Arkansas Politics

Big River Steel
4:37 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

State Economic Dev. Director Says Big River Steel Isn't Without Risk

An Arkansas House Committee passed a proposal Wednesday to offer $125 million to a steel company to locate in the state.

The House Agriculture and Economic Development Commission advanced on a voice vote a bill that would give the state the authority to use state money for economic development to provide infrastructure, training and tax credits for Big River Steel, which would be located in Osceola.

State Economic Development Director Grant Tennille told lawmakers the plan isn’t without risk, but whether it fails or not, would be an economic benefit to the state.

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Medicaid
4:32 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Senator Dismang Says Lawmakers Will Be Asking Questions About His Bill To Expand Coverage

Lawmakers are meeting Wednesday afternoon to discuss bill to expand private health insurance coverage for people with income 138 % below the Federal Property Level.

Senator Jonathan Dismang, (Rep) from Beebe is the sponsor for one bill to expand coverage.

"There's a lot of discussion that individuals want to have about the actuarial study that was released last week.  So my understanding is we're trying to simplified those spread sheets so it's more understandable and the folks from DHS will be on hand to help answer questions,” said Dismang.

School Safety
1:16 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Hutchinson And NRA Task Force Recommend School Safety Measures

Asa Hutchinson unveils school safety recommendations in Washington, DC.
Credit Shawn Thew

Arkansas Republican Asa Hutchinson outlined plans to protect schools from violence Tuesday, as part of a national “School Shield” program backed by the National Rifle Association.

Hutchinson, a GOP candidate for Governor in 2014, presented eight recommendations from the 225-page report that included placing trained armed guards in schools. He says there is a two-tier system of security in the nation’s schools.  

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Local & Regional News
4:38 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Mayor Stodola Focuses On Crime In State Of The City Address

Credit Arkansas Times

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola  gave his State of the City Address Tuesday, assuring its citizens that high crime rates are being dealt with.  He also said revitalization projects continue to beautify the city, and public services will continue helping thousands of people. 

Mayor Stodola highlighted improvements the city has made during the last year, but also discussed aspects that still need some work. In particular, he said the criminal justice system needs to do a better job to keep “career burglars and thieves” locked up.

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Talk Business Arkansas
12:33 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Hutchinson Talks Politics And Guns With Talk Business Arkansas

Asa Hutchinson

In an interview with Talk Business Arkansas, Republican Asa Hutchinson, the GOP’s frontrunner in the 2014 race for governor, says he likes his chances of winning this time around.

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Local & Regional News
10:37 pm
Sun March 24, 2013

What's Next For Newly-Passed Abortion Laws In Arkansas?

Some Arkansans are demanding accountability from state lawmakers, and this past weekend they turned out in hundreds to protest recently passed legislation. Protesters gathered at the capitol to express disapproval of newly-passed reproductive laws in Arkansas.

Signs saying things like “may the choice be with you” and “mind your business” floated high above the crowd. Arkansans attended the rally at the capitol this Saturday, they say, in support of women’s rights and, as many protesters noted, human rights in general.

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State Tax Cuts
3:21 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Talk Of Tax Cuts, Medicaid Expansion Continues

Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

Talk of tax cuts continues to swirl around the state Capitol as lawmakers iron out what Speaker of the House Davy Carter said Friday is shaping up to be roughly $100 million dollars worth of cuts.

"In concept there is an agreement ... for a tax cut package in that range," Carter told reporters, speaking of talks between the House and Senate.

The Speaker had asked for lawmakers to identify $150 million in tax cuts, but recent reports have indicated the number has been decreasing.

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Politics
1:53 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Bill Would Keep Politicians Names Off Public Buildings, At Least For A While

The House voted 82-3 to pass a bill Friday that would prevent government agencies from naming buildings after public office holders until ten years after they are out of office.

The bill’s sponsor, Representative John Burris, R-Harrison, said this law would solve some interesting situations that have occurred in various districts around the state.

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Public Speakers
3:34 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

McCain's Little Rock Appearance Postponed

John McCain
Credit flickr.com / Dan Bennet

Those who had hoped to attend a speaking event with John McCain for the Clinton School of Public Service this Friday will have to wait until April to see the U.S. Senator.

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Pryor And Boozman On Immigration And Guns
5:08 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Pryor And Boozman Address Senate Immigration Reform And Gun Control Efforts

Immigration Reform demonstrators at rally.
Credit Michael Nelson/EPA

U.S. Senators Mark Pryor and John Boozman are carefully considering possible proposals for a comprehensive immigration reform package in the Senate.

Though there is new momentum for the reform effort, some Republican lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee are concerned that their colleagues may be moving too fast. They want more hearings on the proposal before the committee votes on it. 

Senator Pryor says the bipartisan bill could be filed in April or May.

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