Arkansas Politics

Jury selection is underway in the trial for a former Arkansas state senator accused in an alleged kickback scheme.

Former Sen. Jon Woods faces 15 fraud charges. Prosecutors accuse of him of taking kickbacks from former Ecclesia College president Oren Paris III in exchange for directing state funding to the college.

Paris pleaded guilty last week to one count of fraud and agreed to testify for prosecutors. Woods' attorney, Patrick Benca, has said his client is innocent and that defense attorneys will prove that, despite Paris' guilty plea.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu joined Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola in calling for systemic changes to address gun violence in both cities.

Landrieu spoke as part of a day-long community safety summit at Little Rock’s Heifer International Village and sponsored by the Clinton School of Public Service.

Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin heads the Common Core task force.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin on Tuesday endorsed Gov. Asa Hutchinson in his bid for re-election against Republican primary challenger Jan Morgan.

“I’m going to be supporting the Governor, no question. Look, I think what he’s doing on this transformation stuff is, first of all, it’s my passion, and I am so excited that he’s aggressively pursuing this. [I’m] absolutely supporting the governor,” Griffin said in a Talk Business & Politics Daily interview.

A newspaper says a former Arkansas lawmaker who became Jefferson County's chief administrative officer will resign after a federal prosecutor revealed the official had received $100,000 in bribes.

The Pine Bluff Commercial reported Monday that County Judge Henry "Hank" Wilkins IV sent a resignation letter to the governor, effective Thursday. In the letter, Wilkins said he was sorry his own actions made the resignation necessary.

Arkansas House Speaker-Designate Matthew Shepherd
KATV, Channel 7

Arkansas Speaker of the House-designate, Rep. Matthew Shepherd, R-El Dorado, won’t take office until January 2019, but he’s already rolling up his sleeves to gear up for the transition.

Appearing on this week’s edition of Talk Business & Politics, Shepherd said he wants to find ways to optimize House members’ leadership roles and he’s keen on working with Gov. Asa Hutchinson to reduce the size of state government.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson has announced his plan to reorganize state government and reduce the number of cabinet-level agencies reporting directly to him by at least 50 percent.

The governor announced his plan following the conclusion of the fiscal session of the Arkansas Legislature Thursday, saying his administration has worked to maximize government efficiency since he first took office.

Bill Clinton
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Bill Clinton was known as the rock ‘n’ roll president – the first from a generation that grew up on the music to reach the highest office in the nation. Sunday, he spoke at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock at the opening of a temporary exhibit that looks at the impact rock music has had over the years on politics and social movements.

Asa Hutchinson
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas' governor has signed into law legislation to continue the state's Medicaid expansion, which will impose a work requirement on thousands of participants this year.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson's office said Thursday the Republican signed the budget bill for Medicaid and the expansion, which uses federal and state funds to purchase private insurance for low-income residents. More than 285,000 people are on the program, which was created as an alternative to expanding Medicaid under the federal health law.

Alex Wong / Getty Images

President Trump hosted lawmakers from both parties to discuss gun policy and school safety on Wednesday.

During the freewheeling meeting, Trump appeared to support a number of conflicting measures. NPR journalists have annotated a transcript of the exchange, adding context and analysis.

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