Thursday, December 18, 2014

Westerman Named to three U.S. House Committees, Names Press Secretary

Rep-Elect Bruce Westerman
U.S. Rep.-elect Bruce Westerman (R-Hot Springs) has been named to serve on three committees in the 114th Congress.

Westerman’s Fourth District includes most of South Arkansas, including Columbia and surrounding counties.

Westerman was previously named to the House committees on Natural Resources and the Budget. On Tuesday, he was also named to the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

"I thank the committee chair and leadership for approving my waiver request to serve on a third committee in the House," Westerman said. "I look forward to the opportunity to work for common sense, science-based solutions on issues that affect the ability of the private sector to create more jobs and rewarding careers, while pushing back against the overreach of the Environmental Protection Agency under the Obama Administration -- especially proposed rules that would result in hundreds of Fourth District jobs disappearing, the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in economic benefits, and higher energy rates for Arkansas families."

Also this week, Westerman named his new press secretary who will be based in Washington.

Ryan Saylor of Van Buren previously worked as a business and politics reporter for The City Wire in Fort Smith. His work has also appeared on Little Rock-based Talk Business & Politics. Saylor has also served as communications director for Goddard United Methodist Church in Fort Smith and as a reporter for the Paragould Daily Press.

Westerman's office will be located in room 130 of the Cannon House Office Building.

Westerman succeeds U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, who was elected to the U.S. Senate.

Tags: Bruce Westerman, Rep-Elect, Arkansas, District 4, committees, press secretary, Ryan Saylor To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Griffin Announces Lt-Gov. Staff

Griffin Announces Staff

Fulfills pledge to reduce office staff by half

LITTLE ROCK – Congressman and Lieutenant Governor-Elect Tim Griffin today named two staff for the Office of Lieutenant Governor, fulfilling his pledge to reduce the number of staff from four to two.

Annamarie Atwood will serve as Chief of Staff and Kelsi Bodine as Communications Director and Executive Assistant. Atwood served as the Campaign Manager for Griffin’s campaign for lieutenant governor and previously served in the Office of Congressman Griffin.

“Over the past four years Annamarie has excelled in every role, including in my congressional office where she demonstrated the ability to solve problems and get things done. She will provide leadership to my office as we work with the Governor and General Assembly during the upcoming session,” said Griffin.

Bodine served as Field Director for the Griffin campaign. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Ouachita Baptist University. “Kelsi’s attention to detail, and organizational and communication skills will be assets to my office,” said Griffin.

Tags: Tim Griffin, LT-Gov Elect, announces staff, reduces staff To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Looking Ahead to the 114th Congress

by U.S. Senator John Boozman: Now that we have completed the 113th Congress, it is time to start looking ahead to the next session of Congress.

In my last newsletter, I asked you what issues need to be a priority in the 114th Congress. I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who participated. Your input is valuable to me as we gear up to set the agenda under a Republican-led Senate. I want to share the results with you.

The responses from this survey mirror what I’ve heard during my travels across the state. Our border is far too porous, Washington spends way too much, and our nation’s healthcare system is in worse shape as a result of Obamacare.

One-third of respondents listed immigration as the first priority the new Congress should address. Throughout my time in Congress, I have worked toward immigration reform that secures our borders, enforces the immigration laws already on the book and does not reward illegal behavior with amnesty. I intend to continue that effort in 114th Congress.

Coming in right behind border security in our survey are the number two and three top vote-getters: Stop Washington’s reckless spending and institute real healthcare reform. I couldn’t agree more on either of these.

I believe we can find a mechanism, like a Balanced Budget Amendment, that will stop the government from spending beyond its means. If Arkansas can balance its budget, there is no reason that we shouldn’t be able to require Washington to do the same.

As for Obamacare, the law is a wet blanket on the economy that drives up healthcare costs, busts our budget, bankrupts Medicare and raises taxes. We need to start over with real healthcare reforms that put patients and their doctors in charge, not Washington bureaucrats.

Senate Republicans are eager to tackle these challenges when we gavel in the new session of Congress next month. In January we will regain control of both the Senate and the House of Representatives. We can finally take action against the President’s immigration overreach; cut wasteful spending to make government more efficient and effective; and replace Obamacare with reforms that give freedom, choice and control to patients.

That’s what this election was about. It wasn’t about a Republican mandate. It had everything to do with the fact that Americans believe our country is headed down the wrong path.

We have an opportunity to change course. I’m excited about the opportunity you have given us to lead the Senate in a different direction. I am confident we will meet your expectations.

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Tags: U.S. Senator, John Boozman, 113th Congress ends, 114th Congress begins, Republican leadership, NSERT TAGS To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Gov-Elect Hutchinson Announces New Adjutant General

Gov-Elect Asa Hutchinson Announces Brig. Gen. Mark H. Berry as the New Adjutant General

LITTLE ROCK – Governor-Elect Asa Hutchinson has appointed Brigadier General Mark H. Berry as the 52nd Adjutant General of Arkansas. Berry’s career spans more than 40 years, including more than 20 years of active-duty service. In 1992, after completing his active-duty service, Berry joined the 188th Fighter Wing in Fort Smith where he served until his appointment as Chief of Staff, Arkansas Air National Guard in 2012.

Berry enlisted in the Air Force in 1974, attended Officer Training School in 1985, and has been stationed in Nevada, Oklahoma, South Korea, and Arkansas. This is the first time in recalled history that Arkansas’s Adjutant General has been appointed from the Air Force. For more on Berry, please see attached.

Governor-Elect Hutchinson issued the following statement:“It is my pleasure to announce Brig. Gen. Mark Berry as the new Adjutant General of Arkansas. Brig. Gen. Berry is a principled leader who, over the course of his 40 year career, has served our state and country – at home and overseas – with honor and integrity. Those traits, accompanied with his experience and extensive knowledge of Arkansas and our military, make him the obvious choice for this new role.”
Brig. Gen. Berry issued the following statement:“I am truly honored to serve as Arkansas’s new Adjutant General. I appreciate the Governor-Elect’s confidence in my leadership. I look forward to further serving our new Commander In Chief of the Arkansas National Guard, Governor-Elect Hutchinson, and the people of Arkansas.”
Tags: Gov-Elect, Asa Hutchinson, New Adjutant General, Brigadier General, Mark H. Berry To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Gov-Elect Asa Hutchinson Announces Kerr as Insurance Commissioner, Keeps Sharp as Community Correction Director

LITTLE ROCK – Governor-Elect Hutchinson issued the following statement on Rep. Allen Kerr:
“I am pleased to announce Representative Allen Kerr as my new Insurance Commissioner. Along with his experience in the legislature and his breadth of knowledge in the insurance industry, Allen will also bring with him a fresh look at the department.”

Rep. Kerr has served 6 years in the Arkansas House of Representatives. He has 34 years of insurance experience with a background in financial services, where he holds several professional licenses.

Governor-Elect Hutchinson issued the following statement on Sheila Sharp:
“Sheila has done an outstanding job in her current role as director at the Department of Community Correction. As a former prosecutor, I recognize how critical this role is to our law enforcement community, and I have no doubt she will continue to serve the department and the people of Arkansas well.”

Sharp has worked in state government for close to 40 years and has more than 15 years of experience with the state prison system. She has served as director for the Department of Community Correction since August of 2013.

Tags: Arkansas, Gov-Elect, Asa Hutchinson, Allen Kerr, Insurance Commissioner, Sheila Sharp, Director, Department of Community Correction To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Boozman, Cotton, Griffin: Award Purple Heart to Soldiers in 2009 Little Rock Shooting!

Boozman, Cotton, Griffin Urge Army to Award Purple Heart to Soldiers in 2009 Little Rock Shooting

WASHINGTON –U.S. Senator John Boozman, Senator-elect Tom Cotton and Rep. Tim Griffin sent a letter yesterday to the Secretary of the Army urging him to award the Purple Heart to victims of the June 2009 shooting at the Little Rock recruiting center - Privates William Long and Quinton Ezeagwula - based on criteria approved by Congress in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Section 571 of the FY 2015 NDAA clarifies that an attack carried out by an individual will be considered an attack by a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) if the individual or entity was in communication with a FTO before the attack, and if the attack was inspired or motivated by a FTO.

The members detail actions and statements by Abdulhakim Muhammad, the man who pled guilty to charges of capital murder and attempted capital murder for the shooting at a Little Rock military recruiting station, that meet the criteria established in NDAA.

“Throughout his (2011) trial, Muhammad repeatedly admitted that he was a soldier in the cause of war—or jihad—against the United States and that he targeted Privates William Andrew Long and Quinton Ezeagwula because they wore the uniform of the U.S. Army.  Additionally, in 2007, Muhammad traveled to Yemen where, as he admitted, he consorted with known members of Al Qaeda including discussing attacks on American military personnel," members wrote in the letter.

The members urged the Secretary to correct this wrong and award the Purple Heart to Private Quiton Ezeagwula and to the family of Private William Long.

To read the letter click here.

Tags: Sen. John Boozman, Rep. Tom Cotton, Re. Tim Griffin, Letter to Army, award, Purple Hearts, soldiers, 2009 Little Rock shooting To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Monday, December 15, 2014

A New Day in Arkansas

The Inauguration of Asa Hutchinson
The 46th Elected Governor of Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK – The 2015 inaugural celebration honoring Governor-Elect and Mrs. Asa Hutchinson will commence Monday, January 12, 2015 and culminate Tuesday January 13, 2015 with the “A New Day in Arkansas” Inaugural Ball.

In addition, the public is invited to attend Governor-Elect Hutchinson’s Inaugural Address ceremony on the steps of the State Capitol at noon Tuesday, January 13, 2015. The public is encouraged to arrive at 11am for seat selection.

The 2015 Inaugural Co-Chairs are Dave and Sarah Wengel.

“This inaugural celebration of Governor-Elect Hutchinson represents the beginning of a new day in our state, full of promise and opportunity for every Arkansan,” said Dave Wengel. “It’s the renewal of the American Dream right here in the Natural State, and Sarah and I are delighted to be part of it.”

For more details on the Hutchinson Inauguration, including a list of scheduled events, visit, and be sure to keep up-to-date with the latest information by following @AsaInauguration on Twitter or by exploring the “Hutchinson Inauguration” event on Facebook.

A highlighted list of Inaugural Events are as follows:

Red, White & BBQ Inaugural Party
“Discovering A New Day”7:00 – 9:00 pm
Museum of Discovery
500 President Clinton Avenue, Suite 150, Little Rock
Price: $25 per person (two-ticket limit per person)
Casual Attire

Inaugural Church Service
8:30 – 9:30 am
Immanuel Baptist Church
501 N. Shackleford Rd., Little Rock
Open to the Public

The Oath of Office10:30 am
House Chamber, State Capitol

The Inaugural Address
12:00 – 1:00 pm
Capitol Steps, State Capitol
Open to the Public

The Governor’s Reception
1:00 – 2:30 pm
Rotunda, State Capitol
Open to the Public

A New Day in Arkansas Inaugural Ball
Honoring Governor Asa Hutchinson and First Lady Susan Hutchinson6:30 – 10:00 pm
Governor’s Hall – Statehouse Convention Center
101 E Markham St., Little Rock
Price: $100 per person
Black Tie Optional

Tags: new day, Arkansas, ASA Hutchinson, 2015, Inauguration, Governor, schedule, events, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Omnibus Bill Fails on Immigration

Congressman Rick Crawford, R-AR1: Before the 113th Congress recessed this week in preparation for the 114th Congress, I voted against the Omnibus spending bill. I believe the bill, which narrowly passed the House, failed to ensure President Obama's unilateral actions on immigration cannot proceed outside the will of the American people. I desired that the House extend funding for a short period of time through a Continuing Resolution. This action would have allowed the Federal Government to remain open while preventing the executive actions of the President to proceed against the will of a majority of the American people.

Tags: Congressman, Rick Crawford, Arkansas, AR-1, Omnibus spending bill, President Obama, executive actions, illegal immigration To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Senate Paves Way for Arkansas Soldiers to Receive Purple Heart

WASHINGTON D.C. – Senate-passed legislation supporting funding for our nation’s military and our military installations includes a provision sponsored by U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) that paves the way for servicemembers attacked outside of a Little Rock Army recruiting center in 2009 to receive the Purple Heart. Private William Long was shot and killed; Private Quinton Ezeagwula was wounded.

“This is righting a wrong that prevented Private Long and Private Ezeagwula from receiving a Purple Heart, which they rightfully deserve. They were victims of a terrorist attack, targeted for the service, devotion and dedication to our country. They deserve the same honors and recognitions as those members of the Armed Forces serving on the battlefield. The sad reality is the frontlines against terrorism extend within our nation. This provision allows all servicemembers the opportunity to be recognized for their service and sacrifice against the War on Terror,” Boozman said.

The provision included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) authorizes the award of Purple Heart to servicemembers killed or wounded in an attack that specifically targets a servicemember because of their status as a member of the nation’s Armed Forces or is carried out by a foreign terrorist organization. The Army will determine if attacks meet the qualifications. The House approved this bill last week and it will now head to the President for his signature.

Privates Long and Ezeagwula were attacked as act of domestic terrorism but the federal government declined to prosecutor their attacker as a terrorist. American Muslim convert, Carlos Bledsoe, also known as Abdulhakim Muhammad is serving a life sentence without the chance for parole after pleading guilty and admitting his motivation for the shootings stemmed from the United States’ presence in the Middle East. Bledsoe converted to Islam, became radicalized in Nashville, TN and travelled to Yemen in 2007 where he was arrested by Yemeni authorities in 2008. Following his deportation from Yemen in 2009, he attacked the Little Rock recruiting center, killing Long and wounding Ezeagwula.

Boozman has joined efforts for several years allowing Privates Long and Ezeagwula eligibility for the Purple Heart. In this Congress Boozman and U.S. Senator Mark introduced the Honoring Ezeagwula and Long (HEAL) Act to allow the soldiers to be eligible for the Purple Heart. The senators also secured a provision in the FY2014 NDAA directing the Department of Defense (DoD) to review the eligibility for a Purple Heart for Privates William and Ezeagwula.

Tags: U.S Senator, John Boozman, Purple Heart, Arkansas, attacked act of domestic terrorism To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Congressman-Elect French Hill Announces New Staff Members

LITTLE ROCK, AR – Congressman-elect French Hill (AR-02) today announced additional members of his congressional staff in Washington, D.C. and in central Arkansas:

“I am delighted to welcome to the Washington, D.C. office Holli Heiles as Senior Advisor, Dylan Frost as Senior Legislative Assistant, and Jennie V. Caven as Communications Director.  In Central Arkansas, Jill Cox will serve as Deputy District Director, Tom McNabb will serve as Senior District Representative focusing on Veterans and Military issues, and Anushree Jumde and Josh Mesker will serve as District Representatives.

“Along with my Chief of Staff, A. Brooke Bennett, these team members are currently serving Arkansas's Second District on the staff of Congressman Tim Griffin.  With such an experienced team, we will hit the ground running and offer top-notch constituent services from day one.”

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

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Government Funding Bill ‘Lowers Discretionary Spending’ to Pre-FY 2008 Levels

Says, ‘Nancy Pelosi and Maxine Waters worked hard to defeat today’s bill, but they failed’ and ‘despite criticism to the contrary, this Congress has not and will not fund illegal activity’

WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) today issued the following statement after the House passed the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (H.R. 83), which includes full Appropriations legislation and funding for 11 of the 12 annual Appropriations bills through the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, and includes the 12th bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security under a temporary “Continuing Resolution” that expires on February 27, 2015:

“During my time in Congress, Senate leadership and the President have blocked many of our attempts to implement long-term reforms and eliminate excessive spending in Washington, further worsening our nation’s debt crisis that threatens future generations. Today’s bipartisan agreement contains important policy changes to rein in federal overreach and provides targeted funding for critical programs. Nancy Pelosi and Maxine Waters worked hard to defeat today’s bill, but they failed, and the bill we passed lowers discretionary spending to pre-FY 2008 levels.

“The agreement remains consistent with the Ryan-Murray budget agreement caps, cuts $60 million in funding for the overreaching Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and blocks regulations that would stifle important energy projects, hurt small businesses and destroy jobs. It limits EPA’s proposed expansion of the ‘waters of the United States,’ which would subject Arkansas’s farmers and ranchers to costly and overly burdensome federal regulations and harm our state’s vital agriculture industry. The bill slashes over $345 million from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and puts restrictions on the job-crushing, bureaucratic Dodd-Frank law.

“Some claim that this bill funds the President’s illegal executive actions. That’s not true. Despite criticism to the contrary, this Congress has not and will not fund illegal activity, and this bill funds the law as written. I agree wholeheartedly that President Obama has used funds intended for a legal purpose for an illegal one. This last week, Congress took a big step to fight against the President’s illegal actions, and I am confident that the new Congress will continue fighting the President’s illegal executive overreach.

“Today’s bill is, of course, not perfect, but unlike a continuing resolution, this bill makes substantive changes to reduce spending and reject a government shutdown, which is bad policy, helps no one and wastes taxpayer dollars. With the incoming Republican majorities, I know my colleagues in the House and Senate will continue our work to uphold the Constitution, cut federal spending and save taxpayers’ money.”< , which passed the House by a vote of 219–206, contains emergency Overseas Contingency Operations funding to combat the emerging real-world threat brought by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and a total of $5.4 billion in emergency funding to address the domestic and international Ebola crisis. Also included in this package are important policy provisions to improve accountability and transparency, to ensure good government and to put the brakes on harmful overregulation by federal agencies.

Tags: government funding, lowers discretionary spending, INSERT TAGS To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

AG-Elect Rutledge Announces Two Senior Staffers

Names Vogelpohl AG Chief of Staff, Cox AG Legislative Director

Little Rock, AR – Attorney General-Elect Leslie Rutledge today named Carl Vogelpohl of Little Rock as Chief of Staff and Cory Cox of Maumelle as Legislative Director for her Administration.    

Carl Vogelpohl is the former Chief of Staff and District Director for Congressman Tim Griffin. He served as the senior advisor for Rutledge’s successful bid for Attorney General and was selected to organize and lead her transition team. “Carl has demonstrated the ability to work with multiple stakeholders, and his knowledge combined with his experience will be an asset to my administration.” Said General-Elect Rutledge.

Cory Cox currently serves as the Deputy Chief Counsel of the Department of Human Services.  Prior to that he was Staff Attorney and Legislative Affairs Liaison for Land Commissioner John Thurston. His legislative experience includes work as Deputy Chief Counsel for Governor Mike Huckabee and serving as his Legislative Counsel during the 2003 Regular Session.

“I have worked with Cory over many years and value his understanding of the legislative process and his experience with legislators. He will provide leadership to my legislative team as we work with the Governor and General Assembly during the upcoming session.” Said General-Elect Rutledge.

Tags: Arkansas, Attorney General-Elect, Leslier Rtutledge, two senior staff, Carl Vogelpohl, Chief of Staff, Cory Cox, Legislative Director To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Spending Agreement Includes Boozman Provision to ‘Keep the Promise’ to Veterans

Spending Agreement Includes Boozman Provision to ‘Keep the Promise’ to Veterans
WASHINGTONU.S. Senator John Boozman, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, applauded the bicameral, bipartisan spending agreement that includes a provision that protects veterans’ benefits from government spending lapses by providing advance funding.

“Arkansas veterans deserve certainty for the programs, services and benefits they earned and depend on. Preventing disability compensation, pension and GI Bill benefits from being used as a political football during budget fights is the right thing to do for our veterans so interruptions in services can be avoided. I’m grateful for the efforts of veterans service organizations that have been instrumental in pushing this provision. I remain committed to making sure Congress keeps the promise made to our veterans for their service,” Boozman said.

Current law provides one-year advance funding for the Veterans Health Administration. This provision will expand advance funding for the Veterans Benefits Administration which administers compensation, pensions, readjustment benefits and insurance.

The language included in the spending bill comes from the Putting Veterans Funding First Act, legislation introduced by Boozman and Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK). The senators introduced the legislation in May of 2013 because of the way that veterans were being negatively impacted by delays to the annual appropriations process and the lack of a long-term funding plan. 

“It is my hope that a change in leadership within the U.S. Senate will bring with it a return to responsible governance that includes passing appropriations bills in a timely manner and long-term planning but I have ensured that our veterans will be cared for no matter what occurs,” Boozman said.

Tags: IU.S., Senator, John Boozman, Arkansas, spending agreement, Keep the promise, to Veterans, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Gov.-elect Asa Hutchinson Replacing Director of Arkansas Department of Workforce Services

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — Gov.-elect Asa Hutchinson will replace the director of the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services

Director Artee Williams says in a news release Tuesday that he's been informed Hutchinson will make a change in leadership at the state agency that offers products, services and programs for employers and to those seeking a job.

Williams was originally appointed ADWS director by Gov. Mike Huckabee in March 2004. He was reappointed by Gov. Mike Beebe in 2007.

Williams has asked department employees to support the new governor and the new director and said he will spend time with his family, traveling and pursuing other opportunities.

Tags: Asa Hutchinson, replacing, Director, Arkansas Department, Workforce Services, Artee Williams To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Bipartisan Effort to Ensure Protections for Work-Learning-Service College Programs

Congressmen Danny K. Davis and Tim Griffin Lead Bipartisan Effort
to Ensure Protections for Work-Learning-Service College Programs

WASHINGTON – On December 3, 2014, Congressmen Danny K. Davis (D-IL) and Tim Griffin (R-AR) introduced bipartisan legislation, H.R. 5787, to ensure tax protections for students attending colleges that require students to participate in a comprehensive work-learning-service program as an integral part of the institution’s educational program.

The conundrum of how best to integrate work and education is as old as the notion of higher education itself.  The Work Colleges – seven higher education institutions in middle America all based on promoting the purposeful integration of work, learning, and service – include Alice Lloyd College in Pippa Passes, Kentucky; Berea College in Berea, Kentucky; Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois; College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri; Ecclesia College in Springdale, Arkansas; Sterling College in Craftsbury Common, Vermont; and Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina.

Work Colleges are narrowly defined in higher education law, and the majority of Work Colleges administered work-learning programs long before Congress created the Federal Work-Study Program in 1964.  Given the fundamental role of work in the academic program and the requirement that all students complete work-learning-service programs, tax statute and regulations for decades have distinguished income earned via work-and-learn programs from that earned via work study and research or teaching assistantships.  Although IRS rulings continue to recognize this exemption narrowly for Work Colleges due to the unique circumstances of their work-learning-service programs, the Internal Revenue Code should be clearer about these protections.

Congressman Davis said, “Work Colleges, such as Blackburn College in Illinois, are attractive, accessible, affordable, liberal arts colleges. I am pleased to join with my colleague from Arkansas to lead legislation that clarifies that credits and payments to students as part of these distinctive work-learning-service programs constitute scholarship aid, not wages.  As per regulations, this exemption applies only to part-time work as a condition of an integrated work-learning-service curriculum, not to voluntary work on campus.”

Congressman Griffin noted, “As the costs to pay for college continue to skyrocket, we must work to implement smart reforms that make college more affordable, and Work Colleges have been successful in providing students with means to earn a college degree while reducing their student debt.  I’m proud to introduce this bill with Mr. Davis to clarify that tuition and payments to students under ‘work and learn’ programs do not constitute wages so that Work Colleges like Ecclesia College remain an attractive, affordable educational option for students.”

John Comerford, President of Blackburn College, noted, "Blackburn College is the most affordable independent college in Illinois, even offering free tuition to the neediest students.  This is only possible because our students work on campus to earn a substantial portion of their tuition.  This tax provision would ensure these earnings will not be lost to taxes by ensuring the Work Program is recognized for what it is - a scholarship program".
Oren Paris, President of Ecclesia College, stated, "Ecclesia College has the lowest debt upon graduation of any college in Arkansas. Our students learn to help perform the essential functions of the college which substantially lowers the net cost for their education. Our whole life approach of intentionally integrating work with learning proves effective in preparing students for gainful employment, warranting the scholarships granted."

Immediately following the introduction of the bill the National Association of Independent College and Universities, American Council on Education, and the Council of Independent Colleges voiced their support.

Tags: Rep. Rim Griffin, R-AR, Danny K. Davis, D-IL, bipartisan effort, proect, work-learning service, college programs To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.