Wesley Brown/ Talk Business & Politics

Wesley Brown is the Business Editor for Talk Business & Politics. He can be reached by email at wesbrocomm@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @BrownOnBusiness.

California wine
www.california-wine-trails.com

After more than a month of fierce debate that brought dozens of liquor store owners across the state to Little Rock, the Arkansas Senate on Wednesday quietly approved a controversial measure that will allow Wal-Mart and other grocery chains to sell a wider selection of wines.

Sen. Joyce Elliott, D-Little Rock, stood out as the lone voice to speak against Senate Bill 284 on the floor. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Bart Hester, R-Cave Springs, was passed over on the Senate calendar for several days as supporters and opponents camped around the Senate chamber to lobby votes.

Two of the state’s top economic forecasters told a Senate panel on Wednesday they are confident lagging tax collections in the first half of fiscal 2017 would continue improving and enable lawmakers to fully enact Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s $50.5 million tax cut proposal.

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

The office of Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on Wednesday (Jan. 4) asked a federal judge to issue a temporary stay on a case before the U.S. District Court in Harrison questioning the constitutionality of the state’s landlord tenant rules, or wait until the upcoming legislation session is over before moving forward with court hearings.

UAPB
toursbyjoshwhitehead.blogspot.com

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff has signed a $19.3 million deal with a construction firm to design and complete the state’s first energy conservation project to meet a 2009 legislative dictate to reduce energy costs on Arkansas college campuses by 30%.

Indianapolis, Ind.-based Performance Services, which has similar projects at secondary schools and colleges across the U.S., has been contracted to do the work at UAPB through the Arkansas Energy Performance Contracting (AEPC) Program, which is part of the state’s Arkansas Energy Office.

The number of Arkansas residents increased by 10,395 people in the last year as new births and native and foreign-born migrants moving to the Natural State grew the population base to nearly 3 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s estimates released Tuesday.

Governor Asa Hutchinson
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday outlined details of his $50.5 million tax cut plan for the upcoming 90th General Assembly that he says will focus on reducing the tax burden for the bulk of the state’s lowest wage earners making less than $21,000 a year.

Executives from Massachusetts-based Clean Harbors Inc. gathered with South Arkansas government and business officials on Tuesday (Dec. 6) to christen what company officials are calling the nation’s most technologically advance incinerator of its kind to be built this century.

Little Rock Technology tech Park
Talk Business & Politics

Nearly a decade after the Little Rock Technology Authority was created from enabling legislation in the 2007 legislative session, the downtown tech village on Tuesday announced its first tenant only three months away from its scheduled grand opening in early 2017.

Ken Simonson Associated General Contractors of America
Jacob Kuaffman / KUAR News

Officials with the Associated General Contractors of America visited central Arkansas Tuesday to push for a federal civil works program under President-elect Donald Trump that would invest over a trillion dollars in the nation’s aging infrastructure and bring more construction jobs to the Arkansas economy.

Sun Paper
Arkansas Governor's Office

Becky Keogh, director of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, said she and her staff had recent meetings with officials at Sun Paper Industry of China on pre-engineering and environmental permitting for the $1.3 billion mega-project in Clark County.

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