In Review podcast where the KUAR News team takes a look at the news from the week that was.

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

The Arkansas House Rules Committee advanced two bills Wednesday that modify the way the state will regulate medical marijuana.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment went into effect November 9, a day after it was passed by voters. The amendment specifies that rulemaking agencies like the Arkansas Department of Health and the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration have to finalize any applicable regulations 120 days after the amendment’s effective date. But HB1026, sponsored by Republican State Rep. Douglas House of North Little Rock, extends the 120 day deadline to 180 days, or from March to early May.

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