Governor paints hopeful future for Arkansas | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Governor paints hopeful future for Arkansas

Posted By on Tue, Jan 10, 2017 at 11:06 AM

click to enlarge asa.jpg

Gov. Asa Hutchinson
spoke mostly in broad thematic terms to a joint legislative session this morning.

He said it was a time of change, with challenges in technology, terrorism, the global marketplace and a reduced confidence in government. But he said he believed Arkansas would have a strong voice in the world marketplace.

His specifics  have been outlined previously:

* Eliminate unnecessary boards and commissions.

* Realign state agencies

* Fund higher education based on student "progress" not enrollment. He promised a program to pay the entire cost of education for people who seek vocational or two-year training, as opposed to a four-year college. Here's that promise:

It is essential that we, as a state, give every high school student a simple promise:

If you pursue a high need job skill or degree, then we will assure you that all your tuition and mandatory fees will be paid through a two-year college program or technical school.

It is a simple promise with a big return for our state and the next generation. It is called ArFuture Grants and it will require a mentoring program for the student. It will require working in the state for three years after college. But it will be created with existing program funds and used in combination with other education funds that are already available.

Because of ArFutures, it will be not only possible, but practical, for a student to get two-year degree or certificate without any student debt.
* Reform the tax code. He's sticking with a $50 million cut for those making less than $21,000, but acknowledged many want more and said he'd appoint a "blue ribbon" task force to come up with a recommendation for a plan to get to a reduction in the top tax rate, now just under 7 percent. He also again promised to support an income tax exemption for income from retired military pensions.

* Improvements to foster child care.

* Divert tobacco settlement money to those on the waiting list for community care for people with disabilities.

* Review criminal justice to ensure incarceration policies are "right" and balanced between public safety and giving people a second chance.

"I've lived the Arkansas dream," Hutchinson said, with references to family and faith. He quoted Winthrop Rockefeller's promise after his election as a Republican governor 50 years ago. "Now is not the time for party politics. .... As governor of Arkansas, I intend to represent all."

Speech transcript here.

Tags: , , ,

Sign up for the Daily Update email

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • The Mondo Trumpe open line

    A world of the dogs? Check out Trump's latest poll ratings.
    • Jul 22, 2018
  • University pay ranking puts UA System chief at 57

    The Chronicle of Higher Education recently released its survey of pay of top public and private university leaders in 2016-17. Donald Bobbitt, president of the University of Arkansas System, checked in at No. 57 on the list of 251 public university leaders.
    • Jul 22, 2018
  • Winds, race and an open line

    The open line includes power outages, Republicans and racism.
    • Jul 21, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Former Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel applauds Trump's EPA choice of climate change denier Scott Pruitt

    Dustin McDaniel gives the thumbs up to a man set to dismantle EPA regulations.
    • Dec 8, 2016
  • Little Rock housing study finds linkage between respiratory-related hospital stays and property code violations

    People hospitalized for a respiratory-related illness at UAMS were twice as likely to rent a property that at some point has been issued a mold-related violation notice from Little Rock's Code Enforcement Division when compared to a control population adjusted for demographic differences.
    • May 2, 2018
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: The Mondo Trumpe open line

    • plainjim--I still remember getting the first air conditioner in our car. It wasn't part of…

    • on July 22, 2018
  • Re: The Mondo Trumpe open line

    • Welcome to the club of professional wusses, there are no benefits, no meetings, No agenda…

    • on July 22, 2018
  • Re: The Mondo Trumpe open line

    • Plainjim reminds me that though my grandparents never had air conditioners of any kind for…

    • on July 22, 2018



© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation