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Thursday, June 22, 2017, 5:36 p.m.

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Michael R. Wickline

Stories by Michael R.

Legislator urges caution on tax code, exemptions

posted: 06/22/2017 3:24 a.m. Discuss

State lawmakers need to be careful in their discussions about overhauling Arkansas' tax code because talk about axing certain exceptions -- such as Texarkana's state income-tax exemption -- could have negative economic repercussions, Sen. Jimmy Hickey, R-Texarkana, told fellow lawmakers Wednesday.

Pay panel floats 2% raises for all Arkansas elected officials

posted: 06/21/2017 4:30 a.m. Comments 2

The commission that sets the salaries of elected state officials on Tuesday proposed granting 2 percent pay increases to all of them.

Governor's aide changes post

posted: 06/21/2017 3:18 a.m. Discuss

Gov. Asa Hutchinson's former legislative affairs director, Rett Hatcher, will start work today as the deputy director of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, system Director George Hopkins said Tuesday.

Governor allots funds for 3 private colleges

updated: 06/18/2017 4:30 a.m. Discuss

Gov. Asa Hutchinson plans to distribute $150,000 out of an emergency fund to three private historically black colleges to provide grants to assist their students.

Treasurer gains support for plan to pay legal fees

posted: 06/16/2017 1:01 a.m. Discuss

A legislative panel on Wednesday cleared the way for state Treasurer Dennis Milligan’s plan to shift $185,000 within his office’s budget to cover current and anticipated legal fees.

Tourism agency’s ad pact clears panel

posted: 06/16/2017 1 a.m. Discuss

The state Department of Parks and Tourism’s proposed advertising, marketing and website contract with the Little Rock advertising firm CJRW for $15.2 million a year sailed through a legislative subcommittee Wednesday.

Arkansas treasurer gains support for plan to pay legal fees

posted: 06/15/2017 4:30 a.m. Comment 1

A legislative panel on Wednesday cleared the way for state Treasurer Dennis Milligan's plan to shift $185,000 within his office's budget to cover current and anticipated legal fees.

Arkansas panel backs requests for rainy-day funds

posted: 06/15/2017 4:30 a.m. Discuss

A legislative panel on Wednesday approved Gov. Asa Hutchinson's proposals to provide $6.4 million in rainy-day funds to several agencies, ranging from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

Arkansas tourism agency's ad pact clears panel

posted: 06/15/2017 4:30 a.m. Discuss

The state Department of Parks and Tourism's proposed advertising, marketing and website contract with the Little Rock advertising firm CJRW for $15.2 million a year sailed through a legislative subcommittee Wednesday.

Pay rises lined up at state agencies

posted: 06/14/2017 4:30 a.m. Comments 5

A legislative panel on Tuesday signed off on the Department of Human Services' proposal to hire a consultant to be the Medicaid program's deputy chief financial officer at a salary of $157,100 a year.

Arkansas Scholarship Lottery director predicts revenue miss in fiscal '17

posted: 06/13/2017 4:30 a.m. Discuss

The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery should meet its forecast to raise $80.9 million for college scholarships in the fiscal year ending June 30, but it's unlikely to meet its projection for revenue to reach $463.4 million, lottery Director Bishop Woosley said Monday.

Lobbyists report $695,000 spent in state for 1Q

posted: 06/11/2017 4:30 a.m. Discuss

A lobbyist for the Humane Society of the United States and a lobbyist for Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund spent more than $78,000 and more than $58,000, respectively, during this year's regular legislative session.

Auditor says former state official skirted law

posted: 06/09/2017 4:30 a.m. Discuss

It appears that the former state Department of Information Systems Director Mark Myers violated standards of conduct in state law, potentially wasted state resources and failed to adhere to the department's technology policy, on the basis of a review of three projects costing $8.2 million and his personal relationship with a vendor's representative, a legislative auditor told lawmakers on Thursday.

Audit questions Arkansas secretary of state's trip to Ghana

posted: 06/09/2017 4:30 a.m. Discuss

Secretary of State Mark Martin's trip to Ghana on a U.S. Department of Agriculture trade mission in November 2015 doesn't appear to be within the scope of his office's duties, a legislative auditor said Thursday.

Office errs, didn't shift judges' pay to pensions

posted: 06/09/2017 2:55 a.m. Discuss

The state auditor's office failed to properly withhold from four judges' salaries money to be contributed on their part to the Arkansas Judicial Retirement System from January 2015 until July 2016, an auditor told lawmakers on Thursday.

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