Roby Brock / Talk Business & Politics

Roby Brock is the Editor-in-Chief and Host of Talk Business & Politics.

He can be reached by e-mail at: Roby@TalkBusiness.net.

Follow him on Twitter: @RobyBrock.

Senator Tom Cotton
Talk Business & Politics

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, says he’s unsure if Iran is owed more money from the U.S. government and the first-term GOP senator defended Donald Trump as a better potential President than Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Appearing on this week’s TV edition of Talk Business & Politics, Cotton reiterated his January 2016 message that a $400 million payment to Iran was a “ransom payment” to the rogue nation.

Governor asa hutchinson talk business & politics
Talk Business & Politics

In response to three nationally related episodes of gun violence and escalations between police officers and citizens, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said leaders must “calm the waters” in an effort to curtail overreactions to these violent and volatile situations.

“Most importantly, we need to make sure that we talk with reason and discipline as we discuss these matters. Leaders should not be encouraging and dramatizing the response beyond what it should be. The key thing here is our commitment to the rule of law,” he said.

Cindy Gillespie DHS director
Talk Business & Politics

Arkansas Department of Human Services director Cindy Gillespie is moving quickly to implement reforms in the state’s largest agency, and she anticipates the foundation for many policy changes to be laid prior to the 2017 legislative session.

Highways traffic Big Rock Interchange interstate
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s highway plan is expected to have widespread support in the Arkansas House and Senate in the special session that starts Thursday. However, can the bill get out of a key Senate committee?

Gretchen Hall
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gretchen Hall, CEO of the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau, likes the numbers she sees.

Last year, Pulaski County accounted for 13,000 travel-related jobs and 6.1 million visitors who spent nearly $1.8 billion in travel expenditures. That translates into more than $31 million in travel-related local taxes and $69 million in travel-related state taxes.

Why is the capital city so attractive for visitors?

Scott Bennett Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department Director
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s proposal to raise about $50 million in order to qualify for nearly $200 million in federal funds has the support of Arkansas highway officials, but they aren’t ruling out supporting other proposals.

jobs unemployment employment
www.purdue.edu

Arkansas Economic Development Commission executive director Mike Preston has been on the job for a little more than one year. This past week, his agency and the state landed one of the biggest investments in Arkansas history and peppered that success with a number of other job announcements.

The $1.3 billion Sun Paper Co. mill that will locate in Clark County will ultimately result in 250 new jobs averaging about $52,000 annually. The project has been in the works for several years, but final negotiations last weekend sealed the deal for Arkansas.

File photo: Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaking to reporters at the Capitol
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Gov. Asa Hutchinson says the 75% threshold to pass appropriations bills is too high, traditional Medicaid reform will likely wait until 2017, a highway special session could include other non-controversial topics, and the decision to replace Baker Kurrus as Little Rock School District superintendent will not be reversed.

Senate President Jonathan Dismang and Speaker of the House Jeremy Gillam say initial responses to the governor’s health care reforms and newly submitted budget may lead to tweaks versus radical changes.

Appearing on this week’s edition of Talk Business & Politics, Gillam, R-Judsonia, and Dismang, R-Searcy, said they are waiting on language from the governor’s office for legislation to be drafted, but expect “no mysteries” after a year’s worth of task force debate.

Ted Cruz
Talk Business & Politics

Texas Senator Ted Cruz said the GOP Presidential field might well be a two-man race between Donald Trump and himself after Tuesday’s SEC primaries and that contender Marco Rubio should consider leaving the race if he doesn’t win a state in the upcoming 12-state primary.

Cruz, who is in Arkansas campaigning in central and Northwest Arkansas this weekend, says he’s a “proven conservative” whose policies will best contrast with Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton in the fall.

Pages