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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - 10:50:00

Rep. Jamie Scott ready to do the hard work

Rep. Jamie Scott (North Little Rock) became the youngest African-American woman in the Arkansas Legislature. Scott, the executive director for Pulaski County Youth Services, defeated opponent Isaac Henry in the District 37 Democratic primary and went on to run unopposed in the general election. Recently, she took time to answer my questions about what problem she believes needs fixing in Arkansas, the pressures of being a woman elected in 2018 and the music she is listening to as she prepares for her first week of the 2019 legislative session.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - 09:30:00

Speaking of the legislature and undue influence ... see the State Police

I wish I'd written this, a Jonesboro Sun editorial on the one-week suspension given Brant Tosh, the State Police criminal investigation division commander in Jonesboro, for misbehavior that should have gotten him fired. It was a case in which his father's role as a Republican member of the state legislature undoubtedly had influence. Are we in a new era of clean government or not?

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Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - 09:13:00

Federal judge blocks Trump on Census citizenship question

A setback for Donald Trump's anti-immigrant agenda: A federal judge has blocked the administration's plan to ask a citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

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Today's headlines: Special interests rule in Arkansas

Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - 07:48:00

Cleaning up the legislature means concrete action and vigilance

Sen. Jim Hendren, the new leader of the Arkansas Senate, commanded a swath of newsprint in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette this morning for his opening speech exhorting an end to the era of "greed and corruption" in the Arkansas legislature. A few thoughts about that, with more to come as events warrant.

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Monday, January 14, 2019

Monday, January 14, 2019 - 17:20:00

Frank Scott to take control of police chief hiring and other powers at City Hall

Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. announced today that he intended to take control of hiring of the next police chief, along with other executive powers that had been ceded previously to the city manager.

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Monday, January 14, 2019 - 16:01:00

Mitch McConnell calls down Rep. Steve King for racist remarks. Arkies?

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell came very close today to calling for Rep. Steve King, the Iowa Republican, to resign from Congress on account of his racist remarks. Don't hold your breath for similar from Arkansas Republicans.

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Monday, January 14, 2019 - 14:57:00

Natural Relief Dispensary to construct new facility in Sherwood

Natural Relief Dispensary owner Michael Faught and his brother Brian Faught said the new dispensary will open at 3107 East Kiehl Avenue in Sherwood, hopefully within five to six months after breaking ground on the dispensary's new facility. Natural Relief Dispensary received the fourth highest score in zone 5 with 375.11 points earned.

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STAFF BLOGS: ARKANSAS BLOG

Today's headlines: Special interests rule in Arkansas

Monday, January 14, 2019 - 14:20:00

Best opening paragraph of the day: The unthinkable Donald Trump

How bad is Donald Trump? Let The Atlantic summarize:

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Monday, January 14, 2019 - 13:57:00

Today's news and the open line

The daily video begins with a legislative roundup. This is the open line.

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Monday, January 14, 2019 - 13:07:00

The legislation pours in: Expanded marijuana uses and Johnny Cash among the topics

Here come new legislative proposals, including one to expand the conditions that qualify someone to use medical marijuana and another to replace existing Arkansas statues in the Hall of Statuary in Washington with a famous former doper better known for his music, Johnny Cash, and civil rights leader Daisy Bates.

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Monday, January 14, 2019 - 12:33:00

Inaugural parties: Who pays, who can pay? UPDATE

Lots of parties this week by and for Republican state officials. Here's some details on the financing and the questions raised about one of them for Leslie Rutledge.

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Monday, January 14, 2019 - 10:59:00

Teacher pay raise legislation introduced

State Rep. Bruce Cozart of Hot Springs introduced today the expected legislation to raise minimum teacher pay.

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Monday, January 14, 2019 - 10:42:00

State starts food stamp payments early, with warning, on account of shutdown

The state Human Services Department said it will distribute February benefits under the SNAP (food stamp) program beginning Jan. 17, an early date on account of concerns money won't be available on account of the continuing federal government shutdown.

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Monday, January 14, 2019 - 08:37:00

Some thoughts from Rep. Megan Godfrey on her new role as a legislator

I reached out to Representatives-elect Megan Godfrey, Nicole Clowney, Jamie Scott, Denise Garner, and Tippi McCullough to get their thoughts on the biggest problem facing Arkansas, how they plan to deal with the pressure of having so many women looking to them with high expectations, and what they are listening to for inspiration or motivation as they prepare for their first week in the legislature. Up first is Godfrey, a bilingual educator and mother of two who defeated the GOP incumbent, Jeff Williams, by twenty-nine votes in District 89.

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Monday, January 14, 2019 - 08:05:00

The Arkansas legislature returns

The Arkansas General Assembly convenes at noon today. First order of business: A Joint Budget meeting to send out the general appropriation bill that pays their expenses.

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Monday, January 14, 2019 - 07:54:00

Ruling to protect birth control coverage no help to Arkansas women. UPDATE: Order broadened for all U.S.

A federal judge has blocked the Trump administration effort to end the Obamacare requirement of coverage for birth control under group health insurance plans, but the ruling applies in only 13 states where Democratic attorneys general have gone to court on behalf of women's reproductive health.

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Monday, January 14, 2019 - 07:38:00

There French Hill goes again, spreading misinformation about immigration

Republican Rep. French HIll continues to dance with the disinformation he used in his racist re-election campaign against Democrat Clarke Tucker

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Sunday, January 13, 2019

Sunday, January 13, 2019 - 16:00:00

OPEN LINE PLUS: Little Rock City Hall goes to court on judges' vacation pay claims

OPEN LINE PLUS To add to a pending question about whether former Mayor Mark Stodola is entitled to $173,000 or more for unused leave time during 12 years as mayor, City Attorney Tom Carpenter last week asked circuit court whether two current and one former city district court judges are entitled to pay for unused leave time from the  period before their offices became full state judgeships, which carry no pay accrual. The judges are seeking less than when the Arkansas Blog first reported the dispute.

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Sunday, January 13, 2019 - 09:27:00

The bloody toll of a Texas surgeon shows why Arkansas must continue to oppose 'tort reform'

Breathtaking reporting by Pro Publica tells the story of a butcher of a neurosurgeon in Texas who damaged and killed so many people it led to a groundbreaking criminal prosecution. Thanks to Texas' "tort reform" law to limit damages in malpractice cases, civil court restitution was limited if available at all  to the damaged patients and families. Save this article for the next time Chamber of Commerce boss Randy Zook, the medical and nursing home lobbies and others try again to make Arkansas safe for butcher doctors and negligent nursing homes.

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Sunday, January 13, 2019 - 09:05:00

Atheists in court Tuesday to challenge Jason Rapert for blocking criticism on social media

The American Atheists organization and individual plaintiffs will be in federal court in Little Rock Tuesday to seek a temporary restraining order against Sen. Jason Rapert for blocking criticism in comments on his Facebook and Twitter pages.

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  • Mitch McConnell calls down Rep. Steve King for racist remarks. Arkies?

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell came very close today to calling for Rep. Steve King, the Iowa Republican, to resign from Congress on account of his racist remarks. Don't hold your breath for similar from Arkansas Republicans.

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