Monday, August 31, 2015

A Push for Government Accountability At The Veterans Administration

Intro note by Rep French Hill, (R-AR-2) Most importantly, this bill helps veterans. It also gives the taxpayer a level of comfort that their money will be used effectively and protects the reputation of the hundreds of thousands of honest and decent people at VA who excel at their job and work tirelessly to care for our veterans. Make no mistake about it, the majority of people who work at VA fit that description.

The veterans of Central Arkansas are fortunate to have one of the top facilities in the entire country in our state. The Eugene J. Towbin Healthcare Center, more commonly known as Fort Roots, is populated by some of the hardest working, innovative, and dedicated employees VA has to offer.

The mental health care our local veterans receive from Fort Roots has received national attention for its innovation. The management, doctors, and rank-and-file employees work tirelessly to give veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury a chance for rehabilitation.

The Federal Government Fails at Accountability by Congressman French Hill

As a former executive in private business, I know firsthand the true value of accountability in the workplace. The success of any operation—whether it is in the private sector or in government—is dependent upon the employees and management being held to the highest standards for ethics, excellence, and customer service.

While the private sector excels at this, the federal government often fails miserably. And, there is seemingly no federal agency less committed to accountability than the one charged with providing care and benefits to our veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) continues to make headlines for negligence, data manipulation, corruption, and failure to carry out its overall mission. Last year, with the help of substantial whistleblower testimony, congressional oversight and the VA Office of the Inspector General (VAOIG) revealed that 110 VA facilities were using “secret wait lists” to manipulate wait times for veterans seeking care from the VA healthcare system. Per the VAOIG, in Phoenix alone, the use of “secret wait lists” contributed to the deaths of 40 veterans.

The new VA hospital in Denver is more than $1 billion over budget. The $1.73 billion price tag that rests on the taxpayers’ shoulders is more than five times the original cost estimate. Earlier this year in Little Rock, we were exposed to a less disturbing, but equally perplexing, construction management failure when it was revealed VA spent $8 million to install solar panels that it never connected and then removed for a parking deck that was planned prior to the panels’ installation.

Despite these damning revelations, it took VA over a year to fire a single employee in connection with the “secret wait lists,” and there has been virtually no accountability for these major construction blunders.

You would be hard pressed to find an executive in the private sector who wouldn’t immediately identify and remove the employees responsible for such incompetence and mismanagement. Any company that would fail to do so would quickly lose the confidence of its investors and customers and go out of business.

In July 2014, in response to the major healthcare scandal, Congress passed the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act (VA Choice Act). The VA Choice Act gave VA the explicit authority to send veterans out of the VA system to receive healthcare if they are unable to secure an appointment at a VA medical facility within 30 days or reside more than 40 miles from the nearest VA medical facility.

This monumental reform bill provided VA $10 billion to cover the costs of the increased access to non-VA care and a multitude of other additional resources needed to provide timely access to healthcare. This past July, a year after the VA Choice Act was signed into law, VA officials returned to Congress to request $3 billion to cover a funding shortfall for the VA healthcare system. This is just inexcusable.

If a lack of funding were the issue, then VA’s failures would have ended a long time ago. Since this President took office six years ago, VA’s funding levels have increased roughly $70 billion.

While the budget at VA has skyrocketed, accountability has not, and the status quo at VA remains an embarrassing breach of the taxpayers trust, and more disastrously a breach of the veterans trust.

However, Congress is offering up a bipartisan solution this problem.

At the end of July, a bill that I cosponsored, H.R. 1994, the VA Accountability Act of 2015, passed the House. This bill is supported by all of the major Veterans Services Organizations and is designed for one purpose; to protect veterans from the bureaucrats who do not have their best interest at heart.

H.R. 1994 gives the VA Secretary the ability to fire or demote any employee based on performance and misconduct. If the President signs this bill into law, there will no longer be any excuse for the pervasive lack of accountability that has spread throughout this 330,000 person department.

Most importantly, this bill helps veterans. It also gives the taxpayer a level of comfort that their money will be used effectively and protects the reputation of the hundreds of thousands of honest and decent people at VA who excel at their job and work tirelessly to care for our veterans. Make no mistake about it, the majority of people who work at VA fit that description.

The veterans of Central Arkansas are fortunate to have one of the top facilities in the entire country in our state. The Eugene J. Towbin Healthcare Center, more commonly known as Fort Roots, is populated by some of the hardest working, innovative, and dedicated employees VA has to offer.

The mental health care our local veterans receive from Fort Roots has received national attention for its innovation. The management, doctors, and rank-and-file employees work tirelessly to give veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury a chance for rehabilitation.

Sadly, a large number of VA facilities don’t operate the same way as Fort Roots, and the mismanagement from Washington, D.C., and across the country has stunned veterans, Congress, and taxpayers.

Although, in order to ensure the proper care of our Nation’s heroes, Congress fulfilled VA’s request for the additional $3 billion, we did so through the transfer of interagency funds, which added no additional cost to taxpayers and instituted necessary reforms and additional congressional oversight of the VA’s budget. Congress has laid the groundwork at VA for a seismic cultural shift whereby any budget increases will be accompanied by equivalent increases in accountability standards.

It is now on the President and VA Secretary Bob McDonald to use every tool at their disposal to create an environment where all employees adhere to one simple mission: caring for veterans. All eyes are on them, watching and expecting to see change and concrete results.

Tags: Rep French Hill, R-AR-2. Government Accountability, The Veterans Administration, VA Secretary, Bob McDonald To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Members of the Arkansas Delegation Announce $8.5 Million in FAA Grants for Airport Improvements

WASHINGTON  - U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton, along with Congressmen Rick Crawford, French Hill, Steve Womack and Bruce Westerman today announced that 13 Arkansas airports will receive $8.5 million from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to support facility upgrades and expansions.

"Airports are important to growth and development in Arkansas communities.  Investments to our infrastructure will better serve the economic needs of our state and facilitate commerce and job creation,” members said.
The airports receiving funding are as follows:
Batesville: Batesville Regional Airport will receive $438, 971 to extend its taxiways to provide more aircraft parking.

Bentonville: Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport will receive $3,498,120 to expand the apron by 11,000 square yards to meet FAA design standards.

Bentonville: Bentonville Municipal/Louise M Thaden Field Airport will receive $91,064 to remove obstructions in a runway.

Crossett: Z M Jack Stell Field will receive $187,677 to rehabilitate the runway and install navigation aids.

Hot Springs: Memorial Field will receive $38,000 to study options to improve an airport runway.

Little Rock: Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport will receive $720,000 to update its master plan to show current and future needs of the airport.

North Little Rock: North Little Rock Municipal Airport will receive $647,146 to install a new taxiway lighting system.

Marshall: Searcy County Airport will receive $175,860 to rehabilitate the apron.

Mount Ida: Bearce Airport will receive $292,000 to install perimeter fencing and remove obstructions in the runway.

Osceola: Osceola Municipal Airport will receive $157,500 to update the facility’s master plan and address future development needs.

Piggott: Piggott Municipal Airport will receive $90,900 to improve runway safety to be in compliance with FAA design standards.

Rogers: Rogers Municipal-Carter Field will receive $1,975,201 to rehabilitate the apron.

West Memphis: West Memphis Municipal Airport will receive $249,236 to update its master plan to reflect current and future needs of the airport. 

Tags: IArkansas Delegation, FAA Grants Airport Improvements To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Taxing Food To Pay For Obamacare Medicaid Expansion?

by Conduit for Action:  The discussion now taking place in the state of >Utah will soon be the discussion in Arkansas! How to pay for the state share of Obamacare Medicaid Expansion? In Arkansas this Obamacare program is currently called the “Private Option.”

6629120915_556a318093_b The Salt Lake Tribune says the Utah Hospital Association has proposed bringing back the tax on food in order to pay Utah’s share of Medicaid Expansion. Like Arkansas, Utah recently cut its sales tax rate on food. Although Greg Bell the CEO of the Utah Hospital Association says there has not been receptivity to the idea, the Tribune says some Utah legislators are floating the idea.

Utah is trying to come up with an estimated $78 million to pay Utah’s share of a Medicaid expansion covering 126,500 people.  Arkansas has a much larger program than Utah, covering approximately 250,000 people. (Medicaid Expansion primarily serves able bodied working age adults with no children and about 40% of the eligible enrollees do not work at all.)  A group of Utah legislators called the “Gang of Six” have a different funding proposal. They are "trying to get providers like the doctors and hospitals to agree to bear most of the costs of the expanded coverage.” It would be ironic if Arkansas followed this approach, because Arkansas Obamacare supporters were able to drum up support by claiming Medicaid Expansion would save hospitals. – a claim that appears unsubstantiated, other than to show the program provides additional revenue to hospitals.

The Utah hospitals see Obamacare Medicaid Expansion as such a good deal for them that they are already willing to pay $25 million of the $78 million cost.

Bell, who was Herbert’s lieutenant governor, said the hospitals have agreed to pay $25 million of the cost, but there are concerns about what happens if enrollment in the program — and the costs associated with it — are higher than expected.

“We would rather it be a dollar amount and then have a safety valve that it expands 15 percent, but once it’s greater than 15 or 20 percent, then you have to, ‘Come and let us reason together,’ and decide, are we going to keep doing this or scale it back?” Bell said.[i]
When Arkansas gets to the funding stage, do you think Arkansas taxpayers will be on the losing end of the business deal?

Finding a way to fund Medicaid Expansion is likely to produce many ideas, painful ideas.  Maybe even some wild-eyed ideas like the letter to the editor in Utah that proposed funding the program by imposing a gun registration fees and requiring gun owners to have insurance, which would also be taxed .[ii] The question is: What crazy ideas will come up in Arkansas.

Arkansas’ governor and legislature appear to be on the verge of tweaking and continuing Obamacare Medicaid Expansion. Before the legislature passes a law to continue Medicaid Expansion, don’t you think they should tell us what services they are going to cut or what taxes they will raise to support the liberal big government program?

[i] http://www.sltrib.com/news/2888322-155/taxing-food-one-option-being-floated

[ii] http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/2860509-155/letter-charge-gun-fees-to-cover

Tags: Conduit for Action, Arkansas, Taxing Food, to pay for, Obamacare Medical Expansion To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Army Saves Arkansas Taxpayers $87 Million

by Caleb Taylor, The Arkansas Project: The federal government actually did Arkansas state taxpayers a favor this week — when it decided not to award Lockheed Martin a federal contract to build Joint Light Tactical Vehicles in Camden.

From the Associated Press:
"Arkansas officials expressed disappointment Tuesday that a military vehicle assembly contract they had hoped to lure with an $87 million incentive package is going to another state.

"The Army announced that it is awarding the contract for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle to Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Corp. The contract is valued at $6.75 billion. Lockheed Martin was among three companies competing for the project, which it intended to build at its Camden facility in southern Arkansas. Indiana-based AM General also competed for the project.

"The Arkansas Legislature in May approved issuing bonds if Lockheed won the project. Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he believed lawmakers did the right thing by approving the incentive package he proposed.'There is no doubt that we were competitive in terms of price, our workforce is second to none, and I remain very grateful for Lockheed Martin’s investment and confidence in our Camden facility,'the Republican governor said in a statement. That investment will pay off in the long term.

"State officials have said the project would have brought 600 new jobs to Arkansas. It would have been the second time the state issued bonds under a 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment aimed at helping land major economic deals. Lawmakers two years ago approved $125 million in bonds for a steel mill under construction in east Arkansas."
As we’ve noted previously, state officials claimed this “economic development” project would bring 600 new jobs to the Camden area. If you divide the project cost of $87 million by the estimated 600 new jobs, that gives us a price tag of $145,000 in taxpayer dollars per new job from the project.

After the legislature almost unanimously passed a bill to give an $87 million handout to Lockheed Martin if our state’s plant was awarded the contract, we then found out that Lockheed Martin was going to build the project in Camden irrespective of whether they got the $87 million in state taxpayer dollars or not.

In other words, it was never really explained why Arkansas needed to give a major corporation like Lockheed Martin millions of dollars of taxpayer money. Luckily, taxpayers won’t be on the hook for the project, as the Army gave Wisconsin’s Oshkosh Corporation the contract.

Tags: crony capitalism, Lockheed Martin, United States Army, arkansas, taxpayers, saved $87 million, Caleb Taylor, The Arkansas Project  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Governor Orders Flags at Half-Staff in Memory of Vietnam Vet & MIA Major Dale W. Richardson

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has issued a proclamation ordering the United States flag and the flag of the State of Arkansas to be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Saturday, August 29, 2015. Flags are to be lowered as a tribute to the memory of Major Dale W. Richardson and as an expression of public sorrow.

Major Dale W. Richardson was born on May 5, 1941 in Stone County, Arkansas. He was killed in action on May 2, 1970, while flying a mission over South Vietnam on a UH-1H helicopter. Major Richardson joined the United States Army in 1961 and worked on secret defense contingency plans at the height of the Cold War. He made the ultimate sacrifice three days before his 29th birthday and was listed as MIA with two others until their remains were found together near the crash site and identified in January 2015.

Governor Hutchinson released the following statement:

“The United States flag and the Arkansas flag will be lowered to half-staff tomorrow in memory of Major Dale W. Richardson, whose courage and sacrifice honor us all. I extend my deepest sympathy to Major Richardson’s family and loved ones as he is finally laid to rest on American soil. We join together to remember him and to commemorate his bravery, his service and his sacrifice for our state and for this great nation.”Click HERE for the full proclamation

Tags: Flags, half-mast, Vietnam Vet, MIA, Major Dale Richardson To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Column: Big Business in the Outdoors

LITTLE ROCK - Governor Hutchinson's weekly radio address can be found HERE. Text Follows:

Some folks say Arkansas is a football state, or a Razorback state. In Northeast Arkansas, they may say we’re a Red Wolves state. During the winter, we may be a basketball state.

But you know what Arkansas ALWAYS is? We are always an outdoors state. We are always a hunting and fishing state.

I was reminded of that again last Sunday at the weigh-in for the Forrest Wood Cup, a bass-fishing tournament on Lake Ouachita named for Arkansas’s own outdoors legend, Forrest Wood of Flippin. By inventing Ranger Boats, Forrest changed fishing in Arkansas and helped change the economy of this state.

You could see the result last weekend. The tournament is a BIG event. It has been called the Super Bowl of bass fishing. But judging by the enthusiasm I saw at the weigh-in, that may be giving the Super Bowl a little too much credit.

Consider these numbers from this terrific four-day event:

• Total attendance was 63,408, including an overflow crowd in the arena for the final weigh-in.

• Visitors came from at least 39 states and three countries.

• The final-day show was sold out, with 146 exhibitors filling the Hot Springs Convention Center.

• This was the fourth Forrest Wood Cup held in Hot Springs — a record for any city — and no doubt it won’t be the last.

All told, the tournament could have a direct economic impact of $6 million on the Hot Springs area. Once the dollars make their way through the economy, it could add up to an impact of between $20 million and $30 million.

Fishing is big business. But if you live in Arkansas, you already knew that. Besides our people, our greatest resources are our natural resources. We are a wonderland for outdoorsmen, for hikers and bikers, for anyone who wants to enjoy God’s awe-inspiring handiwork.

We often market Arkansas as a great place to live and work, a great place to start a business — and that it is — but don’t forget that we’re also a great place to play.

The folks in Hot Springs understand. Their city remains the No. 1 tourism destination in the state because of its natural attractions and events. So far this calendar year, hospitality tax collections are up 7 percent in the Spa City — and that bodes well for all of Arkansas.

Tourism is the No. 2 industry in Arkansas, and events like the Forrest Wood Cup have a very positive impact on the economy of our state. Whether it’s a bass fishing tournament in Hot Springs; the Bikes, Blues and Barbecue weekend in Fayetteville; or the blues festival in Helena, Arkansas’s special events attract visitors from all over the world.

And once we get ’em here, once they see everything that Arkansas has to offer, they come back. Again and again.

Tags: IArkansas, Governor Hutchinson, weekly column, Big Business, in the Outdoors To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Sen. Boozman & Rep Hill Statements on Injunction Against EPA’s WOTUS Rule

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) today praised U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson in North Dakota for granting a preliminary injunction requested by Arkansas and twelve other states against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule.

“This injunction comes just in time as the EPA’s overreaching rule was slated to go into effect today. Thankfully, Judge Erickson recognized that this mandate goes well beyond the scope of the Clean Water Act and its implementation carries ‘the risk of irreparable harm to the states.’

This is an important first step in the legal battle and I commend Attorney General Rutledge for her leadership in this case. I know she is committed to seeing this fight through to the end. Our Congressional delegation is as well. While the legal battles continue, my colleagues and I are pursuing legislative fixes to the mess the EPA has created.

During my agriculture tour last week, Arkansans regularly spoke of the devastating effects WOTUS would have on their personal property rights. They see this as yet another abuse of executive authority by President Obama. Arkansans don’t need bureaucrats in Washington telling them how to use their land. We can do this best by protecting the role of states, local communities and private citizens to be a part of the process, instead of giving all power to Washington.”


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman French Hill (AR-2) released the following statement after the U.S. District Court of North Dakota granted a preliminary injunction against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule, which was scheduled to go into effect this week:

“This Administration has consistently exceeded its authority and ignored input from relevant stakeholders when making crucial decisions affecting the American people and our economy. In the case of the WOTUS rule, our state and local communities know best how to regulate and manage our natural resources. Judge Erickson’s injunction is an important first step in stopping this regulatory overreach from causing major economic harm to farmers and ranchers in Arkansas and across America.”

Tags: U.S., Senator, John Boozman, Rep. French Hill, injuction, EPA WOTUS Rule To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Boozman Bulletin: Arkansas Agriculture Tour

by Sen, John Boozman: Arkansas Agriculture Tour

Agribusiness is critical to Arkansas. One out of every six jobs in Arkansas is tied to the industry making it aleading economic engine in our state. To be serious about job creation in Arkansas, we must be in tune with the needs of the agriculture economy and our rural communities. Washington’s decisions on agriculture policy dramatically impact our state’s economy. As a member of Congress, I'm committed to staying in touch with the needs of our farmers, ranchers, processors and foresters.

That’s why I conduct an annual Agriculture Tour. Last week I traveled across the state meeting with family farmers, facility managers, agriculture researchers and others who make their living growing, processing and securing our supply of food and fiber.

This year’s tour was extremely beneficial as there are a lot of important issues facing the agriculture community that Arkansas producers were eager to discuss including the farm bill, the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, school nutrition and country of origin labeling (COOL).
Above left: Joe Thrash gave me a tour of his Perry County farm. Recent flooding impacted Thrash's soybean farm. Above right: I ate lunch with students at Wooster Elementary School in Greenbrier. The Senate Ag Committee will debate the reauthorization of child nutrition programs next month. I talked with school administrators about the importance of child nutrition programs like the national school lunch program, my bill to reform the summer meal program and the challenges the school's program faces. 

Read more about my Ag Tour: 
Talk Business -  Sen. Boozman: Agriculture, Iran, Highways On Minds Of Residents
Ag Watch Network - Boozman Fights Rural Hunger on Annual Ag Tour
Log Cabin Democrat - Boozman addresses Country of Origin Labeling during Faulkner County agricultural tour
Pine Bluff Commercial - Grady Lions Club Catfish Supper attracts crowd

Tags: U.S., Senator, John Boozman, Arkansas, Agriculture, tour To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Arkansas Gets $15 Million Federal Grant For New Veterans Home

Deteriorating Veterans Home, Little Rock, AR
Congressman French Hill (R-AR-2): Arkansas will receive a $15 million grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs to help fund construction of a new veterans home in North Little Rock, U.S. Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton, both R-Ark., and U.S. Rep. French Hill, R-Little Rock, announced Wednesday.

“This grant will help construct a new, state-of-the-art facility for our aging veterans,” Cotton said in a news release. “Our men and women in uniform put their lives on the line in defense of our freedom. They deserve the very best care, no matter their stage in life.”

Boozman said, “Ensuring that Arkansas veterans receive the care they have earned is an important investment in our state. I remain committed to making sure our nation keeps its promise to our veterans for their service and sacrifice.”

Hill said, “Central Arkansas is home to many aging veterans that need constant and specialized care. I encourage the completion of this project in a quick and efficient manner so we can improve our ability to provide our veterans with the health-care services they need and deserve.”

A groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the planned $24 million Central Arkansas Veterans Home was held July 29. The home is expected to open in late 2016 or early 2017.

The 96-bed home will replace the Arkansas Veterans Home in Little Rock, which fell into disrepair before being closed in November 2012.

When the new home opens, Arkansas will again have two state veterans homes. The other is in Fayetteville and houses about 112 people.

Tags: New Veterans Home, North Little Rock, AR, Federal grant, Arkansas Delegation, Arkansas, Department of Veterans Affairs, Old Veterans Home To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Economic Freedom—When to say “enough”?

Governor Hutchinson believes it is more beneficial to Arkansans over a ten year period to retain 220,000 to 250,000 able-bodied non-working Arkansans from ages 20 to 65 on welfare for each of those ten years. We respectfully disagree.

by Brenda Vassaur Taylor, Conduit for Commerce:
Welfare StateThis week Governor Asa Hutchinson put forth his “Seven Elements[i] on why the Arkansas legislature should continue to expand Medicaid under his “newly” designed seven conservative tweaks. But as a fiscal conservative, should we continue Medicaid expansion? The answer is a resounding “No!” We encourage our legislators to stop now. Arkansas has had all the Obamacare Medicaid expansion free money it can afford?” Make no mistake, this optional program that our Governor is promoting IS Obamacare for the state!

If you think we are just holding firm to a worn out position, let the Governor’s own numbers speak for us.

Three Points by the Numbers!
  • The benefits to Medicaid expansion in Arkansas are behind us.
  • HCIP endangers Medicaid for our most venerable and helpless while supporting others.
  • Continuing to expand Medicaid is clearly a policy which fails to pass our CFC Economic Freedom Filter test.
***
First: The benefits to Medicaid expansion in Arkansas are behind us.
The key to the Governor’s argument to support the continuation of Medicaid to one-third of the Arkansas population[ii] appears to be found in the last line of his chart used in his speech titled Impact of Arkansas Health Care Independence Program (HCIP) on State Spending. [iii]

According to the Governor’s own numbers, he projects a $911.5 million net overall benefit to the Arkansas economy over a period from 2014 through 2023. We note the following taken from his chart as the most compelling points in assessing his program:
During 2014-2016:
  • Arkansas receives 44% of the total 10 year benefits and pays 1% of the total 10 year costs while the Federal government pays $3.2 billion.
During 2017-2020:
  • Arkansas receives 47% of the total 10 year benefits and pays 39% of the total 10 year costs while the Federal government pays $6.96 billion.
During 2021-2023:
  • Arkansas receives 9% of the total 10 year benefits and pays 60% of the total 10 year costs while the Federal government pays $6.15 billion.
The above summary may be helpful. But specific details from the Governor’s Chart are better understood when examining specific numbers as referenced below:
10 Years Total Benefits to AR (Net Impact of AR HCIP) Total Direct Costs to AR (State Required Match plus Admin Costs) Benefit to AR Exceeding Direct Costs Cost to Fed Govt (Influx of Federal Funds)
Dollars Percent Dollars Percent Dollars Dollars
2014-2016 403 Million 44% 7 Million 1% 396 Million 3.2 Billion
2017-2020 429 Million 47% -452 Million 39% -23 Million 6.96 Billion
2021-2023 79 Million 9% -692 Million 60% -613 Million 6.15 Billion
Totals 911 Million 100% -1.151 Billion 100% -240 Million 16.33 Billion

It is obvious from an examination of these numbers that benefits received during years 2014-2016 are irrelevant to the issues at hand.

The only relevant information when deciding whether to continue to expand Medicaid is—“What do the benefits and costs to Arkansas look like after 2016?” During the last three years of those noted by our governor, these numbers show benefits after 2020 of $79 million to our state while costing us $692 million.

Others may want to argue that when considering the benefits, we must also include the savings gained to Arkansas by our reducing payments for the vulnerable and more-needy in our state under traditional Medicaid; the savings from uncompensated care; and the added tax revenue from the premium fees charged insurance companies (which are actually paid by the taxpayers as well since the non-profit insurance companies are guaranteed a 20% profit on the gross revenues). But those claimed off-setting figures in no way mitigate the clear trend downward as we struggle to support one million people on the government life-boat.

From the Governor’s own numbers, years 2017 forward chart an undeniably dangerous fiscal future for Arkansas (as well as for our Federal government.) Clearly the benefits to this program are behind us.

Second: HCIP endangers Medicaid for our most vulnerable and helpless while supporting others.

From the column of totals from the Governor’s full chart referenced above, we observe the following:
  1. HCIP takes $666 million away from the historically vulnerable and needy under traditional Medicaid to pay $1.15 billion in state money for 250,000 able-bodied adults who work less than full-time and have no dependent children;
  2. It saves money given to hospitals for uncompensated care in the amount of $362 million (a system the Governor stated had been dismantled under HCIP);
  3. Collects $378 million in new taxes from insurance companies (being 2.5% of the total premiums paid to the insurance companies by the state) which means the state will have paid insurance companies $15.12 billion over that 10 year period);
  4. Cost the Federal Government $16.4 billion over the same 10 years to support this welfare expansion. (Note that 15.12 Billion of this goes to insurance companies.)
Third: A policy which continue to expand Medicaid does not pass the CFC Economic Freedom Filter test.

Conduit for Commerce is not supportive of the Governor’s position to continue Medicaid expansion due to three simple facts regarding his proposal:
  • It grows state and federal government—which have already proven to be inefficient and ineffective when exercising control over our health care, a vital piece to our economic freedom (with examples too numerous to mention);
  • It adds to government dependency by adding/maintaining at least 250,000 able-bodied adults to the Medicaid welfare rolls, most of whom do not work full-time and are mostly without dependent children, while simultaneously taking away needed dollars from Arkansas’ needy and vulnerable (the poor, children 19 and under, disabled, and elderly—on our state’s traditional Medicaid);
  • It spends money we do not have—costs to our Federal government–$16.4 billion over 10 years. Currently the federal government is in excess of 18 trillion dollars in debt. This money therefore will come either from additional taxes on all Federal taxpayers or will be borrowed from our potential enemies.
Conclusion:
PLATE - THREE -3Governor Hutchinson believes it is more beneficial to Arkansans over a ten year period to retain 220,000 to 250,000 able-bodied non-working Arkansans from ages 20 to 65 on welfare for each of those ten years. We respectfully disagree.

Using Governor Hutchinson’s own numbers, Arkansas should not pursue the continuation of Medicaid expansion after 2016. To do otherwise will solidly entrench at least 250,000 able-bodied Arkansans into a welfare system they will have every reason to expect must continue….no matter how unsustainable by the taxpayers of Arkansas.

It is our belief that this continued policy of Obamacare Medicaid expansion will permanently move us away from our hopes of returning to a Land of Opportunity and permanently crown us: “Arkansas–the Welfare State.”

[i] See attachment –Governor Asa Hutchinson handouts to his speech August 19, 2015 regarding HCIP
[ii] Arkansas has a total population of 3 million people with one million now enrolled on Medicaid since the 2014 HCIP expansion according to numbers of enrollment reported by DHS.
[iii] See attachment -Governor Asa Hutchinson handouts to his speech August 19, 2015 — HCIP

Tags: Arkansas, Economic Freedom When to say enough, Conduit for Commerce, Brenda Vassaur Taylor,Obamacare medical expansion, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Governor Hutchinson Selects Howard Brill as Chief Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court

Gov. Asa Hutchinson (left) and Howard Brill
LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has appointed Howard Brill as the next Chief Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court, following the retirement of Jim Hannah, effective on September 1. Hannah’s current term is set to expire at the end of 2016.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement:
“Howard Brill has the respect of the Arkansas bar, the judges and the legal community in general. Because of his fine mind and reputation, he has the capability of bringing the court together and elevating the court in everything it does. I have known Professor Brill for more than three decades, and he is the one that lawyers seeking guidance call. He’s the one that judges seeking wise counsel call. He’s a legal scholar, he’s respected nationally and internationally, and he’s a great communicator. That’s a good combination for the court.”
Brill currently works at the University of Arkansas’s School of Law. He has been at the School of Law since 1975 and is the first Vincent Foster Professor of Legal Ethics & Professional Responsibility. Brill teaches professional responsibility, remedies, civil procedure and domestic relations, as well as special topics courses on “Baseball and the Law” and Arkansas Constitutional Law.

Professor Brill graduated from Duke University in 1965 and taught English language and African literature as a Peace Corps volunteer in Sokoto, Northern Nigeria. In 1970, Brill earned his J.D. from the University of Florida Law School, where he was the editor-in-chief of the Florida Law Review, and later earned an LL.M. from the University of Illinois in 1979. He has taught at the Universities of Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee, in addition to practicing with a small firm in Rock Island, Illinois. In connection with the School of Law's summer programs, Brill has taught in Cambridge, England, and St. Petersburg, Russia. Additionally, Professor Brill has taught comparative Constitutional Law and Legal Ethics at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania.

His publications include The Law of Damages in Arkansas (6th edition) and Arkansas Professional and Judicial Ethics (8th edition). He served on former Governor Bill Clinton's Commission on Ethics and former Governor Jim Guy Tucker's Ethics Task Force. Along with other court and bar association committees, Brill has served on the Professional Ethics & Grievances Committee of the Arkansas Bar and the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee. He prepares advisory ethical opinions for attorneys and judges and has served as a Special Associate Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court on several occasions.

From 1995 to 2010, Professor Brill served as the University of Arkansas’s Faculty Athletics Representative to the NCAA and the Southeastern Conference. Brill served as the interim dean of the School of Law during the 2005-2006 academic year. He is the faculty adviser to the University of Arkansas Christian Legal Society.

Howard Brill and his wife Katherine have three children, Christian, Elizabeth and Andrew.

Tags: Arkansas, Governor, Asa Hutchinson, Howard Brill, Chief Justice, Arkansas Supreme Court To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Hill Announces HUD Waste Latest Golden Fleece Award Winner

Washington, D.C. - This week, Congressman French Hill (AR-02) announced his fourth winner of the Golden Fleece “dishonor” award to Sec. Julian Casto, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

This month, Hill is giving the Golden Fleece award to HUD for wasting $104.4 million to support thousands of over-income families in public housing units throughout the United States.

Hill noted an Inspector General report that showed while families over the income threshold held inexpensive public housing for decades, eligible low-income families remained on public housing waiting lists.

In one case that was investigated, a four-person household in New York receiving an annual salary of nearly $500,000 — over seven times the amount of the low-income threshold — lives in taxpayer-subsidized public housing, while over 300,000 families sit on the waiting list.

“It just doesn’t pass the common sense smell test that Arkansans are good at understanding,” Hill said. “HUD’s policy is once again showing an insensitivity to the people who really need their assistance to get back on their feet and have a safe place for their family.”

Hill said he expects there will be hearings on the matter when Congress returns this fall. Until then, he hopes the Golden Fleece award will draw attention to the matter.

hill said, “I hope the Golden Fleece is another way to call for change in their existing policy.”

Tags: U.S. Representative, French Hill, Golden Fleece Winner, Department of Housing and Urban Development, HUD, wasting $104.4 million, over-income families, public housing, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Arkansas Obamacare – Federal Dollars You Owe To China

by Conduit for Action: On Wednesday (8/19/2015) in Little Rock a 7-Point Plan was proposed for Arkansas to keep Obamacare Medicaid Expansion (currently called “Private Option). The Obamacare program was++ touted as bringing between $1.4 billion to $1.7 billion a year into Arkansas’ economy.

That is especially good news if you are a big insurance company that gets a cut of the Obamacare money.

Before you start counting your federal money, please remember the money from the federal government comes from you the taxpayer. Well it used to be that way, but due to the size of the debt you now also pass the debt on to future generations. Congratulations we also get to pay interest on the debt.

The national debt is an outrageous $18.3 trillion. The country that holds the biggest portion of the U.S. debt is the Communist nation of China.

Yet, when Arkansas adopts federal programs in order to grab money from the federal government, we don’t care about the U.S. debt. When California grabs the big federal money they don’t care about the federal debt either. Same with Michigan, Illinois, New York, etc.

Tags: Arkansas, Obamacare, medicaid expansion, debt, interest, to China, Conduit for Congress To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Bombs Supplied by Iran . . .

U.S Senator Tom Cotton's "graphic" comment on Iran Nuclear Deal.

AP Reveals Text Of Secret Side Deal That Lets Iran Inspect Its Own Site At Parchin . . . 
. . . CNN Poll: 56% Say Congress Should Reject #BadIranDeal

ARRA News Service - We are less than 21 days until Congress makes the biggest decisions in decades–a potential nuclear deal with Iran. This is the greatest potential threat to our national security and must be stopped.

You know this is a #BadIranDeal. It doesn't stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Even if they abide by the deal, which is highly unlikely, we are merely kicking the can down the road and allowing them to develop nuclear weapons in 10-15 years, with the blessing of the world community. We must stop this bad deal.

The loss of anytime, anywhere inspections have crumbled the ability for the United States to enforce the deal. Iran will be notified 24-days before inspection of the inspection location and of the classified way we gathered intelligence of where to inspect. In the words of Prime Minister Netanyahu, "can you imagine giving a drug dealer 24 days’ notice before you inspect the premises?” We must stop this bad deal.

Unless Sec Kerry and President Obama get their way, our own State Department labels Iran as one of only three state-sponsors of terrorism. Their network of evil stretches far beyond the Middle East where they train, fund, and equip terrorist. An independent commission declared that Iran harbored and provided safe passage to the heinous terrorists that carried out the attacks on September 11th, 2001. What then will happen when we allow them to develop nuclear weapons and give them billions of dollars of sanction relief? We must stop this bad deal.

We must stop this bad deal. We must put pressure on Congress to reject this deal and prevent our children from inheriting a dangerous nuclearly-armed regime.

This deal guarantees that our children will inherit a nuclear Iran – one that already chants "death to America" in the streets and burns our flag.


ACTION ITEM: To view where your two Senators stand visit The Iran Scorecard." It identifies who is "On the Fence," who "Stands With Iran," and who "Stands With America."

Call your members of Congress right now at 202-224-3121. (Their staffs are working - Leave a message). Even if you have called before, call again. Discuss the following info and previously reported info on the Iran Nuke Deal Even if your representative or Senator has e already come out in favor of the deal, especially call them and express your anger over this sell out of America. If things continue on track, Iran will become capable of delivering nukes on America.

Tell them that they should not vote for any nuclear agreement that they have not fully read -- and they have not read these secret side deals. More importantly, they should not support any nuclear deal that allows Iran, given its history of deception, to self-inspect. Tell your senators and representative that Iran cannot be trusted. Tell them to oppose the Iranian nuclear deal. Then check out the names of Senators (all Democrats) still supporting this deal and call every friend or relative who lives in these Senators' states and beg them for the sake of future generations to Call their Senator.

Tags: Senator Tom Cotton, Iranian Nuclear bomb, Iran Nuclear Deal, Action Item, ARRA News Service To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Arkansas District 10 State Representative Mike Holcomb Changes Party Affiliation to Republican

Little Rock, AR--The Republican Party of Arkansas welcomed a new member today, State Representative Mike Holcomb of the Sulphur Springs community of Jefferson County. A press conference attended by Representative Holcomb, Governor Asa Hutchinson, House Majority Leader Ken Bragg, members of the General Assembly, and State Party Chairman Doyle Webb, was held at the Republican Party of Arkansas Headquarters in Little Rock today at 2:30 PM.

Republican Party Chairman Doyle Webb said Representative Holcomb has been met with “open arms”.

Ray King of the Pine Bluff Commercial reported Rep. Mike Holcombs remarks.

At the press conference, Holcomb, 64, said his opposition to abortion and gay marriage and his support for gun rights were factors in his decision. Holcomb, who represents District 10 — which includes portions of Jefferson, Lincoln, Cleveland, Grant and Drew counties — told The Commercial he was able to get elected in that district because of his “conservative, Christian values.”

“I believe a majority of the people in this state don’t want abortions, and they don’t want to recognize homosexual marriages,” Holcomb said. “The Democrats in Arkansas are not like Democrats nationwide, but when the chairman of the state Democratic Party praises the U.S. Supreme Court (for ruling to legalize gay marriages) and the Democratic Party caucus blasted the governor for not funding Planned Parenthood, that kind of drew a line in the sand for me.

“I could have either chosen not to run or to do what I did and that’s become a member of the Republican Party,” he said.

“The beliefs of the Democratic Party don’t fit my district,” Holcomb said. “I am not mad at anybody, but I believe the values that they (Republican Party) hold fit better for me and for my district.”

. . . In particular at the press conference, Holcomb cited Democratic opposition to Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s decision last week to cancel the state’s contract with Planned Parenthood following an anti-abortion group’s release of undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing providing human tissue to researchers for payment.

“The practices portrayed in those videos serve as a further motivation to stand against those who wish to kill and also to defend those who cannot defend themselves,” Holcomb said. “The Democratic Party of Arkansas unanimously was in opposition to the governor’s action, they stated at their last committee meeting, and has showed me that I cannot in good faith continue as a member of that party.”


Tags: Arkansas, District 10, Representative, Mike Holcomb, joins, Republican party, Lincoln, Cleveland, Grant, Drew, and Jefferson counties To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Ted Cruz's Arkansas Lleadership Team

Via Curtis Coleman, AR1TV: Sen. Ted Cruz has announced leaders in Arkansas for his presidential campaign.

Representative Bob Ballinger, State Co-Chair. Rep. Bob Ballinger is serving in his second term in the Arkansas House of Representatives. He represents District 97, which includes portions of Madison, Carrol, and Washington counties.

Marcela White, Arkansas Political Coordinator, Marcela White is a former Campaign Coordinator for Governor Asa Hutchinson and Arkansas Federation of Republican Women Board Member.

Curtis Coleman, Little Rock. Chairman at the Institute for Constitutional Policy, former Republican candidate for Governor of Arkansas.

Peggy Jeffries, Fort Smith. Former Arkansas State Senator who served from 1996 to 2000, Arkansas Contact for Eagle Forum, Former Arkansas RNC Committeewoman

Bishop Robert Smith, Little Rock. Founder of Total Outreach for Christ Ministries, Inc. and Word of Outreach Christian Center

Tami Greever, Little Rock. Executive Director of Team Coleman, which is focused on electing conservative, constitutional candidates statewide

Luke Helms, Russellville. Students for Cruz Arkansas

Diana Harton, Monticello. Chairwomen Drew County Republicans, President of Arkansas Republican County Chairman’s Association

Hunter Ray, Benton. Board Member of Arkansas for Education Freedom, Board Member of Arkansas Against Common Core

Mark Shaffer, Van Buren. Crawford County Republican Party Chairman

Neil White, Sebastian County. Veteran and business executive.


Tags: Ted Cruz, Arkansas, leadership team, presidential campaign To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Obamacare Groundhog Day in Arkansas – Again

by Conduit for Action: On Wednesday, August 19, 2015, Governor Asa Hutchinson announce a seven-point plan to keep Arkansas as an Obamacare Medicaid Expansion state. The program is currently called “Private Option”, but it looks like the program will get a new name and a face lift.

In 2013, the program was sold as being for working poor families but based on census data it is overwhelmingly for able bodied working age adults with no dependents, and 40% do not work at all. To address the program’s disincentive to work, the 7- point plan proposes to “refer” beneficiaries to work training. This is probably different from actually requiring work or requiring work training. The Obama administration has rejected work or training requirements: for example, Pennsylvania’s request was denied.

The cost analysis for Obamacare Medicaid Expansion presented Wednesday is much more optimistic than the projection given in 2013 by Optimus who were consultants for the Department of Human Services. The prediction given on Wednesday claims a saving until 2020 at which point the state would have to contribute $16 million and then the next few years the state would need to come up with $50 million to $60 million a year. Although the new projection is lower, it is not inconsequential to Arkansas’ balanced budget. For example, to balance the budget in 2015 the state cut assistance to some programs, including a $1 million cut from the support to area agencies on aging which has resulted in agencies looking to close several senior citizens centers in rural areas.

The proposal to continue Obamacare Medicaid Expansion was not unexpected.

The move tracks Act 47 of 2015 (SB96) which bought time for the Obamacare Medicaid Expansion. Although the Act was vigorously defended as a way to end the Private Option in December 2016, the Act specifically admitted the federal waiver would end then anyway. Act 46 paved the way for continuation of the Obamacare program by establishing a task force which has as its first listed duty – recommending a way to continue to cover the Obamacare Medicaid Expansion population in the future.

Tags: Conduit for Action ,Arkansas, Obamacare, Groundhog day To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Arkansas GOP Filing Fees & Contested State Races

Michael Wickline reported on Democrat and Republican upcoming candidate filling fees and positions up for elections.

Regarding the Republicans, Wickline detailed:The Republican Party of Arkansas' State Committee decided last month to keep its filing fees at previous levels, too.

The party's filing fee will be $25,000 for GOP presidential candidates, $20,000 for the U.S. Senate, $15,000 for the U.S. House, $7,500 for state Senate and $3,000 for the state House.

Seventeen Republicans have announced their candidacy for president, while five Democrats have said they are running for their party's nomination.

If all 17 Republicans file to run for president in Arkansas, that would raise presidential filing fees of $425,000 for the state GOP. Four Republican presidential candidates appeared on the 2012 ballot, raising $100,000.

Republican Party of Arkansas Chairman Doyle Webb has said he expects to raise a similar amount in filing fees in 2016 as in the past two election cycles "depending on the number of candidates filing."

The party raised about $650,000 in filing fees in 2012 and again in 2014, according to the party's political director, Isaac Foley.

The parties' filing period for state and federal offices will be from noon Nov. 2 until noon Nov. 9 at the state Capitol, according to the secretary of state's office.

The filing period is about four months earlier than usual because Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, in May signed into law a bill moving the state's 2016 primary election from May 24 to March 1. The shift will allow Arkansas to participate with several other Southern states in what the move's backers call the SEC presidential primary.

Other Southern states that plan to have a March 1 primary include Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Tennessee and Virginia. . . .

U.S. Sen. John Boozman, a Republican from Rogers, and the state's four Republican congressmen -- Reps. Steve Womack of Rogers, Rick Crawford of Jonesboro, Bruce Westerman of Hot Springs and French Hill of Little Rock -- are each seeking re-election in 2016. . . .

All 100 seats of the state House of Representatives and 17 of 35 seats in the state Senate also are up for grabs in next year's election.

The state House has 63 Republicans, 36 Democrats and an independent. The Senate is composed of 24 Republicans and 11 Democrats. Eleven of the 17 Senate seats to be contested in 2016 are held by Republicans and the other six are held by Democrats.

Tags: Arkansas, Republican, GOP, 2016 Election, Primary filing fees, contested positions, Michael Wickline To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Hill Statement on AG Rutledge's New Cooperative Disability Investigations Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman French Hill (AR-2) released the following statement after Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced the formation of the Cooperative Disability Investigations (CDI) Program:

“I am encouraged by Attorney General Rutledge’s willingness to take action locally on this important issue. As government continues to usher in a new era of increased accountability and smarter management of taxpayer resources, we need better cooperation between federal and state agencies to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse. The Attorney General’s announcement of the CDI program ensures we are taking steps to successfully investigate and root out fraud in Social Security disability benefits. I look forward to working with the state to support these efforts to protect taxpayer dollars and provide essential benefits to those individuals with disabilities that need and rely on them.”

Background:
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday announced the creation of the Arkansas Cooperative Disability Investigations Program. The new Little Rock-based unit will be paid for by the Social Security Administration and will investigate fraud and potential fraud in disability claims.

Officials said similar efforts already created in 24 other states and Puerto Rico are credited with saving $3.1 billion in Social Security programs and $1.9 billion in other initiatives, including Medicaid.

"I want to send a strong message that Arkansas and Arkansans will not tolerate fraud," Rutledge said. "We will not tolerate those who cheat the system and steal from those who deserve it."

State Sen. Missy Irvin, R-Mountain View, who Rutledge credited with helping bring the initiative to the state, noted Arkansas' rate of residents receiving disability benefits stands at around 11 percent, well above a national average under 7 percent.

Rutledge said the rate ranks Arkansas among the five states with highest per-capita disability claims received.

"With that high ranking also comes the probability that there are a number of those who are cheating the system and scamming the system," she said. "It's hard to go to a community and talk to folks there about fraud and abuse without someone saying to me, 'Well, let me tell you a story about someone receiving a check who doesn't qualify or doesn't deserve it.'"

Rutledge said investigators will look into "investigating questionable statements and activities of claimants, medical providers and third parties." She said investigations in other states, for example, turned up disability recipients who claimed not to be able to walk but were then spotted or captured on video out shopping or performing strenuous activities.

Hutchinson called the work an "important initiative" that will help ensure disability benefits go to those who need them.

"We've got to do better," he said. "We've got to protect the integrity of the program."

Tags: Rep French Hill, Arkansas, 2nd Congressional District, Attorney General, Leslie Rutledge, Cooperative Disability Investigations Program To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Understanding Supreme Court GLBT Decision & Arkansas Religious Freedom Act

by Debbie Pelly: The following announced meeting will be wonderful for helping explain how recent Supreme Court decisions can affect many areas of our lives and how we can protect our freedom to make decisions based on our religious beliefs. You do NOT want to miss this vital meeting. See flyer below with Representative Dan Sullivan of Jonesboro as host. Put this date on your calendar: Tuesday, August 25.

Arkansas Religious Freedom
 Reformation Act (RFRA)
Explained:

When: Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Where: Hilton Garden Inn,  2840 S Caraway Rd‎
Jonesboro, Arkansas
Time: 6:30-8:00 pm

 Question/Answer Session Topics

Supreme Court Decisions Impact on:
Individual freedoms
Churches
Schools
Jobs

 Featured speakers:

Kellie Fiedorick, Alliance Defending Freedom
Stephanie Nichols, Alliance Defending Freedom
Arkansas Family Council Representative
Bob Ballinger State Representative

 Submit Questions to host
Dan Sullivan
Dan.sullivanar53@gmail.com
870-275-2929

Tags: meeting, August 25, 2015, Arkansas Religious Freedom Reformation Act, Jonesboro, Arkansas, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Attention Conservatives – Are your candidates guided by these principles?

by Conduit for Action: Much attention has been given to presidential candidates, but state and local races are also very important.

If you are an Arkansas Conservative, even if you are not a member of the Republican Party, you should read the 10 principles of the Republican Party of Arkansas. We think that as conservatives you will agree with these principles.
  1. THE POWER OF FAITH IN GOD
  2. THE SANCTITY OF LIFE
  3. INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY AND INITIATIVE
  4. INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM AND LIBERTY SECURED BY A LIMITED GOVERNMENT
  5. PRIVATE PROPERTY
  6. LOWER TAXES TO PRODUCE ECONOMIC GROWTH
  7. STRONG NATIONAL DEFENSE
  8. THE PERSONAL RIGHT TO OWN AND BEAR ARMS
  9. THE EQUAL AND JUST ENFORCEMENT OF THE LAW
  10. SEPARATE AND EQUAL BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT
These principles will serve you well in assessing candidates for public office. If your elected officials (Republican, Democrat or Independent) do not follow these principles, it is up to you to let your opinion be heard. Only you can hold your elected representatives accountable.

In addition, if you are a conservative who is considering running for a public office, we hope you will be guided by the 10 principles.

Here is the link to the full Republican platform.

Economic Freedom Filter

We also highly recommend the Economic Freedom Filter posted on the Conduit for Action website as an additional standard to judge the actions and promises of candidates.

Recommended filter:
  • Does it grow government?
  • Does it increase dependency on government?
  • Does it spend money we do not have?
* * * * * * * * * *
It is important to keep these principles in mind because the elections are fast approaching and decisions on whether to run for an office or to support someone for office have already begun.
  • Candidate filing begins: November 2, 2015
  • Candidate filing ends: November 9, 2015
  • Party Preferential Primaries: March 1, 2016
  • General Election: November 8, 2016

Tags: Conservatives, Republican Principles, Filing Period, elections, candidates, Conduit for Action To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.