Arkansas Politics

Private Option To Become Law
6:29 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Beebe To Sign 'Private Option' Plan Into Arkansas Law

Governor Mike Beebe

Gov. Mike Beebe is set to sign into law legislation that will allow Arkansas to use federal Medicaid dollars to purchase private health insurance for thousands of low-income residents. 

Beebe is expected Tuesday to sign into law bills setting up the "private option" program that supporters have touted as an alternative to the Medicaid expansion called for under the federal health care law.

The proposal would allow the state to purchase private insurance through an exchange set up through the law. The federal government must still approve Arkansas' plan.

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Police Investigate GOP Threats
6:25 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Arkansas Republican Lawmakers Face Security Concerns

Davy Carter
Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

Arkansas State Police say they have investigated threats against state legislators but found no reason to believe their safety was in jeopardy. House Speaker Davy Carter was one of the legislators threatened when he was targeted in a tweet. 

Carter said Monday that he never felt he was in physical danger but said the threat made him angry. Also Monday, the editor of the Benton County Republican Committee newsletter apologized for approving an article by her husband that discussed shooting legislators.

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Ethics Reform
7:07 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Arkansas House Sends Ethics, Petition Rules To Voters

A proposal to ban most lobbyist gifts to elected officials, prohibit corporate contributions and loosen Arkansas' term limits for legislators will appear on the ballot next year.

By a 76-3 vote, the House approved a proposal to let voters decide on adding a package of ethics and campaign finance rules to the state's constitution. The measure also would set up an independent commission to set salaries for state elected officials.

Legislative Ethics
7:04 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Ethics Amendment Passes Arkansas Senate

Rep. Warwick Sabin (D-Little Rock) says HJR1009 that he sponsored with Sen. Jon Woods (R-Springdale) is very similar to a proposal the group Regnat Populous tried to get onto the ballot last year.
Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

A proposed constitutional amendment that would, among other things, prohibit state legislators and constitutional officers from accepting gifts from lobbyists is closer to being on the 2014 ballot after passing the Senate Thursday.

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Pipelines
4:52 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Mayflower Spill Seen As Fuel In Keystone XL Debate

Credit flickr.com

Environmental activists who oppose the construction of TransCanada’s Keystone XL Pipeline are looking to the recent oil spill in Mayflower to solidify their case as they plan to testify against the new pipeline Thursday in Nebraska.

Proponents of the pipeline argue it is still the safest mode of transport for a resource which people must continue to rely on.

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Senators Want Increased Border Security
2:33 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Pryor And Boozman Review Immigration Plan

left to right: Senator John Boozman and Mark Pryor

Arkansas’s senior U.S. Senator, Mark Pryor, says he still needs to review a new immigration proposal before deciding how to vote. 

The bipartisan plan crafted by eight senators includes increased border security measures and a decade-long process to grant citizenship to 12 million undocumented immigrants. Pryor says there are key goals that must be a part of any plan he could support. 

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Local & Regional News
6:02 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Restitution Claim Dropped In Arkansas Vote Fraud Case

Former State Rep. Hudson Hallum
Credit Danny Johnston / AP Photo

A claim for restitution has been abandoned in the case of a former Arkansas legislator convicted of conspiracy to commit election fraud.

Kim Felker sought restitution after losing the Democratic Party runoff to former Rep. Hudson Hallum. Her claim was dropped Monday when a federal prosecutor said the government would not seek restitution from Hallum and others.

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Local & Regional News
8:32 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Tom Cotton Raises $526K In First Quarter Of Year

Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton of Arkansas has raised more than $526,000 during the first three months of the year.

Cotton's campaign announced Monday that he has more than $560,000 cash on hand and no debt for a re-election bid next year.

Cotton, an Army veteran and former management consultant, was elected last year to represent south Arkansas' 4th District.

Cotton has been frequently mentioned as a potential challenger to Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, who is seeking a third term.

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Local & Regional News
12:28 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Sen. Pryor Has $3.4 Million For Re-Election Campaign

Credit pryor.senate.gov

U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor says he raised $1.9 million for his re-election campaign in the first quarter of  2013, more than doubling the amount of money on hand for next year's race.  

Republicans have targeted the two-term senator, believing he is vulnerable in a state that has seen the GOP take a number of statewide and congressional races since 2010.  

According to the Democratic Party of Arkansas, which distributed Pryor's fundraising figures Thursday, the candidate has $3.4 million on hand.  

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Pryor On Gun Control
3:50 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Pryor Supports Republican Filibuster Of Gun Control Bill, Still Opposes Gay Marriage

Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas
Credit AP/Photo

U.S. Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas, a Democrat, says he would support a Republican planned filibuster of gun control legislation that is expected to reach the Senate floor Thursday. 

Though some of his colleagues are negotiating over several compromise bills, Pryor says the current bill from the Senate Judiciary Committee is too broad and it’s not workable. He says the filibuster might extend the process so the legislation can be shaped by more lawmakers.

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