Arkansas Legislature

Local & Regional News
1:06 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Pulaski County Jail To Close Again To All But The Most Violent Offenders

Credit www.pcso.org

The Pulaski County Jail is again being closed because of overcrowding, with only the most violent offenders to be taken in.

Sheriff Doc Holladay says as of Monday morning, 1,281 inmates were being held, which is 71 over capacity.

“Looking ahead over the next few days with the long holiday weekend coming, it is quite clear that our population is going to continue to grow unless we took some steps to limit access to the facility. Unfortunately the only way we can do that is close the facility to only violent felons,” Holladay said.

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Local & Regional News
12:56 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Legislators Will Look To Privatize Troubled School Insurance Fund

Rep. Harold Copenhaver of Jonesboro talks with Roby Brock on Talk Business and Politics.
Credit Talk Business & Politics

A co-chair of a task force on teacher health insurance says after this week’s special session, his group plans to study privatizing the troubled school benefits program.

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Local & Regional News
12:10 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Arkansas Lawmakers Prepare To Convene For Special Session

The Arkansas State Capitol, where the Senate will be meeting. The House will meet at the Old Statehouse Museum.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

Arkansas lawmakers are spreading out across two different parts of downtown as they gather for a special legislative session focused on teacher insurance, the lottery and prison overcrowding.

The House and Senate are set to convene Monday afternoon for the session, which legislative leaders hope to wrap up by early Wednesday morning.

The House will meet in the Old State House museum after renovations moved them out of their chamber. The Senate will remain at the state Capitol, located a mile away.

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Local & Regional News
2:01 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Governor Beebe Adds Lottery To Special Session Agenda

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe says next week's special legislative session will also include a proposal to prohibit the lottery from adding monitor games such as keno.

Beebe on Friday added the effort to restrict the games to his proclamation calling lawmakers back to the Capitol for the special session. Beebe earlier this week called the special session, set to begin Monday, to focus on a looming hike in teacher health insurance premiums and prison overcrowding.

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Local & Regional News
2:25 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Beebe Announces Plans For Special Session Of The Legislature

Gov. Mike Beebe (D) announces his call for a special session of the legislature at the Capitol.
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Governor Mike Beebe announced Tuesday he has called for  a special session of the legislature to mitigate prison overcrowding and increases in public school employee health insurance premiums. Proposed changes to the health insurance plan include removing nearly 4,000 part-time workers, reducing eligibility for spouses, and re-directing over $4.5 million in insurance related tax savings from school districts discretionary funds.

Governor Beebe said what comes out of the special session still won’t resolve fundamental problems with increasing premiums.

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Local & Regional News
9:00 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Beebe Proposing $6.3 Million For Prison Beds

Gov. Mike Beebe's office says it has found $6.3 million in the budget to fund up to 600 additional prison beds.

Beebe's office said Thursday that the additional funding will relieve some backup of state prisoners in county jails, assuming it wins approval in a special session.

The governor says he'll add items to a call for a special session if passage in the House and Senate is assured. Already, legislators are working to win a consensus on public school employee health insurance. A bill that would block the lottery from adding monitor games is also under discussion.

Local & Regional News
8:56 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Arkansas Lawmakers Eye Teacher Insurance Fixes

Arkansas House and Senate leaders are counting votes for two bills aimed at addressing looming insurance increases for public school employees as they see whether there's enough support for a special session on the issue.

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Local & Regional News
1:19 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Special Session To Address Teacher Insurance Looking More Likely

Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

All part-time school and state employees as well as many spouses of full-time employees would be ineligible for insurance benefits under two draft bills discussed during a meeting of the House and Senate Education Committees Tuesday.

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Local & Regional News
9:18 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Group Wants To Help Defend 12-Week Abortion Ban

An anti-abortion group based in Texas wants to help Arkansas officials defend the state's 12-week abortion ban before a federal appeals court.

The Justice Foundation on Monday asked to file a friend of the court brief with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals defending the Arkansas law prohibiting most abortions 12 weeks into a woman's pregnancy. The group said it wanted to file the brief on behalf of women who it said had suffered physical and psychological injuries because of their abortions.

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Local & Regional News
9:15 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Work Begins On Restoration Of House Chamber

House Chamber of the Arkansas General Assembly
Credit wikipedia.org

Work has begun on a $1 million restoration of the Arkansas state House chamber.

Construction crews on Monday began a historic restoration project in the chamber where the 100-member House meets. The project includes restoring cracked pieces of stained glass, restoring plaster in the ceiling that has received water damage and restoring the House chamber's chandelier. A historic paint analysis has been conducted to return the chamber to its original colors.

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