Arkansas Politics

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Thursday, February 16, 2017 - 18:28:00

Bid to expand voucher program clears House committee

A bill that would expand the number of private schools eligible to participate in a special-needs education voucher program passed on a voice vote with no dissent in the House Education Committee Thursday.

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Thursday, February 16, 2017 - 12:45:00

Senate approves amendment to limit damage lawsuits, strip court power

The Arkansas Senate today approved  SJR 8, the constitutional amendment to cripple damage lawsuits and transfer court rulemaking power from the Arkansas Supreme Court to the Arkansas legislature.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 - 14:55:00

House shafts unemployed workers; on to the Senate

The House voted 62-26 today to slash unemployment benefits — reducing both the amount and weeks of coverage, the latter by 20 percent to a region-leading 16 weeks, down from 20.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - 10:00:00

Bill further slashes unemployment benefits, AFL-CIO cries foul

The AFL-CIO is calling attention to legislation to further cuts in unemployment benefits, on top of recent legislation to raise the income tax on unemployment benefits to help pay for an income tax exemption for military retirees.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - 09:41:00

Add another anti-abortion bill to the pile

The long list of anti-abortion legislation grew yesterday with introduction of SB 340 by Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson and others to prohibit lawsuits over a "wrongful birth."

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - 07:53:00

Charter school assault continues on the Little Rock School District

Sen. Joyce Elliott and citizen activists are raising the alarm about legislation that gives charter schools and charter school operators first call on leasing vacant school buildings.

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Monday, February 13, 2017 - 20:18:00

Bill to direct online tax collection to income tax reduction filed

Last week, Amazon announced it planned to voluntarily collect sales tax in Arkansas starting in March. Now, a bill filed in the House seeks to dedicate that revenue to reducing income tax.

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Monday, February 13, 2017 - 16:29:00

Eight more weeks of the legislature in store

A House resolution that zipped out of committee today envisions this legislative session being extended until a recess April 7, with a return for adjournment May 5.

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Today's headlines: Going after immigrants

Monday, February 13, 2017 - 14:11:00

House passes campaign finance transparency bill

The bill passed out of committee last week on a voice vote. It now heads to the Senate, where it may face a tougher fight.

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Monday, February 13, 2017 - 11:34:00

Rep. Bob Ballinger a big loser — 112 pounds — and big winner of cash for effort

Rep. Bob Ballinger is publicizing his loss of more than 100 pounds — a feat that earned him $10,000 in a weight-loss contest — to encourage others to get healthier.

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Monday, February 13, 2017 - 10:27:00

Big Swill update: The committee dining schedule

Here are more free feedbags on tap for legislators this week, in special interest dinners thrown by lobbyists and special interest groups.

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Monday, February 13, 2017 - 07:39:00

As session action picks up, so do the free meals for legislators (and staff)

The pace of free eats and drinks is picking up for Arkansas legislators this week.

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Monday, February 13, 2017 - 07:22:00

University gun bill has church complication, UA faculty member writes

Rep. Charlie Collins' bill to mandate that universities allow staff with permits to carry concealed weapons on campus will be before a Senate committee Wednesday and one opponent, John Pijanoski, chair of the Campus Faculty Senate at the University of Arkansas, has written about another problem with the legislation (apart from near universal campus opposition.)

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Friday, February 10, 2017

Friday, February 10, 2017 - 14:51:00

Arkansas Traveler: Bryan King goes to Kansas to bash Arkansas Works

Sen. Bryan King, one of the hardline opponents to the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, was brought out to testify in Kansas against that state expanding Medicaid coverage with Obamacare money as Arkansas has done — and continues to do under Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Thursday, February 9, 2017 - 17:55:00

Criminal reform bill faces uphill battle in Senate committee

An omnibus bill that sponsors say would curb the rapid growth of Arkansas prisons without sacrificing public safety received a cool reception from the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Senate Bill 136 has been in committee for weeks as Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson (R-Little Rock), chairman of the committee and lead sponsor of the bill, has been working with state prosecutors and other groups to address concerns.

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Thursday, February 9, 2017 - 17:04:00

Citizens opposed to DeVos nomination raise $9,107 to "buy Senator Cotton's vote"

A group of citizens held a demonstration of sorts today at Sen. Tom Cotton's office in Little Rock to protest his support of Betsy DeVos, recently confirmed by the senate as the federal Secretary of Education. The group presented a check to "buy Senator Cotton's vote," a reference to the financial backing that DeVos and her family have provided to Cotton's campaigns.

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Thursday, February 9, 2017 - 15:41:00

French Hill sends out desperate push poll on Affordable Care Act

French Hill wants to enact massive tax cuts for the rich and take health insurance away from millions of Americans. He's hoping a cheesy survey will help rally support for his ideas.

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Thursday, February 9, 2017 - 14:42:00

Satanic Temple demands public hearing after legislature moves to block monument effort

The Satanic Temple today delivered a demand letter to state officials threatening litigation if they are denied a public hearing for their proposed eight-and-half-foot-tall bronze statue of the goat-headed pagan god Baphomet on the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 - 13:18:00

Bill to restrict food stamp purchases fails in Senate committee

The opposition of grocers such as Walmart and other business interests may have helped defeat the measure in the Senate committee today.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Tuesday, February 7, 2017 - 22:25:00

Legislators trolling Facebook? Some UA faculty fear "chilling effect" on political speech

Multiple University of Arkansas at Fayetteville faculty members have told us that they have been warned about legislators monitoring Facebook looking for faculty members who make political posts between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

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  • Who needs courts?

    Not since the John Birch Society's "Impeach Earl Warren" billboards littered Southern roadsides after the Supreme Court's school-integration decision in 1954 has the American judicial system been under such siege, but who would have thought the trifling Arkansas legislature would lead the charge?
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    If the late, great Donald Westlake had written spy thrillers instead of crime capers, they'd read a lot like the opening weeks of the Trump administration.
  • UPDATE: Campus carry bill amended by Senate to require training

    The Senate this morning added an amendment to Rep. Charlie Collins campus carry bill that incorporates the effort denied in committee yesterday to require a 16-hour additional training period before university staff members with concealed carry permits may take the weapons on campus.

Visit Arkansas

New Crystal Bridges exhibit explores Mexican-American border

New Crystal Bridges exhibit explores Mexican-American border

Border Cantos is a timely, new and free exhibit now on view at Crystal Bridges.

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