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

waver-01

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...]

Dennis Milligan, Reformer?

AP_transparency-01

We are big advocates of transparency in government here at The Arkansas Project. So we were a little shocked when we found out most state constitutional officers (and their offices) could delete some emails almost immediately after sending them. This is apparently the result of Act 918, passed into law in 2005. From Arkansas Online: State Treasurer Dennis Milligan reversed a decision that would have required employees to delete emails after 30 days, after receiving negative reactions … [Read more...]

The Nanny State Comes to Batesville

E-Cigarettes (Who's Afraid)

Everyone knows that smoking and using tobacco products is unhealthy. But how far should government go to regulate this unhealthy behavior? I think it’s reasonable to regulate smoking so that its negative health effects don’t harm others. But when we’re talking about you harming yourself by using tobacco, I don’t see any compelling reason for the government to get involved. Dedicated proponents of the Nanny State seem to disagree, however. The latest example is from Batesville. Its city … [Read more...]

Democrats Confused About Whether They Can Still Win In Arkansas

Arkansas capitol

You might have heard that Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman, was in town last night for a Democratic Party of Arkansas (DPA) fundraiser. Here’s a recap from the AP: Republicans gained control of the Arkansas Legislature for the first time since Reconstruction in the 2012 general election, and they expanded their majorities in the Legislature, won all seven constitutional offices and gained control of the state's six seats in Congress in the 2014 … [Read more...]

Jonathan Greer

Greer

Jonathan Greer was never a close friend of mine, but our paths seemed to cross a lot. I worked with him professionally when he served as an attorney for the Association of Arkansas Counties, and when he was attorney for Saline County. Around the time Saline County Judge Lanny Fite left county government for state government to become Rep. Lanny Fite, Jonathan left county government as well and came back to the Association of Arkansas Counties as their liaison. I didn’t know him all that well, … [Read more...]

Report: Arkansas 36% Over 2014 PO Enrollment Projections

Arkansas Capitol sunburst

One of the consistent problems with big, new government entitlements is that politicians and bureaucrats usually understate or underestimate the program's actual cost. A new report out today shows that the “private option” in Arkansas and other Medicaid expansion programs across the nation suffered from that exact problem in 2014. Arkansas’s “private option” Medicaid expansion turned out to be 36 percent over the enrollment projections originally expected for 2014. Enrollment for 2014 was … [Read more...]

Rep. Womack Takes on Entitlements

Eye On Washington

What’s the biggest fiscal problem that our nation faces? Defense spending? Foreign aid? Obamacare? Nope. It’s entitlement programs. At least one member of Congress recognizes the need to deal with them, as reported in the Ft. Smith Times Record: Mandatory spending, such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and “entitlement” programs, is running the government dry, along with crippling debt, U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, R-Rogers, said Thursday during a Fort Smith town hall. I’m not sure why the … [Read more...]

Free Markets, Not Minimum Wage Laws, Raise Salaries

minimum wage

We've recently seen efforts across the country to raise the minimum wage. Arkansas’s minimum wage will be raised to $8.50 in 2017. The city of Seattle even went so far as to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour. But advocates for a higher minimum wage misunderstand what actually moves wages up: it's the law of supply and demand, not government intervention. Take Wal-Mart, for example, which recently announced it would be giving sizeable pay increases to thousands of its … [Read more...]