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Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday, June 30, 2014 - 23:00:00

Details on the corrections and lottery bills at the special session

Details on talk about funding Department of Corrections overtime back pay, and the keno argument gets punted to the 2015 session.

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Monday, June 30, 2014 - 16:36:00

New setting, same old legislators UPDATE

The House met briefly this afternoon at the Old State House to being a three-day special session. The Oaklawn bill to limit lottery expansion, amended to have temporary effect until March, cleared House committee without opposition.

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Monday, June 30, 2014 - 16:08:00

The corporation-rules open line; Strong words from Ginsburg, Clinton and Pryor

The open line begins with quotes from a strong dissent in the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling allow certain corporations not to provide contraceptive coverage to women employees.

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Monday, June 30, 2014 - 15:43:00

Today in Arkansas: Cotton cheers Hobby Lobby decision

Today on our program: Tom Cotton says he thinks the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling is great. The Arkansas General Assembly appears to have reached a compromise on legislation that will limit the Arkansas lottery from expanding into video-style games. Staffers for the Arkansas lieutenant governor's office end their time doing nothing. And more.

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Monday, June 30, 2014 - 15:16:00

Motorcyclist dies in wreck with semi

The Little Rock police said a motorcycle rider died about 1 p.m. today when the motorycle struck the cab of a turning truck.

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Monday, June 30, 2014 - 14:20:00

Forest Service extends cave closure for five years

The Forest Service's southern region will extend a closure order for all caves and mines on its lands until 2019 to help present the spread of white-nose syndrome, a disease fatal to many bats.

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Monday, June 30, 2014 - 13:51:00

Hobby Lobby invests in contraceptive makers

Hobby Lobby, which won a Supreme Court ruling that it need not cover certain forms of birth control, invests its retirement money in funds whose holdings include makers of those forms of birth control, as well as insurance companies that cover abortions.

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Monday, June 30, 2014 - 13:16:00

Temporary ban on lottery games to come out of special session

At this minute, multiple sources tell me this is the deal for the fight over the Oaklawn casino-backed effort to prohibit the Arkansas lottery from beginning electric monitor-provided keno-style games, now set for late September: Legislation to ban the games will pass, but it will include a sunset provision in March 2015.

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Monday, June 30, 2014 - 12:59:00

Republicans mad over Democrats' attack on congressional perks

Republicans decry Democratic congressional candidate "cookie cutter" attacks on congressional perks. They try to flip it into a discussion of Pat Hays' pay raises as North Little Rock mayor.

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Monday, June 30, 2014 - 12:01:00

Pulaski County jail full again

The Pulaski County jail is full again and will be closed to all but serious crime suspects tomorrow. Help from the state is supposed to be on the way this week.

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Monday, June 30, 2014 - 10:40:00

Lieutenant governor's office closes down today; staffer won't reveal where he and others headed

The lieutenant governor's office shuts down today, though its $300,000-a-year staff has had nothing to do for five months, since Mark Darr's resignation. Some will head to other state jobs, though the only staff member we can reach doesn't want to talk about what those jobs are.

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Monday, June 30, 2014 - 10:05:00

Kenton Buckner sworn in as Little Rock police chief

Kenton Buckner was sworn in this morning as Little Rock police chief. He succeeds Stuart Thomas, a Little Rock native, who retired after 35 years on the force.

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Monday, June 30, 2014 - 09:52:00

Look who's raising money for Tom Cotton

Politico reports that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is coming to Fort Smith tonight to help raise money for another like-minded extremist, Republican Tom Cotton, the U.S. Senate candidate.

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Monday, June 30, 2014 - 09:23:00

U.S. Supreme Court affirms Hobby Lobby's wish to deny contraceptives to women

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling today in the lawsuit by Hobby Lobby to deny coverage of certain types of contraceptives (including the Plan B morning after pill) in its employee health insurance plan.

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Monday, June 30, 2014 - 09:14:00

Supreme Court harms, but doesn't kill, public employee unions

The U.S. Supreme Court dealt public employee unions a setback today in an Illinois case, but didn't end entirely their ability to collect dues from non-members.

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Monday, June 30, 2014 - 08:33:00

Fighting the convenience store on Broadway

I got two reports last night of robocalls urging calls to Little Rock City Board members to vote Tuesday night against the proposal for a MAPCO gas station at the dangerous Third and Broadway intersection, near the heart of the city/county government and convention district.

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Monday, June 30, 2014 - 07:18:00

Companies act on their own to raise minimum wage

Ikea, the big retailer, has taken a bold step to move all its workers to pay beyond the statutory minimum wage, rather than wait for government to move the level up. A few others have done the same.

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Monday, June 30, 2014 - 06:59:00

The Kansas tax cut debacle: 'The enduring power of bad ideas'

Paul Krugman has words of warning — sure to be unheeded by the faithful — of yet another failure of the Laffer curve, trickle-down school of economic theory. The Kansas tax cut miracle is a bust.

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  • American Bridge releases report on Koch brothers' environmental impacts and layoffs

    American Bridge, the liberal PAC formed by David Brock, the former Clinton foe now dedicated to round-the-clock Hillary Clinton defender, is out today with a new report on environmental impacts and layoffs from Koch Industries. The report focuses on the business activities of the Koch brothers — more famous for hundreds of millions in political spending aimed at slashing government services, regulation and taxes — in twelve states, including Arkansas. From the report: "The Kochs' extreme, self-serving agenda is bad for working families. And that reality is starkly embodied not only by their political persuasions, but by their business endeavors."
  • And then I ... read about a tour of sculpture installations by Barbara Satterfield

    Ceramicist Barbara Satterfield, one of the Arkansas Times' "Visionaries" in 2013, has announced the creation of a touring, interactive sculpture exhibit that will be installed in public places in Helena, Heber Springs, Dardanelle and Warren before the final exhibition at the Cox Creative Center.

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