Sunday, June 26, 2016

Resigning From The Arkansas Legislature To Take A State Job – Your opinion?

by Conduit for Action: We pose a question for you to ponder. Should a member of the Arkansas General Assembly be able to resign his or her office to take a lucrative state job? Or, is the public sufficiently protected by the legislator resigning as a condition for taking the job?

In general, state law requires a legislator to resign from office before taking a state job. (See Ark. Code § 21-1-402) Resignations in order to take state jobs are becoming common place. In less than two years, three legislators have resigned to take state jobs.

* * * * * * * * * *
Key resigning from state Senate for UA job
– Arkansas Democrat Gazette July 30, 2014

The article tells of Senator Johnny Key (R) resigning to take a job with the University of Arkansas. This occurred during the tenure of Governor Mike Beebe (D). Key later became the Commissioner of Education under Governor Asa Hutchinson (R).

Lamoureux quits Senate to work with Hutchinson
– Arkansas Democrat Gazette Nov 11, 2014

The article tells of Senator Michael Lamoureux (R) resigning from the Senate to be the Chief of Staff for Governor Asa Hutchinson (R). Lamoureux later resigned state employment to lobby on the federal level.

Lawmaker quitting to be DHS’ 1st legislative chief
– Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, June 7, 2016

The most recent article informs us that Representative Kelley Linck (R) resigned to become the Department of Human Services’ first chief of legislative and governmental affairs.

* * * * * * * * * *
The resignation of a Senator or Representative is not without consequences.
If a special election is called to fill the vacancy, taxpayers get to pay the bill. During the vacancy the people of the district are not represented.

When Michael Lamoureux resigned to become Governor Asa Hutchinson’s chief of staff the people of Senate District 16 had no Senator for almost the entire 2015 legislative session.

With the vacancy created by the resignation of Kelley Linck there is a possibility that the people of House District 99 will not be represented should the Governor call another special session. The Governor has already called three special sessions in less than eighteen months. Even if no special sessions are called, every week several legislative committees meet and the people of the district will not have a voice in committee actions.

* * * * * * * * * *
Banning legislators from taking state jobs during the term for which the legislator was elected is not without some precedent.

Arkansas Constitution Art. 5, § 10 says: “No Senator or Representative shall, during the term for which he shall have been elected, be appointed or elected to any civil office under this State.”

What is a civil office? It is complicated and the case law is not clear. The ban includes changing elective offices under the state mid-term and includes a very narrow category of state jobs. Nearly all state jobs are considered to be a “mere employment” instead of a “civil office.” A civil office is one created by law, with the tenure, compensation, and duties of the position also usually fixed by law, and although the case law and opinions are unclear, typically a civil office includes factors such as taking of an oath of office, the receipt of a formal commission, and the giving of a bond. There have been a number of Attorney General Opinions on the subject and here is one example: http://ag.arkansas.gov/opinions/docs/2007-045.html .

The three recent resignations were all to accept a “mere employment” and the jobs are not considered to be a “civil office.”

* * * * * * * * * *
What is your opinion? Should the law be changed to prevent legislators from resigning and then taking lucrative state jobs? Or, would the state be hurt if state agencies and offices were not able to hire legislators who are willing to resign to take a state job?

Tags: Conduit for Action, Resigning, Arkansas Legislature, State Job, Your opinion, Johnny Key, Michael Lamoureux, Kelley Linck To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Dirty Tricks - Attacks On Restoring Term Limits

by Vickie Harrison, Letter to Editor: I just gladly signed the petition to restore term limits and am thoroughly disgusted with our state legislators for their unethical behavior. I am steamed that they tricked the people in the last election by putting on the ballot that they were establishing term limits when they were actually extending their term limits to 16 years in the House and 16 years in the Senate.

And legislators had the gall to get this ballot issue voted on by incorporating it into an ethics bill! Read the actual "so-called" ethics bill HERE!

Not only have legislators tried twice to undo our term limits of six years in the House and eight years in the Senate before this latest scam on the voters in 2014, but they are still up to their trickery.

For example, the attorney that worked with Republican Jon Woods and Democrat Warwick Sabin, the sponsors of the so-called ethics bill to expand their term limits, put out the word that any paid canvassers who worked for their company would not be compensated for the work on the marijuana petitions if they collected signatures for the term limits. So hundreds of signatures won't be turned in now that paid canvassers had collected for term limits for fear they won't receive compensation for the other petitions.

And just last week an Associated Press reporter stated a total falsehood, saying "Tim Jacobs with Restore Term Limits said his group has gathered at least the signatures it'll need " to reinstate legislative term limits loosened [doubled is more accurate than loosened] by voters in 2014." Tim Jacobs contacted the reporter, and the AP reporter Andrew DeMillo promised to make a correction, but none of us have seen it yet. DeMillo's articles are carried all over the state and was in The Sun on June 13. Several people who had hundreds of signatures threw them away just as many legislators hoped they would do.

After all this chicanery, Little Rock legislators are still trying to say Little Rock is not like Washington, D.C.

These dirty tricks by legislators and the media should galvanize citizens to take action.

Restore Term Limits is asking citizens to get just one petition filled, 10 names. If you want to help restore term limits and save our state from more Washington politics, call 501-825-0190, email restoretermlimits@gmail.com or go to http://restoretermlimits.org. But you must act right away because signatures have to be turned in by July 8.
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Vickie Harrison is a resident of Jonesboro. AR

Tags: Dirty Tricks, Letter to the Editor, Vickie Harrison,  petitions, Restore Term Limits To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Hill Statement on House Republican Tax Reform Agenda

WASHINGTON – After Speaker Paul Ryan announced the House’s agenda for tax reform, Congressman French Hill (AR-02) released the following statement:“The current tax code does not work for the taxpayer. It’s complex and burdensome, and it makes zero sense. Even worse, it harms our goal of real economic growth. It is no mystery that we are living through the worst period of economic recovery since World War II, and government needs to do its part to create an environment where businesses of all sizes can thrive. The American people want a tax code that not only is fair and simple, but also will spur economic development and growth. There is a lot of work to do to make this is a reality, but I am excited to join my House colleagues in crafting a worthy replacement for our broken tax code.”

Tags: Arkansas, representative, French Hill, AR-02, House Republican, Tax Reform, agenda To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Boozman Invites Arkansans to Participate in Tele-Town Hall Monday

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman will host a telephone town hall on Monday, June 27 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, June 27 at 7 p.m.
Call 888-400-1986


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

Heller and Peters Introduce Hill’s ETF Bill in the Senate

WASHINGTON – Senator Dean Heller (NV) and Senator Gary Peters (MI) introduced a companion bill to Congressman French Hill (AR-02) and Congressman John Carney’s (DE-At Large) H.R. 5019, the Fair Access to Investment Research Act of 2016. In April, the H.R. 5019 passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 411-6.

The bill would address anomalies in securities laws and regulations that discourage broker-dealers from publishing research on exchange traded funds (ETFs) by directing the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to provide a safe harbor for research reports that cover ETFs. In recent decades, the popularity of ETFs has risen drastically, and along with their growth, ETFs have also become more complicated and require more analysis.

After the Senate version was introduced today, Congressman Hill released the following statement:

“Since starting my most recent investment firm in the late 1990s, I have seen ETFs grow from about 100 funds with $100 billion in assets to over 1,400 funds with nearly $2 trillion in assets. This rapidly growing, but complex market would greatly benefit from more research and information. I am an advocate for promoting capital formation, removing unnecessary burdens, and improving investor access to information, and this bill fulfills all of these concepts. I appreciate Senator Heller and Senator Peters introducing this bill in the Senate, and I strongly encourage Senate Leadership to bring it up for a vote.”

See Also:
Hill and Carney Investment Research Bill Passes House
House overwhelmingly approves bill to expand distribution of ETF research

Tags: U.S Rep., French Hill, AR-2, ETF Bill To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

From The Heart

by Debbie Pelley want to share what's been on my heart the last several days. When we had a renowned socialist running for city council and a true Christian conservative, the conservative won but only by 205 votes. That really concerns me when we can't even get Christians out to vote or pay attention when we have those kind of choices before us. If a few dedicated activists had not worked for Bobby Long, he could have easily lost this race.

Right now I am concerned about the petition for term limits, and we have only about two weeks left to get enough signatures. The legislators purposely tricked the people and doubled their term limits in 2014. This petition is designed to take term limits back to the ones we have had since 1992, six years in the House and eight years in the Senate. The legislators extended them to sixteen years in the House and sixteen years in the Senate.

There are enough churches in Jonesboro, in our state, and in our nation to win any battle if they would just band together, but somehow they refuse to do that, and they leave up to a few activists to try to do the impossible. John Wesley said, "Making an open stand against all the ungodliness and unrighteousness, which overspreads our land as a flood, is one of the noblest ways of confessing Christ in the face of His enemies."

The fact that the media and legislators are playing dirty tricks should galvanize the people to take action. The attorney that worked with Jon Woods, the Republican sponsor of the so called ethics bill to expand their term limits, put out the word that any paid canvassers that worked for their company would not be compensated for the work on the Marijuana petitions if they collected signatures for the Term Limits. So hundreds of signatures won't be turned in now that paid canvassers had collected for Term Limits for fear they won't receive compensation for the other petitions.

Then Andrew DeMillo wrote in an Associated Press article just last week that is published all over the state that Restore Term Limits had already met the requirements which was a lie designed to stop people from gathering signatures. And it worked because some Tea Party leaders told their groups the battle was over and threw away many petitions.

When we did the canvassing for signatures on the Jonesboro Property Code, I learned a lot. First of all, I count it as one of the most successful victories with which I have been involved in my life as an activist; I could see God's hand and His miracles in it from start to finish. I had experience with canvassing, having worked on three state-wide petitions in the past, none of which made their deadlines. In those campaigns I could never get over 4 or 5 people involved in helping me gather signatures. In this battle 4 or 5 people just could not gather the required signatures so I saw God bring in the needed canvassers, and we had at least 60 different people gather signatures. The first ten to fifteen days, it looked totally impossible. We managed to gather more than five thousand signatures from citizens living in the city limits in 22 days - I consider that a miracle.

So now after finishing that battle, I am totally committed to the Term Limits battle and I can see how God can do it even when we can't see it. I think the one sheet campaign is a God designed plan that the leaders of Restore Term Limits came up with where different people are asked to do only one sheet with ten signatures from friends, family, and church members. Many people have found that instead of one sheet they can do two or three easily. Since 60 people in Jonesboro got more than 5,000 signatures, then six times that number (360 people) could get 30,000 signatures, the number that could meet the requirements.

Would you please be one of those people that God can use to fight this important battle! To help collect signatures or just sign a petition, you can call 501-825-0190, email restoretermlimits@gmail.com, or go to http://restoretermlimits.org. If you live in the Jonesboro area, you can email me at dpelley@suddenlink.net and I will get one or more petitions to you. Or if you want to help canvass for signatures, we will tell you where you can get many signatures and will put you with an experienced canvasser if you need it.

And church leaders would you please consider having a committee in your church to be watchmen on the wall to alert the congregation to these important issues. How can we ever make any real progress toward stopping the evil (and government overreach that leads to socialism and communism) that is permeating our culture unless we get the churches involved in these battles? Churches are allowed to educate its members on any issue without losing their nonprofit status. They just can't tell the members how to vote.

We cry out for national leaders, but how can we expect God to provide those when we won't even help the leaders that do step up? Tim Jacobs who is leading this fight against corruption in the legislature (the longer they stay in the more corrupt they become) has fought this battle three times and is doing it once again. Yet we can't get people out to canvass for signatures. How can that be pleasing to God?

Tags: Debbie Pelley, From the Heart, petitions, Restore Term Limits, Arkansas To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Boozman Files Amendment to Senate Appropriations Bill to Help Arkansas Law Enforcement Fight Violent Crime

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman introduced an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2017 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations (CJS) bill to ensure that Arkansas law enforcement agencies are compensated through equitable sharing funds for their help in investigations resulting in federal forfeitures.

“Equitable sharing funds are vital for drug and violent crime task forces and other essential law enforcement operations that focus on removing the worst criminal offenders from our streets and protecting our communities. This amendment would provide Arkansas law enforcement agencies with the assurance that they will be compensated for their important work in accordance with their agreement with the Department of Justice,” Boozman said.

In December of 2015, participating Arkansas law enforcement agencies were informed that the Department of Justice (DOJ) was deferring all payments immediately and for an unknown amount of time. This reckless mismanagement of the program left many agencies vulnerable. After Boozman and other members pressured Attorney General Loretta Lynch at numerous Congressional hearings, DOJ ultimately reinstated the program.

Boozman’s amendment would ensure that DOJ spends Equitable Sharing funds appropriately and does not have the authority to arbitrarily defer or suspend them in the future. This amendment requires both the DOJ and the law enforcement participants to uphold the policies and rules of the program by providing oversight and transparency through reports to Congress and enforcement through audits of participants.

Tags: John Boozman, Amendments, Senate Appropriations Bill, Arkansas Law Enforcement To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Boozman & Hill Lead Efforts Recognizing 70th Anniversary of Fulbright Program

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman and Congressman French Hill (AR-02) introduced resolutions recognizing the 70th anniversary of the Fulbright Program, the United State’s flagship educational exchange established by former Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright.

“Senator Fulbright’s vision for connecting our world through education is an important diplomatic tool. The Fulbright program creates a better understanding of different cultures and ideals while promoting peace and higher education. Today, as violence and intolerance grows across the globe, I believe the Fulbright program remains a beacon of hope for a better future,” Boozman said.

“Senator Fulbright’s name has been engraved in Arkansas history and his work has had a mighty impact on the lives of countless youth and professors throughout the world. Over the past year, I have had the good fortune to meet with Fulbright Scholars from many different countries, each offering their own unique and inspiring story that was made possible by the legacy of Senator Fulbright. As an Arkansan, I am proud of this extraordinary contribution to the international community, and I am honored to be able to celebrate its global impact by introducing this resolution with Senator Boozman,” Hill said.

On Aug. 1, 1946, President Harry Truman Fulbright’s legislation into law creating this international exchange program designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and other countries. The Fulbright Program has educated more than 370,000 students from 165 countries, including 54 Nobel Laureates and 33 heads of state.

The Senate resolution is cosponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT). House cosponsors include the entire Arkansas House Congressional Delegation Representatives Rick Crawford (R-AR), Steve Womack (R-AR), Bruce Westerman (R-AR) and Tom Cole (R-OK), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Charles Rangel (D-NY) and Mark Takai (D-HI).

Tags: Sen. JohnBoozman & Hill Lead Efforts Recognizing 70th Anniversary of Fulbright Program To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Boozman on Votes Seeking to Prevent Terrorists From Obtaining Firearms

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) released the following statement after the Senate considered a series of amendments that seek to prevent terrorists from obtaining firearms:

“No one wants a situation where known terrorists have guns. However, we must prevent this while protecting the freedoms of law-abiding citizens who are mistakenly placed on the various watch lists maintained by the federal government.

Constitutionally-protected rights of law-abiding Americans cannot be stripped without due process, which is exactly what would happen if the amendments offered by some of my Democrat colleagues today were adopted.

We must keep working to find a common ground that balances these two demands.”

Background: The Senate voted on the motion to invoke cloture on four amendments to the FY17 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill: Grassley amendment #4751, Murphy #4750, Cornyn amendment #4749 and Feinstein amendment #4720. All four of the amendments the Senate considered failed to reach the sixty votes necessary for cloture.

Tags: Sen. John Boozman, on votes, prevent terrorists, from obtaining firearms To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

ISIS - Mr President Time To Start Listing

by Senator John Boozman (R-AR): Our nation is at war with ISIS and other radical Islamic terror organizations who seek to destroy our way of life. Those who deny this are denying the facts.

These terrorists have repeatedly called on their supporters to attack Americans here at home and abroad. Our country must have the resolve to defeat them. They’ve carried out barbaric acts of terrorism, from the beheading of Americans hostages to attacks at Ft. Hood, Benghazi, Boston, Chattanooga, San Bernardino, and now Orlando.

President Obama consistently tries to cover up the fact that he has no real strategy to destroy ISIS by politicizing the acts of radical Islamic terrorists. Political correctness has no place in this fight. Neither does attacking the Republican Party. Diplomacy will not work with this terrorist group.

When you hear the President refer to this terror organization as the “JV team,” and tell us that ISIS is “contained,” and that their attacks around the world are “setbacks,” it makes you question if his Administration is taking this threat as seriously as they must.

The number one priority of the federal government must always be to ensure our national security. Unfortunately, poll after poll shows Americans are less confident in their safety here at home.

Mr. President, it’s past time that you start listening to those who understand these terrorists – like your own CIA Director – and follow the advice of our military leaders and put in place a decisive strategy to destroy ISIS now.

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

How AR Legislators Tricked AR Citizens!

by Iris Stevens, Letter to Editor: Restore Term Limits

Thomas Jefferson maintained that the people, not politicians, were the ultimate guardians of freedom in this country, "I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves..."

Volunteers are currently collecting enough signatures to restore the term limits that our own politicians upended two years ago. For those unfamiliar with this operation, it began with the election of 2014 when the legislature wrote, passed, and submitted as an amendment a deceptive "Ethics" bill. The bill supposedly limited gifts legislators could accept from lobbyists, but also contained a scam in its misleading title, "An amendment regulating contributions to candidates for state or local office, barring gifts from lobbyists to certain state officials, providing for setting salaries of certain state officials, and setting term limits for members of the General Assembly."

Inside this lengthy bill was a section that doubled or more than doubled our current term limits from 6 years in the house and 8 years in the senate to as much as16 years! But voters, because they thought they were voting FOR term limits, passed this deceptive "Ethics Bill" 54% to 46%.

Actually, Arkansas had had term limits since 1992 when the people passed an initiative that won with almost 60% of the vote. In 1994 legislators responded to the people by challenging the vote in court claiming voters didn’t know what they were doing, but the Arkansas Supreme Court supported term limits unanimously.

In 2004, legislators referred Proposal 1 to the ballot trying to mislead voters into lengthening terms, but by a 70% majority vote Arkansans chose to keep them at the 1992 limits.

Volunteers are now asking for help to restore the term limits that voters fought for in two separate elections and passed overwhelmingly.

This "RESTORE TERM LIMITS" amendment would be voted on in November and would limit state representatives to serving six years, senators to serving eight years and state lawmakers overall to a maximum of 10 years' service. The proposed amendment also would prohibit the Legislature from putting future term-limit measures on the ballot.

For those who are frustrated by the legislature’s 22 year campaign against Arkansans’ desire to limit career politicians, please sign the petition and vote for the restoration of term limits in November.

To help collect signatures or just sign a petition, you can call 501-825-0190, email restoretermlimits@gmail.com, or go to http://restoretermlimits.org/
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Iris Stevens is from Jonesborro, AR.

Tags: AR legislators, tricked Arkansas citizens, Restore Term Limits, sign petition, help collect signatures To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Combating Youth Radicalization

by Rep. Rick Crawford /b>: Following the devastating Orlando shooting, many officials propose a knee-jerk reaction to censor the 2nd amendment. But as we know, the problem is much more complex and involves solving the deeper problems behind why people commit mass shootings.

One answer is radicalization, a phenomenon in which usually an isolated, young, malleable person becomes the victim of some hate-spewing agenda like radical Islam. Watch the short video below to learn more about how we as a nation and the muslim community can combat youth radicalization.

Tags: U.S. Rep., Rick Crawford, AR-2, combating, youth Radicalization To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Hill Introduces Bill Requiring Treasury Secretary to Lead Reform of Fannie and Freddie

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman French Hill (AR-02) introduced H.R. 5505, the GSE Review and Reform Act. H.R. 5505 would require the U.S. Treasury Department to study ending the conservatorship of the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on an annual basis.

Despite being at the center of the 2008 financial crisis and requiring a nearly $200 billion bailout from American taxpayers, the Dodd-Frank Act failed to address the root cause of the crisis—a failed housing policy. Other than a 2011 study, the administration has had little engagement with Congress on a path toward ending this eight-year-long conservatorship and reforming our broken housing finance system.

There has been no progress toward moving these federally dependent GSEs out of the conservatorship. My bill would force Treasury to study this issue and present its recommendations to Congress at least once a year, creating engagement on the best path forward on housing finance reform to end taxpayer exposure and ensure access to mortgage credit for Americans,” said Hill.

Related
Wall Street Journal: FHFA IG Reports Fannie Mae Construction Costs pose a “significant financial and reputation risk”

Tags: UA Rep, French Hill, AR-2, introduces Bill, reform of Fannie and Freddie, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Boozman Pushes for Expanding U.S. Agriculture Exports to Cuba

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman continued advocating to open up trade with Cuba during the Senate Appropriations Committee’s markup of the Fiscal Year 2017 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill.

The committee adopted an amendment offered by Boozman and Sen. Jon Tester that would lift the ban on private banks and companies offering credit for the export of agricultural commodities to Cuba. The amendment is a common-sense solution to the number one obstacle facing agricultural exporters to Cuba.

“We’ve had good intentions behind our isolation policy toward Cuba, but the results have not changed. It’s time to try a new approach. The Appropriations Committee’s strong support of the Boozman-Tester amendment, which is based on legislation I authored with Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, is an important step. This amendment helps level the playing field for American farmers and allows U.S. agriculture products to more easily enter the Cuban market. A free and open Cuba is not going to materialize under isolation. This amendment is a step in the right direction,” Boozman said.

The amendment also eliminates a law that prevents any ship that has docked in Cuba from loading or unloading any freight in the United States for 180 days.

Boozman also voted in support of an amendment to end restrictions on travel to Cuba unfairly imposed on American citizens and legal residents.

“The travel ban is outdated and inconsistent. I believe the way you change the world is through personal relationships. If we are serious about bringing real change to Cuba, we need to expose the Cuban people to our democratic ideals. Allows U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba will promote American ideals and free market principles,” Boozman said.

The Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved the bill with these amendments. The bill now advances to the full Senate for consideration.

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

Hill Votes in Favor of Iranian Leadership Transparency Act

The House Financial Services Committee voted to pass H.R. 5461, the Iranian Leadership Transparency Act, sponsored by Rep. Bruce Poliquin (ME-2), by a vote of 39-20.

H.R. 5641, would require the Treasury Secretary to develop and post online a list estimating the “funds and assets” held by senior Iranian political and military leaders, along with a description of how they acquired the assets and how those assets are employed. The report would be posted on the Treasury Department’s website in English but also translated into the three main languages used inside Iran, and would be available in any of those forms in a way that is easy to download and share.

Rep. French Hill: “This administration just six years ago this month, turned its back on the people of Iran when they were trying to protest their notorious regime and took to the streets, but then [the administration] turned right around to negotiate with the ayatollahs on a failed, ill-conceived, misdirected, poorly designed, disaster of an Iranian transaction, fueling Iran as the world’s largest supporter of terrorism.”

Tags: Arkansas, US Rep, Dist. 2, French Hill, Votes in favor, Iranian Leadership Transparency Act To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Boozman Announces AmeriCorps Funding for Arkansas

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman announced that Arkansas will benefit from nearly $2.5 million in AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering and service programs. These investments will support more than 200 AmeriCorps members who will work on some of the most pressing issues in Arkansas including educating children in disadvantaged areas.

“AmeriCorps is an indispensable resource for nonprofits, communities and the people they serve. I thank all AmeriCorps members for their commitment to serving communities in our country that need help the most,” Boozman said. “What is so impressive about this program is AmeriCorps members are able to bring the country together by uniting the public and private sectors behind a common goal of serving our country.”

“For more than 20 years, AmeriCorps members have had a positive and lasting impact on the toughest challenges facing our nation,” Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service said. “Building on Arkansas’s strong tradition of neighbor helping neighbor, AmeriCorps members will improve lives and strengthen communities across the state. While they serve others, AmeriCorps members will also expand opportunity for themselves - gaining skills and experience to jumpstart their careers. I salute every AmeriCorps member for his or her dedication and determination to ‘get things done’ and respond to the needs in their communities.”

The following organizations are Arkansas recipients of 2016 AmeriCorps competitive grants:
  • Teach For America Arkansas – The organization will receive a $72,000 grant which will support 90 AmeriCorps members to serve as full-time teachers in low-income rural communities across Arkansas, reaching more than 940 students.
  • Arkansas Literacy Councils, Inc. – The organization is receiving a $243,581 grant for its Arkansas Reads program. The funding will support 40 AmeriCorps members to provide one-on-one literacy and ESL instruction to 725 disadvantaged students.
  • Southeast Arkansas Education Service Cooperative (SEARK) - Its Arkansas AmeriCorp Future Teach Initiative program will receive $12,000 to allow 30 AmeriCorps members to participate in the Future Teacher Initiative (FTI) AmeriCorps Program to address identified community needs in education in the Ashley, Bradley, Calhoun, Clark, Cleveland, Chicot, Drew, and Faulkner Counties.
  • Southeast Arkansas Education Service Cooperative (SEARK) –The organization’s Arkansas Smart Start AmeriCorps program will receive $387,129 to engage 63 Americorps members in providing one-on-one math and literacy tutoring to elementary students and tutoring at-risk preschool students in the Delta region.
  • Kiwanis Activities, Inc., received a $176,231 grant for its Alternative Classroom Experience/Summer Incentive Program that will support 14 AmeriCorps members to tutor and mentor at-risk elementary students in Little Rock, and mobilize 200 volunteers to serve as mentors and to help operate Pfeifer Kiwanis Camp.
CNCS will also provide up to $984,638 million in education scholarships for the AmeriCorps members funded by these grants to help pay for college, vocational training or pay back student loans. The federal investment is projected to generate an additional $1.6 million in local support to increase community impact and return on federal investment.

The federal investment also includes $1.5 million for the Arkansas Service Commission, the Governor-appointed state service commission. Later this summer, it will make additional grants to support AmeriCorps programs in the state.

This year’s AmeriCorps grant cycle was highly competitive, due to the strong demand by organizations seeking AmeriCorps resources.

There are 532 AmeriCorps members who serve in 515 locations across the the state. AmeriCorps engages more than 75,000 members in intensive service annually to serve through nonprofit, faith-based and community organizations at 21,000 locations across the country.

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

Gov. Hutchinson Announces Statewide Initiative to Increase Access for Computer Science & STEM Careers:

$400,000 set for Career Initiative in Every Middle School

LITTLE ROCK - Today, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced the Learning Blade initiative, supported through a $400,000 grant from the Arkansas Department of Education to the Arkansas Public School Resource Center, to increase student awareness and interest in computer science and STEM careers.

Learning Blade challenges students to take on game-based projects that expose them to different aspects of science, technology, engineering, and math education – commonly referred to as STEM. Arkansas is the second state to implement Learning Blade statewide and, at the Governor’s request, Arkansas is the first ever state to deploy Learning Blade with a computer coding aspect.

In the program, students are taught computer science skills through engaging academic exercises. Lessons are self-guided, allowing students to work on STEM-based activities at their own pace in the classroom or during after-school programs at no cost to Arkansas’s middle schools. The program will be implemented across Arkansas beginning in the 2016-2017 school year.

Governor Asa Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“The Learning Blade’s focus on STEM education will offer Arkansas’s students new and exciting opportunities to learn real-world computer science concepts. This program will help our young learners master the fundamentals required for an array of specialized and highly-competitive STEM careers.

“This effort, along with my computer science initiative, is putting Arkansas’s students in an even better position to land tech-driven jobs. As the computer coding movement in Arkansas continues to gain momentum, I look forward to even greater numbers of students taking on the skills needed for these challenging and rewarding fields.”

The Learning Blade program will coordinate with the governor’s computer science initiative to offer coding classes at every Arkansas public high school by exposing middle school students to STEM education concepts.

Learning Blade will help Arkansas educators provide student-focused interactions that expose students to possible career paths and connect students with the relevance of learning,” said Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key. “It is a powerful tool that will ignite a spark in the minds of students.”

“I am excited that Learning Blade is being made available to teachers and students across Arkansas,” said Anthony Owen, ADE Coordinator of Computer Science. “Building interest in STEM subjects and awareness of related career opportunities, including jobs in the field of computer science, is crucial in ensuring that Arkansas graduates have the knowledge and skills that technology-based industries are seeking for their workforce.”

By 2024, there will be more than 126,000 computer science and STEM jobs in Arkansas, which opens up opportunities for Arkansas’s upcoming workforce to pursue high-paying career paths in these fields.

“The Arkansas Department of Career Education (ACE) sees the Learning Blade online program as an opportunity to further demonstrate the importance of STEM education and bring awareness and interest to STEM careers in Arkansas,” said Dr. Charisse Childers, Director of the Arkansas Department of Career Education.Learning Blade will provide the gateway to current ACE Career and Technical programs such as Project Lead the Way and Gateway to Technology, High Schools that Work, Tech Centers that Work, Advanced Careers curriculum, Mobile Applications Development, Engineering Technology Education and Computer Engineering and Computer Programming. We believe this program can play an important role in our mission at ACE which is to prepare a job-ready, career-bound workforce to meet the needs of Arkansas employers.”

Several benefits for students who have participated in the Learning Blade program include:

  • Increase in student awareness of STEM careers and technologies – 71 percent of students say they learned about new careers after using Learning Blade.
  • Increase in student interest to follow STEM career paths – 37 percent of students say they are more likely to pursue STEM careers and 57 percent are more interested in taking advanced math in high school.
  • Increase in perceived relevance of student academic skills – 69 percent more students recognize what they learn in school will be useful later in life after graduation.
The cost to implement the Learning Blade Program is $400,000, which is being provided through a grant from the Department of Education to the Arkansas Public School Resource Center (APSRC). APSRC will work to implement the program throughout the state beginning in the 2016-2017 school year at no cost to Arkansas’s middle schools.

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

Boozman Calls Passage of Defense Authorization Bill Critical to Our National Security

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) today called Senate passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) “critical to our national security.”

“We are a nation at war. We must dedicate the necessary resources and ensure that proper steps are taken to defeat ISIS and other radical Islamic terror groups who seek to destroy America. That’s why this bill is so critical to our national security. It shows our bipartisan commitment to ensuring that the men and women of our military are provided with the support they need to combat terrorists and other adversaries overseas, which will keep Americans safer here at home,” Boozman said.

The NDAA supports our wounded warriors and our troops and their families, authorizes increases to combat and troop pay and provides for the equipment necessary to combat ISIS and numerous threats around the world.

The bill also contains a number of important policy provisions related to the continued operation of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay (Gitmo) including an extension of the ban on the transfer of detainees to the U.S., prohibitions on the use of funds to construct or modify facilities in the U.S. for the purpose of housing detainees and limitations on the transfer of detainees to nations where they could return to the battlefield.

“Gitmo is more than serving its purpose for detaining the worst of the worst, obtaining valuable intelligence from detainees and keeping these terrorists who are bent on destroying America from returning to the battlefield,” Boozman said. “As recent reports indicate, former detainees are in fact returning to the battlefield and have been responsible for attacks that have claimed American lives. Transferring detainees is not a viable solution and the Obama administration needs to abandon its intention to decrease the number of prisoners at Gitmo.”

Tags: National Defense Authorization Act, NDAA, Senator. John Boozman To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Tom Cotton Urging Donald Trump To Campaign On Upgrading Military

Sen. Tom Cotton said Wednesday that he has advised Donald Trump to campaign on beefing up military spending, believing the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has an advantage over the foreign policy record of Democrat Hillary Clinton.

"I suggested to Donald Trump the last time we spoke that that's a very important policy we need to pursue," the Arkansas Republican said at a forum hosted by The Heritage Foundation. "It's also a winning political issue."

Mr. Cotton, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he has told Mr. Trump in private conversations that the Obama administration's military policies will result in a shortfall of $80 billion to $100 billion for what the Pentagon will need next year. He said Mr. Trump has solicited his advice "a couple of times over the last year," most recently in late March.

"The American people understand our interests around the world are not being advanced under Barack Obama, and they probably wouldn't be under Hillary Clinton, either," Mr. Cotton said. "And the core part of that is our military. Our military is woefully underfunded." . . . Read Full article at ARRA News Service

Tags: US Senator, Tom Cotton, urging, Donald Trump, campaign on upgrading military To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Arkansas Gov. Hutchinson Announces Appointments

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

Dr. Deborah Mack
, Bentonville, to the Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy. Appointment expires June 30, 2021. Replaces Dr. Cheryl Bryant.

Dr. Shane Ford, Conway, to the State Board of Optometry. Appointment expires April 26, 2021. Replaces Dr. Dale Morris.

Judge Kirk Johnson, Texarkana, to the State Crime Laboratory Board. Appointment expires January 14, 2018. Replaces Xollie Duncan.

Jeffrey Marcussen, Little Rock, to the Academic Facilities Review Board. Appointment expires August 6, 2018. Replaces Guy Pardew.

Chris Hart, White Hall, to the State Employment Security Advisory Council. Appointment expires at the Will of the Governor. Replaces Daniel Woods.

Colin Caldwell, Fayetteville, to the Elevator Safety Board. Appointment expires July 1, 2018. Open Position.

Kimberly Arnold, Conway, to the Children’s Behavioral Health Care Commission. Appointment expires August 15, 2018. Reappointment.

Jacquelin Brownell, Pea Ridge, to the State Board of Private Career Education. Appointment expires April 15, 2023. Reappointment.

Edward Moore, Prairie Grove, to the Individual Sewage Disposal Systems Advisory Committee. Appointment expires October 1, 2019. Replaces Kevin Castleberry.

Lana Chronister, Hartman, to the Johnson Quorum Court District 4. Appointment expires December 31, 2016.

H.E. “Bud” Cummins, Little Rock, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-15-731 Gene Garner et al. v. Hot Springs Village Property Owners Association. Replaces Justice Paul Danielson, who has disqualified himself from the case.

Misti Staley, Helena, to the Delta Cultural Center Policy Advisory Board. Appointment expires October 1, 2018. Reappointment.

Abigail Carr, Helena, to the Delta Cultural Center Policy Advisory Board. Appointment expires October 1, 2018. Replaces Sam Elardo.

Lisa Miller, Bryant, to the Auctioneer’s Licensing Board. Appointment expires April 15, 2020. Reappointment.

Nick Fowler, Glenwood, to the Auctioneer’s Licensing Board. Appointment expires April 15, 2020. Replaces Kenny McGrew.

Andrew Post, Ozark, to the Arkansas Wine Producers’ Council. Appointment expires March 1, 2019.

Al Wiederkehr, Wiederkehr Village, to the Arkansas Wine Producers’ Council. Appointment expires March 1, 2019. Reappointment.

Michael Post, Altus, to the Arkansas Wine Producers’ Council. Appointment expires March 1, 2019. Reappointment.

Dr. Douglas Hausler, Eureka Springs, to the Arkansas Wine Producers’ Council. Appointment expires March 1, 2019. Reappointment.

David Hoover, Alpena, to the Criminal Detention Facility Review Committee, Judicial District #19 East. Appointment expires January 14, 2018.

Ralph Hill, Blytheville, to the Criminal Detention Facility Review Committee, Judicial District #2. Appointment expires January 14, 2020. Reappointment.

Alfred Hogan, Turrell, to the Criminal Detention Facility Review Committee, Judicial District #2. Appointment expires January 14, 2020. Reappointment.

Kenton Hallen, Heber Springs, to the Criminal Detention Facility Review Committee, Judicial District #16. Appointment expires January 14, 2017.

Charles Clark, Louann, to the Arkansas Workforce Development Board. Appointment expires May 1, 2020. Reappointment. *Governor Hutchinson has designated Mr. Clark as Chairman of the Arkansas Workforce Development Board.

George “Gan” Nunnally
, Bentonville, to the Arkansas Workforce Development Board. Appointment expires May 1, 2020. Replaces Randy Hopper.

David Major, Alma, to the Arkansas Workforce Development Board. Appointment expires May 1, 2019. Replaces Jerry Riley.

Julie Roberson, Hamburg, to the Arkansas Workforce Development Board. Appointment expires May 1, 2020. Replaces Diane Hilburn.

Jeffery Allen, El Dorado, to the Arkansas Workforce Development Board. Appointment expires May 1, 2019. Replaces Dean Inman.

Robert Thorne, Marion, to the Arkansas Workforce Development Board. Appointment expires May 1, 2020. Reappointment.

Alan Hughes, Bismark, to the Arkansas Workforce Development Board. Appointment expires May 1, 2020. Reappointment.

Jacqueline Bettis
, Springdale, to the Arkansas State Rehabilitation Council. Appointment expires February 1, 2018. Reappointment.

Keith Vire, Fayetteville, to the Arkansas State Rehabilitation Council. Appointment expires February 1, 2019. Reappointment.

Mandee Harper, Malvern, to the Arkansas State Rehabilitation Council. Appointment expires February 1, 2018. Reappointment.

Alex Scott, Arkadelphia, to the Arkansas State Rehabilitation Council. Appointment expires February 1, 2019. Open Position.

Wesley Eddington, Jonesboro, to the Arkansas State Rehabilitation Council. Appointment expires February 1, 2019. Replaces Gregg Lawrence.

Robert Fagan, Little Rock, to the Arkansas State Rehabilitation Council. Appointment expires February 1, 2019. Open Position.

Malvin Green, Little Rock, to the Arkansas State Rehabilitation Council. Appointment expires February 1, 2019. Replaces Debbie Wooten.

Martin McDonell, Greenwood, to the Arkansas State Rehabilitation Council. Appointment expires February 1, 2019. Open Position.

Frances Johnson, Bryant, to the Arkansas State Rehabilitation Council. Appointment expires February 1, 2019. Open Position.

Rebecca Martin, Lewisville, to the Arkansas State Rehabilitation Council. Appointment expires February 1, 2018. Reappointment.

Lisa Haley, Little Rock, to the Arkansas State Rehabilitation Council. Appointment expires February 1, 2019. Replaces Martha Asti.

Shayla Copas, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion Commission. Serves at the pleasure of the Governor. Reappointment.

Woody Freeman, Jonesboro, to the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion Commission. Serves at the pleasure of the Governor. Replaces Kaki Hockersmith.

Sally Kibler, Fort Smith, to the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion Commission. Serves at the pleasure of the Governor. Replaces Debi Havner.

Joe Dan Yee, Lake Village, to the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion Commission. Serves at the pleasure of the Governor. Reappointment.

Patricia Johnson, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion Commission. Serves at the pleasure of the Governor.

Dinah Arnold, Arkadelphia, to the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion Commission. Serves at the pleasure of the Governor. Replaces Penny Thomason.

Charlene Reed, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion Commission. Serves at the pleasure of the Governor. Reappointment.

Barbara Phillips, Rogers, to the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion Commission. Serves at the pleasure of the Governor. Replaces Michael Mayton.

Eric Treat, Conway, to the Governor’s Commission on People with Disabilities. Appointment expires June 1, 2019. Replaces Abtin Mehdizadegan. *Governor Hutchinson has designated Mr. Treat as Chairman of the Governor’s Commission on People with Disabilities.

Jermaine Moore, Alexander, to the Governor’s Commission on People with Disabilities. Appointment expires June 1, 2019. Reappointment.

Nola McKinney, Bonnerdale, to the Governor’s Commission on People with Disabilities. Appointment expires June 1, 2019. Reappointment.

Sarah Thomas, Maumelle, to the Governor’s Commission on People with Disabilities. Appointment expires June 1, 2019. Reappointment.

Robert Passwaters, Bryant, to the Governor’s Commission on People with Disabilities. Appointment expires June 1, 2019. Replaces Ruth Pellow.

Jarod Varner, North Little Rock, to the Governor’s Commission on People with Disabilities. Appointment expires June 1, 2018. Reappointment.

Joseph Adam, Cave City, to the Governor’s Commission on People with Disabilities. Appointment expires June 1, 2019. Reappointment.

Grady Tracy, El Dorado, to the Governor’s Commission on People with Disabilities. Appointment expires June 1, 2019. Reappointment.

Taisha Robison-Froman, Hensley, to the Governor’s Commission on People with Disabilities. Appointment expires June 1, 2019. Open Position.

Craig Reinhardt, Little Rock, to the Governor’s Commission on People with Disabilities. Appointment expires June 1, 2019. Open Position.

Sheila Beck, Center Ridge, to the Governor’s Commission on People with Disabilities. Appointment expires June 1, 2019. Open Position.

Amanda Goddard, Cabot, to the Governor’s Commission on People with Disabilities. Appointment expires June 1, 2019. Open Position.

Tags: Arkansas, Gov. 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.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Arkansas GOP Chairman Named Co-Chair of Committee on Credentials for RNC Convention

Republican Party of Arkansas, Little Rock, Ark. - Doyle Webb, Chairman of the Republican Party of Arkansas, is named Co-Chair of the Committee on Credentials by RNC Chairman, Reince Priebus.

“I am very honored to serve as Co-Chair alongside former RNC Chairman Mike Duncan. By serving as Chairman of the Committee on Contests and Co-Chair of the Committee on Credentials, my main focus will be to ensure that all delegates and alternates are fairly placed so that the process of naming the President of the United States is a smooth one,” said Chairman Webb. “Now that Hillary Clinton has become the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party, Republicans now more than ever realize the importance of unifying to elect a Republican President in November.“

The Credentials Committee can hear and resolve appeals to the ruling of any contest heard by the Committee on Contests and will submit a temporary roll of delegates to the National Convention after being reviewed by the RNC.

Webb also serves as Chairman of the Committee on Contests, which will convene two weeks prior to the convention.

Tags: Arkansas, GOP, Republican Chairman,Doyle Webb.  Named Co-Chair, Committee on Credentials, RNC Convention To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

African-American Coalition of Arkansas GOP Hosts Community Event

Republican Party of Arkansas, Little Rock, Ark. – History, empowerment, engagement and educating the community will be the focal points of the 2016 “Homecoming” Celebration hosted by the African-American Coalition of the The Republican Party of Arkansas.

The event will feature live music, refreshments and activities to commemorate “The Homecoming.” The celebration honors laws passed by Republican elected officials that ended slavery to secure civil rights of Black Americans and also honors Trailblazers who have provided more than 20 years of service to the Republican Party.

“On June 25, we will place emphasis on the history of African-Americans and the Republican Party. We are celebrating Juneteenth by educating Arkansans about the rich history of the Republican Party's position in African-American history and through this program, we are inviting them to “come home,” said Program Committee Chairperson, Patricia Nations. “History will bear witness that Republicans have taken great strides to pass laws that benefit African-Americans. This community event will also serve as a springboard to foster economic development and community involvement as a whole.”

Will Rockefeller, son of former Arkansas Lieutenant Governor Winthrop Rockefeller, will serve as the keynote speaker.

The “Homecoming” will take place at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center on Saturday, June 25, 2016 from 10:00a.m.-1:00p.m. The event will be invitation only but is open to the press.

Tags: AR GOP, African-American Coalition, Arkansas Republican Party, history, African-Americans, Republican Party To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Rep. Hill Statement on House National Security Plan & Time to Re-commit to War on Terror

WASHINGTON Today, after Speaker Paul Ryan announced the House’s new national security platform, Congressman French Hill (AR-02) released the following statement:

“We have endured eight years of drifting and feckless foreign policy objectives that have been insufficient in ensuring victory in the ongoing War on Terror. Because the administration won’t lead on this issue, Congress has stepped up to offer solutions that can keep our enemies at bay and the American people safe. Winning the War on Terror will take a more comprehensive approach than just boots on the ground, and as a member of the House Financial Services Committee’s Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing, I will continue to work with my colleagues in the House to fi
Also read the following Newsmax op-ed by Rep. Hill on winning the war on terror:
by U.S. Rep. French Hill (AR-2): President Ronald Reagan, a man never ill-equipped to deliver a great soundbite, once famously said: "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it on to our children in the bloodstream.

"The only way they can inherit the freedom we have known is if we fight for it, protect it, defend it and then hand it to them with the well thought lessons of how they in their lifetime must do the same."

For President Reagan's generation, that mentality was forged on the beaches of Normandy, on the islands in the Pacific, and in frozen misery at the Battle of the Bulge by the millions who stepped up and provided needed support on the home front.

Victory in the Second World War required not just the men and women in uniform contribute to the effort, but an the entire country. Those who survived the war and birthed the next generation of Americans did well in passing on that important lesson.
Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we do better to instill in the next generation of Americans the belief that "freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction."

The United States again is being tested and confronted by groups as evil and as hell-bent on our destruction as the Axis powers. However, the sense of urgency in defeating this enemy pales in comparison to America's commitment to winning the Second World War.

We have spent nearly 15 years engaging in the War on Terror and contributed enormous resources, but have yet to be able to declare victory.

The lack of quantified success is remarkable when you consider the incredible devastation the American men and women in uniform have inflicted on our enemy. Our veterans of these wars are nothing short of superheroes, many of whom have served multiple tours and years away from family and loved ones; they have performed as admirably in battle as any group of warriors in American history.

But their efforts have been made stagnant by an administration only half-heartedly engaging the enemy, foolishly making decisions based more on fulfilling campaign promises than on the reality on the ground — and a nation that has grown apathetic to the task at hand.

The biggest problem with any perceived apathy towards the Global War on Terror is that President Reagan's idea of fighting and protecting freedom is at risk of being lost by the youngest generation of Americans.

"Remember the Lusitania." "A Date Which Will Live in Infamy." "We Will Never Forget." These have all been important reminders throughout our history about the cost of freedom and the need to protect our country from those that wish to do us harm.

The War on Terror requires a more nuanced approach to achieve victory than previous U.S. conflicts, requiring the attention of much more than just our men and women in combat roles.
One of the most underrated aspects of winning this war has been infiltrating and cutting off sources of funding for terrorist groups. As a member of the House Financial Services Committee's Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing, I am part of a bipartisan group in Congress that is exploring ways to infiltrate and cut off funding for terror groups.

Succeeding in this area would deal our enemies a crippling blow to their operations. Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, the U.S. government has succeeded in limiting terrorist groups' access to traditional funding methods.


This includes the U.S. Department of the Treasury working with our international partners to interdict terrorists groups' funds moving across the international banking system, freezing known terrorists' assets, designating Islamic charities suspected of funding terrorism, and stopping their access to global financial networks.

As our laws have adapted, so, too, have the terrorists. Terrorists groups are funding their operations through black market oil and commodities trading, kidnapping for ransom, and drug trafficking, to name just a few of the methods.

Many of these new forms of revenue are very difficult to stop through traditional counter-terrorism financing (CTF) measures and anti-money laundering (AML) methods.

Although the Task Force will continue to look at ways to improve laws dealing with traditional CTF/AML issues, from a policy-maker's point of view, there is almost too much emphasis on traditional financial interdiction.

It took a terrible attack in Paris for the administration to finally begin bombing ISIS oil trucks being used to generate millions in revenue. Policymakers must come to an understanding in all parts of our strategy — topline, operational, and tactical — that finance targets should be treated as military targets, and we must have a plan that downgrades and eliminates terrorist groups' command and control functions and financial infrastructure.
We must give our commanders on the ground a set of rules of engagement that give them the flexibility to go after these targets.

The Paris and San Bernardino attacks also opened the eyes of many to another problem: the use of social networking sites to recruit and coordinate attacks. ISIS needs to be contained not just on the ground, or in the global financial system, but also in the digital space, and who better to lead that charge the youngest generations of Americans who are so adept at utilizing and understanding technology and social media.

Earlier this year, I met with students from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) who were in Washington competing in the Facebook Global Digital Challenge. The challenge displayed strategies students had created to combat violent extremism and defuse online recruiting by terrorist organizations.

These students and their peers will ultimately be a central part of our victory, and when the time comes for us to pass the same torch that our parents' generation passed on to us, their experiences will have lead them to understand the truth of President Reagan's words.

Tags: Rep. French Hill, House National Security Plan, Op-Ed, Time to Re-commit to War on Terror To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Rep. Kelley Linck Resigns To Take Arkansas DHS Position

Rep. Kelly Linck (R)
YELLVILLE — Arkansas Rep. Kelly Linck is resigning to take a job with the state Department of Human Services.

Rep. Kelley Linck, R-Flippin, submitted a resignation letter to Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Friday, DHS officials said. The agency said Linck will begin serving as chief of legislative and governmental affairs on June 13 at an annual salary of $108,243.

"When I was elected, my goal was to do the best things I could for the people of District 99, and I have enjoyed my tenure representing them," Linck said in a DHS news release. "I feel that helping DHS become a better and more effective organization is the best way to serve not only the people in my district, but also people all across the state. I look forward to this new and exciting opportunity."

Linck has served in the House since 2011 and is chairman of the House Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee. He declined to file for re-election this year, saying he planned to seek other opportunities.

Linck represented District 99, which includes parts of Marion, Searcy, Boone, and Baxter counties. Linck graduated high school in Yellville. He earned a bachelor's degree in business from Arkansas Tech University. He works in Tourism at Ozark Mountain Region, Inc. Rep. Linck has been involved with many civic and professional organizations, including Rotary Club, where he served as president. He served on the North central Arkansas Regional Economic Development Committee, and he was president of the White/Norfork Rivers Outfitters Association and the Bull Shoals Chamber of Commerce.

Kelly had previously announced he would not run for re-election and Republican Jack Fortner of Yellville is the unopposed candidate for Linck's House seat in the 2016 General Election.

"Given our size and how often we at DHS sit before legislative committees, it was important to me that we have someone providing a link between us and legislators and other elected officials," DHS Director Cindy Gillespie said in the agency's release, without indicating whether the play on Linck's name was intentional.

"Kelley has extensive knowledge about DHS and the legislative process, and will help us keep legislators informed and engaged in the work we're doing. We weren't doing that as well as we should have," she said.

Linck will head DHS' Office of Legislative and Governmental Affairs, a three-person office that the agency will create by shifting existing positions, DHS spokeswoman Amy Webb said.

Webb said Gillespie has spent the past 60 days reviewing the agency's structure and organizational needs. She said the new office will work with legislators and others to handle constituents' concerns regarding DHS services and policies and will be the agency's contact point for the state Bureau of Legislative Research.

"It was definitely a point where Cindy felt the agency had a weak point and we needed … better communication with legislators," Webb said.

Webb said Gillespie also took into account recommendations by Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin, who completed a review of the agency earlier this year. Griffin released recommendations in March that included restructuring the agency and creating a legislative affairs office.

Tags: AR State Rep., District 99,  Kelly Linck, resigns, new position, Arkansas DHS To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Boozman Applauds Final Passage of Bill to Reform Chemical Safety Standards

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman issued the following statement on Senate passage of The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, legislation to modernize our nation’s outdated chemical safety law.

“This legislation will improve public confidence in the safety of chemicals, create regulatory certainty for business and more uniform protections for American families. It allows us to take advantage of advances in technology and research to improve safety for consumers and the environment. This legislation provides a smart, balanced approach to improving chemical safety,” Boozman said.

As a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, Boozman worked to overhaul the ineffective Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and reform chemical safety law as a cosponsor of the The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act.

Tags: U.S. Senator, John Boozman, Applauds, Passage of Bill, Reform Chemical Safety Standards To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Hill Statement on Speaker Ryan’s Plan to Fight Poverty

WASHINGTON Today, after Speaker Paul Ryan announced his plan for fighting poverty, Congressman French Hill (AR-02) released the following statement:

“I appreciate the work of Speaker Ryan to develop a plan to tackle an issue that has plagued our Nation for far too long. This policy agenda focuses on empowering those on the front lines of this fight with the goal of giving all of our citizens a better future. I look forward to working with the Speaker and continuing my efforts with the Community Empowerment Initiative (CEI) in my home district in Arkansas. Our shared vision recognizes the importance of community engagement in the revitalization of our most embattled neighborhoods.”

Tags: U.S. Representative, French Hill, AR-02, Speaker Ryans's Plan, Fight Poverty To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Governor Hutchinson Announces Intent to Grant Executive Clemency

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced his intent to grant nine pardons and no restorations of firearms rights only. An additional 43 clemency requests were denied and eight had no action taken upon them. These include requests from both inmates and non-inmates.
The applicants intended for pardons have completed all jail time, fulfilled all parole and probationary requirements and paid all fines related to their sentences. There is a 30-day waiting period to receive public feedback on the notices before final action is taken.
Governor Hutchinson intends to grant pardons to the following people:
Dusty T. Chambers (Washington): Forgery Second Degree, three counts (C Felony) and Forgery Second Degree, three counts (Probation Revocation) (C Felony).
This notice is issued based on the dates of conviction (1998 – Howard County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further felony criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.
Zachary C. Howell (Van Buren): Fraudulent Use of Credit Card, two counts (C Felony) and Theft by Deception, one count (C Felony). 
This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2002 – Crawford County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further felony criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.
Teresa Iseman Kaufman Veras (Chicago, IL): Robbery (Felony).
This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1973 – Benton County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.
Marittie R. Johnson-Chew (Sherwood): Manslaughter (C Felony).
This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1991 – Pulaski County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. The Prosecuting Attorney has raised objections to the application.
Albert L. Jones (Hope): Theft over $100 (C Felony). 
This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1978 – Hempstead County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.
Stanley E. Leslie, Jr. (Lakeview): Possession of a Controlled Substance (C Felony).
This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1993 – Grant County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.
Richard R. Mans (Van Buren): Theft of Property, two counts (Felony), Burglary (B Felony), Theft of Property (C Felony) and Theft by Deception (A Misdemeanor).
This notice is issued based on the dates of conviction (1986 – Pope County, 1987 – Johnson County and 1989 – Sebastian County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further felony violations. The Sebastian County Prosecuting Attorney has raised objections to the application.
Anthony S. Smith (Little Rock): Delivery of Controlled Substance, three counts (Y Felony).
This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1996 – Pulaski County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.
Dominique Wright (Fayetteville): Theft by Receiving, two counts (C Felony) and Failure to Appear (C Felony).
This notice is issued based on the dates of conviction (1997 – Faulkner County and 1998 – Phillips County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. The Faulkner County Sheriff has raised objections to the application.

Tags: Governor, Asa Hutchinson, Announces Intent, Grant Executive Clemency To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

15,000 Code Violations in 3 years - Jonesboro

Debbie Pelley
by Debbie Pelley, Contributing Author: I recently was shown information about code violations for Jonesboro, Arkansas, that I could hardly believe. I kept hearing from proponents of the recently defeated Code how the city was so limited with their present code that they could only demolish homes and make people cut their grass. They kept saying we needed the international code for the safety and health of citizens.

Now that I have seen the summary report on violations for the last three years, I learned that under the old code for the last three years (2013 to 2016) there have been 15,514 total violation cases by code enforcement. Many of these were for health and safety reasons, the very reason we were told we had to have the international code. For example, there were
  • 2,007 violations for Unsightly or Unsanitary Conditions;
  • 1,964 violations for illegal disposal;
  • 270 violations for Unsafe Building;
  • 126 violations for Nuisances Against Public Health,
  • 45 for Standing Water Prohibited,
  • 18 for Evidence of Mosquito Breeding,
  • 410 violations for "Other" All these above have to do with health and safety of citizens. And if the violation did not fit one of these, I am sure code enforcement could have fit anything they chose to under "Other"
Other violations listed are as follows:
  • 788 violations for inoperative Vehicles on Property;
  • 5,950 violations for Overgrown Grass, Weeds, Vines, or Low hanging Limbs,
  • 107 violations for Pool Enclosure Required,
  • 3 violations for Repairing Vehicles on Streets,
  • 3,815 violations for Unlawful storage [whatever that might be]
  • 11 Maintaining a Nuisance Property
There were 91 cases actually cited to court. Did any of you read about any of these cases that went to court? I didn't. The city said 99% of the code enforcement cases were settled without a citation to court. Of course they were. Who wants to pay an attorney and court costs?

So just why did we need the new defeated code passed in December, 2015? Could it just be because there were no fines in the old code, but the possibility of huge fines in the new code which could be used for a revenue stream for the city - just as other cities that adopted the international code are using it?
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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: Jonesboro, Arkansas, 15,000 Code Violations, 3 years, City Council, Debbie Pelley To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.