Arkansas Government

Both chambers of the Arkansas Legislature have advanced proposals to move several smaller state agencies into larger ones.

Identical bills backed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson cleared the House 95 to 0 and the Senate 33 to 0 Wednesday.

Under the plan, the Department of Rural Services and the Science and Technology Authority would be merged into the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. Hutchinson also wants to merge the Division of Land Survey into the Geographic Information Office and the Arkansas Building Authority into the Department of Finance and Administration.

regnat populus Rhana Bazzini Paul Spencer
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

A coalition of groups is rallying support for a measure vying for a spot on the Arkansas ballot next year that would require more disclosure from outside political groups participating in campaigns.

An Arkansas finance official says the state's budget administrator has been fired from the post he's held for nearly four years.

Department of Finance and Administration Deputy Director Tim Leathers on Tuesday said Brandon Sharp had been terminated a day earlier. Leathers declined to say why Sharp had been fired from the post.

Sharp was appointed budget administrator in June 2011, replacing retiring administrator Mike Stormes in the post. He had previously worked for the department as a state budget manager.

Governor Hutchinson Facebook
Arkansas Economic Development Commission

You haven’t seen much out of Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s public schedule the last two days. That’s because the new Arkansas governor has been on the West Coast for a little R & R. Not “rest and relaxation,” but for a few “rendezvous and recruitment.”

Arkansas Treasurer Dennis Milligan.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Arkansas state treasurer's office has put on hold a new office policy requiring employees to delete all emails after 30 days.

Spokesman Grant Wallace for Republican Treasurer Dennis Milligan said Wednesday that the policy put in place April 17 had been suspended pending further review. An email was sent to treasurer's office employees on April 29 directing them to disregard the deletion policy, which was being removed from the employee handbook.

The email said employees would be notified if and when any new retention policy was established.

Arkansas Capitol
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

An Arkansas legislative committee is scheduled to hear from the state's top economic official.

The Joint Committee on Economic and Tax Policy will meet at the state Capitol Wednesday at 2 p.m. for a presentation on the state's general revenue forecast from Department of Finance and Administration Director Larry Walther.

State officials released the April revenue report Monday, which showed a surge in tax collections in nearly every major category.

Larry Jegley
Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

The Independent Citizens Commission on Thursday gave initial approval to a plan to raise most state prosecutors' salaries from $123,162 a year to $152,000. 

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson Launches New Website

Apr 22, 2015

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Wednesday launched a new website for governor.arkansas.gov, with a new design and features.

The re-design is intended to reach beyond the Little Rock bubble and into the homes and offices of all Arkansans.

The website has several features including all areas of the state and highlights a focus on job creation, economic development, computer science and other issues.

Hutchinson said the website will provide an opportunity for residents to learn and see the state’s beauty.

Asa Hutchinson
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says there's no room in his proposed budget for additional tax cuts, despite a renewed push to find funding for an exemption for military veterans.

Hutchinson told reporters on Thursday that a $102 million middle class income tax cut he signed into law last month and an effort to restore a capital gains break that was scaled back to help pay for that reduction are all that his proposed budget can afford.

Governor Mike Beebe Portrait
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Roberts Law Firm P.A. in Little Rock announced that former Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe has officially joined Roberts Group, which includes several legal and consulting entities tied to the firm.

On its Facebook page, the firm said: “Roberts Law Firm announces that Governor Mike Beebe has officially joined Roberts Group (Roberts Law Firm, PA, Roberts GR Strategies, LLC, Made in USA Works, LLC, and Roberts International, LLC), effective March 1, 2015. Governor Beebe will not engage in lobbying activities. We are thrilled to have him on board!”

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