'We are here, and we are here to stay' 

Hotter and hotter, tax cuts sail through the ledge and more.

click to enlarge week_that_was1-1-dc8838c322a6c52a.jpg

Quotes of the Week:

"At my core, I think we're going to be OK."

— Former President Barack Obama, signing off at his final news conference on Wednesday, Jan. 18.

"This American carnage stops right here and stops right now. ... From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it's going to be only America first, America first."

—President Donald J. Trump, in his inaugural address Friday, Jan. 20.

"We are here, and we are here to stay."

— Crystal Mercer, the emcee at the Women's March for Arkansas at the state Capitol on Saturday, Jan. 21. In cities from Washington, D.C., to Little Rock and around the world, millions rallied to protest the incoming presidential administration.

Hotter and hotter

Three government agencies — two American, one British — released findings that global temperatures in 2016 were the highest on record, according to data collected from satellites and surface stations around the globe. That's the bad news. The worse news is that the previous hottest year was 2015, which itself beat the temperature record set all the way back in ... 2014. Scientists expect 2017 to be slightly cooler thanks to the end of an El Nino weather pattern in the Pacific, but over the long run the pattern is clear: Global temperatures are rising in concert with the level of atmospheric carbon, which is driven largely by human activity. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, President Trump signed documents clearing the way for construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which the Obama administration had blocked.

Major tax cut sails through ledge

Governor Hutchinson's $50 million tax cut for low-income Arkansans passed both legislative chambers this week with broad bipartisan support, despite the presence of a competing proposal from Democrats and early signals of dissatisfaction from some Republican lawmakers. The governor's proposal would give a break to the 657,000 Arkansans who earn less than $21,000 a year. That didn't sit well with certain Republican supply-size zealots — such as Rep. Charlie Collins (R-Fayetteville) — who wanted to slash taxes for the wealthy rather than the poor. In the end, they were placated by Hutchinson's promise to create a legislative task force on broader tax reform, which will present a final report in 2018. Meanwhile, Rep. Warwick Sabin (D-Little Rock) filed a competing proposal to create a state-level Earned Income Tax Credit, which Democrats (and a few Republicans) argued would be a better vehicle to provide tax relief for low-income earners than Hutchinson's proposed cut. But although Sabin's bill passed out of the House Revenue and Taxation Committee along with the governor's preferred measure, the EITC did not get a vote on the floor of the House. Instead, Hutchinson's proposal passed out of the House, 90-2, while an identical bill passed in the Senate 33-0.


And now for the really hefty Capitol news: Arkansas is now one step closer to having an official dinosaur, thanks to a resolution from Rep. Greg Leding (D-Fayetteville) to bestow that honor upon Arkansaurus fridayi. Joe B. Friday discovered the dinosaur's fossilized foot in a gravel pit near Lockesburg in 1972 when he was out looking for a cow. Arkansaurus, a bipedal therapod, is the only dinosaur whose remains have been found in Arkansas to date (though fossilized footprints have been found in the state). The resolution passed the House unanimously by voice vote.

Gay jokes evidently not back on after all

Hunter Hatcher, an outreach coordinator for the office of state Treasurer Dennis Milligan, resigned after complaints about comments he made on social media. "Y'all in Trump's America now! Time to flick that chip off ya shoulder and quit being so offended. Gay jokes are back on ya bunch of homos!" Hatcher tweeted on Inauguration Day. He took to Facebook to weigh in on the Women's March for Arkansas: "If all these women are at the Capitol, who's making lunch?" Unfortunately for Hatcher, low-level staffers evidently have less latitude than presidential candidates in making offensive comments: On Monday, he resigned from his post. Milligan called the comments "absurd, insulting, unprofessional."


From the ArkTimes store


Subscribe to this thread:

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

« »


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