Friday, February 5, 2016

President Declares Arkansas Counties Disaster Areas

LITTLE ROCK – President Obama has approved Governor Hutchinson’s request for a major disaster for the State of Arkansas as a result of severe weather and flooding from late December 2015 through January 2016. The declaration will allow residents and governmental bodies in the affected areas, who meet certain criteria, to apply for assistance.

Public Assistance (PA) for emergency work and repair/replacement of disaster-damaged facilities will be available for all 32 counties requested by the state including: Benton, Boone, Bradley, Calhoun, Carroll, Clay, Crawford, Dallas, Drew, Franklin, Greene, Independence, Izard, Lawrence, Little River, Logan, Madison, Marion, Mississippi, Montgomery, Ouachita, Perry, Pike, Polk, Randolph, Scott, Searcy, Stone, Washington, White, Woodruff, and Yell Counties.

Individual Assistance (IA) for individuals and households will be available for residents of 11 of the 19 counties requested by the state including: Benton, Carroll, Crawford, Faulkner, Jackson, Jefferson, Lee, Little River, Perry, Sebastian, and Sevier. Additional designations may be added to the declaration if requested by the state and warranted by results of further damage assessments.

Through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, funds will be available for actions taken to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards for all areas of the state.

Arkansas Department of Emergency Management and Federal Emergency Management Agency officials will soon announce plans to open offices throughout the affected areas to accept assistance applications.

CONTACT: Whitney Green (publicaffairs@adem.arkansas.gov or 501.683.6700)

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We have a lot to be proud of in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK - Governor Hutchinson's weekly radio address: Over the past year, we have worked to grow our economy, create more high-paying jobs, cut taxes for the middle class and introduce computer science at every high school. Our list of accomplishments is long, but there is still much to do.

Arkansas is a small state, but we do a lot of big things. Since January of last year, Arkansas’s Economic Development Commission signed incentive agreements with 122 new and expanding companies. These companies will create more than 5,600 new jobs while investing $2 billion in the state.

We are cultivating an environment of economic growth, and the world is taking notice. I’ve touted our economic success in California’s Silicon Valley, Nevada and New York. My international travels to China, Japan, France, Germany and Cuba have also given me opportunities to emphasize that Arkansas is open for business.

Everywhere I go, I market our state. Why? Because we have a story to tell. And that story includes seven small homegrown businesses that have grown into seven Fortune 500 companies.

We have some of the brightest minds here in Arkansas, and we have the tools to provide industry with opportunities to do great things. As a business owner, you don’t have to live in New York, California, or Texas to see your business grow. Our state stands ready and able to compete in a rapidly evolving, high-tech worldwide economy.

But we need to continue growing our existing businesses, creating new businesses and enticing businesses to locate and expand here. That’s where “Arkansas Inc.” comes in.

“Arkansas Inc.” is a succinct way for us to communicate that Arkansas is in the business of growing business. When it comes down to it, businesses must be lean, fast and focused. In Arkansas, we recognize the needs of industry and can respond quickly and decisively. We are sending a message to high level executives and site consultants that Arkansas is and continues to be a great place to do business.

The launch of “Arkansas Inc.” comes in partnership with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and the Arkansas Economic Developers from across the state, who work tirelessly to advance the quality of life in Arkansas through economic growth and community development.

Without their efforts and vision, “Arkansas Inc.” would be nothing more than a catchphrase. But today, it is sending a message that when you do business in Arkansas, you’re in very good company.

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Hill Statement on Choke Point Legislation

WASHINGTON Today, the House passed H.R. 766, the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act of 2015, by a bipartisan vote of 250-169. The bill was introduced last year in response the Department of Justice’s initiative known as “Operation Choke Point,” which has targeted legitimate and regulated industries and has caused them to lose access to financial services. After passage of the bill, Congressman French Hill (AR-02) stated:
“While the goals of Operation Choke Point to combat fraud may have been laudable, this initiative went much further targeting legal industries. I have heard from pawnbrokers in Arkansas—legally licensed and state and federally regulated—that have fallen victim to Operation Choke Point by having their bank services limited or discontinued and most recently, a firearms dealer that lost access to his payment processer. Hardworking and legitimate business owners should not have their operations adversely affected because their industry is unfairly targeted by this Administration. I am proud to support legislation that is essential to helping end the egregious abuse of executive power like that on display in Operation Choke Point.”For more info on Operation Choke Point read Did Your Representative Vote To End Operation Choke Point?

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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Hill’s Fair Access to Investment Research Act Passes the House

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House passed H.R. 1675, the Encouraging Employee Ownership Act of 2015, by a vote of 265-159. Included in H.R. 1675 was a package of financial services bills, including H.R. 2356, the Fair Access to Investment Research Act, which was introduced by Congressman French Hill (AR-02) last May.

H.R. 2356 would direct the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to provide a safe harbor for research reports that cover Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) so that the reports would not be considered “offers” under the Securities Act of 1933.

Following passage of the bill, Congressman Hill stated:

“Spending the past three decades in the investment industry, I have witnessed firsthand ETFs skyrocket. Yet despite their increased popularity, there is little research on ETFs due to anomalies in the securities laws. My commonsense bill would clarify the law and allow broker-dealers to publish ETF research, allowing investors to access useful information in this rapidly growing market. I appreciate Chairman Hensarling’s and the Congress’ efforts to promote capital formation, reduce unnecessary burdens, and grow jobs and the economy and was proud to support this bill.” 


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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Intent to Grant Executive Clemency

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced his intent to grant six pardons. An additional 47 clemency requests were denied and three had no action taken upon them. These include requests from both inmates and non-inmates.

The applicants intended for pardons have completed all jail time, fulfilled all parole and probationary requirements and paid all fines related to their sentences. There is a 30-day waiting period to receive public feedback on the notices before final action is taken.

Governor Hutchinson intends to grant pardons to the following people:

Kenneth Brannon (Ward): Violation of the Hot Check Law, two counts (C Felony).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1993 – White County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Wendy D. Founds (Ward): Possession of a Controlled Substance, Methamphetamine (C Felony), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, two counts (C Felony), Possession of a Controlled Substance, Methamphetamine, with Intent to Deliver (Y Felony), Manufacturing Controlled Substance, Methamphetamine (Y Felony), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia with Intent to Manufacture (B Felony), Manufacturing Methamphetamine in the Presence of a Minor (Felony), Possession of a Controlled Substance, Methamphetamine (Probation Revocation) (C Felony) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (Probation Revocation) (C Felony).

This notice is issued based on the dates of conviction (2002 – Pulaski County, 2005 – Lonoke and Pulaski County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Richard May (North Little Rock): Domestic Battering, Third Degree (A Misdemeanor).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2007 – Saline County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Michael Schamp (Hot Springs): Criminal Mischief, two counts (A Misdemeanor) and Theft of Property (A Misdemeanor).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2008 – Hot Springs District Court), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Larry D. Sublett (North Little Rock): Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony) and Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution (A Misdemeanor).

This notice is issued based on the dates of conviction (1996 – Pulaski County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Christopher B. Tate (Omaha): Attempted Theft of Property (D Felony) and Possessing Instrument of Crime (A Misdemeanor).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2001 – Faulkner County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. The Prosecuting Attorney has raised objections to the application.

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CFPB Must Provide Guidance on TRID

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today marks four months since the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID), or “Know Before You Owe, rule became effective. Since then, numerous reports, news stories, and first-hand accounts from the industry have indicated that there are many problems and confusion stemming from TRID implementation, and as a result, a disruption in home sales.

In October, by an overwhelming bipartisan majority, the House passed H.R. 3192, the Homebuyers Assistance Act, which was introduced by Congressman French Hill (AR-02) and would have created a temporary legal safe harbor for those making a good faith effort to comply with TRID, which would have enabled the real estate industry to more effectively navigate the transition to this new, complex closing regime.

Since implementation, the CFPB has offered very little guidance to industry on issues that have arisen during implementation, and instead, has doubled-down on enforcement.

In response to CFPB’s inaction in assisting the industry effectively transition to TRID, Congressman Hill, Arkansas Bankers Association (ABA) President and CEO Bill Holmes, and American Land Title Association (ALTA) CEO Michelle Korsmo released the following statements:

“CFPB’s lack of interest in rectifying the problem that it caused speaks volumes about its true commitment to helping consumers. Despite numerous reports of the TRID rule delaying the home-buying process for American families, CFPB is sitting on its hands and has done virtually nothing to help consumers, title companies, lenders, and realtors navigate this new closing regime since. Moving forward, CFPB must work with Congress and the real estate industry to provide guidance and eliminate confusion and uncertainty to best serve those hoping to achieve the American dream of home ownership.” – Congressman French Hill

“The new TRID regime has been in effect since October 2015, and despite inconsistencies in the interpretation of the regulations, we are still seeking clarification from the CFPB.” – ABA President and CEO Bill Holmes

"Four months in, we are still working thought significant questions and uncertainty around the ‘Know Before You Owe’ rule. This is causing lenders, investors, vendors and due diligence companies to be overly cautious leading to in part longer closing timelines for consumers. Many of these issues could be addressed by more guidance from the CFPB and tweaks to address the consumer confusion caused by the regulation’s title insurance calculations. Mortgage lending will continue, but added guidance for the industry will help consumers that the CFPB seeks to help and protect." – ALTA CEO Michelle Korsmo

Tags: U.S. Rep., French Hill, 2nd Congressional District, CFPB, TRID To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Governor Hutchinson Names Cindy Gillespie New Director of DHS

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced that Cindy Gillespie, former health care advisor to former Governor and Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney, as the new director of the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS). Her start date will be March 1, 2016.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement on Gillespie:


“After a national search and after interviewing a number of top candidates, I am confident that Cindy Gillespie has the breadth of experience, management capabilities and the right ideas to lead Arkansas's largest agency. She has nationally recognized expertise in the reform of Medicaid and she has extensive experience in managing complex programs. Most importantly she has the heart and passion that is needed for an agency which is on the frontline of critical services that make a difference in the lives of Arkansans every day.”


Gillespie issued the following statement upon the Governor’s announcement:


“I’m honored to have the opportunity to join the impressive team Governor Hutchinson has brought together to serve the people of Arkansas. I am looking forward to working with the highly dedicated and capable employees at the Arkansas Department of Human Services, along with our partners throughout the state, to promote the health and well-being of all Arkansans, especially those most in need."

Cindy Gillespie is a nationally recognized thought-leader in health policy and brings significant experience working at both the federal and state levels. Ms. Gillespie served as a senior advisor to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, where she led the Commonwealth of Massachusetts interactions with the federal government and oversaw development and implementation of the Administration's executive branch initiatives, including playing a leading role in the development of Massachusetts health reforms. Her writings on health policy issues have appeared in numerous national publications.

Prior to her government service in Massachusetts, Ms. Gillespie served as a senior executive for the not-for-profit Salt Lake Olympic Committee, responsible for hosting the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games and as a director at the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, the non-profit hosting the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. She was recognized both nationally and internationally for her leadership in developing a unique public-private partnership between federal, state, local government and the organizing committees for staging the Games in the U.S.

Ms. Gillespie is currently a Principal in the Washington, DC office of Dentons' Public Policy and Regulation practice and a leader of the firm's Health Policy and Health Insurance Exchange Teams. She is a graduate of Trevecca Nazarene College in Nashville, TN and has a Master's Degree from Auburn University in Alabama. She is a native of Columbus, Georgia.

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Arkansas Congressional Delegation Requests Federal Disaster Assistance for 38 Counties


WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton, along with Congressmen Rick Crawford (AR-1), French Hill (AR-2), Steve Womack (AR-3) and Bruce Westerman (AR-4) today urged President Barack Obama to support Governor Asa Hutchinson’s request for a major disaster declaration for Arkansas.

From December 23, 2015 through January 23, 2016, Arkansas experienced a pattern of destructive storms, severe flooding and tornadoes, resulting in three fatalities and severe damage to hundreds of homes across the state. As they always do in time of crisis, Arkansans have come to the aid of their neighbors; however, the extent of the damage has surpassed the state government’s ability to respond. State and community agencies are working tirelessly to assist citizens and begin the process of cleaning up and ultimately rebuilding. Resources at the state and local level, including the Arkansas National Guard, Arkansas Forestry Commissions and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, are being fully utilized, but greater assistance is needed to help communities recover.

For that reason, Arkansas’s congressional delegation supports Governor Hutchinson’s request for a major disaster declaration for the following counties in the State of Arkansas: Benton, Bradley, Boone, Calhoun, Carroll, Clay, Crawford, Dallas, Drew, Faulkner, Franklin, Greene, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Little River, Lee, Logan, Madison, Marion, Mississippi, Montgomery, Ouachita, Perry, Pike, Polk, Randolph, Scott, Searcy, Sebastian, Sevier, Stone, Washington, White, Woodruff and Yell.

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Friday, January 29, 2016

Governor Hutchinson Announces Appointments

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the following appointments:

Marcus Lamberth, Batesville, to the Arkansas Racing Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2021. Reappointment.

Jerry Riley, Pine Bluff, to the Parole Board. Appointment expires January 14, 2023. Replaces Richard Brown.

Sylvester Smith, North Little Rock, to the Arkansas State Claims Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2021. Replaces Richard Mays.

Jesse Turner, Pine Bluff, to the Board of Visitors for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Appointment expires January 14, 2023. Replaces Robert Dill.

Johnny Hudson, Little Rock, to the Board of Trustees of Henderson State University. Appointment expires January 14, 2023. Replaces Carol Atkinson.

Rod Soubers, Mountain Home, to the Arkansas History Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2023. Replaces Ruth Anne Hawkins.

Lieutenant Stacie Rhoads, Bigelow, to the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training. Appointment expires January 14, 2023. Reappointment.

Chief Percy Wilburn, Lake Village, to the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training. Appointment expires January 14, 2023. Reappointment.

Kay Lawrence, Pine Bluff, to the Arkansas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board. Appointment expires January 15, 2019. Replaces Samantha Johnson.

Quin Baber, Benton, to the Arkansas Geological Survey. Appointment expires January 14, 2023. Reappointment.

Dr. Delia Haak, Gentry, to the Arkansas Forestry Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2025. Replaces Allen Morgan.

Christopher Palmer
, Little Rock, to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Appointment expires January 14, 2022. Replaces Martin Silverfield.

Laurie Black, Lake Village, to the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2022. Reappointment.

Dr. David Staggs, Searcy, to the Arkansas State Medical Board. Appointment expires December 31, 2021. Replaces Dr. Jim Citty.

Marie Holder, Little Rock, to the Arkansas State Medical Board. Appointment expires December 31, 2021. Replaces Richard Pace.

Thomas May, Danville, to the Arkansas Deaf and Hearing Impaired Telecommunications Services Corporation Board of Directors. Appointment expires June 1, 2018. Replaces John Strode.

Lawrence Bearden, Smackover, to the Board of Trustees of Southern Arkansas University. Appointment expires January 14, 2021. Reappointment.

Everett Elam, Little Rock, to the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas School for the Blind and the Arkansas School for the Deaf. Appointment expires January 14, 2021. Reappointment.

Lisa Lake, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Deaf and Hearing Impaired Telecommunications Services Corporation Board of Directors. Appointment expires June 1, 2018. Replaces David Avery.

Deborah Mays, Siloam Springs, to the Arkansas Early Childhood Commission. Appointment expires June 30, 2018. Replaces Patricia Lucas.

William Benton, Heber Springs, to the Arkansas State Police Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2023. Reappointment.

Bruce Leggitt, Greenbrier, to the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2023. Replaces David Feilke.

James Shamburger, Jr., Hot Springs, to the State Parks, Recreation and Travel Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2022. Reappointment.

Deana Osment
, Jonesboro, to the Arkansas Economic Development Council. Appointment expires January 14, 2020. Replaces Shelby Moore.

Steve Lux
, Hot Springs Village, to the Arkansas Economic Development Council. Appointment expires January 14, 2020. Replaces John Lipton.

Al Heringer, Jonesboro, to the Arkansas Economic Development Council. Appointment expires January 14, 2020. Replaces Thomas Kirk.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces $6M Public-Private Partnership for Teach for America

Investment to Benefit 9,000 Students in Low-Income Communities and Establish New Partnership with Little Rock School District

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson announced today that his office will fund an investment of $3 million in Teach For America–Arkansas that will have a lasting impact on east and south Arkansas. This investment will fund the training and support of approximately 150 new teachers in rural school districts over the next three years and has prompted a match of $3 million from Little Rock philanthropists and business leaders to bring Teach For America teachers to Little Rock School District for the first time next year.

In rural communities, the state’s investment will grow Teach For America’s work to encourage more top candidates to teach in rural communities and build their careers in the area. The 150 teachers supported by the state’s funding will reach at least 9,000 students in rural communities, an estimated 86 percent of whom qualify for free or reduced lunch. The funding will also accelerate Teach For America’s new initiative to recruit hundreds of Arkansas’ top college students and professionals to teach in Arkansas’ rural communities over the next decade. Additionally, the funding will enable Teach For America to expand its teacher and school-leader professional development to hundreds of participants across the state.

The private match of public dollars will bring approximately 65 new teachers to Little Rock School District over the next three years and will include up to 15 teachers for the 2016–2017 school year. These teachers will reach up to 4,000 students in Little Rock and will be hired in the district’s highest-need schools and subjects.

Governor Hutchinson issued the statement below following Wednesday’s announcement:
“Teach For America has been a community partner in the Arkansas Delta region for 24 years. During that time, more than two dozen Arkansas communities have worked with Teach For America teachers, and their track record is summarized by one simple fact: nearly every district leader who worked with them asked for more teachers from the organization. Many of these strong teachers have gone on to have lasting and transformational impact in schools across the state, from the classroom and beyond. We look forward to the continuation of that work and the opportunity to bring Teach For America’s outstanding educators to the Little Rock School District as part of the district’s broader efforts to help students here soar to new heights.”
Jared Henderson, executive director of Teach For America in Arkansas, issued the statement below following Wednesday’s news conference:
“We’re excited to have Teach For America corps members join school communities in Little Rock while continuing our longstanding commitment to excellent education for children growing up in rural communities. We’re grateful to Governor Hutchinson for his continued commitment to expanding opportunity for kids in rural Arkansas and his ongoing support for our work toward that goal.”Teach For America, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary nationally this year, has been a member of the Arkansas education community since 1991. This year more than 300 corps members and alumni are leading local classrooms and working from all sectors to expand educational opportunity throughout the state of Arkansas. This leadership force includes 20 school leaders and two former Arkansas state Teachers of the Year.

About Teach For America
Teach For America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding college graduates and professionals to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to end educational inequity. Today, 8,600 corps members are teaching in 52 urban and rural regions across the country while more than 42,000 alumni work across sectors to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education. Teach For America is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Tags: Governor, Asa Hutchinson, $6M, Public-Private Partnership, Teach for America To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Gov. Hutchinson Names Jim von Gremp to Higher Education Coordinating Board

LITTLE ROCK - Governor Asa Hutchinson today named Jim von Gremp of Rogers to the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board (AHECB) effective March 1, 2016.

Von Gremp will replace Horace Hardwick, of Bentonville, who resigned in December 2015.

Von Gremp has served as a member of the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees for 11 years, and has submitted his letter of resignation from that position effective February 28, 2016.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement on Von Gremp:

>“Jim has worked diligently during his time on the UA Board to increase access to higher education for all Arkansans, increase retention and graduation rates, and promote the use of technology and online education to help make higher education more cost effective for students, their families and the state. His experience makes him a natural fit for the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board and I know he will make a significant contribution as the board works to address these and others issues for the benefit of all the citizens of our state.”

The AHECB oversees the Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE) and is responsible for promoting a coordinated system of higher education in the state and assuring the orderly and effective development of each publicly supported institution of higher education in the state.

Von Gremp issued the following statement in regards to his new appointment:

“I’m honored and grateful to Gov. Hutchinson for this appointment. These are very important times for Arkansas higher education as we work to implement the governor’s new master plan that calls for increasing college attainment while promoting efficiency in our operations and program delivery. These are issues that we’ve been tackling at the UA System and I look forward to utilizing the knowledge and experience I’ve gained through my service on the UA Board in a more statewide focus on the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board.”

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Friday, January 22, 2016

Boozman Questions AG on President’s Executive Actions on Guns

Boozman Questions  Attorney General Lynch
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) pressed Attorney General Loretta Lynch for answers about the constitutionality of President Obama’s executive actions related to gun control during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) hearing yesterday.

Boozman expressed his concerns with President Obama’s overreaching authority and the plans by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to decide what Americans are permissible to own and possess firearms based on the individual having a fiduciary.

“This would prohibit them from their Constitutional Second Amendment right, not based on due process, but only on the fact that they requested a family member or friend to assist them with their finances,” Boozman said during the hearing.

As the administration overreaches to fight violent crime, the Department of Justice is withdrawing funds that many Arkansas law enforcement agencies use effectively to fight that battle.

Boozman questioned the attorney general on why Arkansas police departments recently had funds they used to fight violent crime removed from their equitable sharing accounts. These accounts provide participating state and local law enforcement agencies funds resulting from federal forfeitures. These funds are essential for drug task forces and other enforcement operations that focus on removing the worst criminal offenders from our streets.

Last month several Arkansas law enforcement agencies received a letter from the Department of Justice stating that it would be ceasing all payments and it would be implementing cost reduction measures.

Lynch admitted some budget issues within the department’s asset forfeiture fund that limited its ability to provide these payments to state and local law enforcement.

“We are looking forward to restoring those payments,” Lynch said.

Tags: Senator John Boozman, Questions, AF, Loretta Lynch, President Obama, executive actions, restricting gun rights, seniors, social security, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Boozman Votes to Halt Acceptance of Refugees from Syria and Iraq

WASHINGTON— U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) today voted to halt the acceptance of refugees from Syria and Iraq until the nation’s top security officials can ensure that our refugee process is not exploited by terrorists and foreign fighters.

The bill, the American SAFE Act (H.R. 4038), which passed the U.S. House of Representatives in a bipartisan manner, was blocked from moving forward in Senate when it failed to reach the 60 vote threshold it needed to proceed.

“The federal government’s number one responsibility is to protect the American people. Senate Democrats failed to uphold that responsibility today,” Boozman said.

Pointing to admissions from senior level law enforcement and intelligence officials, including FBI Director James Comey, that gaps exist in the data used to vet Syrian refugees, Boozman said more needs to be done to restore the confidence of the American people before moving forward with the program.

“The United States has a long history of providing sanctuary to refugees fleeing from persecution and war-torn countries like Syria. However, Arkansans are rightfully concerned that the Obama administration does not have an effective plan to protect Americans from radical Islamic extremism here at home. The confidence in security officials’ ability to root out terrorists trying to exploit our good graces to carry out attacks simply does not exist. It is a very legitimate concern—both in the intelligence community and in our communities at home—that the Obama Administration is flat-out ignoring,” Boozman said.

After the Paris attacks, Boozman joined his colleague from Arkansas, Senator Tom Cotton, to call for a temporary moratorium on resettlement of Syrian refugees until an evaluation of the security vetting procedures for refugees had been completed and the President could certify the integrity of the process.

The American SAFE Act mirrors Boozman and Cotton’s call by suspending the admission of Syrian and Iraqi refugees into the United States until the nation’s top security and intelligence officials can certify the integrity of the background checks and are able to declare each refugee, individually, does not pose a threat to the United States.

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2-20-16 CALL: AR First Congressional District Meeting

Arkansas 1st Congressional District
by Dorothy Crocket, 1st Arkansas Congressional District Secretary:

FIRST CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
REPUBLICAN PARTY OF ARKANSAS


In accordance with the rules of the Republican Party of Arkansas, a meeting of the First Congressional District is hereby called on this date, February 20th, 2016

Date: Saturday, February 20th, 2016

Location: EACC Tech Center, 1790 North Falls, Wynne, AR

REGISTRATION: 9:00 A.M -10:00 A.M. – Coffee and Donuts!

REGISTRATION FEE: $12.00

MEETING: 10:00 A.M. – 12: P.M.

CALL TO ORDER: 10:00 A.M. – Chairman Tommy Land

Invocation: TBA

Pledge: TBA

Welcome by Host County

Roll Call: Dorothy Crockett

Approval of minutes

Treasures report: Bill Hendrix

District Chairman’s Report-Chairman Land

Speakers: TBA

Introduce Guests & County Candidates

Introduce State Reps and State Senate Candidates

Minority Report

County Chair’s Reports

Regional Chairman’s Reports

Old Business

Adjourn

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Senate Committee Approves Arkansas Provisions, Including Boozman Amendment, in Sportsmen Legislation

WASHINGTON – Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works members today approved the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015 that contains provisions to help Arkansans including an amendment introduced by U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR). The Boozman amendment will strengthen partnerships between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and community groups that want to improve and reinvest in Corps parks, recreation sites and facilities.

“By allowing communities and non-profit groups to reinvest resources at Corps facilities, we can improve the quality of services offered to Arkansans and help keep more sites open and operating,” Boozman said.

This amendment is identical to the Corps of Engineers Cooperative Joint Management Restoration Act, legislation Boozman introduced during the 113th Congress.

The Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015 updates existing programs to increase hunting and fishing access and improve opportunities for outdoor recreation users on federal lands.

The legislation includes another provision co-authored by Boozman to prevent the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) from unfairly penalizing farmers and hunters who are engaged in long-standing and normal agricultural practices. Increasing production of second crop rice is good for the environment and conservation and it provides excellent waterfowl foraging habitat. Unfortunately, rolling fields is a science-based agricultural practice is in the cross-hairs of the FWS. The Boozman language will protect farmers and hunters from these fines and improve habitat for birds, creating a true win-win.

The legislation also supports federal-state cooperation and support for public shooting ranges, extends voluntary programs that conserve wetlands and restores Second Amendment rights to law-abiding citizens who possess firearms on Corps-operated sites. Arkansans can carry a firearm when they visit a National Forest, but under current rules, the Corps prevents citizens from observing their Constitutional Rights on its property.

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