Arkansas Politics

A "Declaration of New Political Party" from the Arkansas Sec. of State's Office.
Libertarian Party of Arkansas

The Libertarian Party of Arkansas announced on Monday it has been certified as a political party by the office of Secretary of State Mark Martin. The designation allows all Libertarian candidates for public office to gain automatic ballot access. The certificate from the Secretary of State was signed on June 8 and is the last step in the petition process.

Van Buren County Courthouse.

Arkansas House Majority Leader Ken Bragg says there are no specific or immediate plans to respond legislatively to the US Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage. Bragg’s comments to KUAR on Wednesday follow a statement last week on behalf of the House Republican Caucus that called for a new look at additional so-called religious freedom laws.

Tom Cotton
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Republican U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton is proposing blocking federal funding to cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration policies.

The freshman lawmaker from Arkansas on Wednesday proposed an amendment to an education funding bill that would make so-called "sanctuary cities" ineligible for federal immigration and law enforcement grants.

Assistant Pro Tempore 1st District Senator Eddie Joe Williams (R-Cabot).
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Arkansas state Senate Republicans are working on legislation to reinforce protections for churches, religious organizations and religious schools in response to last week's U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage nationwide.

Lt. Governor Tim Griffin (R) speaking in the rotunda of the Arkansas Capitol in the spring of 2015.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin said the Council on Common Core Review will not issue recommendations as early as he had hoped but a report will still be compiled “well in advance” of Governor Asa Hutchinson’s early fall deadline.

In a June 8 joint meeting of the House and Senate Education Committees Griffin told lawmakers he wanted to have a report from the council completed by the end of June.

Below is a collection of statements on the SCOTUS marriage ruling issued by Arkansas-related politicians and elected officials.

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson released the statement below following the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage:

Hutchinson Statement On Marriage Ruling

Jun 26, 2015

Governor Asa Hutchinson Issues Statement on Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson released the statement below following the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage

Senate Minority Leader Keith Ingram (D-West Memphis).
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The US Supreme Court ruling on Affordable Care Act subsidies has added clarity to the ways in which federal assistance for health insurance premiums can reach Arkansans earning 138 percent to 400 percent of the poverty level and shopping for insurance through a healthcare marketplace. But it has not settled the issue of whether Arkansas will continue to utilize a federally facilitated marketplace, such as, or continue to build up to a planned 2017 launch of a state-run exchange.

Leslie Rutledge attorney general
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge was appointed Wednesday to serve on a national agriculture committee.

Rutledge and Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller announced that they will co-chair the newly formed National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) Agriculture Committee.

Following last week’s NAAG Summer Meeting in San Diego, newly elected NAAG President South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley named Rutledge and Miller as co-chairs of the committee.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson is defending a star on the Arkansas Flag representing the state's role in the Confederacy during the American Civil War. Calls to remove official confederate symbolism in southern states have grown louder after a white supremacist who regularly displayed the flag killed nine members of an African American church in Charleston, South Carolina.