Arkansas Government

Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) at the state Capitol on Monday.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Governor Asa Hutchinson is continuing his push to find so-called efficiencies in state government with a pair of re-organizing proposals for the legislative session beginning in January. At a press conference on Monday, the Republican governor announced he wants to move the Office of Energy from the state Economic Development Commission to the Department of Environmental Quality and to reduce the number of Criminal Detention Facilities Review Committees from 28 to eight.

Hutchinson said moving the Office of Energy out of AEDC is a move for “mission alignment.”

Arkansas finance officials say a boost in corporate and individual income tax collections helped the state's revenue rebound in October after three months of losses this fiscal year.

The Department of Finance and Administration said Wednesday the state's net available revenue in October totaled $439.1 million, which was $33.2 million above the same month last year and $8.9 million above forecast. The state's revenue so for the fiscal year that began July 1 totaled $1.7 billion, which is $23.2 million below forecast.

Jonathan dismang
Talk Business & Politics

Arkansas Senate President Jonathan Dismang, R-Searcy, said it’s too early in the pre-session process to predict how large of a tax cut may be pushed in the next General Assembly, and he outlined a new agenda item he wants to see reviewed in 2017.

Appearing on this week’s TV edition of Talk Business & Politics, Dismang said until the state’s revenue picture becomes clearer and Gov. Asa Hutchinson puts forth his plans, lawmakers are in a wait-and-see mode.

Ted Suhl
Nelson Chenault / Arkansas Times

A federal jury convicted a north Arkansas man who owned several mental health facilities on bribery charges late Thursday afternoon. The Arkansas Times reports that after almost five hours of deliberations, Ted Suhl was found guilty of four of six counts for allegedly funneling money to a top official at the Arkansas Department of Human Services in exchange for getting preferential treatment from the state.

Ann Clemmer
Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

A former state lawmaker has been picked as the interim director of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Friday named Ann Clemmer to head the department when Brett Powell resigns July 29 to become vice president for finance and administration at Henderson State University. The Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board is conducting a nationwide search to find Powell's permanent replacement.

Asa Hutchinson governor
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is splitting his deputy chief of staff job into two positions and is promoting his director of constituent services to one of the posts.

Hutchinson's office on Thursday announced that the Republican governor had selected Ateca Williams to serve as his deputy chief of staff for internal operations. Hutchinson's office says a deputy chief for external operations will be named later.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson's deputy chief of staff has announced he is leaving his post a little more than a month after the governor's chief of staff resigned to work in the private sector.

Hutchinson's office announced Monday that Deputy Chief of Staff Jon Gilmore will leave at the end of June to also pursue "private sector opportunities," including starting a consulting firm.

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.

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

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge met with the federal government’s chief consumer advocate Richard Cordray on Wednesday about a host of issues including proposed regulations on payday loans.

Arkansas finance officials say a mild winter and a court settlement led revenue numbers to dip below forecast for the month of May but be above levels compared to the same month last year.

In May gross general revenue fell 1.7 percent below forecast at $432.9 million and sales tax collections dropped $21.2 million or 11 percent below expectations.

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