Arkansas Politics

A map of ISIS controlled territory in Syria ad Iraq. Conflicts within both countries include other factions as well.

Both candidates in the Arkansas Republican primary for US Senate back a bill temporarily stopping the US taking in Syrian and Iraqi refugees while an additional layer of vetting is implemented. Businessman Curtis Coleman and Senator John Boozman support more refugee scrutiny but are unsure of how many asylum seekers to admit once the new inspection process is underway. Both spoke with KUAR following last week’s House vote on the SAFE Act. It’s now headed to the Senate.

The Governor’s Working Group on Highway Funding is finalizing four funding proposals for Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) that would increase money for highways. Hutchinson afterward said he’ll only consider proposals that don’t increase overall state revenues, which would virtually eliminate three of them.

U.S. Rep. French Hill (R-2nd Dist.)
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Arkansas's all-Republican US House delegation voted for the nation to temporarily stop taking in Syrian and Iraqi refugees while expanding the vetting process. Central Arkansas Congressman French Hill talked about his vote with KUAR.

Democratic Presidential candidates at a November debate. Martin O'Malley (right), Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders.

Arkansas will soon have a second major Democratic presidential candidate visit the state. Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is making a stop at a residence in Little Rock’s affluent Heights neighborhood December 4th. A private and public reception are being hosted at 5101 Hawthorne Road.

O’Malley consistently tracks third in the Democratic primary. A Real Clear Politics polling average from 10/29-11/17 measures his support at 3.6 percent.

Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

Foster care officials are pointing to a shortage of caseworkers as numbers of children in the state's system steadily increase.

Division of Children and Family Services director, Cecile Blucker, and staff from the Department of Human Services, spoke to lawmakers Wednesday.

They said the number of foster kids has grown by about 700 in the last few months to 4,600. According to Blucker, 7,600 children are protective service cases and are living at home. 

Gov. Hutchinson Opposes Syrian Refugees In Arkansas

Nov 16, 2015
Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R)
Governor's Office

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has added his voice to a growing list of state leaders speaking out on the issue of taking in refugees from Syria who are trying to escape war in their country.

After making a comment about it on twitter Monday, Hutchinson released a full statement:

GOP Could Boost Majority In Arkansas Legislature, Northeast And Central Arkansas Races Key

Nov 16, 2015

The road for an expanded GOP majority or a resurgent Democratic minority in the state legislature will go through Northeast, South and Central Arkansas next fall, two longtime political experts said this week.

Talk Business and Politics recently asked Robert Coon with Impact Management Group and Hendrix College politics professor and Director of Civic Engagement Projects Jay Barth about the state of the 2016 state legislative races in Arkansas.

File photo: Then U.S. Representative Tom Cotton (R-4th District) at the Clinton School of Public Service (2013).
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

An Arkansas U.S. Senator primarily known for foreign policy is proposing changes to Social Security’s disability program. Sen. Tom Cotton detailed new legislation Monday at a forum held by the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation intended to reduce the number of disability beneficiaries.

He contended the number of people on disability in “greater Appalachia” is at a “tipping point” that contributes to a general decline in rural America.

David Monteith / KUAR

The deadline for political candidates to file with their respective parties for the 2016 elections ended at noon Monday. Among the 25 hopefuls filing on the last day were Republican Curtis Coleman, Democrat Dianne Curry, and Republican Brock Olree. Coleman, who will challenge Senator John Boozman for his seat in the U.S. Congress, argued that his opponent is not conservative enough.

File photo: Governor Asa Hutchinson and Arkansas Economic Development Commission director Mike Preston.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is traveling to China and Japan later this month to meet with companies looking at locating and expanding in the state.

The Republican governor on Friday announced he's leaving Nov. 15 on a trip to the two countries with state Economic Development Commission Executive Director Mike Preston. Hutchinson said the trip is being paid for by the commission and its nonprofit foundation.