posted: 05/25/2013 4:46 a.m.
The Arkansas Legislative Council is expected to modify its policy on lawmaker travel Tuesday as legislators plan which conferences they will attend this year.
posted: 05/24/2013 5:01 a.m.
Arkansas will use Medicaid money to hire an additional 100 “in-person assisters” to help enroll people for coverage under the expansion of the insurance program for the poor approved by the Legislature during this year’s session, state officials said Thursday.
posted: 05/23/2013 12:20 a.m.
Arkansas lawmakers gave initial approval Wednesday to a $16.47 million federal grant to help enroll people in an insurance pool required by the federal health-care law.
posted: 05/22/2013 12:03 a.m.
Awaiting a federal grand jury indictment and facing calls for her resignation or ouster, state Treasurer Martha Shoffner stepped down Tuesday, effective at 5 p.m.
posted: 05/21/2013 12:46 a.m.
As state Treasurer Martha Shoffner prepared to fight federal prosecutors, a U.S. senator, the governor, the attorney general, nearly two-dozen House Democrats and both political parties called on her to step down.
posted: 05/20/2013 12:26 a.m.
Arkansas State Treasurer Martha Shoffner spent most of Sunday alone in a cell meant for two at the Pulaski County jail.
posted: 05/20/2013 12:21 a.m.
Although state law leaves decisions about a new veterans home to the state Department of Veterans Affairs director, the senator who helped create a task force to study a new home said veterans groups and lawmakers should also get a say.
posted: 05/19/2013 4:53 a.m.
Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner was being held in the Pulaski County jail late Saturday after being arrested earlier in the day by the FBI.
posted: 05/19/2013 4:39 a.m.
So far, 104 Arkansas 911 systems have implemented a software program that can provide emergency responders with detailed information about the people who call seeking help during emergencies.
posted: 05/18/2013 5:23 a.m.
The Arkansas General Assembly quietly ended its 101-day regular session Friday without attempting to override Gov. Mike Beebe’s vetoes of three election bills sponsored by an outspoken Republican critic of Beebe.
posted: 05/16/2013 12:18 a.m.
While participating in a panel of lawmakers Wednesday, House Speaker Davy Carter said Republicans need to move past guns and abortion if they want to govern in Arkansas.
posted: 05/15/2013 5:14 a.m.
Secretary of State Mark Martin began a $218,219 project this week to replace chipped stairs, broken curbs and cracked sidewalks surrounding the Capitol building.
posted: 05/12/2013 4:37 a.m.
Veterans groups, lawmakers, and state and federal veterans agencies have differing ideas about what a new veterans home should look like. But they all agree it needs to feel like home.
posted: 05/11/2013 5:05 a.m.
The state Legislative Audit Division questioned $1.3 million in health services in an audit of the state Medicaid program Friday because documentation was not filled out properly.
posted: 05/10/2013 12:17 a.m.
Two attempts to sell the former Little Rock Veterans Home have failed, and the state Department of Veterans Affairs is in talks with two nonprofit organizations about donating the 65-year old property or selling it at a reduced price.
posted: 05/08/2013 12:12 a.m.
Lawmakers, veterans and state agency leaders began a months-long process Tuesday of choosing where to locate a new veterans home in central Arkansas and deciding for whom it will care.
posted: 05/06/2013 12:06 a.m.
Arkansas voters will need to take photo identification with them to the polls under a new law passed by the 2013 Arkansas Legislature.
posted: 05/01/2013 4:25 a.m.
The Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs has reviewed more than half a dozen potential sites for a new state-run veterans’ home in central Arkansas, though the process to replace the crumbling, and now closed, Little Rock home has just begun.
posted: 04/28/2013 4:44 a.m.
In the longest session in 82 years and the first led by Republicans in more than a century, members of the 89th General Assembly went home last week after passing bills to provide health insurance for more than 250,000 poor Arkansans, cut taxes projected to reduce state general revenue by $235.6 million over the next three fiscal years and allow $125 million in state-backed bonds for a $1.1 billion steel mill.
posted: 04/28/2013 4:42 a.m.
The governor and lawmakers identified more than $1.7 billion in special surplus-funded projects this legislative session that they’d like to see done in fiscal 2014, although a lot of those 565 projects won’t be funded because there is only $172 million in surplus cash to spend.
posted: 04/28/2013 4:28 a.m.
The 89th General Assembly approved 1,520 of the 2,492 bills filed during the 100-day legislative session, or 61 percent.
posted: 04/24/2013 3:42 a.m.
Gov. Mike Beebe signed legislation Tuesday that will let 250,000 poor Arkansans obtain private health insurance that will be paid for with federal Medicaid dollars — culminating a months-long effort that many never expected to see come to fruition.
posted: 04/24/2013 3:39 a.m.
The Republican-controlled state House and Senate on Tuesday completed action on bills increasing the state general-revenue budget by $197 million in the fiscal year that starts in July and distributing more than $300 million in surplus funds to various programs and projects.
posted: 04/23/2013 4:11 a.m.
The secretary of the Benton County Republican Party and her husband, a county GOP committee member, resigned Monday, days after placing an article in the organization’s newsletter calling for Arkansans to make “examples” of “turncoats” and “traitors” in the state Legislature who have “placed Arkansas firmly on the path to Socialism.” The article discusses the feasibility of shooting certain lawmakers and envisioned some as “bullet backstops.” The head of the county committee called the statements “abhorrent.” The Arkansas State Police reviewed the matter but determined Monday that the newsletter article and a series of purportedly threatening e-mails written by Chris Nogy of Lowell to state lawmakers weren’t serious enough to warrant an investigation, nor did a social-media message
posted: 04/21/2013 4:15 a.m.
Arkansas lawmakers completed work on legislation last week that will let more than 250,000 low-income Arkansans use federal Medicaid funds to purchase private health insurance, becoming the first state in the country to adopt the method to provide health insurance for the poor.
posted: 04/20/2013 4:52 a.m.
With the 2013 Legislative session winding to a close, the Arkansas House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved and sent to Gov. Mike Beebe more than a dozen tax cuts Friday that will reduce state general revenue by more than $90 million during the next two years.
posted: 04/19/2013 4:52 a.m.
The Senate voted 27-5 Thursday to approve placing a federally run insurance pool for Arkansans in the hands of the state.
posted: 04/19/2013 12:58 a.m.
More than 250,000 Arkansans who make about $15,000 a year or less will be able to purchase private health insurance using federal Medicaid money under a bill that gained final legislative approval Thursday.
posted: 04/18/2013 5:07 a.m.
A bill barring state grants to entities that perform abortions or make abortion referrals failed to clear an Arkansas House committee Wednesday.
posted: 04/18/2013 12:12 a.m.
The Senate voted 28-7 late Wednesday night to approve using hundreds of millions of federal dollars to purchase private health insurance for 250,000 low-income Arkansans, after a day of waiting and amendments.
posted: 04/17/2013 3:38 a.m.
Ten Republican representatives voted differently Tuesday on whether to give the state Department of Human Services authority to use federal funds to help 250,000 low-income Arkansans purchase private health-insurance policies.
posted: 04/16/2013 3:12 a.m.
A bill reducing the maximum weekly unemployment benefit by $126 and another measure cutting employers’ payments into the state’s unemployment trust fund failed to clear an Arkansas House committee on Monday.
posted: 04/16/2013 3:11 a.m.
Supporters and opponents laid out their case for and against providing government-funded private health insurance to 250,000 low-income Arkansans at a public meeting in Benton Monday night.
posted: 04/14/2013 4:35 a.m.
Arkansas lawmakers are in the final stages of deciding whether to let 250,000 poor Arkansans obtain private health insurance that will be paid for with federal Medicaid dollars — something that is referred to at the state Capitol as the “private option.” But first, some legislators say they need to convince their constituents that the private option is the right thing to do.
posted: 04/13/2013 5:14 a.m.
The Arkansas House will wait to vote on whether to authorize spending federal funds for private insurance for 250,000 poor Arkansans until Monday so representatives can speak with people in their districts, House Speaker Davy Carter said Friday.
posted: 04/12/2013 12:14 a.m.
The Arkansas House voted Thursday to create a program that would allow 250,000 poor Arkansans to purchase health insurance using government funds, but it wasn’t clear whether there is enough support to authorize funding for the program.
posted: 04/11/2013 12:19 a.m.
With a vote looming today on whether to provide 250,000 low-income Arkansans with government-funded private health insurance, legislators scrambled Wednesday to secure support from House members to pay for it.
posted: 04/10/2013 3:58 a.m.
Because of federal sequestration, the Arkansas Insurance Department has received a smaller-than-expected federal grant to help enroll people for insurance through the state’s health-insurance exchange, a spokesman said Tuesday.
posted: 04/10/2013 12:32 a.m.
A plan to allow 250,000 low-income Arkansans to purchase private health insurance using federal funds passed out of a House committee Tuesday after one of its sponsors pulled his name from the bills.
posted: 04/09/2013 12:40 a.m.
House members spent two hours Monday peppering agency heads with questions about how Arkansas would extend government-funded private health insurance to 250,000 poor Arkansans.
posted: 04/07/2013 4 a.m.
Whether the state extends government-funded private health insurance to 250,000 low-income Arkansans is largely in the hands of the 51 Republicans in the Arkansas House of Representatives.
posted: 04/07/2013 3:19 a.m.
The 2011 death of a Bryant man spurred a Senate committee to approve a bill Saturday to dramatically increase the amount of liability insurance public transit authorities must hold.
posted: 04/06/2013 5:08 a.m.
The Arkansas Senate voted 24-9 Friday to approve a program that would expand health-care access to a quarter-million poor Arkansans by letting them use government funds to purchase private health insurance.
posted: 04/05/2013 4:30 a.m.
As part of an ongoing disagreement between the legislative and judicial branches, a legislative panel voted Thursday to convert additional state Supreme Court workers into employees of the state.
posted: 04/05/2013 12:48 a.m.
An Arkansas health-care consulting firm that failed to secure a $500,000 state contract is trying to get it anyway by having special language attached to an appropriations bill pending before the Legislature.
posted: 04/04/2013 12:22 a.m.
A bill requiring recipients of unemployment benefits to consent to random drug tests cleared an Arkansas Senate committee Wednesday, but a measure sharply reducing the maximum weekly unemployment amount failed to clear the committee.
posted: 04/04/2013 12:06 a.m.
Legislation to expand health insurance to 250,000 low-income Arkansans passed out of a Senate committee Wednesday as sponsoring legislators worked to clarify an idea that has driven much of the 2013 session.
posted: 04/03/2013 12:06 a.m.
Lawmakers put forward two identical bills Tuesday detailing how to give a quarter of a million poor Arkansans access to private health care.
posted: 04/02/2013 midnight
House and Senate leaders spoke in favor Monday of giving about 250,000 low-income Arkansas access to government-funded private health insurance.
posted: 04/01/2013 12:38 a.m.
Unanswered questions and a lack of explicit approval from the federal government have slowed legislation to provide government-funded private health insurance to about 250,000 low-income Arkansans through the state’s Medicaid program.