Plus, more coverage from Max on the biggest stories of the day in Arkansas: strong storms sweep through Northeast Arkansas, the state Sen. runoff in North Arkansas between Scott Flippo and Rep. John Burris gets crazier, a neighborhood group opposes a gas station at 3rd and Broadway and a state legislator speaks critically of Walmart.
Surprise. On partisan lines, the Washington County Election Commission refused a request to open an early voting center on the University of Arkansas campus to facilitate early voting by the thousands of Washington County voters who pass through the campus every day. /more/
Rep. Greg Leding of Fayetteville made a presentation before the Arkansas Legislative Council today on his idea to institute a "no-loan" element to help lower income students get through college without crushing debts. /more/
The Washington County Election Commission will decide next week whether to create an early voting center on the University of Arkansas campus, providing readier access to the ballot for thousands of students and faculty concentrated in one place. /more/
This week, Max and Lindsey talk about a Sherwood District Court that operates as an illegal debtors’ prison, according to a new ACLU federal lawsuit; Little Rock Police Chief Kenton Buckner’s views on residency requirements, the Little Rock School District and a wide range of other topics; and then they do a quick run through some other topics including the imminent closure of the Broadway Bridge and the selection of Leslie Rutledge’s daddy to head up the Election Commission.
Arkansas's prison population is among the fastest growing in the country. The state now spends more than half of a billion dollars on corrections, a 68 percent increase since 2004, and our prison population, which increased by 21 percent between 2012 and 2016, is expected to rise by another 19 percent between 2016 and 2023 to 21,345. Those were the facts and projections Justice Center, a project of the national nonprofit Council of State Governments, reminded people of yesterday before presenting criminal justice reform proposals.
We'll get a good sense of what criminal justice reform legislation might look like in the 2017 General Assembly later today — as well as some potential stumbling blocks to its passage. Justice Center, an offshoot of the national nonprofit Council of State Governments, will offer policy recommendations to the Legislative Criminal Justice Oversight Task Force this afternoon at the Arkansas Association of Counties conference.
With Board chair Sam Ledbetter breaking a 4-4 tie, the state Board of Education today voted to take over the entire Little Rock School District for the academic distress of six of the district's schools.
Rep. Mark Lowery, a Republican from Maumelle, has introduced a bill that would put the brakes on Arkansas's implementation of standardized testing based on Common Core State Standards. Lowery says the bill is motivated in part because legislators have been told by ADE officials, unofficially, that "the PARCC contract will not be renewed" beyond the current academic year.
The New York Times reports today on a new history of lynchings in the South, which details 3,959 victims of "racial terror lynchings" in the 12 Southern states from 1877 to 1950. Arkansas lands at the top of a very dark list.
On residency requirements for LRPD officers and why many of his officers choose to live outside the city, community policing, mass incarceration, juvenile justice, assault rifles and gun control and more.
The University of Texas opened classes in Austin this week with a bit of student protest. The "Cocks Not Glocks" campaign encourages students to carry dildos and sex toys to mock the beginning of a new state law that allows concealed weapons on campus.
State Rep. Johnnie Bolin, represented by the Democratic Party counsel Chris Burks, sued today in Drew County to have Republican James Hall removed from the November general election ballot as the Republican candidate for the currently vacant House District 9 seat.
A petition drive has begun to encourage a demand that Sen. Jason Rapert pay for the legal fees in defending his Ten Commandments monument proposed for the state Capitol grounds. It's more work by the Satanic Temple, which has fought church-state entanglement around the country.
The Arkansas Bar Association has already announced it opposition to the nursing home-backed amendment to limit damages in medical lawsuits. Today, it is expected to announce a list of former bar presidents who oppose the amendment and the filing of a lawsuit challenging the ballot title.