Report: Only “Robust Growth” in Little Rock Is from Government

Arkansas capitol

Another new study adds to the evidence we’ve written recently about: namely, there's lots of room for improvement with respect to economic growth in central Arkansas. According to the Manhattan Institute’s America’s Top Metros report, the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway area ranks 90 out of 100 metros in economic recovery from the recession since 2009. (To be clear: #1 is the top; #100 is the bottom.) From the report: Unlike most of the bottom 20 on our list, the Little Rock MSA is … [Read more...]

The Not-So-Independent Citizens Committee

Independent Citizens Committee

Over the weekend, Republicans at their party convention voted to oppose an upcoming “ethics reform” ballot measure in 2014 that waters down term limits for state legislators. Here is the report from the AP: Arkansas Republicans have voted to oppose a ballot measure that would loosen the state's term limits and tighten state ethics laws. Delegates at the state GOP's convention on Saturday approved a resolution opposing the proposed constitutional amendment appearing on the November ballot. … [Read more...]

Judge McGowan Benchslaps Act 1413


One of the most offensive bills that the Arkansas General Assembly passed last session was SB 821/Act 1413. This bill, which we warned the legislature about, almost seemed designed to make it more difficult for citizens to pass laws by means of ballot initiatives. Act 1413 created a new set of regulations that controlled the registration, tracking, and training of those who gathered signatures for petitions. Earlier this week, we were very pleased to see Judge McGowan’s decision to the effect … [Read more...]

Term Limits Camouflage


The debate over extending legislative term limits in Arkansas is only just beginning. Unfortunately, that debate has been diluted: in this year’s legislative session, the legislature opted to couple term limits extension measure with ethics reform. The amendment’s ballot title says nothing about extending term limits. Instead, it mostly discusses ethics reforms and then, in the last line, says it is intended to “establish” term limits. This, to say the least, has concerned many conservatives … [Read more...]

Just Saying Hello (And Those Other Guys Suck!)


Last week, an email with the subject line “Just Saying Hello” went out to legislative supporters of the “private option”/Medicaid expansion. The email was from State Rep. John Burris. He began this missive by explaining that it lacked “a real motive or specific request.” It’s real cute. You should read it: Hey all, This is an email to those who voted "yes" on the DHS appropriation that included the Private Option spending authority. I don't have a real motive or specific request. I just … [Read more...]

Who Are Arkansas’s Friends Of Freedom?


Today at the Capitol, 23 state legislators were awarded “Friends of Freedom” awards from the Advance Arkansas Institute. These legislators represent the top tier of scorers on AAI’s newly released 2013 Freedom Scorecard, an index of over 100 bills that were debated in this year’s legislative session. (If you’d like a copy of the full report, send us a tax-deductible donation and we’ll ship one out to you.) So, who are the Friends of Freedom? In the House, the following representatives made the … [Read more...]

Beebe’s “Non-Starter” Wish List Becomes Starter For Some GOP Legislators


Yesterday, I wrote about Governor Beebe’s redistribution plan for Arkansas school funding. As part of that story, I shared several mass emails from and to Republican legislators that revealed their thinking on this issue (many are upset with the plan, to say the least). Perhaps as a result of my story, last night I received even more emails that more clearly demonstrate the divide in the GOP caucus -- as well as the evolving nature of the debate over the imminent special session’s … [Read more...]

Failure to Launch

The launch of the nation’s Obamacare exchanges continues to be a nationwide disaster – and Obamacare advocates continue to grit their teeth and insist that all is well. On the one hand, this disturbingly propagandistic video attempts to show that the Arkansas exchange worked well on its first day: one “satisfied customer” stands just outside the Clinton Library’s exchange rollout, explaining that the startup went “very easily, very smoothly, it went right to the point, you know; she keyed in … [Read more...]