With an immigration reform bill moving forward in the U.S. Senate, Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas says procedural votes Tuesday were just the first step in what will be a closely watched process.
“If you look at the immigrant population in Arkansas, it’s about five percent and about 13 percent nationwide,” said Pryor. “However, we are one of the fastest growing states in terms of immigrant population. I think we’re fourth overall in the amount of growth we’re seeing in our immigrant population so this is an issue that’s becoming increasingly important to our state.”
A second Democrat also entered the race for Arkansas Lieutenant Governor today: Little Rock School Board President Dianne Curry.
If elected, the 59-year-old would be the first woman to serve in that post and the first African-American elected to statewide office. Curry says it’s time for more women, minorities, and working class people to be in state government.
She says she will focus on education, the workforce, the economy, and issues surrounding the health of Arkansans.
Arkansas Highway Commissioner John Burkhalter says he will make an announcement Tuesday that will run for a statewide office, but isn't saying which one.
There has been a lot of speculation in recent months that Burkhalter is considering a run for the Democratic nomination for Governor. Sitting Governor Mike Beebe is term-limited and can not run for re-election.
Burkhalter, who is also a small business owner and entrepreneur, has close ties to Beebe, as well as former President Bill Clinton.
Former Democratic U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas is now a lobbyist working on issues that impact small businesses and independent contractors. Lincoln lost her Senate seat to Republican John Boozman in the 2010 election.
In an interview with Talk Business Arkansas, Lincoln says Senator Mark Pryor will face many challenges for reelection, especially when it comes to getting his message out to voters.
A federal grand jury has indicted former Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner on charges that she accepted more than $36,000 cash from a bond broker to whom she steered a large portion of the state's investment business.
The indictment filed on Wednesday charged Shoffner with extortion and other charges.
Shoffner was arrested at her Newport home May 18 after the FBI said it caught her on tape accepting a $6,000 payment from the broker, who hasn't been identified.