A meeting of a subcommittee of the Arkansas State Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission was held today, with the three-member group asking questions about materials and construction of the 10 Commandments Monument and the Baphomet statue proposed by The Satanic Temple. A proposed site was selected for the 10 Commandments Monument, but an official with the Church of Satan, after being told their monument couldn't be placed directly beside the 10 Commandments monument as they had requested in their proposal, will be allowed to select their preferred site at a later date.
Another excellent report from Claudia Lauer at the AP (who has done incredible investigative work on this story since last fall) on Pfizer's likely involvement in manufacturing Arkansas's secret execution drugs.
The private option aginners are establishing a new norm around the supermajority requirement for certain appropriations. The results could be be a fiasco for the Republican majority. Not to mention more gridlock and potential shutdowns, and worse policy outcomes in state government.
Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families — a nonprofit that works for the interests named — has a new blog post illuminating the problem we've cited about Gov. Asa Hutchinson's free-lunch highway plan. It's simple: You don't get something (better highways) for nothing.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson yesterday announced that former state representative Duncan Baird will be the new State Budget Administrator at the Department of Finance and Administration. Baird had been serving as Budget Director in the governor's office.
Will the capitol critters be doling out corporate welfare soon? Lots of rumors have been floating about a potential legislative special session to be called by Gov. Asa Hutchinson later this month. The session would convene just after Memorial Day, when the legislature would take up a proposed economic development project.
The state auditor's office decision to publish the names and addresses of people with unclaimed property only online as part of what is known as the "Great Arkansas Treasure Hunt" stung the Arkansas Press Association, and the APA is asking its members to call legislators. But legislators passed a law in the latest session to allow the auditor to do just that.
Treasurer Dennis Milligan caves for now on his plan to delete all emails after 30 days. It's time for constitutional officers to adopt the same transparency rules that govern all other state agencies. The excuses are ludicrous; the only reason to delete public records is to conceal the record from the public.
Blue Hog: Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and six AG staffers participated in Huckabee campaign event during normal office hours, in violation of state election laws. The AG's office responds that the employees were on leave and did not use state resources to participate in the event.
State Treasurer Dennis Milligan fired his outreach manager yesterday, the office has confirmed. David Singer was hired by Milligan in January as assistant legislative affairs and communications manager. In March, his title was changed to outreach manager. He briefly worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette before his hiring by Milligan and for Stephens Media prior to that.
The Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District today provided me with the subpoena it received from federal investigators in a probe that led to former Republican Rep. Micah Neal's guilty plea to taking kickbacks from money he guided to a nonprofit agency and a private college in Springdale, apparently Ecclesia College.
Having gotten a deep security briefing and probably a confidential glimpse of our own vast cyberspying operation, Donald Trump is no longer pretty sure that the Kremlin didn't hack Democratic computers or employ other tactics to help his election.