Report: Arkansas Terrible On Transparency

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Arkansans who care about transparency in government received some bad news today. According to an American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) study on tax cronyism released today, Arkansas is one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to reporting exactly what special breaks the state’s tax code gives to favored industries. William Freeland, an ALEC research analyst who worked on the report, told The Arkansas Project in a phone interview: The biggest thing here on Arkansas is in … [Read more...]

The Real Beebe Jobs Record

Real Beebe Job Numbers

If you watch or read the news in Arkansas, you probably hear a lot about outgoing Gov. Mike Beebe’s record of “job creation.” One political columnist recently claimed that “economic development was a hallmark of the Beebe era.” Gubernatorial candidate Mike Ross released his first television ad earlier this year, attempting to tie himself to Beebe and claiming in an accompanying statement: Arkansas has made tremendous progress under Governor Beebe…I want to build on the foundations Governor … [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...]

Arkansas needs tort reform, Copland says

Tort Reform (Generic)

The Little Rock chapter of the Federalist Society hosted a debate on tort reform Tuesday that likely foreshadows the arguments citizens will hear in the 2015 session. The debate, styled “Is Tort Reform Conservative?”, was held between the Manhattan Institute’s James Copland and the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association’s Brian Brooks. Brooks argued that tort reform undercuts local control by placing restrictions on juries, and that it devalues the lives of those seeking damages from an … [Read more...]

Brace Yourselves, Taxpayers: The Obamacare ‘Private’ Option Will Be Even Worse Next Year

Yoda Believe (Vertical)

On Tuesday, Arkansas Obamacare supporters rolled out a set of changes to the state’s newest entitlement program, misnamed the “private” option. According to proponents, these changes will increase “personal responsibility.” But a closer look reveals that state decision-makers are trying to reduce the amount of “skin in the game” for Medicaid expansion enrollees, shifting even more of the financial burden onto taxpayers. In order to create “personal investment” in the free health plans, … [Read more...]

Teen Unemployment Rising Higher and Higher in Arkansas

Teen Unemployement Rising

Teen unemployment is dramatically on the rise in Arkansas; a proposed minimum wage increase is likely to make it worse. According to the Employment Policies Institute (EPI), Arkansas currently has a teen (16 to 19) unemployment rate of 32 percent, which is up from 21 percent in 2011. Indeed, jobs for teenagers are beginning to become so scarce that they were referred to as “luxury goods” in a recent article. Michael Pakko, chief economist at the Arkansas Institute for Economic Advancement, said … [Read more...]

In The News: Surging, Skyrocketing, & Skydiving

arkansas news

Here’s a triad of stories with implications for Arkansas taxpayers that are setting the internet ablaze today. 1. Fraudulent Medicaid enrollment is surging under Obamacare. Don’t miss this story from some guy and Josh Archambault: Arkansas is the only Southern state to embrace ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion, though buyer’s remorse may be setting in. Just last week, the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) announced that nearly 5,000 enrollees in the state’s Medicaid expansion are … [Read more...]

Flippo Defeats Burris In Senate Runoff, Rutledge Advances To General Election

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We'll have more tomorrow on the results of tonight's state Republican runoff elections, but I wanted to pass along these vote totals before calling it a night: In Senate District 17, businessman Scott Flippo defeated Rep. John Burris by roughly 200 votes In the Attorney General runoff, Leslie Rutledge defeated David Sterling by roughly 18% Rutledge will face Democrat Rep. Nate Steel and Libertarian Aaron Cash in the fall. Flippo is unopposed in the fall; he will be the next senator … [Read more...]