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Government & Politics

Arkansas House Panel Rejects Health Care Objections Measure

An Arkansas House panel rejects legislation that would have allowed medical providers to refuse to treat someone because of their religious or moral beliefs after opponents said it was too broad and would allow discrimination against patients. read more >
Little Rock School Superintendent Mike Poore: “We’ve got to be aggressive, and I hope that the community feels like that’s what’s happening in Little Rock right now.”
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Beyond COVID-19: Industries and Leaders Look to FutureLock Icon

Arkansas Business asked industry leaders to share their expectations for 2021, both before and after the coronavirus vaccine is widely available. Here’s what they said. read more >
The Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock.
Retail

State Chamber, Tax Observers Applaud Governor’s Budget Plan

Proposals laid out in Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s proposed budget, including a temporary income tax break for new residents, drew enthusiastic responses from business leaders and tax attorneys. read more >
Montine McNulty, executive director of the Arkansas Hospitality Association.
Business Services / Government & Politics / Health Care / Media & Marketing / Restaurants & Food / Tourism / Transportation

Convention Centers Can’t Wait for Legislative SessionLock Icon

Arkansas’ hospitals and other industries have urgent concerns for the Legislature to address in the regular session that will commence on Jan. 11, but a key piece of the hospitality industry has needs that are more urgent. read more >
Asa Hutchinson
Legal / Public Companies

Hutchinson, Lawmakers Unveil Hate Crimes Proposal

Arkansas' Republican governor, attorney general and nearly two dozen lawmakers unveil legislation imposing harsher penalties for committing crimes against someone because of their race, ethnicity or sexual orientation. read more >
State Sens. Jonathan Dismang, R-Beebe, and Keith Ingram, D-West Memphis, say borrowing from the U.S. Department of Labor to pay claims is an option.
Banking & Finance / Business Services / Government & Politics / Insurance

Arkansas Unemployment Fund Stable, but WorrisomeLock Icon

The state’s unemployment fund was in the best of shape before the pandemic and is still healthy, but politicians and community leaders are worried it will be depleted by early 2021 if the economy does not bounce back as expected. read more >
Seal Solar President Heather Nelson said that the citizens of Arkansas "fought for change, they won, and yet the fight continues to see the law implemented.”
Construction / Energy / Government & Politics

4 Years in Making, PSC Ruling Pleases the Solar IndustryLock Icon

Net-metering decision, with caveats, keeps credit equal to retail power rate. read more >

A Bit Too Interesting (Editorial)

We are all living in interesting times due to the curse that is COVID-19. A pandemic that knows no borders and has no cure was, until the past few weeks, the stuff of bureaucratic game theory and Hollywood thrillers. read more >
Melissa Fults, executive director of the Drug Policy Education Group, says regulation of recreational marijuana is essential.
Agriculture & Poultry / Government & Politics / Health Care / Legal / Retail

Prospect of Full Marijuana Legalization Stirs PassionsLock Icon

Both the supporters and the opponents of legalizing recreational marijuana in Arkansas say they’re thinking of the children. read more >
Health Care / Insurance / Media & Marketing / Nonprofits

Working Together for a Drug-Free Workforce (Commentary)

More than ever, employers face hurdles in creating a ready, drug-free workforce. The opioid and drug epidemic is one of the most serious threats to Arkansas’ economy and the workforce. read more >
The Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce unveiled its second generation "Be Pro Be Proud" workshop. The new 78-foot mobile unit is designed to showcase skilled trade professions.
Construction / Government & Politics / Manufacturing / Small Business / Transportation

On the Road Again: ‘Be Pro Be Proud’ Shows Off Next-Gen Mobile Workshop

The Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Arkansas unveils its second-generation “Be Pro Be Proud” mobile workshop, which will begin touring thanks to sponsorships that include $200,000 from Union Pacific Railroad. 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 >
Randy Zook

From the State Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Randy Zook

The Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/Associated Industries of Arkansas is the leading advocate for Arkansas business on both the state and national level. read more >
The Arkansas Supreme Court building in Little Rock.
Government & Politics / Legal / Restaurants & Food / Retail / Small Business

State Supreme Court Blocks ‘Tort Reform’ Measure, Keeps Wage Hike

Arkansas' highest court has ordered election officials to not count votes for a proposal to limit damages awarded in civil lawsuits and rejected an effort to block an initiative to raise the state's minimum wage. read more >
Construction / Government & Politics

Study Cites Economic Benefits of Spending More on Roads

The Arkansas Good Roads Foundation and the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce release a study that showed the projected economic impact of increased spending on state roads and highways. read more >
Randy Zook
Manufacturing / Restaurants & Food / Retail / Small Business / Tourism

Groups Ask Arkansas Court to Disqualify Minimum Wage Measure

A coalition of business groups on Tuesday asked Arkansas' highest court to disqualify a proposal from the November ballot that would raise the state's minimum wage, claiming that thousands of signatures submitted in favor of the proposal were invalid. read more >
Banking & Finance / Business Services / Construction / Government & Politics / Health Care / Legal / Manufacturing

Put Arkansas First. Vote for Issue 1 (Randy Zook Commentary)

A jackpot justice system not only causes harm to our economy by impacting business recruitment and retention, but also limits access to quality medical care and allows consumers to be taken advantage of by lawyers promising a big payday. read more >
Randy Zook
Education

State Chamber CEO: Educators Must Adapt to Meet Industry Needs

Manufacturers everywhere are having a hard time finding qualified workers, and in Arkansas, that means the state is falling short of its full potential for economic growth, Randy Zook said Wednesday. read more >
Arkansas Supreme Court Associate Justice Karen Baker wrote the majority opinion on a 4-3 decision that contractual waivers of the right to a jury trial are not enforceable. Attorney Robert T. Smith said people were caught "off guard" by the decision. Randy Zook, CEO of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, said the ruling took him by surprise.
Banking & Finance / Legal / Real Estate

Ruling Voids Jury Waivers, Sounds Alarm

The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled earlier this month that contractual waivers of the right to a jury trial are not enforceable, triggering concerns from attorneys and business leaders because just about every commercial contract has a provision that contains that waiver. read more >
Government & Politics / Legal

Carl Vogelpohl to Lead Tort Reform Effort

Carl Vogelpohl has been named to oversee Arkansans for Jobs and Justice, a coalition that will campaign for a tort reform measure on the ballot next year. read more >