Gov’s Office: Arkansas “Moving Towards” State Exchange, But Nothing Final Yet

Arkansas capitol

Arkansas is in the process of establishing a state exchange, but a final decision won’t be made until after the Health Care Reform Legislative Task Force makes its recommendations, a spokesman for Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Tuesday. J.R. Davis, Hutchinson’s spokesman, told The Arkansas Project: There’s no deadline set or time that says…we’re going to be a state exchange on this date or that we’re even going to be one. Basically, through legislation passed by the Legislature in 2013 and 2015 … [Read more...]

Local Governments Still Misreading Act 746

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Despite statements from Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, and Gov. Asa Hutchinson that Arkansans are now allowed to openly carry holstered guns under Act 746 of 2013, some local government officials are still ignoring the clear import of this law. The Cabot Police Department said Monday afternoon: There have been numerous requests for information regarding "open carry" and the Cabot Police Department's response to Act 746 of 2013. In 2013, the Cabot Police … [Read more...]

No, A 1332 Waiver Won’t Make Obamacare “Conservative”

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The talking point from “private option” Medicaid expansion advocates over the past two years has been that the program would provide Arkansas flexibility in the administration of Medicaid. Instead of flexibility, we got rigidity: Arkansas couldn’t even manage to get minor reforms to the “private option," like an enrollee work requirement, before reauthorizing the program earlier this year. And now state bureaucrats are saying we can still have flexibility, but we’ll just have to wait until … [Read more...]

Pryor, Beebe: It’s Cash-Out Time!

arkansas news

It’s amazing how a person’s views on lobbying can change over the years. From the Washington Examiner: Here's an oldie from October 2005: "Senator Mark Pryor, along with Senator Byron Dorgan, will lead the Senate Democrats' 'Responsible Governance' effort, which will close the revolving door that puts special interests before the people's interests." Compare to this announcement today from K Street firm Venable: "Venable LLP announced today that former U.S. Senator Mark L. Pryor … [Read more...]

Westerman: Give States Flexibility On Workforce Requirements

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Freshman U.S. Rep Bruce Westerman introduced a bill last week that would give state legislators across the country much-needed flexibility and distance from the federal government with respect to Medicaid expansion. From Westerman in Talk Business: The next step in reducing the burdens imposed at the federal level is the focus of my first bill, introduced this week, the State Flexibility and Workforce Requirement Act of 2015. The bill, H.R. 886, would rewrite federal code and allow Arkansas, … [Read more...]

Taxpayer-Funded Legislative Meal Plans: Another Possible Blessing From Issue 3

Independent Citizens Committee

After Issue 3 passed in November, which banned lobbyists from paying for state legislators’ meals, I suspect some of our representatives were asking themselves: “Gee, who’s going to pick up the check now?” Today I attended a panel discussion on Issue 3 at the Clinton School of Public Service, which provided a possible answer to that question. Scott Trotter, a local attorney who helped write Issue 3 and who currently serves as a kind of volunteer advisor to the misnamed Independent Citizens … [Read more...]

Freshman Legislator: Freshman Legislators Aren’t Stupid, But Are Ignorant

PO (Ignorant Freshmen)

The Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families road-show to save the “private option” (Medicaid expansion) got off to a less-than-stellar start yesterday. From NWAOnline: "If the private option doesn't pass again, it's going to kill Asa Hutchinson's budget," said Jana Della Rosa, a Republican who was elected last month to serve House District 90, in Benton County. "There's such a huge hole that suddenly appears. "I don't think there's really any interest in doing that," she said. "I … [Read more...]

Little Rock: Very Dangerous, But Very PC!

arkansas news

Two reports have come out recently about the Little Rock Police Department (LRPD). One came from LawStreetMedia.com, which said that Arkansas is the most dangerous small city in America; the other came from the left-wing Human Rights Campaign, which gave Little Rock low marks for LGQBT friendliness. It was revealing (in a bad way) which report the Little Rock Police Department seemed most eager to respond to. The LRPD held a press conference yesterday announcing their new “transgender … [Read more...]