Arkansas Politics

A renewed effort to exempt Arkansas military veterans' retirement benefits from the income tax is one of the first bills filed ahead of next year's legislative session. 

Republican Rep. Charlene Fite filed the proposed tax break on Tuesday, the first day for lawmakers to pre-file bills for the 2017 session. The proposal would exempt veterans' retirement and survivor benefits from the state income tax. 

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said Tuesday the fact that Republicans now control the White House, Congress and so many governors' mansions has left her "giddy."

Haley and the rest of the Republican Governors Association are meeting this week in Orlando, Fla., to discuss their party's victories last week and how they hope to work with President-elect Donald Trump.

With the passing of veteran Washington journalist Gwen Ifill this week, we look back on a 2009 interview she did with Steve Barnes of the Arkansas Educational Television Network.

She'd just released a book that concluded Americans were no longer voting primarily based on race.

KUAR's Karen Tricot Steward examines how her expectation that a new generation of black politicians would come forth and appeal to voters didn't come to fruition during her lifetime.

Hillary Clinton
John Locher/AP/npr.org

Hillary Clinton’s defeat in the presidential election may have some women getting more involved in state level politics.

Nearly a year ago, well before the election results, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF) began hosting regular conversations about the impact of state policies on women and children in the state. The discussions were open to all women, and only women. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 15.

Arkansas foster care officials say a proposed $26 million budget increase will allow them to hire hundreds of more staffers over the next two years as they try to cut down caseloads and increase the number of homes available for children in the state's custody.

Arkansas House of Representatives.
ArkansasHouse.org

After big gains by Republicans in Tuesday’s election, members of the Arkansas House of Representatives caucused to select their committees at the state Capitol Thursday.

Sarah Whites-Koditschek / Arkansas Public Media

It's Election Day and Arkansans have until 7:30 p.m. to get in line to cast their ballot. The Secretary of State's office has projected high voter turnout and reports early voting totals exceeding the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections.

Secretary of State Mark Martin's office says more than 606,000 Arkansans took advantage of early voting, compared to about 452,000 in 2012.

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

Just before a historic presidential election, a group of University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Clinton School of Public Service students are visiting more than a dozen houses of worship on Sunday to collect data on how religious organizations influence their congregants' political views.

A couple days before distributing surveys at religious congregations all around Little Rock, students and volunteers attend a training session at an auditorium on the UALR campus.

Arkansas Department of Education Building in Little Rock near the state Capitol building.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Legislators Monday missed a deadline to agree on a plan for education funding increases known as "adequacy."

A 22 year-old Arkansas Supreme Court decision, commonly referred to as "Lake View," requires lawmakers to fund education adequately before other appropriations are taken up. But lawmakers in the education committee were unable to agree about how much of a funding boost to give to schools.

Issue 7, the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act, is dead…or is it? Last week the Arkansas Supreme Court, in a 5-2 decision, invalidated about 12,000 signatures and consequently the ballot measure. On Monday, Attorney John Wesley Hall petitioned for a rehearing.

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