It was a good week for Koch interests divided 

It was a good week for...

KOCH INTERESTS DIVIDED. It was revealed this week that Koch Industries has committed $60 million to the Big River Steel "super project" in Mississippi County that Gov. Mike Beebe has asked the Arkansas legislature to support, through approval of $125 million in financing. Koch Industries is owned by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, who are active in right-wing and libertarian political causes. They've spent heavily to oppose environmental regulation, fight taxes of all sorts and universal health care, and work to elect Republicans who incessantly champion "free enterprise" and attack "government handouts." Ironically, the Koch-funded political advocacy group, Americans for Prosperity, says it does not support subsidies for the steel mill.

THE MEDICAID SHORTFALL. New budget estimates from the Department of Human Services project a shortfall of $61 million for Arkansas Medicaid next fiscal year. That's a $77 million improvement from the earlier forecast of a $138 million shortfall after the governor's recommendation for putting $90 million in new money and $70 million from reserves into the program.

KELLY RODGERS. The North Little Rock School District named Rodgers, formerly superintendent of the Terrell Independent School District in Terrell, Texas, as its new superintendent of schools.

A NEW BRIDGE. The Pulaski County Quorum Court voted 10 to 5 in favor of Pulaski County Judge Buddy Villines' proposal to devote $20 million of road and bridge money toward a new Broadway Bridge. We'll see if that means the bridge will be adorned with Villines' proposed red, white and blue color scheme.

It was a bad week for...

COLLECTION PLATE THIEVES. As predicted in this space last week, a bill to allow concealed weapon permit holders to carry a handgun in church by Sen. Bryan King (R-Green Forest) sailed through the House. The governor has said he'll sign the bill, though he may ask for more legislation to clarify matters of liability.

WOMEN. See this week's cover story. Rep. Andy Mayberry's unconstitutional ban on abortions after 20 weeks passed the House and Sen. Jason Rapert's ban on abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected passed the Senate.



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Poor Tom

    Love and affection (not so much), School Inc., Rapert revealing God's plan, a cancer sniffin' dog and more.
    • Mar 10, 2015
  • Eligible voters removed from rolls

    Arkansas Times reporters contacted election officials around the state to see how they had handled flawed felon data from the secretary of state. Responses varied dramatically.
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • Real Republicans don't do pre-K

    Also, drifting away from trump, Hudson's downfall at ASU and more.
    • Aug 11, 2016

Most Shared

  • Welfare for the wealthy: More reasons to VOTE NO on ISSUE 3

    Voices on the left and right are lifted against Issue 3, the corporate welfare amendment to send tax money to private business and corporate lobbyists.
  • Little Rock police kill man downtown

    Little Rock police responding to a disturbance call near Eighth and Sherman Streets about 12:40 a.m. killed a man with a long gun, Police Chief Kenton Buckner said in an early morning meeting with reporters.
  • From the mind of Sol LeWitt: Crystal Bridges 'Loopy Doopy': A correction

    Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is installing Sol Lewitt's 70-foot eye-crosser "Wall Drawing 880: Loopy Doopy," waves of complementary orange and green, on the outside of the Twentieth Century Gallery bridge. You can glimpse painters working on it from Eleven, the museum's restaurant, museum spokeswoman Beth Bobbitt said

Latest in The Week That Was

Visit Arkansas

Searching for diamonds at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Searching for diamonds at Crater of Diamonds State Park

A venture to this state park is on the must-do list for many, the park being the only spot in North America where you can dig for diamonds and other gemstones and keep your finds.

Event Calendar

« »


2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Leslie Rutledge, the absent attorney general

    Arkansas loses out to Trump love, Obama hate.
  • Left and right against Issue 3

    Also, Huck spinning on Trump, not in our backyard and more.
  • Thanks!

    In less than two weeks, We the People are about to roll the dice and elect our next president. Just enough time left to dash off a few well-deserved thank you notes ... .
  • Trump country

    Even in deep red Arkansas, Trump could damage some down-ballot Republicans — but will boost others.
  • Moving

    The Observer will be moving soon. Not out of The Observatory, thank God, as we're sure it will take the wagon from the 20 Mule Team Borax box to get us away from there after 14 years of accumulation, plus a team of seasoned Aussie wildlife wranglers to herd our pair of surly wildcats into a crate. No, just out of the office we've been in at the Fortress of Employment for going on five years, which is bad enough. We're moving to the other side of the building here in a few months.

Most Recent Comments


© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation