Steve Brawner / Talk Business & Politics

Steve Brawner is a freelance journalist and contributor to Talk Business & Politics.

He is also a syndicated columnist in 10 Arkansas newspapers.

You can email him at or follow him on Twitter: @SteveBrawner.

File photo: Then U.S. Representative Tom Cotton (R-4th District) at the Clinton School of Public Service (2013).
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas is among 10 Republican senators pushing the U.S. State Department to suspend any security clearances held by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and several of her aides.

FBI Director James Comey earlier this week announced that although Clinton will not be charged with a crime, her use of a private email server for classified material was “extremely careless.”

Several of Arkansas’ Republican elected officials reacted favorably Thursday to a tie vote by the U.S. Supreme Court that effectively upheld a lower court ruling against President Obama’s policy of selectively enforcing immigration laws.

The Court split 4-4 in the case of United States, et al., petitioners v. Texas, et al. In a one-sentence opinion, the court ruled, “The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided Court” without explaining how the court was divided.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will hold a special meeting June 24 to consider adopting regulations to combat a fatal disease that is affecting 23% of deer sampled in a five-county area in north-central Arkansas.

Talk Business and Politics reports:

Former President Bill Clinton will speak at the Democratic Party of Arkansas’ 35th Annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner July 15 at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock.

File photo. Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) speaking to reporters after addressing the Arkansas General Assembly at the beginning of a special session.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The federal prohibition preventing states and localities from enforcing sales tax laws against out-of-state retailers should be lifted, but the additional revenues raised at the state level should be placed in a “lockbox” and offset with income tax cuts, Gov. Asa Hutchinson told the County Judges Association of Arkansas Friday.

Hutchinson said the combination would be more politically acceptable to pass at the federal level and would lower the income tax rate.

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

A constitutional amendment that would allow casinos in Washington, Miller and Boone counties has been certified by Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, and now backers will begin collecting signatures.

Interstate 30
Arkansas Highway & Transportation Dept.

The Arkansas Highway Commission has announced its support for Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s highway bill.

In a statement released Wednesday, the commission said it was “pleased that the call for the Special Session includes a plan from Governor Hutchinson to address our most critical, immediate need for additional highway investment. … While we have concerns about the sustainability of some of the proposed funding sources beyond the first year, we appreciate and support the Governor’s efforts on this critical, immediate issue.”

Bill Clinton
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Former President Bill Clinton encouraged the 41 members of the 10th graduating class of the Clinton School of Public Service to focus on what makes people alike rather than what makes them different.

Members of the graduating class included citizens of Benin, China, Kenya, and Venezuela.

A proposed bill that would do away with the Workers’ Compensation Commission’s Death and Permanent Total Disability Trust Fund has support from some legislators and organized labor but not the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, which supports ending the fund, but after more consideration.

Unity Health, a Searcy-based health system, announced Thursday that it is the first medical provider in Arkansas to join the Mayo Clinic Care Network.

The arrangement means Unity Health doctors will have access to electronic consulting with physicians with the Mayo Clinic, one of the country’s top-ranked medical providers by U.S. News & World Report. Patient medical information such as MRI scans will be transmitted to those doctors. Unity Health also will have access to the AskMayoExpert database with information on disease management and care guidelines.