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Jimmy Hickey

Banking & Finance / Construction / Government & Politics / Health Care / Industry / Insurance

Sevier County Medical Center Reflects on Struggles and Triumphs in Year OneLock Icon

The newest hospital in Arkansas, SCMC opened in January of last year and has faced unanticipated construction costs. read more >
Government & Politics / Legal

Arkansas Lawmakers OK Plan to Audit Purchase of Governor’s $19,000 Lectern

The all-Republican executive committee of the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee also voted to audit the Republican governor's travel and security expenditures. read more >
Government & Politics / Legal / Media & Marketing

Scrutiny of Arkansas Governor’s $19,000 Lectern Deepens After New Records are Released

A legislative panel is expected to vote this week on a lawmaker's request for an audit of the lectern's purchase. read more >
Government & Politics / Legal

A $19,000 Lectern for Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders Sparks Call for Legislative Audit

Questions about the lectern, its cost, how it was purchased and even whether it existed has dominated political talk in Arkansas in recent weeks. read more >
Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders announces details of her education package on Feb. 8, 2023 at the State Capitol.
Education / Government & Politics

Arkansas Senate OKs Bill on Teacher Raises, School Vouchers

The proposal, which now heads to the majority-Republican House, is advocated by GOP Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders as her top priority this legislative session. read more >
Education / Government & Politics

Arkansas Lawmakers Taking Up Tax Cuts, School Safety in Special Session

The tax cut plan has raised questions about whether it could jeopardize some of the state's federal COVID-19 aid. read more >
Education / Government & Politics

Arkansas Lawmakers Urge Schools to Use Funds for Bonuses

The move faced opposition from Democrats who said it was an effort to avoid considering raising teacher salaries while the state sits on a $1.6 million surplus. read more >
Education / Government & Politics

Raising Teacher Pay (Editorial)

In February, the National Education Association released a survey showing that 55% of educators are thinking about leaving the profession earlier than they had planned. It was a big jump from the 37% who expressed the same sentiment just six months earlier. read more >
Banking & Finance / Government & Politics / Manufacturing

Arkansas Lawmakers OK Income Tax Cuts, Adjourn Session

Critics argued that the cuts are skewed toward the wealthy and that the money would be better spent elsewhere. read more >
Banking & Finance / Government & Politics / Manufacturing

Arkansas Lawmakers Advance Income Tax Cut During Session

Legislative panels also endorsed incentives aimed at helping the state lure a U.S. Steel expansion in Mississippi County. read more >
Gov. Asa Hutchinson gives his State of the State address to the Arkansas General Assembly on Jan. 12.
Banking & Finance / Government & Politics / Health Care

Arkansas Governor to Call Special Session on Tax Cut Plan

The primary focus will be on a tax cut package that calls for reducing the state's top income tax rate from 5.9% to 4.9% read more >
Education / Government & Politics / Health Care

Judge Blocks State From Enforcing Mask Mandate Ban

An Arkansas judge has temporarily blocked the state from enforcing a law that prevents schools and other governmental agencies from requiring masks. read more >
The Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock.
Education / Government & Politics / Health Care

Legislators Begin Special Session on Mask Mandates

Legislators meeting in a special session file two bills dealing with Act 1002, which prohibits state and local governments from imposing mask mandates. read more >
Jimmy Hickey Jr.
Government & Politics

Hutchinson: Special Session on Schools, COVID ‘An Option’

Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he is considering calling lawmakers back to the Capitol to revisit a state law banning mask mandates by state and local governments. read more >
Gov. Asa Hutchinson
Education / Government & Politics / Health Care / Legal

Hutchinson, Top Lawmakers to Meet on Mask Mandate Ban

Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he plans to meet with House and Senate leaders about growing calls to allow schools to require face masks as the state reported 23 more deaths from COVID-19. read more >
Jimmy Hickey Jr.
Government & Politics / Legal

Arkansas Senate OKs Alternate, Scaled-Back Hate Crimes Bill

The Arkansas Senate on approves a stripped-down hate crimes bill derided by opponents as too vague. read more >
Joyce Elliott
Government & Politics / Legal

Critics Call Scaled-Back Arkansas Hate Crimes Bill A Farce

Arkansas legislative leaders introduce a drastically scaled-back hate crimes measure that no longer explicitly refers to race, sexual orientation or gender identity, drawing the the ire of longtime proponents of such laws. read more >
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 >
Stephanie Flowers
Government & Politics

Stephanie Flowers Censured for Swearing at Colleague

An Arkansas lawmaker was censured for calling a colleague a “dumbass" during debate Tuesday over a nonbinding resolution on history that was overwhelmingly rejected. read more >
Arkansas Speaker of the House Matthew Shepherd
Health Care

Pandemic Overshadows Agenda as Legislative Session Begins

Arkansas lawmakers return to the Capitol on Monday for a legislative session overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic that has killed thousands in the state. read more >