Thursday, October 29, 2015

Gov Hutchinson Honored By Border Patrol in Washington, D.C.

LITTLE ROCK – On Wednesday, the Border Patrol Foundation (BPF) awarded Governor Hutchinson with the Founders Medal at a special event in Washington, D.C. The award recognizes Governor Hutchinson’s significant leadership and commitment to the U.S. Border Patrol while serving as Undersecretary for Border and Transportation Security (BTS) at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from 2003 – 2005. BTS was the largest division of the DHS, with more than 110,000 employees.

“This is a great honor, and it’s especially meaningful to me because I was privileged to help protect this great country after the 9/11 attacks,” said Hutchinson. “I want to recognize my incredible colleagues who were with me in the early days at Homeland Security. Those were trying times when we were working to create a new federal agency under stressful and dangerous circumstances. It speaks to the character and ability of many dedicated Americans that we got it done.”

About the Founders Medal: The Founders Medal was created in 2010 to recognize a deserving individual every year for his or her contributions to the men and women of the U.S. Border Patrol and "lifetime achievements" in the realm of protecting America at and beyond its borders. Other recipients have included Secretary Tom Ridge, USCBP Commissioner Ralph Basham, and Secretary Michael Chertoff.

Tags: Arkansas, Governor, Asa Hutchinson, awarded, The Founders Medal, Border patrol, DHS, Department of Homeland Security To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Senator Boozman Invites Arkansans to Participate in Monday Tele-Town Hall

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman will host a telephone town hall on Monday, November 2 at 7 p.m. CT to connect with Arkansans and discuss topics under debate in Washington.

This statewide event allows Arkansans the ability to ask Boozman questions over the phone or listen to the conversation about the issues impacting them.

Arkansans interested in participating in the phone conversation should call toll free 888-400-1986 to connect to the discussion and ask questions.

“I look forward to talking with Arkansans about issues important to families, businesses and the future of our nation. Telephone town halls allow me to connect with Arkansans all over the state and discuss topics important to them. I look forward to the conversation,” Boozman said.
Sen. Boozman Telephone Town Hall
Monday, November 2 at 7 p.m.
Call 888-400-1986

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

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Boozman, Westerman, Womack Highlight Need for APPROVAL Act In House Natural Resources Hearing

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator John Boozman and Congressman Steve Womack today delivered statements about the importance of the Assuring Private Property Rights Over Vast Areas to Land (APPROVAL) Act before Congressman Bruce Westerman and members of the House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans.

The APPROVAL Act would restore states’ rights to approve or reject an electric transmission project prior to the federal government exercising its power to take private property. The legislation directs the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to obtain the approval of both the governor and the state’s public service commission before approving any Section 1222 transmission project and subsequent use of federal eminent domain, as well as the approval of any tribal government for affected lands. Boozman and Womack introduced the legislation earlier this year with the full support of the Arkansas Congressional Delegation.
(Above: Senator John Boozman listens to Congressman Steve Womack deliver remarks before the House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans)
“The APPROVAL Act will reinforce and build grassroots support for renewable energy. States and local communities must know their voices will be heard in the transmission siting process – and that a transparent process will be followed. When communities have this assurance, they can get behind the renewable projects that our country needs. Unfortunately, due to the current structure of Section 1222, support for such projects has been set-back in Arkansas by a sense that a federal agency may force a transmission project for which there is no clear demand or demonstrated need,” Boozman told subcommittee members.
Read Boozman’s full statement -- Watch video of Boozman’s testimony.

“Initially, [Clean Line Energy] was denied a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to exist as a utility in the state of Arkansas by the Public Utility Commission, because the project was determined not to be in the best interest of Arkansans. As a result, DOE is in the process of considering a new type of partnership, potentially usurping the state’s role, ignoring the lack of necessity for transmission in the region, and setting a dangerous precedent for the future of federal authority... [The APPROVAL Act] makes a small adjustment to the approval proceedings for interstate transmission projects which will then allow governors and state public service commissions to have a say in the process prior to DOE exercising any federal eminent domain power,” Womack said in his statement.
Read Womack’s full statement. -- Watch video of Womack’s testimony.

“The right to private property is fundamental to a free society. Unfortunately, the federal government continues to show little respect for this important personal liberty. I strongly support the APPROVAL Act because it safeguards landowners from the threat of having their property taken through eminent domain. This bill provides flexibility and empowers our states by ensuring they have the final say on eminent domain. I was pleased to see the Natural Resources Committee debate the APPROVAL Act and look forward to its passage,” Rep. Westerman said.

The hearing also included testimony from Little Rock Attorney Jordan Wimpy who represents Downwind, LLC and Golden Bridges, LLC and serves as counsel to Arkansas property owners concerned with the Section 1222 transmission project in Arkansas.

“A failure to act on H.R. 3062 will not only impact my home state -- the Natural State -- and my firm’s clients and the many other impacted property owners, businesses and local governments in Arkansas, it will set the precedent and solidify the federal government’s inappropriate and unjust process for future projects across the country and in many other states,” Jordan Wimpy said -- His full statement.

Tags: Senator John Boozman, Reps, Steve Womack, Buce Westerman, Attorney, Jordan Wimoy, Approcal Act, Congressional Hearing, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Hill Statement on Passage of the Retail Investor Protection Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1090, the Retail Investor Protection Act, a bill that would halt the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed fiduciary rule and require it to defer to the expertise of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). After passage of the bill, Congressman French Hill (AR-2) released the following statement:
“DOL’s misguided and unworkable proposal is another example of the Administration reaching well beyond its traditional borders. The SEC has had the responsibility of overseeing financial advisers for decades and is the appropriate regulator for issues within its jurisdiction. The DOL proposal will adversely impact those trying to save for retirement by limiting consumer choice and access to sound financial advice while increasing costs for those who need it most. Hardworking people throughout Arkansas and the rest of the country need more savings and investment options for retirement, not fewer, and I am proud to support legislation that protects those investment options.”

Tags: Representative, French Hill, Retail Investor protection Act, DOL, SEC To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Boozman, Cotton Join Senate Effort to Nullify EPA’s Misguided Carbon Mandate

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton joined Congressional efforts to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from moving forward with its misguided carbon mandate.

Boozman and Cotton joined with 47 of their Senate colleagues to file two joint resolutions of disapproval to stop the regulatory overreach of President Obama’s so-called Clean Power Plan rule.

“The EPA, under President Obama’s directive, is trying to eliminate the reliable and affordable sources of electricity Arkansans depend upon. If he succeeds, Arkansans will see their electricity bill spike dramatically. It will be devastating for low-income families and seniors living on a fixed-income and it will drive jobs away from Arkansas,” Boozman said. “Innovation, technology and positive incentives are how you continue to reduce emissions. This heavy-handed mandate is the wrong approach. We are pushing back to prevent the Administration from moving forward with it.”

“Simply put, the Clean Power Plan will have a devastating impact on Arkansas. Under these regulations, power plants across the Natural State would be forced to close their doors and Arkansas families would see their energy costs sky rocket. This legislation is an important first step in fighting back against EPA overreach and stopping the Clean Power Plan in its tracks,” Cotton said.

The Congressional Review Act (CRA) allows either the Senate or the House to approve a joint resolution of disapproval with the full force of law to stop a federal agency from implementing a recent rule or regulation. A resolution of disapproval introduced under the CRA cannot be filibustered and requires a simple majority in the Senate to pass if acted upon during a 60-day window.

The two resolutions Boozman and Cotton are cosponsoring are S.J.Res. 23, which would rescind the carbon emissions standards for new power plants and S.J.Res. 24, which would rescind the carbon emissions standard for existing power plants.

Tags: Senators, John Boozman, Tom Cotton, Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, stopping, misguided carbon mandate To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Arkansas Allowing Fraudulent Enrollees In The Private Option

by Conduit for Action: Arkansas failed to verify the eligibility of enrollees in the Private Option. The failure to do the required verification allowed thousands of out-of-state residents and even dead people to be enrolled in the program at taxpayer expense.

Now it comes to light that Arkansas made money by allowing the fraud. This windfall is a result of Arkansas’ scheme to make the federal government pay a higher percentage of costs than is supposed to be allowed.

Under the Private Option (Arkansas’ version of Obamacare Medicaid Expansion), Medicaid money is funneled through insurance companies to buy health policies to cover each enrollee. Arkansas receives an insurance premium tax on each one of those policies. Currently Arkansas pays NONE of the cost of the Private Option but is making money off of the policies by charging an insurance premium tax on each of the policies. Each bogus enrollee on the Private Option means more insurance premium tax money for Arkansas!

Charging the insurance premium tax on the Private Option policies is a device to make the federal government pay more than its share of the Private Option. Until 2017, the federal government is paying the full cost of the Private Option. In 2017 Arkansas’ share is supposed to be 5% and in 2021 Arkansas’ share is listed as 10%. But by Arkansas charging an insurance premium tax the federal government ends up paying a higher percentage.

A recent report by the Stephens Group claims the Private Option saves Arkansas money and included revenue from the insurance premium tax on the policies. The report did not say how much Arkansas is now receiving, but estimated in 2017 Arkansas will receive $37 million from insurance premium taxes on Private Option policies.

Thirty seven million dollars is no small amount! It is more than the $35.6 million combined amount of appropriations this year for the Department of Arkansas Heritage Fund Account $6,608,765, the Arkansas Agriculture Department Fund Account $17,741,021, the Department of Labor Fund Account $3,227,555, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality Fund Account $4,252,178, and the Department Of Workforce Services Fund $3,864,840.

Some of you may be thinking “Good for Arkansas for skinning the feds out of their money.Think again! As a federal taxpayer you still get to pay for those federal expenditures. The federal money is coming out of your pocket, plus lots of interest, since the United States keeps borrowing money from other countries to stay afloat with over $18 trillion debt.

It is time for a federal investigation of the insurance premium tax scheme to bilk more money out of the federal government. The federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) is not going to care how much it spends of your money because it needs Arkansas to stay chained to Obamacare Medicaid Expansion, since Arkansas is the only southern state to adopt Obamacare Medicaid Expansion. . . .

Tags: Conduit for Action, Arkansas, Fraudulent Enrollees, The Private Option, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

CONSUMER ALERT: Service Members Protected from Eviction

LITTLE ROCK – The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) enacted in 2003 offers certain protections to members of the armed forces and their families so that service members can focus their full attention on their military responsibilities without adverse consequences for themselves or their families. The law also helps to ease financial burdens on service members and their families. One key section of the SCRA protects service members from eviction.

A landlord may not evict a service member or dependents from a home that is used as a residence during a time of military service without a court order. If an eviction action is filed, the court is required to temporarily stay, or delay, the proceedings for up to 90 days.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued today’s consumer alert to educate military service members about the eviction protections they are provided.

“Some service members are unfamiliar with the SCRA and these unique protections that are offered to them,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I began the Military and Veterans Initiative earlier this year to reach out to these brave men and women who put their lives on the line for us to make sure they know their rights and the many resources that are available to them.”

Attorney General Rutledge provided the following facts and tips about eviction protections in the SCRA:
  • Active duty members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard are protected by the SCRA. Reservists with specific activation orders are also eligible.
  • In order to qualify for this eviction protection, the service member’s rent may not exceed $3,329.84 per month. This ceiling is adjusted each year to match inflation.
  • Eviction protections are offered regardless of whether the lease originated before or after the service member entered military service.
  • Contact the nearest Armed Forces Legal Assistance Program office if you suspect SCRA rights were violated.
  • If that office cannot resolve the complaint, it may choose to forward the complaint to the Department of Justice, which will review the matter to determine if action is appropriate.
  • In emergency situations, such as pending eviction, contact the Civil Rights Division’s Housing and Civil Enforcement Section.
The SCRA also assists service members to terminate a lease or rental agreement without penalty. This protection applies to service members who are scheduled for deployment or re-assignment, as long as the lease began prior to active duty. In order to terminate the lease, the member must deliver written notice to the landlord with a copy of military orders. Oral notice is not sufficient.

Meanwhile, Arkansas has a law protecting all renters from excessive security deposits. Landlords who rent six or more dwellings cannot charge more than what would be two months’ rent. The deposit must also be returned within 60 days of moving, but landlords may deduct the cost of any damages or past-due rent.

Arkansas military service members, veterans and families should file consumer complaints with the Attorney General’s Office on ArkansasAG.gov or by calling (800) 482-8982. For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer related issues, call the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office at (800) 482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.

Tags: Arkansas, military, protection from eviction, Leslie Rutledge, Attorney General, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Congressman Crawford: House Speaker Elections

Congressman Rick Crawford (AR-1) discusses on his "In Tune" radio program what he believes will be crucial characteristics for the next Speaker of the House, including the most important one: dedication and respect for process.


Tags: Representative, Rick Craford, AR-3, In-Tune, characteristics, Speaker of the House, video To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Sens. Boozman, Cotton & Rep. Hill's Statement on President Obama’s Veto

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) today released the following statement after President Obama vetoed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2016 (NDAA):
“NDAA is critical to our national security and the protection of our troops who are in harm’s way. As conflict spreads through the Middle East and Russia continues its aggressive actions, we have an obligation to ensure our military is trained, equipped and prepared for the threats we face. By using our servicemen and women as a bargaining chip to try to force Congress to raise domestic spending levels, the President is playing political games with our national security. I will be working with my colleagues to override the President's irresponsible veto so we can ensure that our servicemen and women can complete their missions successfully and return home safely.”
Washington, D.C. - Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) today released the following statement after President Obama vetoed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2016 (NDAA) :
"Vetoing the National Defense Authorization is an act unbecoming of a Commander in Chief. This bill contains countless important programs, policies, and authorizations-things that our troops on the front lines need today. Things like bigger cannons on Stryker vehicles in Europe to face down Vladimir Putin or improving our retirement and healthcare programs to recruit and retain the best warfighters. But more than that, this bill is about keeping the faith of the men and women of the armed services.

"I just returned from a trip to the Middle East, from visiting troops in Israel, in Turkey, in Jordan, in Iraq, in Kuwait, and in Afghanistan. This is not about Washington DC politics or press conferences, this is about the real impact it has on the men and women in uniform all around the world. Our troops are watching and they deserve to know they have a Commander-in-Chief who has their back. President Obama should reverse this disastrous course and sign the Defense Authorization Act. Then we can have whatever debate he wants about defense spending. But to gratuitously veto this bill for no other reason than to get more political leverage the President sends a deeply harmful message to our troops overseas."

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman French Hill (AR-2) released the following statement after President Barack Obama vetoed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY 2016:
“President Obama has stooped to a new low by choosing to advance his own domestic agenda over our national security interests. Largely due to his indecisive and ineffective foreign policy, America and her allies face unprecedented threats in the Middle East, East Asia, and Eastern Europe. Just last week, the President announced he would keep boots on the ground in Afghanistan, yet now, today, he has vetoed the legislation that authorizes pay and benefits for the men and women who fight our wars. This isn’t the type of action that is befitting of a Commander-in-Chief, and I encourage the House and Senate to override this veto.”

Tags: John Boozman, Tom Cotton, French Hill, President's Veto, National Defense Authorization Act of 2016 To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Governor Hutchinson Announces Updated Computer Science Numbers; More than 2,000 Enrolled ...

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson announced the newest computer science numbers at an event in Fort Smith earlier today. To date, 3,973 students are enrolled in computer science courses, with more than 550 students taking more than one course.

2,004 students are currently enrolled in the new course, Essentials of Computer Programming – created under the direction of the Governor. The Governor has set an initial goal of seeing 6,000 high schools students take this course each year.

Governor Hutchinson released the following statement:
“The numbers are very promising. To have a 260 percent increase over last year in the number of students taking computer science courses tells me that there is a hunger for this curriculum.“Through our computer-science initiative, Arkansas’s students, teachers and educators have gotten the word that computer coding is an essential skill necessary to compete in any 21st century field. These first-year numbers send a message to businesses and entrepreneurs that Arkansas will lead the way when it comes to computer literacy.”

More detailed information below:

Computer Coding Updates
o      Enrollment
-      2015-16: 3,975 students, with 553 students taking more than one computer science course
-       260% increase in enrollment from 2014-15
-     472% increase in enrollment from 2013-14

o      2015-2016: 2,004 students enrolled in the new course, Essentials of Computer Programming – created under the direction of the Governor.
o      300% increase in female student enrollment
o      Increase in minority student enrollment
o      African-American female enrollment increased by 609% (45 students enrolled in 2015-16 to 319 enrolled in 2016-17)

·       Computer coding courses
o      14 courses that have been identified to teach computer coding are being offered in the 2015-16 school year:
-       Essentials of Computer Programming
-      Computer Science with Mathematics
-       AP Computer Science
-      IB Computer Science
-       Programming I
-       Programming II
-       Java I
-       Java II
-       Intro to Object Oriented Programming
-       Computer Science and Software Engineering
-      Computer Game Design and Development
-       Intro to Mobile Application Development
-      Mobile Application Development I
-      Mobile Application Development II

Tags: Governor Asa Hutchinson, Arkansas, Computer Science, enrollments,courses To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Catching Up On Senator Tom Cotton On SASC

October 21, 2015: Sen. Tom Cotton's Q and A and during United States Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) hearing on the future of defense reform. Sen. Cotton (R-AR) is a member of the SASC.

The Senate Committees on Military Affairs; on the Militia; and Naval Affairs were established on December 10, 1816. The Committee on the Militia was merged with the Committee on Military Affairs in 1858 to form the Military Affairs and Militia Committee. However, in 1872 the Committee dropped "Militia" from its name. The Military Affairs and Naval Affairs Committees existed until 1947 when they were combined by the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 into a new standing committee, the current Committee on Armed Services.
"

October 22, 2015: Sen. Tom Cotton's Q and A during SASC Majority hearing on global challenges, US nat'l security strategy & defense organization.

Tags: Tom Cotton, U.S. Senator, Arkansas, SASC hearings, future of defense reform To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Governor Hutchinson Announces New Executive Director of Arkansas Parks and Tourism

Kane Webb
LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced Kane Webb as the next executive director for the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. The Parks, Recreation and Travel Commission confirmed the Governor’s recommendation in a vote Thursday morning.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement on Kane Webb:“I’ve known Kane for almost 20 years, and I’ve gotten to know him especially well since he joined our team. He has a deep and abiding passion for Arkansas. He’s written about more people, places and events in this state than I can count, and he understands how important parks and tourism are to Arkansans and its economic importance to our state.

"He’s an outstanding communicator, and I’m grateful for the work he’s done as one of my senior advisors. While we’ll miss him in the Governor’s office, I cannot think of a better person to lead our state’s Parks and Tourism Department.”
More on Webb:

Kane Webb, 51, is an Arkansas native with deep roots in the state. Born in Hot Springs and raised in Little Rock, Webb spent some 30 years in journalism and communications before joining Governor Hutchinson’s team during the transition. He got his professional start as a sportswriter for the former Arkansas Democrat.

Over the years, he has served as the top editor at several publications, including Arkansas Life and Louisville magazine, and has won state, regional and national awards for his writing. As a senior advisor to Governor Hutchinson, Webb has been responsible for the Governor’s written material, served as a communications aide, and worked on special projects such as the transition of the Department of Health’s in-home care program to the private sector.

Tags: Arkansas, Executive Director, Kane Webb, Arkansas Parks and Tourism To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Governor Hutchinson Appoints Chalk Mitchell as First Judicial Circuit Judge

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has appointed Chalk Mitchell as First Judicial Circuit Judge.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement on Chalk Mitchell:

“I have known Chalk Mitchell for more than 10 years. It’s an honor to appoint someone to this critical judicial position who has both the highest of academic achievement and professional respect as well as the ideal judicial temperament.”

A native of Helena-West Helena, Chalk Mitchell’s varied legal background includes 16 years as an assistant U.S. attorney. He also has held his own private practice and served as a city attorney and a state prosecutor. From 2002-04, Mitchell was a Phillips County District Judge, and he has been appointed a Special Associate Justice to the Arkansas Supreme Court. A graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Mitchell earned his law degree at Georgetown University and his masters of public administration at Harvard.​

Mitchell will succeed the late Judge L.T. Simes II of Helena-West Helena, who passed away earlier this month.

Tags: IGovernor, Asa Hutchinson, appoints, Chalk Mitchell, First Judicial Circuit Judge,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Governor Hutchinson Announces Appointments

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

Charles Carrington, Pine Bluff, to the Board of Electrical Examiners of the State of Arkansas. Appointment expires June 15, 2019. Replaces Robert Robinson.

Roger Polston, Cave City, to the Board of Electrical Examiners of the State of Arkansas. Appointment expires June 15, 2019. Replaces Corrie Wiley.

Bobbi Shepherd, El Dorado, to the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council. Appointment expires July 1, 2019. Replaces Rhonda Hunter.

Truman Tolefree, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Outdoor Recreation Grants Advisory Committee. Appointment expires January 7, 2019. Reappointment.

Robert Campbell, Witts Springs, to the State Plant Board. Appointment expires August 15, 2017. Replaces Troy Buck.

Frank Scalia, North Little Rock, to the Perfusionists Advisory Committee. Appointment expires July 14, 2017. Reappointment.

Dr. Vernon Lance, Nashville, to the Criminal Detention Facility Review Committee, Judicial District 9 West. Appointment expires January 14, 2019. Replaces Ron Alexander.

David Gammill, Tyronza, to the Arkansas Corn and Grain Sorghum Promotion Board. Appointment expires July 1, 2017. Reappointment.

Sergeant James Davis, Barling, to the Criminal Justice Institute Advisory Board. Appointment expires January 14, 2019.

Jesse Ragland, Marshall, to the Supervisory Board for the Arkansas Crime Information Center. Appointment expires June 3, 2019. Replaces John Pointer.

Ronnie Rogers, Fort Smith, to the State Fire Prevention Commission. Appointment expires July 18, 2018. Reappointment.

Candace Craft, Hollywood, to the State Fire Prevention Commission. Appointment expires July 18, 2018. Replaces Brandon Baker.

John Goings, Cammack Village, to the Advisory Committee on Petroleum Storage Tanks. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Brandi Anderson.

Captain Jason Morris, Eureka Springs, to the State Emergency Response Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2019. Replaces Garnett Wise.

Skot Covert, Little Rock, to the State Emergency Response Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2019. Replaces Ben Blakenship.

Robert McGowen, Benton, to the State Emergency Response Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2019. Replaces James Burns.

Timothy Paetz, Bella Vista, to the HVACR Licensing Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2019. Replaces William Walden.

Gerald Whistle, Texarkana, to the Red River Levee District 1. Appointment expires May 10, 2021. Reappointment.

Tommy Young, Tuckerman, to the Arkansas Corn and Grain Sorghum Promotion Board. Appointment expires July 1, 2017. Reappointment.

Robert Mouser, Harrison, to the Arkansas Lifeline Individual Verification Effort Corporation. Appointment expires March 1, 2018. Reappointment.

Scott Bennett, Alexander, to the State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Professional Surveyors. Appointment expires July 1, 2019. Replaces Frank Vozel.

John Farmer, Dumas, to the Arkansas Catfish Promotion Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2017. Replaces William Troutt.

Lowry Robinson, Osceola, to the Arkansas Northeastern College Board of Trustees. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Frank Richardson.

Dr. Lloyd Frederick Church, Little Rock, to the Arkansas State Board of Dental Examiners. Appointment expires September 1, 2020. Replaces Robert Keene.

Raymond Styers, Greenbrier, to the Elevator Safety Board. Appointment expires July 1, 2019. Reappointment.

Mike Campbell, Scott, to the Elevator Safety Board. Appointment expires July 1, 2019. Replaces Marvin Vaughter.

William Hogg, North Little Rock, to the Arkansas Arts Advisory Council. Appointment expires June 30, 2019. Replaces Janice Taylor.

Kristi Pulliam, Jonesboro, to the Arkansas Arts Advisory Council, Appointment expires June 30, 2019. Replaces Sarah Easley.

Eugenia Brown, Mountain View, to the Arkansas Arts Advisory Council. Appointment expires June 30, 2017. Replaces George Chlebak.

Michael Burdine, White Hall, to the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. Appointment expires October 1, 2019. Replaces Shela Upshaw.

Renee Mihalko-Corbitt, Cabot, to the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. Appointment expires October 1, 2019. Replaces Doris Scroggin.

Kaci Bohn
, Searcy, to the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. Appointment expires October 1, 2019. Replaces Cynthia Burroughs.

Pamela Leal, Shirley, to the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. Appointment expires October 1, 2019. Replaces Foster Connell.

Ricky Bryant, Sherwood, to the State Board of Barber Examiners. Appointment expires June 30, 2019. Replaces Daniel Bryant.

Edie Arey, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Student Loan Authority Board of Directors. Appointment expires July 8, 2019. Reappointment.

David Craig, Fort Smith, to the Arkansas Student Loan Authority Board of Directors. Appointment expires July 8, 2019. Replaces Charles Coleman.

Rachel Davis, Little Rock, to the Health Information Exchange Council.

Dr. Linda McGhee, Prairie Grove, to the Arkansas Minority Health Commission. Appointment expires January 31, 2017. Reappointment.

Melisa Laelan, Springdale, to the Arkansas Minority Health Commission. Appointment expires January 31, 2017. Reappointment.

Vanessa Davis, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Minority Health Commission. Appointment expires January 31, 2017. Reappointment.

Edward Appler, Conway, to the Child Welfare Agency Review Board. Appointment expires March 1, 2019. Reappointment.

Chief Gregory Tabor, West Fork, to the Criminal Justice Institute Advisory Board. Appointment expires January 14, 2019. Replaces Allen Gary.

George Taylor, Strawberry, to the Board of Electrical Examiners of the State of Arkansas. Appointment expires June 15, 2019. Replaces William Hegeman.

Richard Harp, Little Rock, to the Residential Contractors Committee. Appointment expires October 1, 2018. Reappointment.

Harold Gamble, Manila, to the Residential Contractors Committee. Appointment expires October 1, 2017.

Dwayne Tooke, Warren, to the Residential Contractors Committee. Appointment expires October 1, 2018. Replaces Billy Bunn.

Fred Rausch, Lowell, to the Residential Contractors Committee. Appointment expires October 1, 2018. Replaces Emily Rucker.

Thomas Marsh, Fort Smith, to the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training. Appointment expires January 14, 2018. Replaces Cecil Greene.

Tena Carter, Wilmot, to the Ouachita River Commission. Appointment expires September 1, 2022. Replaces Robert Bridges.

Richard Shepherd, Malvern, to the Ouachita River Commission. Appointment expires September 1, 2022. Replaces Renita Wingo.

James Rawls, Hampton, to the Ouachita River Commission. Appointment expires September 1, 2019. Replaces Jim Gurnsey.

Danny Dyson, Austin, to the Criminal Detention Facility Review Committee, Judicial District #23. Appointment expires January 14, 2019. Replaces Rodney Dunn.

Joshua Harvey, Mount Ida, to the Criminal Detention Facility Review Committee, Judicial District #18 West. Appointment expires January 14, 2019. Replaces Barry Spivey.

Elijah Ratcliff, Prescott, to the Criminal Detention Facility Review Committee, Judicial District #8 North. Appointment expires January 14, 2019.

Richard Hopwood, Springdale, to the Board of Electrical Examiners of the State of Arkansas. Appointment expires June 15, 2019. Reappointment.

Travis Hollis, Rogers, to the State Fire Prevention Commission. Appointment expires July 18, 2018. Replaces Cal Cothren.

William Pryor, Greenbrier, to the HVACR Licensing Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2018. Reappointment.

Wesley McKamie, Sherwood, to the Perfusionists Advisory Committee. Appointment expires July 14, 2018. Reappointment.

Paul Brent, Lewisville, to the Red River Levee District 1. Appointment expires May 10, 2021. Reappointment.

Lesley Nalley, Bigelow, to the Arkansas Housing Trust Fund Advisory Committee. Appointment expires October 12, 2019. Replaces John Squires.

Carol Moore, Monticello, to the State Board of Examiners of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors. Appointment expires September 14, 2019. Replaces Saima Chuhan.

Dr. William Viser, Arkadelphia, to the State Board of Examiners of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors. Appointment expires September 14, 2019. Replaces Margy Richardson.

Donna Willis, Wynne, as a Justice of the Peace of the Cross County Quorum Court, District 4. Appointment expires December 31, 2016.

Andrea Roaf-Little, Pine Bluff, to the State Board of Examiners of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors. Appointment expires September 14, 2017. Replaces Connie Ryan.

James Hooton, Bryant, to the Open Data Transparency Task Force. Appointment expires December 31, 2015.

Dr. Robin Covington, Fort Smith, to the State Board of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors. Appointment expires September 14, 2019. Reappointment.

Lorie Whitby, Lafe, to the Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission. Appointment expires June 6, 2021. Replaces Kathryn Searcy.

Elby Lambert, Pocahontas, as a Justice of the Peace of the Randolph County Quorum Court, District 4. Appointment expires December 31, 2016.

Lane Scott, Russellville, as a Justice of the Peace of the Pope County Quorum Court, District 11. Appointment expires December 31, 2016. Replaces Robert Hodges.

David Mauk, Nashville, as a Justice of the Peace of the Howard County Quorum Court, District 8. Appointment expires December 31, 2016.

Michael Morgenthaler, Springdale, to the Arkansas Housing Trust Fund Advisory Committee. Appointment expires October 14, 2016. Replaces James Jones.

Jennifer Sommer, Bentonville, to the State Athletic Commission. Appointment expires July 15, 2017. Replaces L.M. Duncan.

Sheriff Mark Counts, Cave City, to the Criminal Justice Institute Advisory Board. Appointment expires January 14, 2019.

Alan Meadows, El Dorado, to the Ouachita River Commission. Appointment expires September 1, 2020. Replaces Mary Coleman.

Angela Rich, Magnolia, to the State Board of Examiners of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors. Appointment expires September 14, 2019. Replaces Michael Teague.

David Heikes, White Hall, to the Arkansas Catfish Promotion Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2017. Replaces Brad Graham.

Joe Thrash, Houston, to the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2017. Reappointment.

Donald Morton, Des Arc, to the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2017. Reappointment.

Tags: appointments, Governor Hutchinson, Arkansas To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

President Obama Should Sign Critical National Security Bill

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) today released the following statement calling on President Obama to abandon his threat to veto the National Defense Authorization Act of 2016 (NDAA):
"Just a few days ago, President Obama reversed course and announced that American troops will remain in Afghanistan through 2016. Now he is threatening to veto the very bill that provides for the needs of our servicemen and women stationed there. This makes no sense.

:This bill is critical to our national security and the protection of our troops who are in harm’s way. As conflict spreads through the Middle East and Russia continues its aggressive actions, we have an obligation to ensure our military is trained, equipped and prepared for the threats we face.

"By using our servicemen and women as a bargaining chip to try to force Congress to raise domestic spending levels, the President is playing political games with our national security.

"President Obama needs to drop his irresponsible veto threat and sign the bill so we can ensure that our servicemen and women can complete their missions successfully and return home safely."
Background: Boozman voted for the National Defense Authorization Act of 2016 (NDAA), which passed the Senate 70-27. It passed the House of Representatives in a similar bipartisan manner and was sent to the President for signature last night.

NDAA authorizes $612 billion, the amount requested by the White House, for our troops and national security needs during FY16. The bill also contains important national security policy prescriptions. Despite that, the >White House Press Secretary has indicated that President Obama will veto the bill because he wants higher non-defense spending levels for rogue agencies like the EPA and IRS.

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

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Boozman Holding Sanctuary Cities Accountable *#KatesLaw

U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-AR: Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently set an arrest record during a four-day operation to round-up criminal undocumented immigrants – 244 people were taken into federal custody in Southern California. While all had criminal records, the majority had been convicted of at least one felony. So why were these violent offenders on the streets? ICE agents blame “sanctuary” policies for allowing them to be released from custody.

There are 340 sanctuary cities that offer save-havens for illegal immigrants. These communities ignore federal immigration law and protect illegal immigrants from deportation.

This is unacceptable. We are a country of laws. We cannot pick and choose which laws to follow. Unfortunately, that is exactly what is going on in some communities across the country, and President Obama’s directives to stop enforcing certain immigration laws are contributing to this problem.

Sanctuary cities should be held accountable for their failure to cooperate in the enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws. The Senate has an opportunity to hold sanctuary cities accountable, make our communities safer and uphold our laws with the upcoming vote targeting this policy. As a cosponsor of the Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act, I’m leading the fight to curb the establishment or the continuation of sanctuary cities.

This legislation restricts federal funding from sanctuary states or cities that fail to comply with federal immigration enforcement. The bill would redirect these funds to localities that follow the law.

This legislation would curb formation and/or continuation of sanctuary cities. This legislation:
  • Provides transparency by requiring the DHS to publicly list which jurisdictions are deemed sanctuary jurisdictions.
  • Withholds certain federal funds and grants from sanctuary jurisdictions.
  • Requires that those withheld funds are reallocated and made available to other jurisdictions that allow their local law enforcement to cooperate with federal officials.
  • Confirms that local law enforcement personnel have the legal authority to cooperate with federal immigration officials if they wish, while protecting individuals’ civil rights and preserving individuals’ ability to sue for violations of civil and constitutional rights.
  • Kate’s Law: Establishes a mandatory minimum sentence of five years for illegal immigrants who are convicted of re-entering the U.S. after being convicted of an aggravated felony or being convicted of having illegally re-entered the U.S. twice before.
The Senate will have a procedural vote on this bill today and I will vote to move this bill forward.

As a member of the Border Security and Enforcement First Caucus, I will continue to push for measures that address the issues of border security, illegal documentation and the general lack of action from our judicial system to hold accountable those who break the law.

Tags: Sen. John Boozman, Sanctuary Cities, Kate's law To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Monday, October 19, 2015

French Hill Talks Border Security on Sunday Morning Talk Shows

On Sunday, Rep. French Hill went on Capitol View and Talk Business & Politics to discuss his recent trip to the U.S.-Mexico Border, and the House’s passage of H.R. 702, a bill that would lift the outdated export ban on crude oil.


Rep. Hill on Capitol View: This is such a big issue in our country, and I have a plan to travel along the border during these first couple of years. I went to El Paso back in April, and this was a trip to Laredo, TX, which is important because it is the second largest port in the U.S., only to Los Angeles-Long Beach… every day, thousands of people cross that border for illegal purposes. The purpose of my trip was to look at the river there and look at border security, talk to the local sheriffs, talk to local border patrol, and I found that there are some gaps in border security in Laredo that I think could be benefited by enhanced technology.



Rep. Hill on Talk Business & Politics: If we are able to export crude oil and export liquefied natural gas to our Asian partners, and our partners in Europe, it’s actually a national security benefit to let Europe not be dependent on Russian gas, or Middle Eastern Oil. And the economic benefits are about a million jobs created in this country—we are losing jobs in the oil patch right now—and a positive impact on prices at the pump. They expect prices to be effected positively for the consumer by three to ten cents


Tags: Arkansas, Representative, French Hill, AR-2, talks, border security, Sunday Morning Talk Shows To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Reasons To Vote For A Candidate

by Conduit for Action:

Which are good reasons to vote for a candidate?
- Friendly outgoing personality
- My Relative
- My Friend
- Goes to my church
- From my neighborhood
- Helped me with an issue, even though votes too liberal
- I voted for the candidate last time

Answer: None of the above

Imagine you are a small business owner and one of your employees is a friend or relative. If the employee can not or will not do an acceptable job will you keep him or her in the job to the detriment of your business and your other employees and their families? Seek to preserve the relationship BUT good stewardship shows the employee must be replaced.

Politicians are supposed to work for and represent you! Pick the best candidate for the job.

Arkansas state government spends billions of dollars.

We hope you will pay attention to how politicians spend your money and select candidates who will watch over your tax money as you would watch over your own money.


Tags: reasons, vote, 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.

Voter Laws


Editorial Cartoon by Gary Varvel
by Kerby Anderson: Is voting in this country a right or a privilege? I would say that it is both. We should never deny anyone who is eligible to vote the right to vote. But it is also a privilege, and that is why I am concerned with voter laws being proposed and sometimes being enacted around the country.

One major push is for what is called “automatic registration.” We saw the beginning of this decades ago with the National Voter Registration Act, often called the Motor Voter Law. If you have been to your state department of motor vehicles to renew your license, you know what I am talking about. You are given the opportunity to register to vote while you renewing your license.

This option has made is possible for many people to register to vote who may never actually vote in any election. Voter fraud is much easier. All someone has to do is find people on the voter rolls that are registered but never or rarely vote in elections. Then you can go into the polls and pretend to be that person. Or you can request an absentee ballot and send it in pretending to be that person.

Now some state legislatures have legislation pending that calls for “universal registration.” If enacted, this would require that anyone who gets a license or renews a license would automatically be registered to vote. It is bad enough that we make it much too easy to register to vote. Imagine what would happen if someone did not even have to take a moment to fill out a voter registration card, if instead they were automatically registered to vote.

And let’s not forget that earlier this year President Obama talked about “mandatory voting.” Some countries have mandatory voting, and he would like to see something like that in the United States.

Voting is both a right and a privilege. But I’m not ready to give that privilege to someone who won’t even take a few minutes to fill out a voter registration card. And I am concerned that these proposals will make voter fraud even easier.
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Kerby Anderson is a radio talk show host heard on numerous stations via the Point of View Network endorsed by Dr. Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service

Tags: Kerby Anderson, Viewpoints, Point of View, Voter Laws, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Don’t tread on me! … except in Arkansas

by Conduit For Action: Nationally, Republican voters are rebelling against big government Republicans (often referred to as “establishment Republicans”). The backlash is apparent: (1) political outsiders and candidates who fight the establishment currently lead the polls for Republican nominee for president, (2) Speaker of the House John Boehner, who epitomizes the establishment Republican side, is resigning; and (3) a recent poll shows that Republicans voters feel betrayed by politicians in their Party.
According to a Fox News poll: “62 percent of Republican primary voters feel “betrayed” by politicians in their party, and another 66 percent say the recent Republican majorities in Washington have failed to do all they could to block or reverse President Obama’s agenda.” [i]Critics of “Establishment Republicans” describe them as supporting big government programs and having little stomach for fighting liberal policies of President Obama and the Democrats. They give up without a fight for conservative principles. Establishment Republicans hide behind the fatalistic words, “ I have to be pragmatic.

Republicans who value conservative principles and are willing to stand up for those principles are often labeled as “Tea Party Republicans” even if they don’t belong to a Tea Party group. They, like Tea Party groups, are staunch supporters of the constitution and of conservative principles, and they are willing to fight for both.

What about Arkansas?
. . . Read Remainder of Article

Tags: Arkansas, elections, Don't Tread on me, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Join Us For A Rally!


Following the first day of candidate filing, the Republican Party of Arkansas will host a rally to celebrate the fact that we have outgrown our current facilities. This event will benefit the construction of the new Rockefeller Republican Center.

The event will feature live music, food trucks, and good times to be had by all. Come join us and mingle with your elected officials as we celebrate the beginning of the 2016 election cycle!

FYI: A few Republican Presidential candidates have expressed interest in attending. Tickets are limited. Additional details will be provided upon confirmation.

Tags: Arkansas Republican Party, Rally, Raising the Roof, benefit fund, new building To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces New Payment Integrity Unit

LITTLE ROCK One of the elements identified by Governor Asa Hutchinson for health care reform in Arkansas is to strengthen Medicaid program integrity. To that end, the Department of Human Services Division of Medical Services (DMS) and the Office of Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG), at the request of the Governor, have proposed the establishment of a new Payment Integrity Unit within the Department of Human Services (DHS), and a corresponding division within OMIG.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement:
"Among the seven elements of healthcare reform that I outlined to the legislative task force was improving the integrity of the Medicaid program. This is an important step in that direction. We have an obligation to the taxpayers of Arkansas to make certain public programs like Medicaid are run efficiently and with integrity."

Details on the Payment Integrity Proposal:
Arkansas has a significant opportunity to increase recoveries, as the state has annual Medicaid recoveries of only 4 basis points per year (0.04%, or $2.1 million).  Compared with Florida (0.17%), Georgia (0.35%), and Arizona (0.44%), Arkansas has significant room for growth and increased savings.

This new Payment Integrity Unit will focus on prevention and recoveries by utilizing data analytics and industry best practices to identify systemic sources of waste.  DHS and OMIG will then collaborate on correcting the existing policies, new training for DHS and provider staff, and addressing shortcomings in the current claim processing procedures.

In order to accomplish these goals, five new positions will be added to DHS and two new positions to OMIG. DHS will fund all new positions for both DHS and OMIG through savings expected as a result of enhanced payment integrity functions.

DHS’ new staff will report directly to the Deputy Director and will include a unit lead, a vendor manager, a clinical expert, and two new analysts.

OMIG’s staff will include a division manager to highlight the necessary changes in policy and coordinate those efforts with DHS, while the support specialist will handle the analysis of issues raised by vendors and conduct research in support of the initiative.

Tags: Arkansas, Governor, Asa Hutchinson, Medicaid program integrity, payment integrity unit,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Griffin: ‘For Arkansas, the Sky Is the Limit’

LITTLE ROCK – Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin today issued the following statement after he formed the Aerospace States Association’s (ASA) Arkansas Chapter:“I am honored and happy to announce the formation of the ASA’s Arkansas chapter. As a proud member of the ASA, I look forward to leading this new chapter and partnering with the Arkansas Aerospace and Defense Alliance (AADA) to promote greater awareness of the benefits stronger aerospace and defense industries bring to Arkansas. For Arkansas, the sky is the limit. I will continue to explain why Arkansas is a natural location for the aerospace and defense industry and how the State’s leading export is helping us grow good-paying jobs for hardworking Arkansans.”Bob East, President of the Arkansas Aerospace and Defense Alliance, issued the following statement:“The AADA is excited to partner with Lt. Governor Griffin on this effort to promote Arkansas’s aerospace industry. The Lt. Governor’s leadership will help us spread the word that Arkansas is a state primed for aerospace growth.”ASA is a nonpartisan organization composed of lieutenant governors and other state-appointed delegates who promote state interests in the development of aviation policy. The ASA strives to advance economic development by stressing the importance of local initiatives like workforce training and a focus of STEM education and computer science.

Tags: Tim Griffin, Arkansas, Sky The Limit, Aerospace States Association, Arkansas Chapter, Bob East, President of the Arkansas Aerospace and Defense Alliance To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Boozman Statement on Nationwide Stay of EPA’s WOTUS Rule

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) applauded today’s U.S. Circuit Court ruling that blocks implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule on a nationwide basis.

“Today the court stood up for the law and commonsense by blocking President Obama’s heavy-handed attempt to control every body of water in the country. In light of this decision, the EPA should immediately abandon this misguided power grab,” Boozman said. “Arkansans don’t need DC bureaucrats controlling our land. We already protect water quality through federal-state partnerships. States, local communities and private citizens already go to great lengths to protect our natural resources. We must ensure they remain a vital part of the process, instead of giving all power to Washington.”

An earlier injunction by a federal district court blocked implementation in 13 states, including Arkansas. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals extended the earlier injunction to all 50 states.

Boozman called the injunction “an important step in the legal battle” and stressed that efforts to push back on the EPA’s overreach are ongoing in Congress.

“I know Attorney General Rutledge 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,” Boozman said.

Boozman is a cosponsor of the Federal Water Quality Protection Act, a bipartisan bill that reins in EPA overreach and gives the agency direction to write a rule that protects our waters without eroding the rights of landowners. He is also cosponsoring a joint resolution of disapproval that would reverse the WOTUS rule.
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ARRA News Service articles on EPA WOTUS rule.

Tags: Senator, John Boozman, Nationwide Stay, WPA. WOTUS Rule To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.