The 2015 session of the Arkansas General Assembly will never be mistaken for the “education session.” Legislators have shown little interest in the subject or recognition of its ability to lift our state from the bottom of national economic rankings.
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Citizens interested in efficient and transparent government must be most vigilant in the waning days of a legislative session. Bad bills can be passed any time, but they tend to slip by unnoticed at this time.
Coincidentally, I was attending a convention in Branson, Mo., when the news broke that Arkansas State University at Jonesboro is close to finalizing an agreement that could bring a hotel and convention center to campus.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s carefully crafted budget for fiscal 2016 is already in some difficulty. That’s hardly unexpected since it was built largely on stilts.
Conservative politicians get themselves elected by preaching limited government, local control and individual freedom, but when they get a chance to govern, they often forget their principles and start passing laws that would, in theory, make liberals proud.
President Barack Obama proposed in his State of the Union address last week that two years of community college be free for responsible students across America. The kneejerk reaction of some, predictable with anything this president advocates, is that Obama wants yet another giveaway program.
Jonesboro was bound to get a prized, long-awaited “political plum,” no matter who won the gubernatorial election of 2014. Each major candidate, Republican Asa Hutchinson and Democrat Mike Ross, promised publicly that he would appoint someone from Jonesboro to the powerful Arkansas Highway Commission.
Act 1229 of 2013, which narrows public access to traffic accident reports, is a good example of knee-jerk lawmaking passed blindly by an inexperienced Legislature that doesn’t consider the full consequences of its actions.
One of the ironies of the Republican takeover of the Arkansas state Capitol is that it follows the tenure of an incredibly popular Democratic governor who ran one of the most efficient administrations in the state’s history.
An independent citizens’ commission has been formed under Amendment 94 to the Arkansas Constitution, approved by the voters in November to the surprise of many observers of state government, and one of its duties is to make changes in the way we pay legislators.
One of the main reasons Arkansas’ prison system is so crowded that more than 2,500 state inmates are being held in county jails can be blamed on the fact that so many keep coming back for more punishment.
At the conclusion of the United Nations Conference on Environment & Development on June 14, 1992, President George H.W. Bush and the leaders of 177 other nations signed a document known as “Agenda 21.” At the time it was considered a conservative planning paper designed as a guide to sustaining the development of an increasingly crowded world.
A United Nations document known as Agenda 21, originally signed by the United States and 177 other nations in 1992, has become the bogeyman for many causes opposed by members of the Tea Party movement.
One of the best things about being retired from full-time newspaper work is that I have time to read about something other than current events. I have made a small dent in my library and moved a few new books to the top of my reading list.
While covering a pre-election meeting of the Independence County Democratic Central Committee around 1980, I noticed that everyone there had gray hair or no hair. No young people were in the room.
Regardless of who wins today’s general election, congratulations are in order to the small group of the rich people who funded the attack ads that have flooded our television broadcasts for weeks. They have convinced the vast majority of Arkansas citizens that all politicians are dirt.
Early voting in the 2014 general election is well underway, and we can all rejoice in the fact that the most expensive, most negative mid-term election in American history will soon be history.
The battle over Issue No. 4 on Arkansas general election ballots, at least in financing the campaign messages, is between those who would like to sell alcoholic beverages and those who would like to continue selling alcoholic beverages.
Probably the closest to a sure thing among the five issues that will be on Arkansas general election ballots Nov. 4 is “A Proposed Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage,” listed as Issue No. 5.
The first thing you notice about Issue No. 3, the third proposed constitutional amendment referred by the Arkansas General Assembly to the Nov. 4 general election ballots, is its length. If passed, it would add more than 7,000 words to our 1874 Constitution, which is already too long.
The shocking murder of North Little Rock real estate agent Beverly Carter has raised many questions about how such a tragedy could happen and what we can do to prevent similar ones.
Among the ballot issues that we will face in the Nov. 4 general election are three constitutional amendments referred from the General Assembly’s regular session of 2013. That’s the maximum number allowed per session, which is probably one of the best restrictions of all in our 1874 Constitution.
It wasn’t really surprising that Mike Beebe would choose to donate his gubernatorial papers, other media and memorabilia to Arkansas State University, but his announcement Saturday made a small group of ASU insiders and supporters especially happy.
Even the reform-minded Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics doesn’t seem to know what to do about the march toward professionalism in major college sports programs. The commission met last week and, according to a commission news release, vowed to “intensify its efforts to promote changes that better align athletic programs with institutions’ educational missions.”
Arkansas voters will apparently face five ballot issues in the Nov. 4 general election. That’s apparently because a lawsuit has been filed questioning the legitimacy of one issue, and its outcome could affect another.
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