Arkansas Politics Blog

The Arkansas House advanced a restriction on food stamps, or SNAP, that would ban the purchase of junk food.

If approved by the federal government, the measure would make Arkansas the first state to ban the purchase of junk food with food stamps. 

In what was an unusually close vote for the chamber, 55-39, state Representative Mary Bentley of Perryville pushed through her bill.

Rep. Mark Lowery (R-Maumelle) and Arkansas Department of Higher Education Director Maria Markham at a committee hearing. File photo 2017.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A bill to restructure how Arkansas’s higher education funding is determined is advancing to the state Senate. The switch from enrollment-based funding to productivity-based funding comes at the direction of Governor Asa Hutchinson’s office. State Representative Mark Lowery, a Republican from Maumelle, carried the bill on the House floor Monday.

The Arkansas House overwhelmingly passed a measure to enhance penalties for those who target law enforcement or first responders in a crime. State Representative Dwight Tosh, a retired state police officer from Jonesboro, indirectly referenced Blue Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter, and targeted shootings throughout the nation last year.

U.S. Representative French Hill (R-2nd District). File photo.
facebook.com

U.S. Representative French Hill (R-2nd District) is the latest member of Arkansas's House delegation to back President Trump's refugee order while calling for peeling back restrictions on green card holders and others. Hill issued a statement on Monday afternoon.

Assistant Pro Tempore 1st District Senator Eddie Joe Williams (R-Cabot).
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

State Senator Eddie Joe Williams has filed legislation requiring anyone seeking unemployment benefits that doesn't have a G.E.D. or high school diploma to take adult education courses to recieve benefits. The Republican from Cabot filed the bill on Monday.

The bill has been sent to the Senate Public Health, Welfare, and Labor Committee. It instructs the state Department of Workforce Services and Department of Career Education to determine rules for the proposal. 

Little Rock School District buses
Wikipedia

The Arkansas Department of Education is recommending two Little Rock School District campuses be removed from the academic distress category. The LRSD schools are among a list of ten released by the department on Monday. The entire district in Blytheville is also recommended to be cleared of the designation. 

The State Board of Education will ultimately decide on the recommendations at a meeting February 9.

File photo: Then U.S. Representative Tom Cotton (R-4th District) at the Clinton School of Public Service (2013).
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas’s Congressional delegation is generally supportive of President Donald Trump’s order on immigration. However, they called for clarifying the position for two groups: green card holders and immigrants with a history service to the U.S. military.

Senator Tom Cotton first reacted to the President’s move on Twitter. He said the characterization of the executive order as a “Muslim ban” amounts to “fake news.”

State Sen. Jason Rapert (file photo).
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas voters took to the ballot box in November to put in place a medical marijuana program. They did so in the form of a Constitutional Amendment. But that doesn’t mean the state Legislature can't have something to say about it.

State Senator Jason Rapert, a Republican representing Conway and Bigelow talked to KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman about a bill to stop the program from going into effect unless the federal government legalizes medicinal use first.

This interview was taped on January 27.

For videos like these and other Arkansas stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for our weekly news roundup e-mail if you haven't already!

This week, on KUAR’s Week In Review Podcast:

- The governor signs into law a ban on a commonly-used second trimester abortion procedure.

- Arkansas’s primary may be moving back to May and a few wrenches are thrown in the works of the state’s nascent medical marijuana program.

- Voter ID, Higher Education funding changes, and the governor’s tax cuts advance in week three of the legislative session.

- Arkansas officials are taking in week one of a Donald Trump presidency. What they have to say on trade, pipelines and immigration.

Pages