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Politics

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. 


Arkansas State Capitol
Wikipedia.org

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - An Arkansas lawmaker says he won't push for a measure easing a requirement for concealed handgun trainers during this year's session after the governor said he supports delaying the mandate's deadline so the issue can be addressed later.

Republican Sen. Trent Garner said Thursday he'll drop his proposal removing the requirement that concealed carry instructors offer both the regular training and the enhanced training under an expanded concealed handgun law approved last year.

Eric Greitens Official Facebook Page

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Investigators from the St. Louis prosecutor's office have visited the Missouri Capitol in the investigation of Gov. Eric Greitens, and one lawmaker suggests the probe has expanded to include a look at the Republican governor's use of "dark money."

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner launched an investigation in January after Greitens admitted to a 2015 affair with his St. Louis hairdresser. Greitens has denied taking a compromising photo of the woman as potential blackmail.

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.


Missouri Senate advances utility rates bill after daylong filibuster

Feb 9, 2018
Pixabay

  JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Senate on Thursday advanced legislation that could reward utilities making improvements to their infrastructure with more consistent rate increases on their customers, a move that came after a more than 20-hour, overnight filibuster finally ended.

Missouri Capitol
Wikipedia

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Senate has worked through the night into a new day as a group of lawmakers filibusters a bill changing the way utility rates are regulated.

The legislation being debated Thursday would allow utilities to more quickly recover their costs for infrastructure improvements while imposing a 3 percent limit on annual rate increases to consumers.

Supporters say it will result in ever-increasing rates for customers, but opponents say it will ensure price predictability instead of allowing periodic surges in rates that could be even larger.

Pixabay

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The grounds of the iconic Gateway Arch in St. Louis may soon have a new name: The Gateway Arch National Park.

Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill said Thursday that their legislation to rename the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial as the Gateway Arch National Park is now in the hands of President Donald Trump.

The measure passed the Senate on Dec. 21, and passed the House Wednesday.

Blunt says renaming the park will make it "more immediately recognizable to the millions of people who visit St. Louis every year."

A lawsuit challenging Arkansas' new voter ID law has been filed, arguing the requirement causes the same problems as a nearly identical law that was struck down four years ago.

The lawsuit filed by a voter in Pulaski County Circuit Court on Wednesday is challenging the measure's constitutionality ahead of the state's May 22 primary. Early voting for the primary begins May 7.

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.

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