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Talk Business and Politics

Could we see a special election to replace Sen. Tom Cotton should he jump to a rumored CIA post?  Plus, tax cuts passed the Senate, but are they a political winner or loser?  Roby Brock with Talk Business and Politics discusses those topics and more with John Brummett, a columnist with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Transportation officials in Arkansas are considering an $8.4 billion funding plan for highway and bridge maintenance.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that the Arkansas Highway Commission met Wednesday to look at a potential new funding program for lawmakers or voters to consider next year.

A diagram of the first floor of the Red Wolf Convention Center on Arkansas State University's Jonesboro campus.
Arkansas State University

Work will start soon on a convention center in Jonesboro.  

Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin told the Jonesboro City Council last night that construction work on a hotel and convention center on the campus of Arkansas State University will start in February.  The Jonesboro Advertising and Promotion Commission has received paperwork that included information about when construction will start and when it is expected to be complete. 

Pixabay

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - State figures show that enrollment in Arkansas' Medicaid expansion program increased by 2,100 people in October.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that the average monthly cost per enrollee fell by nearly $3.70 during the same month.

The figures were released on Monday by the Arkansas Department of Human Services. The increase in enrollment brings the number of people in the program to almost 310,000.

pixabay

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas children and pregnant women who are covered by a federal health insurance program will continue to be covered until the end of March. But the plan's future after that is uncertain.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Supreme Court has ruled against using grants from the state's surplus funds in a move that threatens plans for a monument honoring Gold Star families.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports the court ruled last month that legislator-directed grants from the state's General Improvement Fund are unconstitutional.

A committee in charge of planning the Gold Star monument was supposed receive $90,000 from that fund in the form of two grants.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - An Arkansas lawmaker says the Legislature's tax overhaul task force is looking to determine which of the state's sales-tax exemptions should be kept and which should be abandoned.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that PFM Consulting Group presented a report to the task force Tuesday with 7-year-old state estimates of financial impact of the exemptions.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas auditors have found that the state treasurer's office has spent state funding on events, meals, gifts and personal purchases without a reasonable business purpose.

This is the 6:04 KASU newscast for Monday, September 25th.  

Here are the stories reported this morning:

This is the 6:04 KASU newscast for Thursday, September 21th.  

NPR

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A government agency survey says the percentage of Arkansas residents with health care insurance is on the rise, putting the state above the national average.

The number of uninsured residents dropped last year by almost 46,000 to nearly 231,800, according to the survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.

This is the 6:04 KASU newscast for Friday, September 15th.  Here are the stories reported this morning:

This is the 6:04 KASU newscast for Thursday, September 14th.  Here are the stories reported this morning:

MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. (AP) — Voters in Baxter County have approved two sales tax measures that will expand the county jail and fund Mountain Home's fire and police departments.

Voters on Tuesday approved an eight-month, 1 percent sales tax that will pay for 50 new beds at the Baxter County jail, along with a 0.25 percent sales tax to pay for maintenance and operation of the jail.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri's treasurer says the state employee retirement plan is underfunded by more than $5 billion.

Treasurer Eric Schmitt warned a panel of lawmakers Wednesday that action is needed to prevent a hit on the state's credit rating and finances.

Schmitt told lawmakers that the pension plan is 60 percent funded. He said 80 percent funding is considered healthy.

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