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Wednesday, April 01, 2015, 8:21 p.m.
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Spencer Willems

Capitol reporter

Capitol reporter

Recent Stories by Spencer Willems

Religious opt-out bill off to governor

posted: 04/01/2015 4:18 a.m. Comments 18

A bill that supporters say advances religious freedom got final approval in the Arkansas House on Tuesday, sparking protests from opponents who say the legislation can be used to discriminate against gays.

Ballot title OK'd for gay-rights petition

posted: 04/01/2015 3:43 a.m. Discuss

A ballot proposal aimed at extending civil-rights protections to gay Arkansans and others took a step forward Tuesday.

4 budget bills pass in state's House, Senate

posted: 04/01/2015 3:29 a.m. Discuss

The Arkansas Senate and House of Representatives handily approved identical bills Tuesday that boost state general spending by $133 million in the fiscal year starting July 1 to $5.18 billion.

Governor gets last re-homing bill

updated: 04/01/2015 3:28 a.m. Comment 1

Lawmakers sent the last bill aimed at ending the practice of "re-homing" adopted children in the state to the governor's office Tuesday.

Religious opt-out a step closer

updated: 03/30/2015 10:45 p.m. Comments 29

Legislation known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act moved a step closer to becoming law Monday even as opponents continued to apply pressure from both inside and outside the state for Gov. Asa Hutchinson to veto House Bill 1228.

House passes bills on adult education, workforce training

posted: 03/31/2015 3:21 a.m. Discuss

The House pushed through a pair of Senate workforce development bills Monday afternoon.

Governor sent 2 sales-tax exemption bills

posted: 03/31/2015 3:20 a.m. Discuss

A bill exempting sand used in oil and natural-gas drilling from sales taxes breezed through the Arkansas House of Representatives on Monday.

$5.18B state budget tops lawmakers' list

updated: 03/29/2015 11:53 p.m. Discuss

Arkansas lawmakers will try to wrap up their work during the 90th Arkansas General Assembly's regular session this week by completing action on a proposed $5.18 billion general-revenue budget, deciding whether this will be the first regular session in 44 years not to refer a proposed constitutional amendment to voters, and considering enacting ethics legislation.

Adding information act 'teeth' clears House

updated: 03/28/2015 2:43 a.m. Discuss

Arkansas lawmakers pushed through a string of tweaks to the state's criminal code on Friday, including a bill that would leave public board members out of a job, and possibly in jail, if they violate the state's Freedom of Information Act.

Bills clear House for Uber, loot at arcade

updated: 03/28/2015 2:43 a.m. Discuss

Bills to bring back adult arcades and bolster smartphone-application driving services cleared the Arkansas House of Representatives on Friday.

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