Favorite

Fidel in hell, Cotton says 

Also, Rapert vs. Bill and Hillary Clinton Airport, prognosis on health care not looking good and more

click to enlarge week_that_was1-1-5922bbbd7da01719.jpg

Quote of the week

"Fidel Castro created hell on earth for the Cuban people. He will now become intimately familiar with what he wrought."

Sen. Tom Cotton, in a statement released following the death of Castro, the longtime leader of Cuba. Cotton has opposed the Obama administration's move to normalize relations with Cuba. But Governor Hutchinson has been supportive of the policy, and told the press that he hoped President-elect Donald Trump didn't return to a "rigid embargo." Cuba has high demand for rice, corn and soybeans, and Arkansas farmers are eager to provide them.

Tweet of the week

"Would you support a bill removing the names of Bill & Hillary Clinton from the Little Rock Airport? Arkansas does not support them."

Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway, @jasonrapert), perhaps angling to take over the Little Rock Airport Commission. The Central Arkansas Library System's board of directors may be next, as Rapert will surely want to change the name of CALS' Hillary Rodham Clinton Children's Library, too.

Health care overhaul looking more likely

President-elect Donald Trump's appointment of U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) to be secretary of Health and Human Services could put Medicaid expansion — known in Arkansas as the private option and later rebranded as Arkansas Works — in trouble. But that's just the beginning. Funding for the traditional Medicaid program — which covers the elderly in nursing homes, low-income kids, the disabled and other needy populations — is likely also on the chopping block, since Price supports changing Medicaid funding to block grants and cutting it by about $1 trillion over the next decade. The privatization of Medicare, cutting benefits and pushing costs onto the elderly, will probably be on the table as well. 

Price, a fierce opponent of Obamacare, is the author of a bill that would repeal Medicaid expansion altogether and replace it with nothing, stripping health insurance from around 14 million Americans. That includes 300,000 low-income Arkansans currently on Arkansas Works.

Such a plan might see some pushback from red-state governors in states that expanded Medicaid, including Governor Hutchinson, who said earlier this year that he wanted to see coverage expansion continue under any replacement for Obamacare. One small glimmer of hope in that direction: Trump also said he will appoint Seema Verma, who oversaw a Republicanized version of Medicaid expansion in Indiana, to head the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

State anti-panhandling law struck down

Last week, federal Judge Billy Roy Wilson blocked enforcement of a state law that makes it a misdemeanor offense to beg.

The ACLU sued on behalf of two homeless people who panhandle and have been cited by police before. The law made it a crime of loitering to remain in a public place or the premises of another "for the purpose of begging." The judge said the law was, on its face, a violation of constitutionally protected speech.

The ruling doesn't apply to a variety of municipal ordinances around the state that make various attempts to prevent panhandling, such as one in Hot Springs that restricts solicitation in the public right of way.

Michael Rodgers and Glynn Eilbeck sued the director of the State Police over the law.

Switch gives GOP supermajority

State Rep. David Hillman, an Almyra farmer recently re-elected as a Democrat to a third term, announced last week that he was switching to the Republican Party, giving the GOP 75 of the 100 House seats. His switch gives the Republicans the ability to vote as a bloc to defeat even a minority effort to stop an appropriation bill, most of which require a 75 percent vote.

Hillman represents portions of Arkansas, White, Prairie and Lonoke counties. Those counties all went heavily for Donald Trump, with the 63 percent margin in Arkansas County, Hillman's home, the narrowest of the four. He was unopposed for re-election this year and in 2014, but narrowly defeated a Republican in 2012.


Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • 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
  • Asa on pre-K

    • Aug 17, 2016

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Latest in The Week That Was

  • Riverfest calls it quits

    Also, deseg saga continues, Cotton targets legal immigration and more.
    • Jul 20, 2017
  • Martin dumps data

    Michael Reed interview, Hutchinson announces aid to LRPD, Candidates announces for mayor
    • Jul 13, 2017
  • Wrong people

    Power Ultra shooting, Asa on the Senate health plan, Rapert on the media and more.
    • Jul 6, 2017
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

July

S M T W T F S
  1
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

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation