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Bob Ballinger

Esperanza Massana-Crane, the state’s new director of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise, says a hate crimes bill is necessary for Arkansas, a stand also held by her boss, Commerce Secretary Mike Preston, and his boss, Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
Government & Politics / Legal / Media & Marketing / Nonprofits / Tourism

The Costs of a Hateful ImageLock Icon

Senate Bill 3, commonly known as the “hate crimes bill,” boils down to a crucial chance to burnish Arkansas’ image and remove a hurdle to recruiting companies and workers, government officials and business leaders say. read more >
Bob Ballinger

‘Stand Your Ground’ Bill Fails Before Arkansas House Panel

An Arkansas House panel on Tuesday rejected legislation that would have eased the state's restrictions on the use of deadly force in self-defense. read more >
Bob Ballinger
Government & Politics / Legal

Arkansas Senate OKs ‘Stand Your Ground’ Bill, Sends to House

The Arkansas Senate on Tuesday passed legislation easing restrictions on the use of deadly force in self-defense, sending the measure to the House. read more >
Entegrity's headquarters at 1403 E. 6th St. in east Little Rock.
Construction / Government & Politics

Entegrity Building Eureka Springs Solar Plant; City Expects $750K Savings

Entegrity of Little Rock announces a deal to install a solar power generation system for Eureka Springs that is expected to save the city $750,000 in electricity costs over the next 25 years. read more >
Randy Zook, president and CEO of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Arkansas, argues that increasing the minimum wage too quickly will eventually take a toll of jobs and particularly hurt small businesses.
Business Services / Government & Politics / Nonprofits / Restaurants & Food / Retail / Small Business / Tourism

The Wages of Raising the Bare MinimumLock Icon

As the minimum wage for Arkansas is raised, the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and the Arkansas Hospitality Association fear increasing costs. read more >
Gov. Asa Hutchinson and state Department of Human Services Director Cindy Gillespie.
Health Care / Insurance / Legal

Federal Judge Blocks Medicaid Work Rules in Arkansas, Kentucky

The Trump administration's efforts to push the poor toward self-sufficiency were dealt a blow Wednesday, when a federal judge ruled that Medicaid work requirements undermined the program's mission of providing health care for the needy. read more >
Stephanie Flowers

Stephanie Flowers: ‘God Will Judge Me’

An Arkansas state senator who angrily repudiated her senate judiciary colleagues when the committee voted to limit public debate on a gun rights bill has said she stands by her words and won't apologize for her passion. read more >
Stephanie Flowers
Government & Politics / Legal

Senate Committee Votes Down New Self-Defense Bill

After a heated and contentious debate, Arkansas' Senate Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday against a bill which would have loosened regulations for the use of deadly force in self-defense. read more >
Construction / Government & Politics / Restaurants & Food

Proposal Would Roll Back Wage Hike for Some Arkansas Workers

Two Republican lawmakers in Arkansas are proposing exempting school employees, people under 18 and others from voter-backed increases in the state's minimum wage. read more >
Jerry Cox
Government & Politics / Legal

Family Council Opposition Stuns ‘Tort Reform’ Advocates

So-called tort reform has been an easy sell in states controlled by Republicans, and backers of a lawsuit-limiting proposal on the ballot in Arkansas this fall expected little trouble winning passage until they ran into a surprising obstacle from a reliable conservative ally. read more >
Lee Rudofsky
Government & Politics / Legal

Arkansas Lawmakers Raise Concerns About Immunity Ruling

Arkansas lawmakers said Tuesday they're concerned about the impact of a recent court ruling that they can't scale back the state's immunity from lawsuits, and said they may need to put the issue before voters. read more >
Bob Ballinger
Government & Politics / Retail / Small Business

Arkansas House Passes Bill Aimed at Collecting Amazon Taxes

Amazon would be required to tell Arkansas customers they owe the state sales tax under a bill approved by the House Tuesday, one of two efforts by lawmakers to recover millions in tax revenue from the e-commerce giant. read more >
Bob Ballinger
Government & Politics

Arkansas House OKs Bid to Revive Voter ID

The Arkansas House approved a plan Tuesdayto reinstate a voter ID law that was struck down more than two years ago, with Republicans counting on a new state Supreme Court makeup to uphold the measure this time. read more >
Douglas House
Government & Politics / Health Care

Arkansas House OKs Delay in Medical Marijuana Launch

The Arkansas House voted Tuesday to delay the launch of the state's voter-approved medical marijuana program and ease a restriction on doctors who certify a patient is eligible to use the drug. read more >
Government & Politics / Health Care / Legal

Rule Shows Religious Objections Debate Not Over (Andrew DeMillo Analysis)

A new rule allowing counselors to refer clients elsewhere if they have a religious or moral objection to treating them is a sign that the debate over a law that was upended in the final days of last year's legislative session is far from over. read more >
Tom Cotton
Government & Politics

Arkansas’ Delegation Relishes Spotlight at GOP Convention

With three of its top political figures tapped for primetime speeches, Arkansas Republicans heading to the GOP's national convention will have a much higher profile than it did when it was a Democratic stronghold. read more >
Donald Trump (file)
Government & Politics

Some Top Arkansas Republicans Not Sold on Donald Trump (Andrew DeMillo Analysis)

After eight years of forcing state Democrats to keep their party's standard bearer at arm's length, top Arkansas Republicans are now grappling with a presumptive nominee who wasn't their first, second or even last choice. read more >
Bart Hester
Government & Politics / Health Care / Insurance

Legislators File Proposal to End Hybrid Medicaid Expansion

Opponents of Arkansas' hybrid Medicaid expansion have filed a proposal to cap enrollment in the program and terminate the expanded coverage by year's end. read more >
The Arkansas Capitol building in Little Rock.
Government & Politics / Health Care

Arkansas House Leaders Detail Cuts If Medicaid Plan Fails

Arkansas House leaders say a host of state programs including public schools, prisons and colleges would face cuts if lawmakers don't fund the state's hybrid Medicaid expansion. read more >
Banking & Finance / Business Services / Government & Politics / Legal / Media & Marketing / Restaurants & Food / Tourism

Let the Sun Shine (Editorial)

Arkansans have had the legal right to know more about what all levels of our government are saying and doing for longer than most other Americans, but legislators do keep chipping away at the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act — and refusing to adopt technology that could improve its service to taxpayers. read more >