Arkansas Politics Blog

Left to right: Senate President Jonathan Dismang (R-Searcy) and Governor Asa Hutchinson (R).
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The news this week was all about the governor’s highway funding plan but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a good reason to talk about the unsettled issue of Medicaid expansion.

Toward the end of Governor Asa Hutchinson’s remarks on the highway proposal earlier this week he cautioned that all of it would need to be scrapped if the legislature doesn’t approve his reconstituted private option, which he calls Arkansas Works, in a special session this Spring.

Chad Causey with Catfish Farmers of America (left) and state Rep. Michael John Gray (D-Augusta) speaking in House Agriculture in 2015.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

There may not be much outright opposition to the governor’s new highway funding proposal but Democratic Minority Leader Michael John Gray in the Arkansas House has his reservations. I caught up with him on Wednesday during the lunch break of an un-related health care task force meeting.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announcing his highway funding proposal.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson is proposing that the state for the first time ever dip into general revenue funds to pay for state highways. The Republican governor announced the “no new taxes” proposal on Tuesday for a $750 million, 10-year highway budget that redirects general revenue and surplus funds.

At a press conference the governor said he felt “pretty good” about using general revenue for roads.

The almost uniquely Arkansas tradition of splitting the Martin Luther King Jr. state holiday bill with Robert E. Lee is in full swing today. The state governments of Mississippi and Alabama are the other holdouts of the dual observance of the civil rights leader and Confederate general. Lee’s home state of Virginia ended its Lee-Jackson-King Day in 2000.

Arkansas Politics Blog Logo.
Karen Tricot Steward / KUAR

There are a lot of odds and ends as well as deep dives into Arkansas politics we can't always squeeze on the radio waves. With a nod toward political junkies KUAR is gradually rolling out its Arkansas Politics Blog.

You can expect to find expanded web versions of stories you hear on our newscasts, links and story highlights from elsewhere relevant to Arkansas, and a style of presentation that simply can't be manifested on the radio.