Roby Brock

Content Contributor

Roby Brock of covers business and political news happening in Arkansas.

Ways to Connect

Gov. Mike Beebe said Tuesday there are a “multiplicity” of reasons Arkansas Legislators should vote to fund Arkansas’ private option plan, and he also took a shot at Republican gubernatorial candidates who “don’t understand the budget” with respect to the private option.

More Arkansans feel the state is heading in the right direction than the wrong direction and a majority identify the economy and jobs as their top issue of concern.

Arkansas voters view the private option insurance plan more favorably than unfavorably, according to a new survey from Talk Business and Hendrix College.

Acxiom Corp. began a round of layoffs this week that corporate leaders suggested would be forthcoming when they last reported earnings.

Mike Stafford CEG Partners
Talk Business Arkansas

Talk Business Arkansas — in conjunction with the State Chamber of Commerce and consulting group CEG Partners — released its first “Business Leaders Confidence Survey,” which found that company leaders across Arkansas see sizable revenue growth in 2014 but it may not correlate to hiring or capital investments.

Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson unveiled details of his plan to reduce Arkansas’ individual income tax rates, a cornerstone of his tax cut platform for Governor.

“Arkansas is not competitive in its income tax structure,” said Hutchinson. He cited surrounding states with lower or no individual income tax rates.

“Why is this important? It impacts the recruitment of industry,” he said.

A challenge to Big River Steel’s air quality permit by Nucor Steel will delay or could trip up the $1.1 billion superproject planned for northeast Arkansas, but state officials expressed confidence that the steel mill will go forward.

A nonpartisan news source that fact-checks campaign political ads says a new TV ad from Cong. Tom Cotton (R) is “false” and the Mark Pryor Senate campaign is calling on Cotton to pull the plug on the spot.

Earlier this week, U.S. Senate hopeful Tom Cotton unveiled a new TV ad declaring that incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor (D) cast “the deciding vote” for Obamacare and voted “himself and everyone in Congress special subsidies” to protect them from Obamacare, the new federal health law.

Last week, House Speaker Davy Carter (R-Cabot) and Senate President Michael Lamoureux (R-Russellville) charged the heads of the legislative education and insurance committees to come up with a framework for a solution to the public school employee insurance crisis by Friday, Oct. 4. The deadline has been met.

A memo circulating among Arkansas lawmakers Friday outlines a number of short-term and long-term fixes to the troubled insurance fund, which is facing a $54 million deficit and looming 50% rate hikes to teachers and public school employees.

Tim Massad, Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability with the U.S. Department of Treasury, was the featured speaker at the Clinton School of Public Service on Thursday.

Massad oversees the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), which provided financial support to the nation’s financial institutions and housing markets during the Great Recession in 2008. The controversial TARP plan was approved and began implementation in September 2008, and is nearing its 5-year anniversary this month.