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Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017
Domestic violence laws addressed
Posted Monday, February 20, at 3:25 PM
According to the National Coalition for Domestic Violence, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. In an effort to combat domestic violence in our state, we evaluate our laws throughout the year. The Regular Session provides us an opportunity to strengthen our existing laws and add new protections...

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House Constitutional Issues subcommittee to hear proposed amendments
Posted Tuesday, February 14, at 9:45 AM

On Wednesday of next week, the House Constitutional Issues Subcommittee will begin hearing proposed amendments to our state's constitution. Our state constitution was written in 1874. But a government's needs can change over time. Arkansans have responded by approving 98 amendments...

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Change in higher education funding presented
Posted Tuesday, February 7, at 9:39 AM

The State of Arkansas is home to over 40 institutions of higher education, including 10 four-year universities, 22 two-year colleges, 12 private universities and 1 academic health center. Currently, the state supported institutions are funded based on enrollment...

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House passes income tax reduction
Posted Tuesday, January 31, at 10:07 AM

The House began this week by passing an income tax reduction for Arkansans making less than $21,000 a year. In a vote of 90-2, with 5 members voting present, the House passed HB1159 also known the Tax Reform and Relief Act of 2017. The legislation passed this week creates a legislative task force to explore future tax reform. The task force is required to complete a report by September 1, 2018. The report will include proposals for tax cuts and job growth...

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House takes steps to eliminate waiting list
Posted Tuesday, January 24, at 9:07 AM

Currently there are 3,000 Arkansans with intellectual or developmental disabilities waiting for community-based or in home services. The needs range from adaptive equipment at home to day treatment programs. This week the House took the first step in an effort to eliminate this waiting list...

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Looking at the budget
Posted Tuesday, January 17, at 10:30 AM

As with every legislative session, one of the greatest challenges we face will be to balance a budget that does not burden tax payers while providing needed services. This year, we will consider tax exemptions for retired military living in our state and competing proposals for other tax reductions...

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From the House of Representatives
Posted Tuesday, January 3, at 9:44 AM

You can never tell where a teacher's influence will end. Teachers inspire us and push us all to our fullest potential. There are over 32,000 such dedicated professionals inspiring our students every day in Arkansas. But if we take a look at young people who are enrolling in educator preparation programs, we know we may be facing a shortage of teachers in years to come. ...

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Legislative update
Posted Tuesday, December 27, at 9:07 AM

The year 2016 proved to be an unusual one for the Arkansas General Assembly. Typically in the even numbered years, we only address the budget during the Fiscal Session. This year, as the Governor called two special sessions, we tackled everything from funding highways to streamlining government...

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Medical Marijuana Commission holds first meeting
Posted Tuesday, December 20, at 9:40 AM

When Arkansans voted in favor of a ballot issue to permit the use of medical marijuana in our state, they also voted in favor of substantial oversight in the distribution. Issue 6, now Amendment 98 to the Arkansas Constitution, directed two state agencies and one newly formed commission to oversee the implementation and regulation...

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House conducts legislative institute
Posted Tuesday, December 13, at 9:28 AM

The 2017 Regular Session begins in less than a month. An effective legislative session depends on much more than the context of the bills. A great deal depends upon all members understanding the legislative rules, procedures, traditions, and resources...

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Mumps cases confirmed
Posted Tuesday, December 6, at 12:56 PM

We are continuing to receive daily updates from the Department of Health concerning the mumps outbreak in Arkansas. The Department of Health is reporting that 43 workplaces, 3 school districts, and 5 colleges/vocational schools have now reported cases...

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More than 2,000 bills filed
Posted Tuesday, November 29, at 10:32 AM

In 2015, legislators filed more than 2,000 bills. Before the session ended, more than a thousand amendments had also been filed. Although Regular Sessions can be extended with a vote by of General Assembly, they are originally scheduled to last 60 days...

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Arkansas Department of Human Services oversaw 700 adoptions
Posted Tuesday, November 22, at 9:04 AM

This year the Arkansas Department of Human Services oversaw the adoption of more than 700 children. But the need for more loving homes is still great. There are another 600 children in our state currently available for adoption. November is National Adoption Month. It's a time to increase awareness and bring attention to the need for permanent families for children and youth in the foster care system...

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House welcomes members-elect
Posted Tuesday, November 15, at 9:45 AM

The House welcomed the members-elect of the 91st General Assembly to the chamber on Thursday. The body of newly elected members includes 19 new faces. We will have 35 members serving a second term and 29 serving a third term. For the first time in over 20 years, the House will have members serving a fourth term. There will be 17 members entering their fourth term for the 91st General Assembly...

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Committee members play key roles in floor debates
Posted Tuesday, November 8, at 9:02 AM

There are a few important events for the House taking place just days after the election. These proceedings will have a significant impact on the 91st General Assembly and ultimately the next legislative session. On Thursday, November 10, a House Caucus will convene in the chamber. The purpose will be two-fold. The first purpose is to determine seniority and seating of members, and the second is to determine who will serve on standing committees and certain select committees...

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STEM jobs growing in state
Posted Tuesday, November 1, at 9:00 AM

Some of the fastest growing occupations in our state are in the field of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEM jobs are also among of the highest paid professions in Arkansas. The Department of Workforce Services estimates that we could see over 800 new jobs in computer system design alone in the next two years. ...

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Legislative update
Posted Wednesday, October 19, at 3:03 PM

This week we began a series of hearings designed to guide a great deal of our decision making for the next legislative session. Budget hearings allow members to hear the needs of every board and state agency funded with state tax dollars. The General Assembly currently directs 87 cents of every general revenue dollar to education and health and human services...

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Accepting nominations into the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame
Posted Tuesday, October 11, at 8:52 AM

One of the best ways to truly experience a local culture is to try the food. Nearly every culture has its own flavors and customs influenced by nearby crops and often times religious tradition. Our state's cuisine is also heavily influenced by the imagination of our people. Just think about all the many ways Arkansans have served mouthwatering barbeque, crispy catfish, or spicy cheese dip...

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Seven ballot issues to decide
Posted Tuesday, October 4, at 7:58 AM

This November, Arkansas voters will be asked to decide on seven ballot issues that could impact everything from election terms to the use of medical marijuana. This week we want to direct your attention to the first three issues you will see on the ballot. These are the issues that the 90th General Assembly voted to have placed on the upcoming ballot...

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Voting registration deadlines nearing
Posted Tuesday, September 27, at 9:22 AM

It has been estimated that in 2008, 6 million Americans did not vote because they either missed a registration deadline or didn't know how to register. We want to make sure every Arkansans who wishes to vote in the November election has that opportunity. The deadline to register for the upcoming election is October 10...

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Johnny Rye of Trumann is the Representative of District 54.