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John Brummett, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist
Talk Business and Politics

The fiscal session has begun.  That means all eyes are on the state capitol to see if the Arkansas Works program can survive another close vote for passage, despite the loss of several "yes" votes in the Senate due to deaths and resignations.  Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist John Brummett sits down with Roby Brock of Talk Business to discuss the topic and pay tribute to longtime Parliamentarian of the House Representatives, Tim Massanelli.  Massanelli passed away last week. 


Talk Business and Politics

Dr. Anthony Bland, a previously announced candidate for the Democratic nomination for Arkansas Secretary of State, said he will now run for Lt. Governor.

Bland said he was encouraged by the Democratic Party of Arkansas, his family and friends to make the switch. He also indicated that the other Democrat announced for Secretary of State, Susan Inman, was a better candidate than him.

This week lawmakers came to the capitol for a special session to discuss the budget. To vote on anything outside of the budget during a fiscal session, a two-thirds majority must agree, but that bar hasn’t stopped some lawmakers.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Republican primary voters were selecting nominees for two Arkansas Senate seats and a representative for a House seat in north-central Arkansas.

In balloting Tuesday, three Republicans from Russellville sought the party's nomination to replace Greg Standridge, who died in November. Bob Bailey, Breanne Davis or Luke Heffley would face Democrat Teresa Gallegos in May. If necessary, a runoff would be held March 13.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson
ArkansasHouse.org

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson will go before the state legislators to deliver the state of the state address.  The address will kick off Arkansas' fiscal session, in which the biggest fight will be on how to fund Arkansas Works, the state's hybrid Medicaid expansion program. 

Wikipedia.org

In this interview, KASU News Director Johnathan Reaves talks with U.S. Republican Representative Rick Crawford about federal spending.  He talks about the release of the $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan from the White House, and the recently passed two-year spending plan signed by President Trump.  Listen to the entire interview by clicking on the Listen button.  

MICHAEL HIBBLEN / KUAR NEWS

Where will the votes come from for Arkansas Works in the upcoming fiscal session? Gov. Asa Hutchinson says it’s less about lawmakers changing their minds and more about reforming a program to satisfy conservative principles.

Rex Nelson, Columnist and Senior Editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas State University

  Rex Nelson, columnist and senior editor with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, spends his days driving around the state of Arkansas talking with residents.  Roby Brock with Talk Business sits down with Nelson to talk about a variety of issues, such as the Slovak Oyster Supper, Bentonville’s 8th Street Market, the Arlington Hotel, the State of the Union, and more.


A movement started by civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr is seeing new life in Arkansas, and around the country, 50 years after his death.

According to organizers, the Poor People’s Campaign is “a national call for a moral revival.” Faith leaders from across the state gathered at the Arkansas Capitol to announce the goals of the campaign.

Pixabay

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Democratic and Republican lawmakers in Tennessee are pushing legislation to exempt gun safes from the state's sales tax.

At a news conference Monday, Republican Sen. Kerry Roberts of Springfield said the bill shows how the state Senate can find common ground and work in a bipartisan manner.

Senate Democratic Minority Leader Lee Harris of Memphis said the bill would help address accidental shootings and gun thefts.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A Republican who had been running for Arkansas state land commissioner is dropping his bid for the office.

Alex Ray on Monday said he was ending his bid for the Republican nomination for the post, citing the fact that he and his wife are expecting the birth of their first child later this year. John Thurston, the Republican currently holding the office, is serving his second term and is running for secretary of state this year.

https://www.jaredforarkansas.com/

In this interview, KASU News Director Johnathan Reaves talks with Jared Henderson.  Henderson tells about his priroties for the state and what he would do in his first 100 days in office, if he wins.   Click on the Listen button to hear the entire interview.  

Arkansas Sen. Johnathan Dismang (R-Searcy)
Talk Business and Politics

Senate President Jonathan Dismang, R-Searcy, said he believes the votes for Arkansas Works will be found in the upcoming fiscal session and prospects for a special session to deal with a failed vote or other issues is not a goal of his.

U. S. Capitol
Liam James Doyle / NPR

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A Democratic state representative says he's running for the U.S. House seat representing the Little Rock area and central Arkansas.

State Rep. Clarke Tucker announced his bid Monday for the 2nd Congressional District, becoming the third Democrat to run in hopes of unseating Republican U.S. Rep. French Hill.

Tucker has served in the Arkansas House since 2015. He says he was motivated to run for the U.S. House seat after battling cancer last year, saying he "could no longer stand by and watch" as Congress worked to undo the Affordable Care Act.

Governor Asa Hutchinson opened his campaign headquarters this week but he'll have to defeat his Republican primary opponent in May if he wants to make it to November. Hot Springs business owner and political pundit Jan Morgan has been taking the fight to the incumbent governor, traversing the state to talk to a host of varied groups. Morgan spoke with KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman about what separates her from Hutchinson.

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