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Tuesday, February 09, 2016, 8:40 p.m.
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Michael R. Wickline

Stories by Michael R.

Private option is a Senate bid issue

posted: 02/07/2016 3:12 a.m. Comments 18

In his bid to unseat state Sen. Jane English, state Rep. Donnie Copeland is condemning a deal that English and former Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe reached to secure her vote on reauthorizing funding for the private-option Medicaid expansion.

$280,000 salary at DHS has lawmakers talking

updated: 02/06/2016 4:10 a.m. Comments 11

Arkansas' House and Senate leaders support Gov. Asa Hutchinson's plan to boost the salary of the state Department of Human Services' director from $162,647 to $280,000 to attract a former health care adviser to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to the job.

In ethics case, treasurer agrees to fine, warning

posted: 02/04/2016 5:45 a.m. Comment 1

State Treasurer Dennis Milligan agreed Wednesday to pay a $400 fine to the Arkansas Ethics Commission and receive a public letter of warning in a settlement of a complaint filed against him by lawyer Matt Campbell.

Romney vet to lead DHS for $280,000

posted: 02/04/2016 5:45 a.m. Comments 7

An architect of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's health care expansion -- which served as the template for President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act -- will start work as the director of the Arkansas Department of Human Services on March 1, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Wednesday.

State treasurer to pay fine for campaign finance reporting violations

posted: 02/03/2016 4:19 p.m. Comments 4

State Treasurer Dennis Milligan has agreed to pay a $400 fine for four violations of campaign finance reporting laws in a settlement with the Arkansas Ethics Commission.

State posts a gainful January

posted: 02/03/2016 5:45 a.m. Discuss

Bolstered by increased sales and corporate income tax collections, Arkansas' general revenue in January totaled a record $628 million, a $12.2 million increase over what was collected in the same month a year ago.

State's '17 outlook adds $106.8M to agency tills

posted: 02/03/2016 3:42 a.m. Discuss

Gov. Asa Hutchinson's administration is projecting a $171.9 million -- or 2.7 percent -- growth in total general-revenue tax collections from the current fiscal year, to $6.58 billion in fiscal 2017, state officials said Tuesday.

Teacher retirement investments gain 3.2% in quarter

posted: 02/02/2016 4:02 a.m. Discuss

The Arkansas Teacher Retirement System's investments gained $293 million in value to total nearly $14.4 billion last quarter, before what an investment consultant called "a very tough month" for stock markets in January.

Boozman leads year-end fundraising

posted: 02/02/2016 3:54 a.m. Discuss

Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman raised about $652,000 in contributions for his re-election campaign during the last quarter -- more than double the approximately $308,000 that Democratic candidate Conner Eldridge pulled in from donors during the same period.

Allen, Armstrong make case to voters in District 30 race

posted: 01/31/2016 5:58 a.m. Discuss

Former state Rep. Fred Allen is touting his legislative record and experience in both state and federal government in his bid to oust Rep. Charles Armstrong in the March 1 Democratic primary.

Legislators get higher pay in '15, less for expenses

updated: 01/31/2016 3:42 a.m. Comment 1

The total of Arkansas lawmakers' per-diem, mileage and other expense reimbursements dropped by nearly $1.6 million in 2015 from the $4.77 million total spent in 2013 -- the latest two regular-session years for the Legislature.

AG filing: Groups chipped in $20,000 for trips

posted: 01/30/2016 5:57 a.m. Discuss

Four groups, including The Federalist Society and Republican Attorney Generals Association, paid for more than $20,000 in expenses for food, lodging and travel for Attorney General Leslie Rutledge for 10 meetings last year, Rutledge reported Friday on her annual personal financial disclosure report.

Blogger: Milligan evidence affirmed

posted: 01/27/2016 5:45 a.m. Comments 3

The Arkansas Ethics Commission staff found sufficient evidence for the commission to find probable cause that state Treasurer Dennis Milligan violated state law at least a handful of times in attorney Matt Campbell's wide-ranging ethics complaint against Milligan, Campbell said Tuesday.

Details awaited on roads proposal

updated: 01/24/2016 4:59 a.m. Discuss

Key state lawmakers said they want more details about Gov. Asa Hutchinson's highway funding proposal, particularly what he called "a reduction in spending or other budget offsets" to pay for the phased-in use of state general revenue.

Hutchinson decided timing wrong to raise gas tax

updated: 01/24/2016 4:09 a.m. Discuss

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he considered a proposal to increase gas taxes to raise more money for highways, and offset the gas-tax increase with a further reduction in individual income taxes, but he decided that "this was not the right time to do either.

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