Friday, January 29, 2016

Governor Hutchinson Announces Appointments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

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

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

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

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

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement on Von Gremp:

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

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

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

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

Tags: Gov. Hutchinson, appoints, Jim Von Gremp, Higher Education Coordinating Board To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Boozman Questions AG on President’s Executive Actions on Guns

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Boozman Votes to Halt Acceptance of Refugees from Syria and Iraq

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: John Boozman, votes, halt acceptance, refugees, from Syria, Iraq To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

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

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

FIRST CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
REPUBLICAN PARTY OF ARKANSAS


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

Date: Saturday, February 20th, 2016

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

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

REGISTRATION FEE: $12.00

MEETING: 10:00 A.M. – 12: P.M.

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

Invocation: TBA

Pledge: TBA

Welcome by Host County

Roll Call: Dorothy Crockett

Approval of minutes

Treasures report: Bill Hendrix

District Chairman’s Report-Chairman Land

Speakers: TBA

Introduce Guests & County Candidates

Introduce State Reps and State Senate Candidates

Minority Report

County Chair’s Reports

Regional Chairman’s Reports

Old Business

Adjourn

Tags: Arkansas, First Congressional District Meeting, February 20th, 2016 To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: Senator, John Boozman, Senate Committee, approves, Arkansas Provisions. Boozman Amendment, Sportsman Legislation To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Attorney Meeting on Last Chance Referendum to Overturn Property Code Ordinance in Jonesboro

Mildred Bryant, 84, who lived in Pagedale, MO
for 47 years, was given 30 days to fix a dozen
violations  or face a summons.  Same
ordinance code has come to Jonesborro, AR
by Debbie Pelley: The attorney that handled the repeal of Fayetteville referendum on protected class of gays will be at Western Sizzlin (2405 E. Highland Drive) tonight at 6:00 to explain our steps to repeal Jonesboro Property Code Ordinance that the city voted on December 15. We need all your help. Only the people who are registered voters can sign the petition, but anyone over 18 can gather signatures.

Anything we can do to thwart the government regulations in any place is a worthy cause because what comes to Jonesboro will come to other cities if they are not stopped. This would be a good time for any of you in any city to come and learn about the referendum process because any of you might need it at any time. I thought for a couple of days the referendum was off but this attorney has been very patient with us and encouraging.

In 18 days in Fayetteville they got 5,800 signatures, and we still have over 30 days and we can do it; we just have to have something over 3,000.

If you can be at Western Sizzlin tonight, please let me know by text or by email (dpelley@suddenlink.net). Western Sizzlin asked us to let them know if we were having more than 28. But if you don't know if you can come or not please come anyway. I just checked with Western Sizzling and they said they had room for more but just wanted to be prepared with enough food.

Thanks to one of our conservative AR senators for finding the article below. I am including only excerpts. You may hear other horrific unbelievable stories tonight. If not, I will send them to you tomorrow. Link to entire article!
City's 'nitpicky' fines for tree stumps, blinds trigger civil rights lawsuit [Excerpts Only]

National battle against governments using 'citizens as ATMs'

Valarie Whitner, 57, has lived in the St. Louis suburb of Pagedale for nearly two decades, at first without any major brushes with the city government.

But then, the tickets started arriving in the mail. For tree stumps in her yard. For not filling the recycling bin to the brim. For chipped paint. It seemed no infraction was too small to escape the scrutiny of fine-happy officials.

Whitner was even forced to re-paint her two-story home three times in five years, to satisfy the city. It turns out she wasn't alone.

Many Pagedale residents have been hammered with fines for various so-called infractions in recent years. Aggressive code inspectors are hardly unusual these days, but Pagedale homeowners allege they've been treated to a particularly brazen brand of enforcement - and have banded together to sue the city in federal court, in a civil rights case that's getting national attention.

According to Joshua House, an attorney at the institute, Pagedale has issued 495 percent more property and miscellaneous citations since 2010.

"This is a common 'policing for profit' scheme that we see across the country—governments using their citizens as ATMs," House told Fox News."...The city is so financially dependent, and because of that dependency, they have an incentive to find nitpicky violations and convict people for them."

This case, according to House, is opening a new front in a national battle against aggressive municipal enforcement.

These encounters became so frequent that when asked by a local reporter about her case, she was able to furnish a bag of 33 citations.

"The city is punishing people who haven't done anything wrong. It's all aesthetics and within people's homes," House explained. He said the class-action case contends "that the entire system unconstitutionally incentivizes the city to ticket, convict, and fine people."

A city attorney told The New York Times that the fines have "nothing to do with driving up revenue" and "everything to do with making the properties code compliant and safe." - [ I believe safety is referred to 54 times in Jonesboro Property Code]
------------
Debbie Pelley is Retired Arkansas Teacher of 27 years. She is presently a grassroots citizen activist, researcher and writer who advocates for Arkansans and for transparent and limited government. She is a contribution author on the ARRA News Service. and this site.

Tags: Debbie Pelley, Jonesboro, Arkansas, referendum to overturn, property code ordinace To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Great News for Taxpayers

by David Ray: Yesterday, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced his plans to address the highway funding shortfall, and we want to share our perspective on this news with you.

First and foremost, Governor Hutchinson's plan doesn't include any new tax increases, which is great news for taxpayers. Several governors across the nation (from both political parties) have sought to raise gas taxes in recent months - choosing to reach into taxpayers' pockets instead of making the hard choices to prioritize spending. Governor Hutchinson should be credited for committing to prioritize current state resources to meet these needs instead of making hardworking Arkansans pay more at the pump.

Also of significance is the fact that Governor Hutchinson prioritized the needs of hardworking taxpayers over the desires of special interest groups. Little Rock insiders and lobbyists have been working for almost a year to lay the groundwork for a gas tax hike, even though Arkansas already has the highest gas taxes of any state that touches our borders. The Governor deserves our thanks for rejecting their calls for tax hikes.

We still have to ensure the legislature doesn't try to pass any gas tax hikes, but yesterday's announcement was great news. We encourage you to contact Governor Hutchinson and thank him for addressing our state's highway needs without raising gas taxes on hardworking Arkansans.
-------------------
David Ray is State Director, Americans for Prosperity (AFP) Arkansas.

Tags: Arkansas, Governor Hutchinson, Road Improvement, no new taxes, David Ray, AFP Arkansas To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces New Highway Program; No New Taxes

PROVIDES MATCH FOR $2 BILLION IN FEDERAL HIGHWAY FUNDING OVER 10 YEARS

LITTLE ROCK - At a news conference at the Capitol today, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced his recommendation for a new highway program for the state.

The Governor’s recommendation provides a state investment of approximately three-quarters of a billion dollars to the Highway Department over the next 10 years – based off of the previous 10 year history – without raising taxes or introducing any new taxes to Arkansans. (More details can be found in here.) This state match allows Arkansas to access over $2 billion in federal highway money over the next 10 years.

Governor Hutchinson released the statement below following today’s announcement:
“In addition to a state investment of more than three-quarters of a billion dollars over 10 years, this new program allows us to access billions of dollars in federal highway money – without raising taxes.

“Highway infrastructure is key to our state’s economic development and growth, and this plan should act as a catalyst for that growth by allowing us to increase our investment in highways without placing an unnecessary burden on Arkansas taxpayers. I am pleased to say that it accomplishes both objectives.

"I will also ask the Arkansas Highway Department and Commission to be responsive to increased legislative oversight in light of the transfer of general revenues to the Highway program.  It is important that the Highway Commission initiate internal reform which assures the public that taxpayer dollars are being wisely, efficiently and fairly spent."

More information on the proposed program:
  • There are NO new taxes as part of this program.
  • This plan will generate 3/4 of a billion dollars in new highway funding over 10 years.
  • The first year is unallocated surplus of $40 million - $20 million of which will be transferred from FY15’s unobligated surplus, while the other $20 million will come from the Governor’s rainy day fund.
  • In subsequent years, the highway program will generate revenue from sales tax on new and used cars to be phased in over 5 years and capped at $25 million.  (Efficiency efforts and other budget savings will offset any lost revenue.)
  • $4 million will be directed from General Revenue for diesel tax collection each year. $2.7 million of which will go to the State Highway Department. The other $1.3 million will go to cities and counties.
  • $5.4 million will be redirected from Central Services for the amount collected from the 1/2 cent sales tax for roads.
  • 25% of the unallocated surplus will transfer to the Highway Department for after RSA obligations are met.

Tags: Governor, Asa Hutchinson, Arkansas Highways, improvement program, no new taxes To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Boozman Opens Summer Intern Application Period

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) is seeking Arkansas college students interested in getting a firsthand look at the inner workings of Congress by interning in his Washington, D.C. or Arkansas offices this summer.

“Interning in Washington or the state office of a U.S. Senator is an excellent opportunity for any Arkansas college student who is interested in public service. Our internship program gives students a firsthand look at the inner-workings of Congress and a chance to help make the lives of your fellow Arkansans better, all while earning college credit,” Boozman said.

Boozman’s summer intern program is split into two sessions to accommodate as many Arkansas students as possible. Session one will run from May 23 - June 24 and session two will run from June 27 - July 29.

Internships in Boozman’s Washington, D.C. office emphasize both practical and educational aspects of working on Capitol Hill from a first-hand perspective. Interns in the Washington office learn about the legislative process and support the daily operation of the Senate office by working closely with the legislative, communications and constituent services staff members. In addition, interns will provide constituents with private tours of the U.S. Capitol Building.

Students may also apply to intern in one of Boozman’s seven state offices where each will have the opportunity to learn about how the office provides constituent services, interacts with the community and serves as a liaison to the Washington, D.C. office. Interns in the state offices will work closely with staff to help individual constituents who have problems with federal agencies such as the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Social Security Administration. Boozman’s seven state offices serve the various regions of Arkansas—Lowell, Fort Smith, Mountain Home, Jonesboro, Little Rock, Stuttgart and El Dorado.

Interns will be able to receive academic credit for their work. School credit is required for internships in the state offices and is available for internships in the Washington, D.C. office depending on each school’s requirements for such credit.

All internships are unpaid and candidates who are chosen to intern in the Washington, D.C. office will be responsible for paying their travel and living expenses.

The summer internship program is open to all area college students who have completed at least two years of college.

Interested applicants should visit Boozman’s webpage, www.boozman.senate.gov,  and click on the “apply for an internship link.”

The deadline to apply is March 1, 2016.

Questions should be directed to the intern coordinators, Matthew Wester, in the Washington office at matthew_wester@boozman.senate.gov and Stacey Mattingly, in the state at stacey_mattingly@boozman.senate.gov.

Tags: U.S. Sen. Boozman, Opens, Summer Intern, Application Period To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Jan 18, 2016: Sen. Tom Cotton joins CNN's Wolf Blitzer To Discuss Iran

by Sen. Tom Cotton:

Tags: Sen. Tom Cotton, Arkansas,joins CNN's Wolf Blitzer, discuss, Iran To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Griffin Honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., His Leadership and Legacy

LITTLE ROCK – Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin today issued the following statement in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday:“Today, we honor a true servant-leader and a catalyst for revolutionary change, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His leadership in the fight for justice and equality and his legacy of revolutionary change through peace live on today: the world still turns to his timeless words and wisdom, especially in times of strife and discord.”
Tags: Arkansas, Lt. Governor, honors, Dr. Martin Luther Ling, Jr.S To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

President Obama is Out of Touch With Reality

by Sen. Tom Cotton: Earlier this week President Obama gave his final State of the Union address, which was little more than a highlight reel of the bad policies and executive overreach of the last seven years. Underneath the rhetoric and feel-good anecdotes the facts tell the real story: the United States is in a worse place today than it was seven years ago. Our economy is stagnant—nearly 16 million Americans are unemployed, underemployed, or have stopped looking for a job, and our hourly wage growth has been at a historic low for the past 6 years. And the President’s namesake accomplishment, Obamacare, is only adding to the problem. Arkansas families have seen their health insurance premiums sky rocket and businesses across the country are struggling to meet the regulatory burden of this massive law.

To add insult to injury, President Obama’s foreign policy strategy has put our national security at risk and made America less safe. Under his watch, Iraq has gone from a decisive victory to the breeding ground for one of the most aggressive terrorist groups in history, the Islamic State. He’s taken critical tools away from our intelligence officials at a time when we face heightened threat levels. And he struck a deal with Iran that effectively gives one of the world’s most dangerous regimes carte blanche to develop a nuclear weapon. The President talked about how decisions made today will impact the next generation—and he’s not wrong. I just hope the next generation can fix these mistakes sooner rather than later.

Tags: U.S., Senator, Tom Cotton, President Obama, out of touch, with reality To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Appointments

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the following appointments:
Claude Graves, Bono, to the Arkansas Rural Development Commission.  Appointment expires December 31, 2020.  Replaces Max Tackett.

Lynn Hawkins, Lexa, to the Arkansas Rural Development Commission.  Appointment expires December 31, 2020.  Reappointment.

Tony Moore, Russellville, to the Arkansas Real Estate Commission.  Appointment expires December 31, 2018.  Replaces Allen Trammell.

Linda Prunty, Jonesboro, to the Arkansas Real Estate Commission.  Appointment expires December 31, 2018.  Replaces Sherman Tate.

Dr. Susan Weinstein, Little Rock, to the State Board of Health.  Appointment expires December 31, 2019.  Replaces Dr. Larry Fritchman.

Dr. Terry Yamauchi, Little Rock, to the State Board of Health.  Appointment expires December 31, 2019.  Reappointment.

Dr. Lee Johnson, Greenwood, to the State Board of Health.  Appointment expires December 31, 2016.  Replaces Dr. Marvin Leibovich.

James “Jim” Lambert, Conway, to the State Board of Health.  Appointment expires December 31, 2019.  Reappointment.

Samuel Jackson, Blytheville, to the Arkansas Department of Aeronautics Commission. Appointment expires September 9, 2020.  Replaces Dr. Walter Jines.

Clayton Edwards, Searcy, to the Arkansas Professional Bail Bondsman Licensing Board.  Appointment expires September 30, 2022.  Replaces Ronnie Baldwin.

Raymond Nabholz, Conway, to the Contractors Licensing Board.  Appointment expires December 31, 2020.  Reappointment.

Mayor Michael Watson, Maumelle, to the State Aid Street Committee.  Appointment expires December 31, 2019.  Replaces Mayor Tab Townsell.

Sandra Jackson, Fayetteville, to the State Board of Collection Agencies.  Appointment expires January 1, 2019.  Reappointment.

Neil While, Fort Smith, to the Arkansas Public Transportation Coordination Council.  Appointment expires September 20, 2019.  Replaces Tommy Branch.

Gail “Lynn” Franquemont, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Deaf and Hearing Impaired Telecommunications Services Corporation Board of Directors.  Appointment expires June 1, 2018.  Reappointment.

Andrew “Greg” Aleshire, Mena, to the State Apprenticeship Coordination Steering Committee.  Appointment expires December 1, 2018.  Reappointment.

Karen Breashears, Arkadelphia, to the State Apprenticeship Coordination Steering Committee.  Appointment expires December 1, 2018.  Reappointment.

Jimmy Coker, Redfield, to the State Apprenticeship Coordination Steering Committee.  Appointment expires December 1, 2018.  Reappointment.

Kathy Fulks, Perryville, to the State Apprenticeship Coordination Steering Committee.  Appointment expires December 1, 2018.  Reappointment.

William “Don” Havens, Conway, to the State Apprenticeship Coordination Steering Committee.  Appointment expires December 1, 2018.  Reappointment.

Donna Lyon, Greenbrier, to the State Apprenticeship Coordination Steering Committee.  Appointment expires December 1, 2018.  Reappointment.

Joe Morgan, Beebe, to the State Apprenticeship Coordination Steering Committee.  Appointment expires December 1, 2018.  Reappointment.

Addie Morris, Little Rock, to the State Apprenticeship Coordination Steering Committee.  Appointment expires December 1, 2018.  Reappointment.

James “Steve” Roofener, Conway, to the State Apprenticeship Coordination Steering Committee.  Appointment expires December 1, 2018.  Reappointment.

James “Jim” Ryan, Oppelo, to the State Apprenticeship Coordination Steering Committee.  Appointment expires December 1, 2018.  Reappointment.

Kelley Sharp, Farmington, to the State Apprenticeship Coordination Steering Committee.  Appointment expires December 1, 2018.  Reappointment.

Stephen Tisdale, Eudora, as District Judge of Chicot County District Court, Dermott Department.  Appointment expires December 31, 2016.  Replaces The Honorable Chuck Gibson.

Robert Jones III, Fayetteville, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas.  CV-15-480; Calvin Johnson, in his official capacity, and Bd. Of Trustees of the Univ. of Ark. V. Eugene Johnson.  Replaces Justice Courtney Goodson, who has disqualified herself from the case.


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

Governor Asa Hutchinson's Weekly Address: Going Back to Gravette

by Gov. Asa Hutchinsong: This afternoon I will be visiting three schools in Gravette, a small town in Northwest Arkansas. As a Gravette native, I am excited to get back to the place where I grew up on a farm on the Spavinaw Creek south of town.

When I was a teenager my family moved to Springdale where I graduated from high school. But I’ve always had a love for my farm roots and for Gravette. Perhaps, it’s because I had my first real job in Gravette. After school every day I shined shoes at Johnny’s barbershop. I built up quite a clientele and a year later I sold my shoe shining business for $25. Yes, I was quite the entrepreneur.

So, today I am going back to Gravette to recognize the good work being done for their students. When Principal Jay Chalk came to Gravette High School in 2012, roughly 45 percent of graduating classes were not planning on going to college or technical school.

Principal Chalk decided to change that statistic. He started looking into expanding Gravette High School’s course offerings to address the career needs of these students. Now, three career training programs are available at Gravette High School to help give students a leg-up after graduation. The programs include training in heating, ventilation and air conditioning, Certified Nursing Assistant and a new welding program.

All of these programs have three things in common. They are short-term, meaning students can complete them in just two years. They offer concurrent credit with a local community college. And, these programs offer professional certification, making students immediately employable after high school and after they earn their certificate.

And what are the results? In the past two years alone, Gravette High School’s graduation rate has increased from 80 percent to 90 percent. This increase is especially noticeable in Alternative Learning Students who are at a higher risk of dropping out. The career training programs are keeping these kids in school and motivating them to complete courses that lead to employment after graduation.

What’s being done at Gravette High School and throughout Benton County strongly aligns with my workforce initiative. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to equip students with job skills that meet the needs of industry. Whether it’s welding, teaching, computer coding or manufacturing, we must do our part to prepare our students for success.

Career training programs at Gravette High School and across Arkansas are helping drive our economy forward. They are providing opportunities for our young people to attain employment, setting them on a path to success in any career.

However, this effort is about more than the students. It’s about our economy and providing opportunities for every Arkansan to be successful in the workforce. Offering expanded career training programs with community partnerships is a combination that puts Arkansas ahead of the game.

Growing up in Gravette shaped my life many years ago, and I’m proud to see the high school shaping the lives of students today. Keep up the good work.

Tags: Governor, Asa Hutchinson, Weekly Address, Going Back to Gravette To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Boozman for Arkansas Announces National Right to Life Endorsement

by Chris Caldwell, Campaign Manager, Boozman for Arkansas: The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) has endorsed U.S. Senator John Boozman for re-election, citing the Senator's 100 percent pro-life record as the reason, the Boozman campaign announced today.

“Senator John Boozman has always been a trusted friend of Arkansas Right to Life and National Right to Life as he has stood strong in defense of human life in Congress and the U.S. Senate,” said Rose Mimms, Executive Director of Arkansas Right to Life, the state affiliate of NRLC

"The way we treat the voiceless and most powerless among us speaks volumes about our priorities and values as a society. From the child in the womb to the hospitalized senior, we share a moral responsibility to respect the dignity of all human beings—regardless of their political clout in Washington. I am grateful for the support of National Right to Life who shares my commitment to the fight for justice for those who cannot defend themselves, the unborn," Boozman said.

Boozman is proudly pro-life. He believes the 1973 Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and must be overturned. During his time in Washington, Boozman has fought all legislative efforts that use taxpayer dollars to fund abortions, most recently on efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. He has led the fight to end partial birth abortions; vigorously supported legislation to stop the transportation of minors across state lines to skirt parental notification laws; and authored legislation that strengthens parental notification laws and grants parents the power to stop an abortion involving their minor daughter. Moreover, he has pushed to strengthen the right of conscience for medical providers who object to abortions, and has worked to expand awareness, facilitate the process and increase funding for adoption. Senator Boozman will be participating this weekend in the Sanctity of Life Prayer Service in Fort Smith on Saturday at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church at 1:00pm, and the Annual March For Life in Little Rock at the State Capitol on Sunday at 2:00pm.

Tags: John Boozman, Right to Life, Endorsement To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

What the President Missed in his State of the Union

by Representative Rick Crawford discusses three key issues with the President's final State of the Union Address, including the detainment of American sailors by Iran.

Tags: Representative Rick Crawford, PResident Obama, State of the Union To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Boozman & Cotton Congratulate Arkansas U.S. Senate Youth Program Delegates

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton congratulate Anna Cunningham of DeWitt and Hannah Robbins of Rogers on being selected as delegates for the United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP). Cunningham and Robbins were chosen from hundreds of applicants across Arkansas to attend the 54th annual Washington Week March 5-12.

“Anna and Hannah’s commitment to academics, their community and public service is an excellent example for their peers. This is a great opportunity to experience the inner workings of Washington and learn about the legislative process first-hand. I am proud of their accomplishment and hope this program will help shape their interest in civic involvement,” Boozman said.

“Congratulations to Hannah and Anna on their selection as delegates in the U.S. Senate Youth Program. They’ve demonstrated their commitment to their academics and their communities and I know they will benefit immensely from this program. I look forward to welcoming them to Washington this spring,” Cotton said.

Cunningham is a student at DeWitt High School and serves as the student council president. She is a Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership delegate, a District III Future Business Leaders of America officer, a member of the track and cross country teams, senior class reporter, member of Quiz Bowl, Beta Club and yearbook staff. She participated in Girls State and Girls Nation. Her volunteer activities include working with Caring and Sharing Food Pantry, Lions Club, Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child and American Legion veterans’ projects. She will attend the University of Arkansas and would like to major in journalism.

Robbins is a student at Rogers Heritage High School and serves as secretary of the student council. She is a Crystal Bridges Museum teen council representative, the vice president of National Honor Society, a Link Crew mentoring program leader, a former Mayor’s Youth Council member and has attended Arkansas Governor’s School. Hannah is Quiz Bowl co-captain, a marching band drum major and a classical ballet dancer. Her volunteer activities include working with Crystal Bridges, her church and the Rogers Public Library. She plans a career in cybersecurity with the NSA.

Selby Tucker, a student at Hamburg High School and Nicholas Cude who attends Bentonville High School, were selected as alternates to the 2016 program.

While in Washington, Cunningham and DeWitt will join 102 other delegates in meetings with Senators, Congressional staff, the President, a Supreme Court Justice, leaders of cabinet agencies, an ambassador to the United States and senior members of the national media. The students will also tour many of the national monuments and several museums.

USSYP allows two delegates, current high school seniors or juniors, from each state to be selected by the state’s chief education officer in cooperation with high school principals. In addition to outstanding leadership abilities and a strong commitment to public service, the students rank academically in the top one percent of their states.

Tags: IJohn Boozman, Tom Cotton, U.S. Senate, Youth program To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Private Option/ Arkansas Works = TAX INCREASE!

by Conduit for Action: If you are unfamiliar with the terms “Medicaid Expansion”, “Private Option” or “Arkansas Works” or who is covered, there is an explanation at the bottom of this article. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * If Arkansas continues Medicaid Expansion, ARKANSAS TAXES WILL INCREASE. Arkansas’ share of the costs is estimated to be $656 million for 2017-2021.[i] That is an average of $131 million per year and is a very low estimate because the period only includes one year during which Arkansas’ share of the cost is at a 10% match. Even at $131 million a year that is a lot of Arkansas taxpayer money. For comparison it is twice the annual appropriation to the Arkansas State Police. Supporters of Medicaid Expansion will try to convince you that it is all “free” money. They make the following conflicting claims: Medicaid Expansion pays for itself and even makes money for the state. (The claim doesn’t add up! It is primarily based on the liberal idea that the more taxpayer money you spend the more you stimulate the economy and bring in more taxpayer money to spend.) Savings ... Read More

Tags: IArkansas, Private Option, Arkansas Works, Tax Increase To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Hill"s Response To Obama's State of the Union

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, after President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union Address, Congressman French Hill (AR-02) released the following statement:

“People throughout Arkansas and the rest of the country are tired of the president’s my-way-or-the-highway approach to governing, and tonight’s speech offered no assurances that he is ready to ditch that mentality. Tonight, he once again showed his habit of coming to Congress to pontificate and not to join in or support our bipartisan efforts on major issues facing this Nation. We need a president who wants to work with Congress to improve our economy and put forth a plan to defeat enemies like ISIS.

“I also am troubled that the president didn’t address today’s news that ten American sailors have been arrested by the Iranian government. Iran continues to demonstrate that it can’t be trusted, even in the wake of the massive sanctions relief the president’s administration provided them through last year’s nuclear deal. Iran is not our friend, and this president must use his last year in office to push back against their aggressive actions towards America and its allies.”

Tags: Arkansas. Representative, French Hill,responds,  President Obama, State of the Union To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Boozman Responds to Obama State of the Union Address

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) issued the following statement in response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.

“The President’s policies of the last seven years have increased regulations, left Americans with skyrocketing health insurance premiums and led to shrinking middle class. The executive actions that skirt Congress have failed the American people who expect Congress and the White House to create solutions. Our country is facing many domestic and international challenges and Americans are losing trust in the government’s actions. Instead of concentrating on his legacy, the President should be focused on how he will work with Congress to create a future of hope and promise by reigning in federal spending, improving economic security for hardworking families and fighting global terrorism.”

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

Boozman: Allow the American People “to See the Fed’s Full Balance Sheet”

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) today voted in favor of a bill that would increase oversight of the Federal Reserve System, but it fell seven votes short of the sixty necessary to proceed.

The Federal Reserve Transparency Act (S. 2232), introduced by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) would require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to audit the Fed within one year of enactment and to report its findings to Congress. 

“Just as the American people have a right to have their say in our nation’s lawmaking process, they have a right to see the Fed’s full balance sheet. Unfortunately, Senate Democrats today blocked us from authorizing a full and complete audit that would have given government watchdogs more access in an effort to bring more transparency to the Fed,” Boozman said.

Boozman, a cosponsor of S. 2232, said this oversight is necessary in light of the expansion of the Fed’s authorities after the last financial crisis.


“The Obama Administration’s inappropriate response to the financial crisis was to bury our community banks under volumes of new regulations created by Dodd-Frank and give even more power to the Fed. The Fed needs more oversight, not more authority. It is imperative that Congress diligently monitor the Fed and hold it accountable for its actions.”

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

Monday, January 11, 2016

Sen. Cotton Previews State of the Union on the Hugh Hewitt Show

by Sen. Tom Cotton:

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Saturday, January 9, 2016

Supporting Obamacare While Supposedly Being Against It

Adapted from Conduit for Action article. "It is clear that Governor Hutchinson is working to continue Obamacare Medicaid Expansion. Meanwhile Congressman Westerman calls Medicaid Expansion the most egregious part of Obamacare."  . . .
----------------
When it comes to Obamacare and Arkansas' Obamacare Medicaid Expansion (called Private Option or Arkansas Works) the Democrats don't have much trouble saying they are for it and fiscal conservative clearly say they are against it. It is the Establishment Republicans who tend to speak gibberish.

Establishment Republicans vote with Democrats in supporting big government programs, however, this creates a problem for them since expansion of government and government dependency is contrary to the Republican principles. This leads to their use of a lot of word play to explain (or rather to not explain) their positions on Obamacare issues.

Establishment Republicans tend to take one of these Alice in Wonderland routes to explain away their position:
1. "I am loathed to vote for it but don't see any other option." Really? Two-fifths of the states (including those which border us) still refuse to adopt Obamacare Medicaid Expansion.

2. "Look at the conservative tweaks we made." This is just a distraction. It is still the same big government entitlement program. The character of the program was not changed with the tweaks known as the Private Option nor would it be changed with the rebranding of the Private Option as "Arkansas Works." It is a program directed to a population that is substantially made up of able bodied working age adults with no dependents and nearly half do not work at all. And, the federal government is not going to let any state change that.
Governor Asa Hutchinson was the big force behind keeping Arkansas as an Obamacare Medicaid Expansion state through 2016. Now he wants to keep it beyond 2016 by changing the name from "Private Option" to "Arkansas Works." Yet he (and the State Senate and House candidates he supports[i]) still give confusing signals about their support or opposition to Obamacare and even Obamacare Medicaid Expansion.

Governor Hutchinson said:
"I opposed and continue to oppose the Affordable Care Act" but "we're a compassionate state and we're not going to leave 220,000 people without some recourse." (Note: the 220,000 is a reference to Obamacare Medicaid Expansion.)

"Everybody thinks it's inconsistent to oppose Obamacare at the national level but then participate in Medicaid expansion. You can make that argument if you wish, but obviously if they do away and make changes with Obamacare at the national level then they're going to have to find replacements and solutions to address what all the states are doing and give more flexibility to the states." 
Also consider what Governor Hutchinson said in his January 6, 2016 press conference. A reporter asked whether the Governor was supportive of the congressional bill to repeal Obamacare. The Governor talked about how he would have voted against Obamacare if he had been in congress when it was first passed, but he also talked about there having been much water under the bridge since it was passed. He used so many qualifiers and caveats that we will leave it up to you to decide where he stands.

Contrast the Governor's comments on Obamacare with those of Bruce Westerman, U.S. Representative for Arkansas's 4th Congressional District. Here are the video clips of Governor Hutchinson and Congressman Westerman concerning repeal of Obamacare.

Governor Hutchinson on repeal of Obamacare:

Congressman Westerman on repeal on Obamacare

It is clear that Governor Hutchinson is working to continue Obamacare Medicaid Expansion. Meanwhile Congressman Westerman calls Medicaid Expansion the most egregious part of Obamacare. Read Full Article and References

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

Friday, January 8, 2016

Governor Hutchinson's Weekly Column: Serving Those Who Served

by Gov. Asa Hutchinson: On Wednesday I held a media availability in my office to talk about some of our state’s most pressing issues. In my opening remarks, I called special attention to the work being done for our veterans.

I am pleased to recognize the efforts of the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs and Director Matt Snead for helping improve the lives of our veterans in Arkansas. Until recently, veterans across this state had to travel to North Little Rock to receive assistance and access services offered by the VA. But now, four new regional offices are open and ready to serve our veterans locally.

Our Veterans Affairs Department has been working over the last several months to provide veterans with services closer to home. In addition to the four newly-opened offices, another center in Forrest City will be operational next week.

The goal of these new centers is to better serve nearly 250,000 veterans living in Arkansas. If veterans were an industry, they would be the fourth largest in Arkansas, with an economic impact $4.5 billion. They represent an important part of our state economy and a highly skilled workforce.

Most importantly, our veterans have served our country with honor and sacrifice.

And here’s what we’ve done so far:

In November, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge joined for a ribbon cutting at Fayetteville’s new veteran service office. This center will serve more than 36,000 service men and women in Northwest Arkansas.

In December, two more offices were opened in Jonesboro and Mountain Home. The office in Jonesboro will serve Northeast Arkansas—a region with nearly 21,000 veterans. The Mountain Home center, located on the Arkansas State University Mountain Home Campus, serves more than 23,000 veterans in North Central Arkansas.

This month, Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin went to Fort Smith for the opening of another regional office. This marks the fourth consecutive office opening in Arkansas over the past three months. The Fort Smith office will provide support to counties with more than 22,000 Arkansas veterans. No longer will these vets need to travel to Central Arkansas to directly access services.

Each of the regional offices are part of our long-term strategic plan, which I reviewed and approved last year. By regionalizing these offices, the veteran service officer network can operate more effectively and conveniently for ALL our service men and women.

And that’s not all. In addition to the Forrest City office opening on January 14, plans are in the works for three more centers in Monticello, Russellville and Hope. Soon, every Arkansas veteran will be able to have direct access to veteran support officers and the resources they need.

Without the sacrifice of our veterans, we would not be able to enjoy the freedom we have today. As Governor, it is important to say thank you, and God bless our men and women who have served and those who continue to serve. We are forever in your debt.

Tags: Governor, Asa Hutchinson, Serving those who served To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Boozman: Protecting the Second Amendment

by U.S. Sen. John Boozman: Our founders emphasized the importance of the right to bear arms. As a strong supporter of this fundamental right, I am working to protect the Second Amendment.

This Congress I helped introduce the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015. This bill would allow individuals with concealed carry privileges in their home state to exercise those rights in any other state that also has concealed carry laws, while abiding by that state’s concealed carry laws.

While I’m working to uphold the Second Amendment through legislation and the judicial system, this constitutional right is under constant attack by the Obama administration.

Last year I took action to prevent erosion of this right by:

Preventing the implementation of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) proposal that would severely limit access to rifle ammunition primarily used for sporting purposes.
Urging the Secretary of State to modify or delay proposed changes to definitions in the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) which has the potential to limit Americans’ constitutionally-protected freedoms.
Calling on the Social Security Administration to drop its plan to deny Second Amendment rights of Americans who receive Social Security and disability benefits and use a representative payee to handle their finances.
Voting to fix the problems with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and increase resources and tools to combat violent crime using the laws already in place, all without infringing on the Second Amendment.
This week President Obama issued new gun control mandates. This continues his efforts to skirt Congress, which has already stopped his attack on the Constitution.

What he calls ‘common sense’ steps to reduce gun violence will do little to curb violent crime and certainly would not have prevented a single one of the tragic mass shootings our nation has recently endured.

The Senate has attempted to take real action to reduce gun violence by considering measures that would prevent terrorists from obtaining firearms, incentivize states to provide mental health records for background checks and criminalize straw purchasing and weapons trafficking in a responsible way. Unfortunately, the President’s own party blocked these real common sense measures from moving forward in the Senate.

If the President wanted to take a serious approach to reducing violent crime, he would work with Congress to pass real mental health reform and violent crime reduction initiatives and he would instruct the Justice Department to do more to enforce the laws already on the books. In fact, the number of gun crime convictions U.S. Attorneys have secured have been on the decline since the President has taken office. They dropped dramatically the year after the Sandy Hook tragedy and have continued to drop each year since, despite President Obama's pledge to combat violent crime and get tougher on people who illegally buy guns.

Instead, he has proposed more window dressing and red tape that will increase the burden on law-abiding citizens and infringe on their Constitutionally-protected rights. This is not a serious proposal. It is little more than politicking and a last-ditch legacy-building effort.

On Wednesday the chairman of the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Subcommittee announced a hearing on the President’s executive actions and invited Attorney General Loretta Lynch to testify. As a member of this subcommittee, I am eagerly awaiting this opportunity to press the Attorney General on why the administration believes we should appropriate funds for its attempts to erode the Second Amendment.
As the details of these proposals are released, my colleagues and I will work to ensure that mandates that strip Second Amendment rights away from law-abiding Americans are not implemented.

Read more about my efforts to protect the Second Amendment.


Tags: Senator, John Boozman, protecting, Second Amendment To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.