Arkansas Politics

Local & Regional News
3:02 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Arkansas Poll: State Continues To Lean Republican

University of Arkansas Fayetteville campus.
Credit flickr.com / Alfred Carrillo

Results from a new survey of Arkansas residents show people are concerned about ongoing economic instability. 

Analysts at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville say the 2013 Arkansas Poll reveals only 63 percent of respondents feel the state is headed in the right direction, a result that is 10 points lower than last year. 

The findings released Wednesday also underscore ways the political climate is shifting in the state.

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Local & Regional News
4:42 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Former NLR Mayor Pat Hays Announces Candidacy For U.S. House

Surrounded by supporters, former North Little Rock Mayor Pat Hays announces his candidacy for Congress.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

Former North Little Rock Mayor Pat Hays says he's seeking the Democratic nomination for Arkansas' 2nd Congressional District, the first candidate to launch a bid for the seat that Republican U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin is vacating.  

Hays announced on Tuesday he was running for the seat that Griffin has held since 2011. Griffin said on Monday that he would not seek re-election next year, saying he wanted to focus on time with his family.  

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Local & Regional News
4:25 pm
Sat October 19, 2013

Arkansas Lawmakers Send Teacher Insurance Fix To Governor

Gov. Mike Beebe

 Arkansas lawmakers have given final approval to a package of bills aimed at reducing health insurance rate increases for thousands of teachers next year and laying groundwork to overhaul that insurance program.

The House and Senate approved the bills shortly after midnight, wrapping up a marathon special session that began Thursday afternoon to address the premium increases. The measures now head to Governor Mike Beebe, who plans to sign them into law as soon as Monday.

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Local & Regional News
5:31 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Arkansas Lawmakers Clear Most Hurdles of Special Session

Members of the Arkansas Legislature are on the verge of wrapping up a special session to avoid rising insurance premiums for public school employees.  Lawmakers are to return at 12:01 am Saturday to give a final approval to a number of bills. Arkansas Law forbids the House and Senate from voting on identical bills on the same day.

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Local & Regional News
6:26 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Arkansas Lawmakers Preparing To Convene For Special Session

Gov. Mike Beebe speaking to reporters Wednesday at the Capitol.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

The Arkansas Legislature is to convene Thursday to begin a special session to try and avoid skyrocketing health insurance premiums for the state’s 47,000 public school employees.

In the short term, the plan calls for using $43 million from state surplus funds to avoid a 50 percent increase for insurance coverage that would take effect at the beginning of next year.

After initially not having enough lawmakers agreeing on a proposal, Wednesday Gov. Mike Beebe said some lawmakers had been swayed by changes in finding a long term solution.

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Local & Regional News
2:03 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Pryor Campaign Calls On Cotton To Pull TV Ad After Politifact Rates It ‘False’

A nonpartisan news source that fact-checks campaign political ads says a new TV ad from Cong. Tom Cotton (R) is “false” and the Mark Pryor Senate campaign is calling on Cotton to pull the plug on the spot.

Earlier this week, U.S. Senate hopeful Tom Cotton unveiled a new TV ad declaring that incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor (D) cast “the deciding vote” for Obamacare and voted “himself and everyone in Congress special subsidies” to protect them from Obamacare, the new federal health law.

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Local & Regional News
5:58 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Pryor Targets Cotton Over Syria Stance

U.S. Senator Mark Pryor

Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor is criticizing Republican rival Rep. Tom Cotton for supporting military action in Syria, while a conservative group backing Cotton is launching radio ads portraying the Arkansas senator as too liberal.

Pryor's campaign on Thursday targeted Cotton for being the only member of the state's congressional delegation who publicly supports giving the president authority to strike Syria over its alleged use of chemical weapons.

A website launched by the campaign cited the stance as an example of misplaced priorities by Cotton.

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Local & Regional News
4:50 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Crawford Says Don't Blame Republicans for Shutdown Crisis

Republican Representative Rick Crawford
Credit crawford.house.gov

The looming possibility of a government shutdown has first district Republican Representative Rick Crawford saying it would be President Obama’s fault. The potential shutdown is the result of a strategy by some House Republicans to pass a budget without including funding for the Affordable Care Act.

The Senate is majority Democrat and any budget not including funding for health care programs is unlikely to pass and garner the President’s signature but Crawford said otherwise.

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Local & Regional News
10:53 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Report Details Spending By Former Arkansas Senator

Documents released by the Arkansas Ethics Commission show that a former state lawmaker who resigned over violations could only identify less than a quarter of the $63,000 his campaign spent as legitimately related to his re-election bid.

The Ethics Commission on Wednesday released the file related to the investigation into former Democratic Sen. Paul Bookout, who stepped down last month after the panel ruled he spent thousands from his campaign on clothing, stereo equipment and other personal items.

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Ethics Investigation
11:49 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Letter: Arkansas Ethics Panel Investigating Darr

The Arkansas Ethics Commission says it's looking into a complaint that Lt. Gov. Mark Darr spent hundreds of dollars from his campaign at restaurants, gas stations and retail stores and illegally classified them as fundraising expenses.

The commission said in a letter to lawyer and blogger Matt Campbell that an investigation had begun into his complaint against the Republican lieutenant governor over his campaign finance reports.

The letter, dated Friday, says the panel is looking into whether Darr violated several ethics laws.

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