Senator Dismang Is Open to Letting the Sun Shine In

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Sen. Jonathan Dismang made a promising announcement when Roby Brock interviewed him earlier this week: Dismang said that he’s open-minded about broadcasting/live-streaming state Senate procedures. Dismang’s statement creates a welcome contrast with other members of the Senate leadership, who have been pointedly dismissive about shining a light onto Senate deliberations. I think it’s something we’ll discuss, but it’s something we’ll discuss as a whole. It would not be my decision solely to … [Read more...]

Arkansas House Candidate Owes $30,000 To IRS

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As the filing period for state offices came to a close a few weeks ago, I began reviewing the Statements of Financial Interest for state candidates. One filing in particular jumped out at me. Damon Wallace has filed to run as a Republican for House District 96, the seat being vacated by incumbent Rep. Duncan Baird. Wallace will face Grant Hodges in the Republican primary in May. According to Wallace's SFI, he currently owes “approx $30,000” to the IRS. On the form, Wallace described the nature … [Read more...]

The Collapse of the Risperdal Verdict

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You might remember that, earlier this month, state Senator Johnny Key passed a law that would dedicate damage-verdict money to the private-option trust fund. I thought then, and think now, that Key’s action was an eloquent admission of future private-option costs: the $1.2 billion that Key wanted to put in the private-option trust fund was evidence that at least some lawmakers had silently accepted our arguments that the private option won't actually save us money – instead, it will cost us … [Read more...]

GOP Senate Primaries, Round Three: Sample vs. Neal

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Round three of our review of the upcoming Republican primaries for state Senate is here. We’re taking a look at the role of the Obamacare “private” option Medicaid expansion in political debate, given its size and the evident intention of many candidates to make it a central part of their election strategy. Today, let’s take a look at District 14, where incumbent Senator Bill Sample is facing a primary challenge from Jerry Neal. In a recent interview with the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record, Sample … [Read more...]

New Footage From FGA: The ‘PO’ Is “ObamaCare’s Medicaid Expansion”

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The Foundation for Government Accountability has released a new web video that highlights many of the broken promises of the Arkansas version of Medicaid expansion, which has been dubbed the “private option.” The video features comments from FGA's Kristina Ribali and two Arkansas legislators -- Rep. Bruce Westerman (the Advance … [Read more...]

GOP Senate Primaries, Round Two: Holland vs. Rice

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Yesterday we began our examination of legislative primaries by looking at the Senate District 18 race. Today, we turn our attention to Senate District 9, where incumbent Senator Bruce Holland faces a challenge from State Representative Terry Rice. The Holland-Rice primary is already shaping up to be one of the more dramatic Arkansas primary match-ups, perhaps because it’s the only race in the state that features two incumbent legislators. More specifically, this race features two candidates … [Read more...]

Miller On The Media, Medicaid, and Moving Forward

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State Representative Josh Miller has been the subject of many state (and even some national) media reports over the past few weeks, which have often been aggressively unflattering. Miller’s unwavering opposition to Medicaid (“private” option) expansion is largely responsible for this attention. While opposition to Medicaid expansion is quite commonplace -- among both legislators and voters -- Miller’s position in Arkansas history is anything but common. Elected to the legislature in 2012, Josh … [Read more...]

Judge McGowan Benchslaps Act 1413

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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...]