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Sunday, Sep. 25, 2016
State Capital Week in Review
Posted Tuesday, September 20, at 8:48 AM
LITTLE ROCK - Legal challenges have been filed against four measures that have been certified to appear on the November general election ballot. Three other measures were referred by the legislature and there is no legal question about their being on the ballot. Depending on the outcome of the legal challenges, it is possible from three to seven ballot issues will be decided by Arkansas voters on Nov. 8...

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Proposals discussed
Posted Tuesday, September 13, at 1:00 PM

LITTLE ROCK - Depending on the outcome of multiple legal challenges now being considered by the state Supreme Court, as many as six proposed constitutional amendments and one proposed initiated act may be on the November 8 general election ballot in Arkansas...

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State Capital Week in Review
Posted Tuesday, September 6, at 9:55 AM

LITTLE ROCK - Making criminal offenders pay restitution to their victims is politically popular. However, Arkansas and other states have run into obstacles when they have tried to put in place effective systems for collecting damages. One problem is that offenders often have little or no money when they're released from prison and their prospects of getting a good job are severely diminished because of their criminal record...

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Traffic safety campaign continues
Posted Tuesday, August 30, at 9:17 AM

LITTLE ROCK - The State Police will continue its traffic safety campaign through the end of the Labor Day weekend. The State Police Highway Safety Office is partnering with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to stop drunk driving and save lives...

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State Capital Week in Review
Posted Tuesday, August 23, at 8:50 AM

LITTLE ROCK - During the first three months of this year 1,093 children in Arkansas were placed in foster care. During the same period 808 children were released from foster care and most of them, 70 percent, were reunited with parents or went to live with a relative. About 20 percent left foster homes because they were adopted...

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State Capital Week in Review
Posted Tuesday, August 16, at 9:28 AM

LITTLE ROCK - As parents and students prepare for the new school year, administrators are on the lookout for any changes in state policy on transfers and transportation. There is a history of litigation affecting the Arkansas law that allows students to transfer to schools outside of the district in which they live. The 1989 school choice act was stricken in 2012 by a federal judge who ruled it unconstitutional. The legislature enacted a new school choice law in 2013 and updated it last year...

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State Capital Week in Review
Posted Tuesday, August 9, at 9:14 AM

LITTLE ROCK - In a transaction that was termed "unique" by the governor, the state Health Department sold its in-home care operations to a private corporation based in Kentucky for $39 million. The Health Department set up the in-home care program in 1968, when fewer health care options existed in rural Arkansas. Now, about 13,000 patients receive some form of care in their homes. That number is down about 28 percent over the past five years...

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Sales tax holiday Aug. 6-7
Posted Wednesday, August 3, at 8:45 AM

LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas will hold its annual sales tax holiday on Saturday, Aug. 6, and Sunday, Aug. 7. The legislature created the sales tax holiday by approving Act 757 of 2011. The intent of the act is to help families with children in school, and is commonly known as the "Back to School" sales tax holiday. However, everyone benefits from the holiday, whether or not they have children of school age...

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Capital Week in Review
Posted Tuesday, July 26, at 8:52 AM

LITTLE ROCK - By the end of the current fiscal year Arkansas will be one of only three states in the country in which every public school will have access to high speed broadband Internet connections. The Senate Education Committee heard the good news from the director of the state Department of Information Systems, which has been working with schools and Internet providers to make broadband available throughout the state...

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State Capital Week in Review
Posted Tuesday, July 19, at 8:46 AM

LITTLE ROCK - The state Correction Department has acquired new supplies of a lethal drug used in executions. The Department's supply of the drug had expired, holding up the state's efforts to execute eight men on death row for whom the governor had set execution dates...

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Fiscal year ends with surplus
Posted Monday, July 11, at 1:54 PM

LITTLE ROCK -Arkansas state government ended its fiscal year with a surplus of $177 million. When he announced the surplus, the governor said that he intended to propose further income tax reductions when the legislature convenes in regular session next January...

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State Capital Week in Review
Posted Tuesday, July 5, at 9:42 AM

LITTLE ROCK - Even after a state Supreme Court ruling, the protocol for carrying out the death penalty in Arkansas remains uncertain. In a split decision, the court ruled against eight inmates on death row who argued that a secrecy provision in Arkansas' execution procedures was unconstitutional. By a vote of 4-to-3 the court overturned a Pulaski County judge who had ruled previously in favor of the inmates' claim that sections of Act 1096 of 2015 were unconstitutional...

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Capital Week in Review
Posted Monday, June 20, at 2:07 PM

LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas is one of numerous states experiencing an alarming spike in deaths attributable to prescription pain killers. A physician with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, in a presentation to a legislative committee, said that changes in state law are needed in response to the statewide epidemic of abuse of drugs known as opioids. ...

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DHS restructuring to be beneficial
Posted Tuesday, June 14, at 11:21 AM

LITTLE ROCK - The new director of the state Human Services Department presented to legislators the details of a restructuring plan that is designed to make business operations more efficient. The expectation is that the changes will save money and allow caseworkers more time to perform their duties helping people in need...

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State Capital Week in Review
Posted Tuesday, June 7, at 11:02 AM

LITTLE ROCK - The state recently awarded Arkansas school districts about $44.5 million in funding for this year, to pay for new construction and renovation of existing facilities to make sure they are safe, warm and dry. Facilities funding is a vital part of state aid to local schools, and is distributed according to a formula that takes into account the local wealth of school districts...

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State Capital Week in Review
Posted Wednesday, June 1, at 10:14 AM

LITTLE ROCK - Of the 13 items on the governor's call for a special session, 12 were approved by the legislature. The top priority was legislation to increase state funding of the Highway and Transportation Department by about $50 million a year for five years, which will qualify Arkansas for an additional $200 million each year in federal highway funding...

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Capital Week in Review
Posted Tuesday, May 24, at 1:49 PM

LITTLE ROCK - The legislature convened in a special session called by the governor to address highway funding needs. The governor's call has 12 items in addition to highway funding. Senate Bill 10, at 105 pages, is easily the longest bill under consideration. It would terminate a list of task forces, commissions and study groups that are no longer in operation and place the Arkansas History Commission under the state Heritage Department...

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Capital Week in Review
Posted Tuesday, May 10, at 10:19 AM

LITTLE ROCK - With the successful completion of the fiscal session, Arkansas will fulfill its obligation to provide matching funds to go along with federal funding of Medicaid and other services. Now, attention at the state Capitol will focus on a special session the governor wants to call to address highway maintenance and improvements. ...

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State Capital Week in Review
Posted Tuesday, May 3, at 2:28 PM

LITTLE ROCK - The appropriation for Medicaid services was one of first three measures enacted by the legislature during the 2016 fiscal session. Not long after the spending bill became law the Senate approved funding for the Office of Medicaid Inspector General...

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State Capital Week in Review
Posted Tuesday, April 26, at 1:05 PM

LITTLE ROCK - During the fiscal session of the legislature the focus of media attention has been on the budget of the state Human Services Department (DHS), which is the single largest state agency. Public attention focused specifically on the Medicaid program, which is administered by the Human Services Department. However, it's important to remember that DHS provides numerous other services apart from Medicaid...

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State Capital Week in Review
By Senator David Burnett
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State Capital Week in Review
(0 ~ 8:48 AM, Sep 20)

Proposals discussed
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State Capital Week in Review
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Traffic safety campaign continues
(0 ~ 9:17 AM, Aug 30)

State Capital Week in Review
(0 ~ 8:50 AM, Aug 23)