Arkansas Politics

Arkansas General Assembly
3:04 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Bill To Keep Lt. Governor's Seat Vacant Clears Arkansas House

The Arkansas House of Representatives' chamber.
Credit wikipedia.org

The vacant seat of Arkansas Lieutenant Governor will likely remain that way until next year. On Thursday the state House of Representatives passed SB139, allowing the Governor to not call a special election to fill a vacant Lieutenant Governor’s post if that vacancy occurs less than 10 months from a General Election. The state Senate passed the bill last week and the bill now awaits Governor Mike Beebe’s signature to become law.

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Politics & Healthcare
6:39 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

In Fiscal Legislative Session, Discussions On Private Option Go On

Arkansas Capitol
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

The Arkansas House of Representatives again delayed a fifth vote on funding Arkansas’s private option alternative to Medicaid expansion Wednesday. It came just as the state Department of Human Services new released figures showing that 127, 051 people have been deemed eligible to receive assistance under the healthcare program, with 105,561 already covered.

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Local & Regional News
2:25 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Mike Ross Makes Bid For Arkansas Governor Official

Former U.S. Rep. Mike Ross has made his bid for Arkansas governor official by filing paperwork to run for the state's top office.

Ross filed on Wednesday to run for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, vowing to follow the tradition of Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe.

Beebe was first elected governor as 2006 and is barred by term limits from seeking re-election.

Ross is the only announced Democratic candidate for governor. Former U.S. Rep. Asa Hutchinson and Little Rock businessman Curtis Coleman are seeking the Republican nomination.

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Arkansas General Assembly
6:36 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

5th House Vote On Private Option Delayed

Arkansas House of Representatives Chamber
Credit wikipedia.org

The Arkansas House of Representatives is showing more signs of a continued stalemate over reauthorizing funds for the private option. On Tuesday measures to fund the Department of Human Services Division of Medical Services were not brought up for a vote, as House leadership indicated that the chamber was still two votes shy of reaching the 75 percent supermajority to reapprove the healthcare program for poor Arkansans.

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Arkansas General Assembly
6:06 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Another Critical Vote Ahead For Arkansas's Private Option

The floor of the Arkansas House of Representatives before votes were held last week.
Credit Chris Hickey / KUAR

The Arkansas House of Representatives meets today. Lawmakers have lots of appropriation bills – which continue funding for various programs and agencies – awaiting their approval. They are all held up by the state's “private option,” its Medicaid expansion compromise.

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Healthcare in Arkansas
3:51 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Beebe Defends Private Option Before Nation

Credit c-span.org

Governor Mike Beebe is expressing optimism that Arkansas’s plan to provide low-income residents with private health insurance using federal Medicaid dollars will be reapproved by the state legislature. Beebe is in our nation’s Capitol for a National Governor’s Association Conference. There, Arkansas’s private option alternative to Medicaid Expansion is receiving attention as state lawmakers here attempt to overcome a small minority who oppose the program.

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Arkansas General Assembly
12:55 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Deadlock On Private Option Carrries On In Arkansas Legislature

For the fourth time in as many days, the Arkansas House of Representatives failed to pass a measure that would fund the private option, the state’s unique plan to provide hundreds of thousands of poor people with private health insurance.  The funding bill failed on a 71 to 18 vote, with many members voting in absentia (Friday is normally a day off for legislators.

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Arkansas General Assembly
8:38 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Private Option Passes In Senate, Just Misses In House

The Arkansas State Senate Chamber
Credit Chris Hickey / KUAR

In what was expected to be a close but almost certain vote, the Arkansas State Senate passed the appropriation bill for the private option, the healthcare plan that extends coverage to poor residents. Later in the afternoon Thursday, the House of Representatives again fell short of passing the bill.

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Fiscal Legislative Session
7:29 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Private Option Again Fails To Pass, More Votes To Come

Foes of the private option present proposals to completely stop any further enrollment in the program. Governor Mike Beebe and House Speaker Davy Carter say the plan is politically unrealistic.
Credit Chris Hickey / KUAR News

Arkansas Legislative leaders say they are finished negotiating new terms relating to the state’s private option alternative to Medicaid expansion, after the bill to appropriate funds for the program failed to get the needed votes to pass.

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Arkansas General Assembly
8:56 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

More Votes On Private Option Expected

House Speaker Davy Carter (R, Cabot) speaks to reporters after the Department of Human Services Division of Medical Services appropriation bill failed to get 75 votes for passage.
Credit Chris Hickey / KUAR News

 The Arkansas House of Representatives failed to reach a threshold of 75 votes to fund the state’s private option Tuesday. But as KUAR’s Chris Hickey reports, legislative leaders plan to continue to bring the bill up for a vote until the needed votes are secured.

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