Government & Politics Archive

Mike Ross Wants To Expand Arkansas Pre-K Program

by Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press 4/2/2014 11:24 am

Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Mike Ross is proposing to expand Arkansas' prekindergarten program and make it accessible to every 4-year-old in the state, a plan he says will eventually cost an additional $37.4 million a year.

Gilbert Baker Resigns From UCA Post

by Lee Hogan 4/2/2014 10:28 am

Former state legislator Gilbert Baker resigned Wednesday, effective immediately, from his position at the University of Central Arkansas. The university released a one-line statement announcing Baker's resignation.

Report: Arkansas Revenue Sees Boost in March

by Associated Press 4/2/2014 09:38 am

Arkansas finance officials say higher than expected tax collections and lower refunds paid out helped boost the state's revenue in March.

Rand Paul: Give Caterpillar Award for Tax Strategy That Saved Billions

by Associated Press 4/2/2014 07:45 am

Caterpillar Inc. executives defended a tax strategy Tuesday that has saved the manufacturing giant billions in U.S. taxes. They got support from Republican senators, including one who said the company deserves an award.

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.

One Year After Spill, Clinton School Panel Discusses Lessons From ExxonMobil's Pipe Break in Mayflower

by Christina Huynh, The Associated Press 4/1/2014 07:26 am

A year after a major oil spill in a small Arkansas town, a congressman says that while communities believe they are ready for a disaster, there is always something else to do to prepare.

Arkansas Sees Rush of Last-Minute Exchange Signups

by Associated Press 3/31/2014 02:18 pm

Arkansas officials are seeing a rush of last-minute signups for the insurance marketplace under the federal health care law as the enrollment deadline arrived.

Arkansas' Unemployment Rate at 7.1 Percent in February

by Lance Turner 3/31/2014 09:11 am

The state Department of Workforce Services says Arkansas' unemployment rate dropped two-tenths of a percentage point from 7.3 percent in January to 7.1 percent in February.

Arkansas Democrats Face Hard Road to US House Wins

by Christina Huynh, The Associated Press 3/31/2014 07:31 am

While Democrats mapped out the districts Arkansas is using to send people to Congress through the current decade, they face a tough time winning any of the seats because of the state's shift toward Republicans and the dislike of President Barack Obama, political scientists say.

Flashbacks of Arkansas Business' First 30 Years (Editor's Note)

by Gwen Moritz 3/31/2014 12:00 am

To celebrate Arkansas Business' 30th anniversary, the staff decided to pull out and reprint some of the stories that we felt were the most important, the most interesting and the most fun. Arkansas Business is still reporting on the state economic scene with business executives as its readership, sticking to its mission of providing the revealing, memorable and important business news available in Arkansas.

Oily Deals: Pattern Emerging in Questionable Arkoma Gas Transactions

by Wythe Walker Jr. and David F. Kern 3/31/2014 12:00 am

Jerry Jones has always pleaded innocent in the controversial 1982 Arkla-Arkoma gas deal, a deal worth at least $174.8 million when the final numbers were tallied last fall. This January, a ratepayers' class-action suit declared the deal an insider's rip-off for Arkansas gas consumers who got stuck with an $80 million overcharge bill that went straight into Jones' bulging bank account.

International Swindle Guts Old Southwest

by Michael Whiteley 3/31/2014 12:00 am

A sham transfer gutted the reserves of the four-decades-old Old Southwest of Jacksonville and made Arkansas a minor player in a scandal that has broadened to include $350 million in missing insurance assets, ensnared Catholic charities tied to the Vatican and spawned an international manhunt.

Despite Name, Arkansas Casino Corp. Operator Closely Tied to Texas, Idaho

by Michael Whiteley and Mark Friedman 3/31/2014 12:00 am

As an officer of Arkansas Casino Corp., the Dallas civil trial attorney feared that what happened in 1998 would happen again. That year, the company failed to round up enough signatures to put an initiative before the voters that would allow it to operate six casinos in Arkansas as well as pave the way for a state-run lottery and legalize charitable bingo.

Andrew Kilgore: Portraits in Black and White

by Arkansas Business Staff 3/31/2014 12:00 am

Beginning with the last issue of 1984 and continuing into 1988, Andrew Kilgore photographed business legends and up-and-comers for the cover of Arkansas Business.

‘Any Willing Provider' Bill Returns, This Time Without Wilson Off to Races

by Mark Friedman 3/31/2014 12:00 am

A bill that has occupied lawyers for a full decade might have been a mere blip in the state's long legislative history had Nick Wilson, the powerful and ultimately disgraced state senator from Pocahontas, not been so eager to get to the horse races on one particular day in February 1995.

Signs of $14.7 Million Medicare Fraud from Mountain Home Doctor Date Back for Years

by Mark Friedman 3/31/2014 12:00 am

If Dr. Stacey M. Johnson of Mountain Home had not died earlier this year at 63, he likely would have been charged with overbilling Medicare by $14.7 million, according to a criminal investigator's affidavit that was recently made public.

Arkansas Races Early Battle in Clinton Wars (Andrew DeMillo Analysis)

by Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press 3/30/2014 10:22 am

David Brock's nationally-watched return to Arkansas was the latest reminder of how much Arkansas will serve as ground zero for the next round of Clinton Wars if Hillary Clinton again seeks the White House. The midterm elections are already serving as an opening battle in those wars.

Unemployment Rates Down in 29 States, including Arkansas, in February

by Lee Hogan 3/28/2014 10:36 am

Arkansas was one of 29 states to see jobless rates decrease in February from the previous month. But the state's unemployment rate remained above the national average.

Arkansas Health Care Exchange Enrollment Falling Below Target

by Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press 3/28/2014 10:16 am

Signups for insurance under the federal health care law are far below the state's targets, with more than 33,500 people enrolled in the marketplace as the deadline nears.

Jonesboro-Area Tax Collections Down in Icy Weather

by Associated Press 3/28/2014 10:14 am

Government officials in the Jonesboro area say icy weather during January is likely to blame for lower-than-expected sales tax collections.