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89th General Assembly

Cheryl Smith Gardner
Government & Politics / Health Care / Insurance

Arkansas Insurance Exchange Hires Cheryl Smith as Executive Director

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. read more >
Government & Politics / Health Care / Legal

Judge Grants Injunction in Arkansas Abortion Ban Case

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. read more >
The Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock.
Government & Politics

Sine Die: Arkansas Lawmakers Formally End Legislative Session

The Arkansas Legislature wrapped up this year's legislative session Friday, passing a $4.9 billion budget and a package of $140 million in tax cuts as well as approving $125 million to help land a major employer for northeast Arkansas. read more >
Government & Politics / Health Care / Insurance

Arkansas Prepares to Launch Medicaid Inspector General Office

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. read more >
Government & Politics

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

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. read more >
According to a Kaiser Family Foundation reported cited by Moody's, Arkansas' rate of uninsured is 18 percent, higher than the national average.
Banking & Finance / Government & Politics / Health Care / Insurance / Investments

Moody’s: Expanding Health Insurance ‘Credit Positive’ for Arkansas Hospitals

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. read more >
Bishop Woosley, director of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery.
Education / Government & Politics

Lottery Unchanged in Session, not Scholarships

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. read more >
The Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock.
Government & Politics

Arkansas Legislature Ends 100-Day Session

The Arkansas Legislature on Tuesday wrapped up its first session since Reconstruction in which Republicans have controlled both chambers by giving final approval to the state's $4.9 billion budget plan for the coming fiscal year. read more >
Government & Politics / Health Care / Insurance

Mike Beebe Signs ‘Private Option’ Plan Into Law

Gov. Mike Beebe has signed into law legislation that will allow Arkansas to use federal Medicaid dollars to purchase private health insurance for thousands of low-income residents. read more >
Government & Politics

Mike Beebe Vetoes 3 Election Reform Bills

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. read more >
Government & Politics

Jonathan Dismang Elected to Head Arkansas Senate in 2015

A Republican lawmaker who was one of the key supporters of a plan to use federal Medicaid money to provide private insurance to thousands of low-income residents will lead the state Senate in the 2015 legislative session. read more >
Government & Politics

Arkansas Lawmakers Advance $4.9B Budget Bill

Arkansas lawmakers have advanced legislation outlining the state's $4.9 billion budget for the coming year. read more >
Government & Politics / Health Care / Insurance

Fallout for States Rejecting Medicaid Expansion

Rejecting the Medicaid expansion in the federal health care law could have unexpected consequences for states where Republican lawmakers remain steadfastly opposed to what they scorn as "Obamacare." read more >
Government & Politics / Health Care / Insurance

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

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. read more >
Bruce Westerman
Government & Politics / Health Care / Insurance

Arkansas Private Option Lingers As Issue (AP Analysis)

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. read more >
Government & Politics

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

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. read more >
State Rep. Nate Bell, R-Mena, posted a tweet that said: "I wonder how many Boston liberals spent the night cowering in their homes wishing they had an AR-15 with a hi-capacity magazine?"
Government & Politics / Media & Marketing

State Rep. Nate Bell Criticized for ‘Boston Liberals’ Tweet

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. read more >
Government & Politics

Arkansas House Backs Income, Capital Gains Tax Cuts

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. read more >
Government & Politics

Arkansas House Approves Tax Hike for Forestry Agency

A proposal to increase the tax that private timberland owners pay to help the financially troubled Arkansas Forestry Commission's firefighting efforts is headed to Gov. Mike Beebe's desk. read more >
Government & Politics

Arkansas Lawmakers Get Bill Outlining $4.9B Budget

Arkansas lawmakers are considering boosting funding for public schools and Medicaid while also giving state employees a 2 percent cost-of-living raise, under a $4.9 billion budget proposal that legislative leaders unveiled Thursday. read more >