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Alison Sider

Stories by Alison

Cash relief foreseen to prop up Medicaid

posted: 07/04/2012 4:38 a.m. Comments 5

A record fiscal year-end surplus of more than $145 million can help Arkansas soften an expected shortfall in Medicaid funds next year as well as deal with other one-time needs, Gov. Mike Beebe said Tuesday.

Lottery ticket sales up $10 million in ’12

posted: 07/03/2012 5:11 a.m. Discuss

Sales of Arkansas lottery tickets were up $10 million in fiscal 2012 from the previous year, officials announced Monday, but it’s not clear how much of that will go toward scholarships.

Gas-tax campaign has sparks flying

posted: 07/01/2012 6:02 a.m. Comment 1

If a proposal to raise the state’s severance tax on natural gas gets on the November ballot, it will be despite the best efforts of the natural-gas industry, which helped fund a “don’t sign” campaign to thwart a petition campaign aimed at getting it on the ballot.

Darr looks ahead to elections for fix

posted: 06/29/2012 5:37 a.m. Comments 2

In his 2010 campaign, Lt. Gov. Mark Darr pledged to challenge the constitutionality of the federal health-care law, and he said Thursday that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding the law’s constitutionality is not a loss but “a wake-up call.”

Nelson requests inquiry by SEC

posted: 06/27/2012 4:40 a.m. Discuss

Sheffield Nelson asked the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday to investigate an Exxon Mobil subsidiary and Southwestern Energy, alleging that they have misled the public and their shareholders in the course of opposing an increase in the severance tax on natural gas.

Incentives reel in businesses, but state gains hard to gauge

posted: 06/24/2012 5:42 a.m. Discuss

A company’s announcement that it plans to open a factory or office in the state is often met with great fanfare.

State justices strike 2009 execution law

posted: 06/23/2012 3:31 a.m. Discuss

The state Supreme Court on Friday struck down as unconstitutional Arkansas’ lethal-injection law, saying it gave too much discretion to the Arkansas Department of Correction to decide how executions would be carried out and which chemicals would be used.

Bid to get back law license fails

posted: 06/22/2012 4:30 a.m. Discuss

In a 5-2 decision, the state Supreme Court declined Thursday to reinstate the law license of a lawyer who pleaded guilty to a felony over a decade ago.

Court: Breath test in other county legal

posted: 06/22/2012 4:29 a.m. Discuss

A law enforcement officer who arrested someone for driving under the influence and then transported him across a county line for a breath test acted reasonably, and the test did not constitute an illegal search, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

Tobacco panel chooses director

posted: 06/21/2012 5:35 a.m. Discuss

The Arkansas Tobacco Settlement Commission has selected Faye Shepherd as its new director, after months of searching.

10 argue ’09 executions law gave official too much power

posted: 06/15/2012 3:10 a.m. Comments 2

An attorney representing 10 death row inmates argued before the state Supreme Court on Thursday that Arkansas’ lethal injection law is unconstitutional because it gives a state Department of Correction official too much power to decide what drugs to use in executions.

Police faulted in records case

posted: 06/15/2012 3:08 a.m. Comments 3

The state Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the Jacksonville Police Department violated the state Freedom of Information Act when it denied a woman’s request for police recordings as “too broad or burdensome.” When Partne Daugherty followed that with a second, even broader request, the department told her she would have to put up a deposit of $2,475 — a fee the Supreme Court found was unwarranted.

Economist: State natural-gas tax peanuts

posted: 06/14/2012 5:39 a.m. Comments 4

Economist Charles Venus said Wednesday that increasing the state’s severance tax on natural gas will not drive the industry from the state.

Consumer-oriented insurance exchange urged

posted: 06/13/2012 4:51 a.m. Comments 2

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Family issued a report Tuesday that urges the state Insurance Department to keep consumer interests front and center as it implements a federally run health-insurance exchange for Arkansas.

Martin urged to overhaul staff

posted: 06/13/2012 4:38 a.m. Discuss

A group that reviewed Secretary of State Mark Martin’s office’s policies recommended Tuesday that the office add to its election division staff, trim from other departments and look into outsourcing services like maintenance and the Capitol gift shop.

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