Arkansas Politics Blog

Libertarian Party of Arkansas Chair Michael Pakko with over 15,000 signatures to be submitted to the Secretary of State's office for ballot access. May 2016.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

For the fourth election cycle in a row, the Libertarian Party of Arkansas has been officially recognized as a ‘new’ political party. It needed 10,000 signatures to be able to put its candidates on the 2018 ballot. The Arkansas Secretary of State’s office has certified that 12,749  out of 15,108 signatures were determined valid.

The party had 90 days to collect signatures. Libertarians submitted them on June 12th. In a statement, LPA Treasurer Stephen Wait said it came at a cost of over $25,000 in addition “a lot of volunteer hours.”

The Pulaski County Quorum Court meets in a building on South Broadway.
Google Earth

A push in Pulaski County to temporarily bar certain musical performances if a city deemed its content to encourage violence fell flat in a Quorum Court meeting Tuesday night. Justice of the Peace Judy Green of central Little Rock believes going to certain rap concerts can encourage people to be violent. The proposal was a response to the shootout at Power Ultra Lounge earlier this month. 

Music historian Stephen Koch, host of the public radio music documentary program Arkansongs and author of Louis Jordan: Son of Arkansas, Father of R&B joined KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman to talk about an effort to squash rap concerts.

The Pulaski County Quorum Court meets in a building on South Broadway.
Google Earth

Local leaders are scrambling for solutions in the wake of a mass shooting at a Little Rock night club earlier this month. The Pulaski County Quorum Courts is considering during Tuesday’s meeting on a resoultion encouraging cities to place a 180 day moratorium on musical performances deemed to encourage violence.

Arkansas’s congressional delegation is returning to Washington D.C. following a July 4th recess and the state’s U.S. Senators are as tight lipped as ever about the GOP’s stalled bill to end much of the Affordable Care Act.

Does Senator Tom Cotton support the healthcare plan he helped draft with 12 other white male Republican Senators? Does Senator John Boozman support the plan backed by the majority of his party? These are basic questions Arkansans don’t have answers to.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson outlines changes he wants made to the Republican healthcare plan in the U.S. Senate.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

As Congress readies for the July recess, governors are among those trying to shape the stalled Senate healthcare bill. Arkansas’s Republican governor wants the state’s Republican  senators to make changes.

He isn’t offering a full rebuke – even saying the U.S. Senate is moving in the right direction - but Gov. Asa Hutchinson says the proposal poses a “big problem” for the state.

AACF Health Policy Director Marquita Little.
Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families

The Congressional Budget Office’s scoring on the Senate Republican healthcare plan is out and Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families concludes it'll do a great deal of harm to Arkansans. The CBO report finds 22 million people would lose insurance coverage, premiums would go up, and hundreds of millions of dollars in tax cuts would be given to the country’s wealthiest citizens – and that’s among many other changes.

The base of the 10 Commandments monument was installed earlier this month.
Wesley Brown / Talk Business & Politics

A tablet containing the 10 Commandments is being installed this morning on the grounds of the Arkansas Capitol building. Lawsuits have been promised from several entities contending the monument amounts to a state preference or endorsement of particular religious beliefs. The state Legislature approved the privately funded monument.

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R) meeting with members of the Arkansas Hospital Association before the Senate plan was released.
Sen. Tom Cotton's office.

The Senate Republican healthcare plan has Arkansas Hospital Associate President Bo Ryall worried about the impact on rural hospitals, communities, and the hundreds of thousands of Arkansans who could lose insurance coverage. KUAR's Jacob Kauffman spoke with Ryall about the plan - crafted in part by U.S. Senator Tom Cotton - to rollback much of the Affordable Care Act.

Republican Rep. Rick Crawford
crawford.house.gov

The state’s Congressional delegation is revealing little about their positions on the Republican U.S. Senate proposal to roll back much of the Affordable Care Act. Senator Tom Cotton was one of a select few lawmakers to draft the bill in secret but even he has not commented extensively on the proposal. During a KUAR interview on Friday related to Cuba policy, U.S. Representative Rick Crawford of east Arkansas’s 1st District said he hasn’t read the Senate plan yet but appreciates that it’s moving quickly.

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