89th General Assembly

Arkansas Insurance Exchange Hires Cheryl Smith as Executive Director

by Lee Hogan 4/1/2014 03:38 pm

Cheryl Smith, the former director of Utah's health insurance exchange, has been hired as the executive director of the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace. The nonprofit organization was created, and compelled to explore the creation of the state's own health insurance marketplace, by the Arkansas Legislature.

Judge Grants Injunction in Arkansas Abortion Ban Case

by Jeannie Nuss, The Associated Press 5/17/2013 02:07 pm

A federal judge granted a request Friday to temporarily block enforcement of a new Arkansas law that bans most abortions 12 weeks into a pregnancy.

Arkansas Prepares to Launch Medicaid Inspector General Office

by Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press 4/30/2013 04:11 pm

As Arkansas moves forward with a plan to offer subsidized health insurance to thousands of low-income residents, it is preparing to reorganize its Medicaid program to create a new office that would investigate fraud and waste complaints.

2013 Arkansas Legislative Session Wasn't for the Base (AP Analysis)

by Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press 4/28/2013 06:03 pm

The legislative session handed Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe and the new Republican majority victories. But there were just as many setbacks that activists are unlikely to forgive.

Moody's: Expanding Health Insurance 'Credit Positive' for Arkansas Hospitals

by Lance Turner 4/25/2013 10:09 am

A credit outlook report by Moody's Investor Service says the state Legislature's move to expand health insurance in Arkansas through the "private option" is good for the state's hospitals.

Lottery Unchanged in Session, not Scholarships

by Chuck Bartels, The Associated Press 4/25/2013 08:08 am

No changes were made to the structure of the Arkansas Lottery this legislative session, but one is in store for college students, as lottery-funded scholarship amounts are moving to a tiered structure.

Mike Beebe Vetoes 3 Election Reform Bills

by Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press 4/23/2013 03:46 pm

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe has vetoed three bills aimed at overhauling the state's election commission, including one that would create a "voter integrity unit" to investigate fraud complaints.

The Serenity of Acceptance (Gwen Moritz Editor's Note)

by Gwen Moritz 4/22/2013 12:00 am

I always thought it sheer madness for any Arkansas legislator to even entertain the thought of turning down hundreds of millions of federal dollars and refuse to expand Medicaid to 138 percent of the poverty level. And yes, I'm saying that it is sheer madness for other states to do just that.

Arkansas Private Option Lingers As Issue (AP Analysis)

by Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press 4/21/2013 05:19 pm

The approval of the "private option" that Arkansas is pursuing to expand health insurance in the state doesn't end the debate over an idea that supporters have touted as an innovative way to reform Medicaid and opponents have blasted as no different from "Obamacare." It's merely a preview of the fights yet to come.

Arkansas House Backs $140M in Tax Cuts; Mike Beebe to Sign

by Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press 4/19/2013 04:17 pm

A package of tax cuts that's expected to eventually cost the state more than $140 million a year headed to Gov. Mike Beebe's desk Friday.

State Rep. Nate Bell Criticized for 'Boston Liberals' Tweet

by Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press 4/19/2013 02:05 pm

An Arkansas lawmaker apologizes Friday for the timing - but not the content - of his tweet that questioned whether "Boston liberals" wished they had an assault weapon.

Arkansas House Backs Income, Capital Gains Tax Cuts

by Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press 4/19/2013 10:59 am

Arkansas lawmakers have given final approval to cutting the state's taxes on taxes and capital gains, part of a package of reductions that is expected to eventually cost the state more than $140 million a year.

Arkansas Senate Approves $140M Tax Cut Package

by Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press 4/19/2013 07:28 am

Arkansas lawmakers moved closer Thursday toward finalizing a package of tax cuts that will eventually cost the state about $140 million a year, a day after approving a health insurance expansion that officials say will provide savings to help pay for the reductions.

Arkansas Legislature Puts Big Issues to Rest

by Mark Carter 4/19/2013 12:00 am

The 89th General Assembly isn't sneaking quietly out the back door as it winds down the 2013 regular session.

Arkansas Legislature Approves Medicaid Expansion Alternative

by Michael Stratford, The Associated Press 4/18/2013 07:29 am

Arkansas' plan to use federal money to buy private insurance for low-income residents won final approval from state lawmakers Wednesday.

Arkansas House Approves 'Private-Option' Plan 77-23

by Michael Stratford, The Associated Press 4/16/2013 10:38 am

A plan for Arkansas to use federal Medicaid funds to buy private insurance for low-income residents has cleared its final hurdle in the state House. House members voted 77-23 Tuesday morning after a half-hour debate. Includes roll call.

Private Option Plan A Tough Sell for GOP Voters (AP Analysis)

by Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press 4/15/2013 08:35 am

For Arkansas Republicans elected on a vow to defeat the federal health care overhaul, a proposal to expand subsidized insurance relying on a key part of that law has been far from an easy pitch.

Health Care Tops To-Do List for Arkansas Legislature

by Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press 4/15/2013 07:48 am

Arkansas lawmakers face a daunting to-do list as they try to wrap up this year's session by a self-imposed Friday deadline. Here's what's at the top.

Invest in Human Capital (Editorial)

by Arkansas Business Editors 4/15/2013 12:00 am

The lack of human capital is as detrimental to a business that wants to grow as the lack of financial capital. Employees sometimes think it's just cheerleader talk, but business executives know that people — the right people — really are the key to business success.

Arkansas House OKs Medicaid 'Private Option' 62-37

by Michael Stratford, The Associated Press 4/11/2013 03:38 pm

A plan to use federal Medicaid money to buy health insurance for low-income Arkansans faced an uncertain future Thursday - winning support from most House members but reaching the 75 votes that will be needed to approve its budget bill.