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News and information from Arkansas government agencies and officials.

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Budget Highlights & Promises Kept

Published: 01/27/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson’s balanced budget for 2015-2017 biennium returns $100 million to middle-class Arkansans while providing funding for new priorities, existing programs, and essential state services.

In addition, the balanced budget keeps campaign promises made by the governor on education, public safety, taxes and economic development while finding new savings and efficiencies in state government.

PROMISES KEPT

Governor Hutchinson's balanced budget:

  • Meets the adequacy requirements for funding K-12 public schools. (The governor will work with legislators to assess additional needs for state pre-K programs. This is in addition to a four-year, $60-million federal grant the state has earmarked for pre-K.)
     
  • Provides incentive for schools to offer computer-science courses by creating a $5 million Computer Science Initiative Grants program with general improvement funding.
     
  • Increases funding by $1 million for Drug Treatment Courts, including Veterans' treatment drug courts, and $300,000 for successful prisoner re-entry programs.
     
  • Directs an additional $11.4 million to county jails to reimburse them for housing state prisoners. (The budget also raises the reimbursement rate from $28 to $30.)
     
  • Fulfills the commitment to maintain Higher Education spending.
     
  • Provides a cost-of-living adjustment for state employees.
     
  • Cuts middle-class income taxes, returning some $100 million to 500,000 Arkansans.
     
  • Maintains a balanced budget.

NEW EFFICIENCIES

Governor Hutchinson's balanced budget:

  • Reduces the budgets of most state agencies by 1 percent in FY 2016.
     
  • Secures an additional $5 million in ongoing general revenue by redirecting one-half of the special revenue assessment (9 mils) on natural gas production.
     
  • Redirects $2 million from the Tobacco Settlement Funds to Medicaid.
     
  • Transitions the Office of Health Information Technology to a self-funded model by FY 2017 as provided for in the law, resulting in eventual savings of $2.2 million.
     

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Restoration Efforts at the Capitol Uncover Significant Find

Published: 01/27/2015

Restoration Efforts at the Capitol Uncover Significant Find

(January 26, 2015) Little Rock, Ark. – Secretary of State Mark Martin announces workers involved in a restoration project currently underway at the Capitol make a significant find under decades of paint.

Scagliola- a decorative faux marble plaster – was widely utilized by artists in the early 1800s. Much of the original scagliola throughout the Capitol was replaced with genuine marble before the building’s completion.  However columns and pilasters in the House chamber, as well as sixteen first-floor rotunda columns, retained their scagliola surfaces.  At some unknown date, and for some unrecorded reason, these half-fluted columns were painted white.  Then, over the next several decades, they received additional coats of paint.

In the coming months, careful restoration by skilled conservators of Evergreene Architectural Arts of New York plan to continue uncovering and restoring the long-unseen lustrous scagliola surfaces.

Another interesting facet to the project is use of an environmentally friendly soy-based paint stripper.  By incorporating this product into the process, toxic fumes and by products are eliminated, enabling the project to go on during the day.  This allows the many visitors to the Capitol to observe these artisans in action.

Currently, the project is on track for an estimated completion date near the end of February. 


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Senate Approves Income Tax Cut for Middle Class

Published: 01/27/2015

January 23, 2015 LITTLE ROCK - In a unique and historic vote the Arkansas Senate approved a middle class tax cut in the opening days of the legislative session. In living memory, the Senate has never passed one of the signature bills so early in a session. Important fiscal legislation usually will not be considered for a final vote in the Senate until the final weeks of a session in March, bec...

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Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Five Appointments to Boards & Commissions

Published: 01/26/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the following appointments to State boards and commissions:

William “Dubs” Byers, Gould, to the Board of Corrections. Appointment expires December 31, 2021. Replaces Janis Walmsley.

Fritz Kronberger, Russellville, to the Arkansas Tech University Board of Trustees. Appointment expires January 14, 2020. Replaces Tom Kennedy.

Ken Shollmier, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2019. Replaces Eddie Drilling.

Steve Smith, Springdale, to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Appointment expires January 14, 2021. Replaces Jeff Mitchell.

Shayla Copas, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion Commission. Appointment expires at the Will of the Governor. Replaces Richard Levi.


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Tax Relief Bill Will Save Middle Class $100 Million a Year

Published: 01/22/2015

LITTLE ROCK -About half a million Arkansas taxpayers will save more than $100 million a year under Senate Bill 6, sponsored by the President Pro Tempore and supported by the governor. SB 6 would lower state income tax rates, beginning with wages earned January 1, 2016, for Arkansas taxpayers who earn between $21,000 and $75,000 a year. If your income is between $35,100 and $75,000 a year, sta...

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Transcript of Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Healthcare Speech

Published: 01/22/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Below is the transcript of Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Healthcare Speech. The letter from HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell is attached.

Governor Hutchinson speech on healthcare and Medicaid reform in Arkansas | January 22, 2015 | 10 a.m. | Jackson T. Stephens Neurosciences Institute, UAMS | Fred Smith Auditorium

Thank you. Thank you, Dr. Rahn for your introduction and especially for your leadership at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and for this forum and this venue to talk about healthcare and its future in Arkansas.

I am delighted that there are a few people interested in this topic. The fact that you're here reflects the importance of this issue for our state, and I'm grateful for your presence here today. I'm particularly glad to see so many legislators that are in the room. I want to recognize Senator Jonathan Dismang for his leadership on the Senate side. He's been a great partner and leader in this effort as well as Speaker Jeremy Gillam. He's done likewise on the House side. He's been a major player in the development of this issue and will be in the future. I also wanted to recognize Senator Cecile Bledsoe, who is the chairman of the Senate Health Committee, as well as Representative Kelley Linck, chairman of the House Health Committee. They have played key roles as we look to this issue and the future. Thank you for your guidance on this issue.

I'm delighted today to introduce the new surgeon general of Arkansas, Dr. Greg Bledsoe. I'm a newly minted governor. He's a newly minted surgeon general. He just got sworn in about 30 minutes ago. Thank you for being here Dr. Bledsoe. You'll be a key advisor on healthcare.

I want to start by thanking the physicians, the nurses and healthcare providers who have labored in the trenches of healthcare in Arkansas, improving our quality of life, working with those who need care. You have been on the front lines. You are committed. You are passionate. And I am grateful for you. And that's important to say at the outset because you came out of your training with a heart for patients, and all of a sudden you find yourself inundated with government regulations and having to spend hours and hours each day and week on matters that do not deal with patient care. And so I am grateful for you. I'm thankful for you and your work, and your sacrifice needs to be recognized.

A college professor that I had always gleefully began each lecture with the phrase, "A moment of review, and then on we go." And that's important in history and it's important today. So I want to spend a moment in review and then we will talk about the future.

It all starts with the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act had four major parts. Very simply articulating it. One, it was the individual mandate that every person had to have insurance. Secondly, it was the employer mandate that employers in a certain category had to provide insurance. The third part of it was the health insurance exchanges in which middle-income earners and others could go in the marketplace and obtain insurance that could be subsidized with taxpayer money. The fourth part of it was the Medicaid expansion, which led us to the debate that we're having today.

I opposed the Affordable Care Act. I did because I thought the individual mandate was an infringement upon freedom. I thought the employer mandate was not good for business and the growth of jobs in America. I thought overall it was taking control away from physicians and healthcare professionals and got the government too much involved.

And guess what? I lost that debate. I urged that the law be challenged. And it was challenged and heard in the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court, to our surprise, affirmed all of the Affordable Care Act except for one part — and that was the Medicaid expansion that was left to the states to debate and determine. And so all those who did not believe it was the right direction for America were left with the frustrating option of: What do we do with this?

Arkansas was at the center of this debate on Medicaid expansion. We came up with our own creative options, and this led to the Private Option solution. It was innovative, and I'll talk about that, but the solution of the Private Option has divided our state and dominated the political debate.

My nephews illustrate that. I have two nephews in the General Assembly. Both are conservatives. Both are thoughtful. One voted for the Private Option. One voted against it. Now, that could have been mirrored all across the legislature.

This morning, I want to share my perspective on the Private Option. I want to talk about its benefits, its future costs to the state. I want to talk about the profile of those on the Private Option, and then I want to talk about where we go from here. 

Now I know you came here today to hear one simple statement as to where we go from here. Please be patient. Because the facts and the data are important as to the direction we'll go. I want to spend some time on the background of this, and the pros and cons, because it helps shape the debate for the future

Let's look at the Private Option. It is innovative. The sponsors of the Private Option legislation should be recognized for their hard work in fighting for a solution with market principles. There are conservative principles in play. 

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, in a famous decision, described how the states are laboratories of experiment, laboratories of democracy, places to look at innovative ideas. That is appropriate and that's what we have done in Arkansas

But those who opposed the Private Option were just as equally committed. They had a different perspective. They were wise in asking questions about the costs. They were wise in wondering whether the federal government could keep its promises. And whether the state of Arkansas could afford this innovation and expanded healthcare. 

Two sides of the same debate coming from good directions, conservative convictions, reaching different conclusions. I recognize that good people were on both sides of this debate and were struggling with how the state should navigate this issue. 

Over time, it became clear once the Private Option had been implemented that there were two key benefits: One is the obvious. We have approximately 210,000 individuals in Arkansas who have never had health insurance before and now have access to healthcare and insurance. That is a benefit to the state of Arkansas. Secondly, you have a benefit to urban hospitals, such as UAMS, and rural hospitals all across this state. Those two benefits are facts that we cannot deny, should not deny, and should rejoice in.

The facts pertaining to those benefits are these: There has been a 10-percent drop in the uninsured in Arkansas; Arkansas hospitals saw a reduction of $69 million in uncompensated care during the first half of 2014 compared with the same period of time in the previous year. Many of these rural hospitals, by the way, are listening today to this by remote broadcast. I welcome them. I have been to your communities  and understand what you have communicated to me as to the importance of the Private Option and the economic viability of the hospital that serves your community.

The number of hospital visits by uninsured patients fell by some 47 percent. These equate to greater financial benefits to our rural hospitals. The state has also been a beneficiary of the Private Option in terms of shifting more of the Medicaid costs to the federal government. It's still taxpayers' money. But it's been a shift of cost and a benefit to our budget.

In 2015, the state is going to save roughly $88 million, which is a combination of shifting traditional Medicaid in some categories to the Private Option, which is 100 percent paid for at the present time. It is also a savings because the reduction of uncompensated care payments to several agencies — from UAMS to the Department of Correction, the Department of Health, Community Health Centers — have saved the state about $33 million.

All of that is taxpayers' money. But it has been a benefit to the state of Arkansas in terms of our budget.

But the long-term costs and the funding remain legitimate questions. And the facts are that the required match of 10 percent for the Private Option, when it becomes the responsibility of the state, will cost the state over $200 million. To put that into context, that's two $100 million prisons. Now that doesn't get anybody excited. But that $200 million is almost one-third of the budget for all state higher-education institutions. And so there are budget consequences real to our institutions and other services. 

And then there are unintended consequences to the Private Option. I don't know that anybody anticipated that parolees coming out of prison are put on the Private Option. That's a good thing. But it is not something that was talked about or we were aware of in the beginning. We were not aware that many charitable healthcare programs in this state would no longer exist. One was called Operation Walk, in which surgeons donated a weekend to provide free knee and hip surgeries to those who had no insurance and could not afford them. It is the finest tradition of the medical profession. Arkansas was among the nation's leaders in the number of free surgeries our doctors provided. This past December, there was no Operation Walk in Arkansas. Why? Because the Private Option made it unnecessary and irrelevant.

This story is the same across Arkansas. What once was done by medical volunteers was transferred to the government. Now some see this as a good thing, that the government can do it well. It takes the burden off our medical professionals who are volunteering so much time. Others worry about this shift to the government sector.

But most importantly as we look at the Private Option and the impact of it, whether you are for or against the Private Option, there is a deep and abiding concern for those without health coverage. In other words, the human side tugs at our heartstrings and rightfully is a factor in this debate.

Donna Foster is a 44-year-old mother of two who makes $8.65 an hour as a caregiver attendant for the elderly in Morrilton. She typically works 40 hours a week. She is a single mother. She divorced when her now-grown children were small. For at least 10 years, she could not afford health insurance.

Donna suffered from high-blood pressure. She was able to purchase generic blood pressure medicine, but she often could not afford the $186 it cost for an office visit and checkup. She suspected that her blood sugar was high. Donna was supposed to be tested for diabetes. She couldn't afford that either.

Recently, she secured health insurance through the Private Option. The first thing she did was go back to her doctor, get back on her blood pressure medication and get tested for diabetes. She tested positive, and now she is being treated for it. Health insurance made a difference in her life. And it most likely saved future medical costs to the state of Arkansas.

This debate that we are going through is not unusual in American politics: Do the benefits that we recognize exist outweigh the costs? While the question was basic, a divide was created in our state.

Over the course of the past two years, our state has been wrapped around the political axle. The phrase Private Option itself has become politically toxic, so much so that it's almost impossible to have a constructive conversation about healthcare reform without passions rising and folks taking sides. 

Ladies and gentlemen, debate is good. Conviction is good. But let's remember what we are trying to do here — and that is to build a healthy Arkansas. Not to politicize a phrase to the point where its very utterance becomes an invitation to fight. My goal is to broaden the debate to the larger Medicaid budget. 

To accomplish that, we have to reach agreement on a comprehensive reform that works for the state of Arkansas. The goal is to have affordable, competitive, market-based solutions on the conservative principles of choice, competition, improved quality of care and consumer responsibility. To accomplish that, we have to reach agreement. The challenge for us in Arkansas and in this political environment is that agreement is defined by three-fourths vote, or a super-majority, in the Arkansas General Assembly.

Now I mentioned the importance of the profile of those on the Private Option. I've talked about this a long time, and the information was not available until very very recently. Well, now we have some data to share:

About 40 percent of the enrollees, at the time of application for the Private Option, showed no income. That means they were unemployed.

Seventy percent of those on the Private Option were employed at some point in time, which tells me they were trying to get a job. That tells us that most are working but cannot find the steady work that is needed. 

Young people were more likely to have work than those who were over 45. 

Women were more likely to have work than men. This tells us that the older male population should be targeted for work. These might be men who've been laid off or who need to learn new skills to transition into another career. 

It's interesting that 10 percent of those on the Private Option are considered medically frail. And that population seems to me, if the Private Option were to end, would qualify for traditional Medicaid. 

This is all helpful information because it's the data that guides our debate. 

Now let's talk about the future for a moment. A large point of what I'm trying to say is that the Private Option is a small part of the debate and a very large part of the discussion.
(Pie Chart)

Looking to the future. In 2021, when Arkansas pays 10 percent of the Private Option costs, which is over $200 million, that is the red part of the pie. That's been the focus of our debate. But look at the blue? How large that is. And this is the $1.8 billion that's devoted to our traditional Medicaid budget.

So if we're going to look at the future costs to this state, would it not be wise to focus on the entire pie?

If you combine the data of the profile of the participants with the knowledge that our future liabilities as a state are dependent on the entire Medicaid budget, then you have a starting point for future reform.

I believe that there are some principles that should frame the debate. One of them is work and responsibility. I want our social programs in Arkansas to be an incentive for people to work as opposed to an incentive for people not to work. Arkansans want to work. And when they work, they should get ahead. And when they work real hard, they should climb up the economic ladder. I believe the vast majority of Arkansans want to work. Nobody who's able to work wants to stay on government healthcare. They want a job. And while it's encouraging to see so many folks now insured who did not have health insurance before, I'd like to see us reduce that number. And we can reduce that number as we move people to work and they move up the economic ladder.

Secondly, we need to have incentives for preventive care. People need to own more responsibility for their healthcare decisions. They need to be engaged in preventive care.

We need to emphasize the role of the private sector and charity care. It is not any group's responsibility. It is all of ours collectively. And there is a role for charity care, too.

As a rural state, there has to be access to healthcare in the rural areas. And that involves telemedicine so we can make sure that those in the less-affluent areas of our state have access to the highest quality healthcare. Through telemedicine a knee or hip specialist or neurologist in Little Rock or Northwest Arkansas can be brought to somebody in the Delta. We can share our expertise across the state. We have to continue to use technology to assure quality healthcare.

Another principle that should guide us is cost control. Look at the history of the cost of our social programs. Fifty years ago this summer, the Medicare and Medicaid programs were signed into law by President Johnson. Nobody, not even conservatives, thought those two programs would grow so uncontrollably. In fact, in 1965, Medicare had been projected by a House Committee to cost $12 billion by 1990. What did it actually cost? $110 billion. How's that for government estimates?

Meanwhile, costs for individual and group insurance have skyrocketed. Many people cannot afford insurance and they go without health care. For that reason, some 60 percent of personal bankruptcies filed in this country result from medical bills.

Clearly, our healthcare system needs more attention and continued efforts at reform. 

And finally, and very importantly, we need to have flexibility at the state level, the laboratory of innovation.

So today in Arkansas we are at a juncture. Which way do we go? We recognize the hospitals and healthcare providers cannot face a traumatic cliff every year when it comes to renewing the Private Option. We need more consistency. We need more reliability. We need more predictability. So that we can plan.

Secondly, we want to have a healthcare system that we can afford, that we know is not going to absorb greater and greater amounts of general revenues. We want to have a system that looks for a way to help those Arkansans who are covered by the Private Option and assure access to healthcare in the future for those.

We are Arkansans. And we look out for each other.

Just days after the election, I received a letter from a woman named Christine Smith, who lives in Fayetteville. Christine began: "I am writing to you as an Arkansan, but more importantly, as the mother of a 19-year-old son who has just been diagnosed with cancer."

Christine's son went in for a regular physician's visit when the doctor noticed that his neck felt a little swollen. They ran some tests and discovered that the boy had a tumor. They performed surgery to remove the tumor and followed up with treatment.  

It worked. Christine's son is now finished with his treatment. He's feeling well. And he's now a student at the University of Arkansas studying environmental science.

When I received Christine's letter and heard this story, I immediately thought she must have been insured through the private option as she urged me to keep it for the "health of the citizens of Arkansas." 

But the Smiths already had insurance. She was writing because while she was going through this ordeal she "couldn't imagine how families do it who don't have coverage." That's just like an Arkansan — to think about others.

I want to assure Mrs. Smith, and all Arkansans, that I want us to have a system that is compassionate, affordable, fits Arkansas and provides access to care. 

I agree with you, Christine. 

And now is the time for me to be more specific. As governor, I will ask the legislature to take the following action:

First of all, to fund the Private Option this fiscal year and continue it through December 31, 2016. This avoids harm to the 200,000-plus on the Private Option and it assures our hospitals and provides of financial stability.

Secondly, I'm asking the legislature to create a Health Reform Task Force that will make recommendations for the future. And the purpose of this task force is to find an alternative health coverage model to ensure healthcare services for vulnerable populations currently covered by the Private Option.

So hear me clearly. We're going to continue the Private Option through 2016 and create a Health Reform Task Force that will make recommendations for the future. And that will include a compassionate and reasonable cost-effective response for care of those currently on the Private Option.

The task force should also be charged with exploring and recommending to the Legislature options to modernize the entire Medicaid program currently serving the indigent, aged and disabled. 

Guidelines should govern any task force. The guidelines I would suggest to the Legislature should include, among others that they very well may add:

  • Minimize or eliminate the need to raise additional general state revenues for continued investment in this. Obviously, you'll want to adjust for inflation but you want to minimize or eliminate the need for the state to raise additional general revenues.
  • More flexibility for managing the state Medicaid program. Flexibility is critical. We fought for that. We want to continue to fight for that. Including consideration for block-grant type waivers or authority so that we can have the maximum amount of flexibility in Arkansas.
  • Strengthen the employer-sponsored health insurance market. 
  • Increase employment of healthy recipients of taxpayer-funded healthcare services. Encourage work as they receive that benefit. Increase accountability and personal responsibility.
  • And, finally, provide access to health services in rural areas of the state.

These are some of the guidelines that should govern the task force as it goes to work. The timing of this task force is urgent. It's critical. And it's got to move quickly, although thoughtfully and comprehensively. A report will be required from this task force by the end of 2015. They go to work, and by the end of 2015, we've got to have some answers back and some recommendations because we need to allow time for legislative action so that we will have clear direction for our hospitals, our providers, and those who are currently covered. This would allow time to request waivers and necessary approvals from the federal government as well.

We should have our solutions in place by December 31, 2016. I will further direct the Department of Human Services to immediately begin an assessment of opportunities to reform our Medicaid services to better serve our high-cost, high-need populations. And, secondly, to utilize private sector expertise to identify and prevent waste, fraud and abuse in our Medicaid services.

This information from the Department of Human Services will be beneficial to the legislative task force. Data will drive solutions.

Now let me emphasize: In regard to the Private Option, it is time to close this chapter and to start a new one. It is a new day for healthcare in Arkansas. I pledge to work with you to find the right solution for all of Arkansas. And while we are turning the page, and beginning a new effort, our innovative efforts in Medicaid reform will continue.

I want to end by talking about the recent meeting that I had with Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell in Washington, D.C. This was an important meeting. And as we met with Secretary Burwell, we made the case that we needed more flexibility in Arkansas to determine our own direction.

Earlier today, I recieved a letter from Secretary Burwell. In summary, she says "I was pleased to learn of your commitment to an effective and affordable approach to coverage for the newly covered adults beyond the current three-year term of Arkansas's Health Care Independence Program demonstration for Private Option and to also move forward on major delivery-system reforms that would apply to the larger Medicaid population."

She goes on to say, "We also understand your desire to encourage employment, and we commit to work with you on how you might achieve this objective while ensuring access to health coverage to eligible individuals." She goes on to say, "We appreciate and support your desire to avoid a piecemeal approach to reform and look forward to working with you on a potential, broad block of changes that could lower costs and improve access and quality in ways that best meet the needs of your state."

I'm gratified that there is an increasing willingness to give the state flexibility.

I noticed that there was not resounding applause at any point during the speech, and I think that simply means that we recognize how important it is. 

We're going to do something great for those in need of healthcare. We're going to set the stage.

I'm an optimist. I'm an optimist that the people in this room will work together to do great things.

Thank you.

 


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Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Five Appointments to Boards & Commissions

Published: 01/19/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has announced the following appointments to State boards and commissions:

John Belken, Little Rock, to the Parole Board. Appointment expires January 14, 2022. Replaces Dennis Young.

Dale Douthit, Russellville, to the Workers Compensation Commission. Appointment expires December 5, 2020. Replaces Arthur Bell.

Mike Roberts, Little Rock, reappointed to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2019.

Bob Williams, Nashville, to the Arkansas Rural Development Commission. Appointment expires December 31, 2019. Replaces Marvin Exum.

Warren Plyler, Hope, reappointed to the Red River Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2022.


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Governor Asa Hutchinson Issues a Proclamation to Celebrate the Memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Published: 01/19/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has issued a proclamation declaring this day, January 19, 2015, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. 
Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement: 

“Great leaders inspire others to act – to make a choice. Such was the case with Dr. King. His words – more importantly his actions – changed our country and the world forever. Today we celebrate his legacy as we not just recognize Dr. King with our words but honor him with our deeds.”

The proclamation is attached.

 


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Historic 90th General Assembly Convenes

Published: 01/15/2015

LITTLE ROCK - When the 90th General Assembly of the Arkansas legislature officially convened at the state Capitol on January 12, it ushered in historic changes in leadership of state government. However, the new leaders of Arkansas will face many old, familiar challenges. They will have to vote on ways to pay for improvements to school facilities and methods of efficiently operating prisons. ...

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Governor Asa Hutchinson Fulfills Promise, Signs Two Executive Orders on Day One

Published: 01/14/2015

LITTLE ROCK – As promised, Governor Asa Hutchinson has signed two executive orders in his first official day in office. The first executive order requires Governor Review of State Agency Rules and Regulations Prior to Submission to a Legislative Committee of the General Assembly. The second executive order is on the State’s Policy on Hiring.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“A new day warrants a new perspective. The executive orders I signed today will help provide that new perspective, which is critically important as we find new ways to make state government work more efficiently for all Arkansans.”

Executive Orders and Photographs are attached.

 

 


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Gov-Elect Hutchinson Announces Labor and Career Education Directors

Published: 01/12/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor-Elect Asa Hutchinson has announced Leon Jones, Jr. as the new Director of the Arkansas Department of Labor and Dr. Charisse Childers as the new Director of the Arkansas Department of Career Education.

Governor-Elect Hutchinson issued the following statement on Leon Jones:

“Leon is not only a good friend, but he is a good leader, which is why I am pleased to announce him as the new Director of the Arkansas Department of Labor. I previously named Leon as my Policy Director, but his background and law expertise have provided him with the experience and knowledge needed to lead this department, and I am delighted that he has agreed to take on this new role. I know he will represent our state and my administration well.”

Jones, a native of Pine Bluff, began working as a stocker at a local grocery store in high school, and he held several positions in the retail and restaurant industry and taught high school prior to attending law school.

Currently Jones is in private legal practice concentrating on helping individuals and businesses. Jones also serves as a Commissioner with the Arkansas Fair Housing Commission and the Arkansas Housing Trust Fund and most recently served as a Commissioner with the Fayetteville Housing Authority.

Jones was Governor-Elect Hutchinson’s Minority Outreach Coordinator during the campaign and was named to serve as Policy Director. He is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

Governor-Elect Hutchinson issued the following statement on Dr. Charisse Childers:

“I am pleased to announce Dr. Charisse Childers as the new Director of the Arkansas Department of Career Education. She recognizes the critical nature career education plays in our economy, and she has the experience necessary to lead this department under my administration. I have no doubt she will serve this position well.”

Dr. Charisee Childers has served for nine years as the Executive Director of Accelerate Arkansas, an eighty member statewide group of business and education leaders dedicated to knowledge-based economic development in Arkansas. She served on the Arkansas State Police Commission for seven years and currently is the Vice Chairman of the Arkansas State Police Foundation.  She has been a finalist and received two nominations as non-profit executive of the year by Arkansas Business.  She is currently the Vice President of the Arkansas State Alumni Association, a member of the EAST® (Environment and Spatial Technology) Initiative Advisory Council, the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Dr. Childers earned her Bachelor of Science degree in business from Arkansas State University and earned a Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of Arkansas. She lives in Little Rock.

 


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90th ARKANSAS GENERAL ASSEMBLY UNDERWAY

Published: 01/12/2015

For Immediate Release

Contact: Laura Labay

laurallabay@sos.arkansas.gov

Phone: 501-683-3702

 90th ARKANSAS GENERAL ASSEMBLY UNDERWAY

ARKANSAS SECRETARY OF STATE MARK MARTIN TO BE SWORN IN FOR SECOND TERM

(January 12, 2015) Little Rock, Ark.– Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin announces the 90th General Assembly is currently underway. The legislative session began at noon, Monday, January 12, 2015. Pursuant to Arkansas State Law, Secretary Martin introduced the newly elected House and Senate members to the General Assembly.

The following day, Tuesday, January 13, 2015, Secretary Martin will be sworn in for a second term as the Secretary of State of Arkansas.

“I am humbled and overwhelmed by the support I received from Arkansas voters. Thank you for your confidence in my leadership to serve another four years as Secretary of State,” said Secretary Martin. “I will continue to be a good steward of the job entrusted to me.”

The proceedings are open to the public; it is first come first serve. Seating is available in the West Gallery of the House Chamber. The East Gallery will be closed for reserved seating only. The event will stream live courtesy of the House of Representatives.

Please keep in mind parking is congested during the Legislative Session. Parking spaces are reserved with numbers and signs, please only park in slots designated for visitors.

 


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ENERGY EFFICIENCY AT CAPITOL SAVES TAXPAYERS $88,000

Published: 01/12/2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact: Laura Labay

laurallabay@sos.arkansas.gov

Phone: 501-683-3702

 ENERGY EFFICIENCY AT CAPITOL SAVES TAXYPAYERS $88,000

(Jan. 9, 2015) Little Rock, Ark. – Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin received an $88,246.72 check from Entergy Arkansas’s Entergy Solutions Large Commercial and Industrial Program thanks to efficiencies that significantly reduced annual energy consumption, and the operating expenses at the State Capitol Building, resulting in a net savings to taxpayers.

“We will continue to work to preserve the resources of the Natural State at the Capitol by implementing programs to provide both cost savings to taxpayers as well as help to protect the environment,” stated Secretary Martin.

The Entergy Solutions Large Commercial and Industrial Solutions Program helps customers save energy and money by providing technical assistance to identify facility improvement recommendations based on the total amount of energy the higher efficient equipment will save. The Arkansas State Capitol upgrades will save nearly 473,601 kilowatt hours of electricity a year, equal to preventing the annual carbon dioxide emissions from more than 69 cars or 777,552 vehicle miles traveled (VMT), according to Environmental Protection Agency calculations.

“Entergy Arkansas identified a real need for a program specifically designed to assist the State’s commercialand industrial customers to identify and implement savings opportunities via energy efficiency,” said Entergy Customer Service Manager Paul Brewster. “We are pleased to be able to partner with Arkansas Secretary of State on the energy savings projects implemented at the Arkansas State Capitol.”

Among the high efficient items installed in the State Capitol are new high efficiency chillers, variable frequency drives, chiller controls, high efficiency interior lighting, and high efficiency exterior lighting.

 

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Senator Jonathan Dismang's statement on the passing of Senator David Wyatt

Published: 01/12/2015

The news of Senator Wyatt's passing was very sad for all of us who knew him. His Senate family mourns along with Deborah and family at home. His life is one to be celebrated. He was a gentleman of the Senate in the old fashioned sense. His sense of humor, his good-natured temperament, his civility and his humility offered an example to the rest of us, and made the legislature a better place. He ...

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Senator Dismang's statement on the passing of Senator David Wyatt

Published: 01/12/2015

The news of Senator Wyatt's passing was very sad for all of us who knew him. His Senate family mourns along with Deborah and family at home. His life is one to be celebrated. He was a gentleman of the Senate in the old fashioned sense. His sense of humor, his good-natured temperament, his civility and his humility offered an example to the rest of us, and made the legislature a better place. He ...

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Gov-Elect Hutchinson Announces DFA, ALETA, AFC and Livestock & Poultry Directors

Published: 01/09/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor-Elect Asa Hutchinson has announced Larry Walther as the new Director of the Department of Finance and Administration (DFA), Jami Cook as the new Director of the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and State Senator Bruce Holland as the new Director of Livestock and Poultry. In addition, the Governor-Elect has announced that he will keep Joe Fox as State Forester at the Arkansas Forestry Commission.

Governor-Elect Hutchinson issued the following statement on Larry Walther:

“I am pleased to announce Larry Walther as the new Director of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. The breadth of experience Larry has gathered over the course of his career, along with his institutional knowledge of state government have prepared him for this new role, and I have no doubt he will represent our state and this department well.”

Larry Walther was most recently a member of the board of directors for the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank). He was nominated by President Obama on July 21, 2011, confirmed by the U.S. Senate on November 1, 2011, and sworn into office on November 14, 2011, for a term expiring on January 20, 2013. Prior to that, Mr. Walther served as Director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA). Prior to his assignment at USTDA, Mr. Walther served as Director of the Arkansas Department of Economic Development (ADED) under former Governor Mike Huckabee. Previously, Mr. Walther had an extensive career with SBC Communications, now AT&T, concluding his 30-year career as the Vice President for Corporate Services and Chairman of the SBC Foundation. Larry lives in Little Rock. For more on Mr. Walther, see attached.

Governor-Elect Hutchinson issued the following statement on Jami Cook:

“Jami has the knowledge, experience and management capabilities necessary to lead the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training as its new Director. I am confident in her abilities and know she will make Arkansas and our law enforcement community proud.”

Chief Bob Harrison, Chairman of the Commission on Law Enforcement Training and Standards released following statement:

“Jami is presently on the commission, she is bright, she is a professional and she will continue to move law enforcement in the State of Arkansas into the 21st century.”

Jami Cook has been the Arkansas State Police Program Director for the past 10 years. She started her law enforcement career as a Newport Police officer in 1994 and has over 20 years of law enforcement experience.  She holds a Senior Law Enforcement Certificate from the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training. In 2009, Ms. Cook was appointed as a Commissioner to the Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training.  Ms. Cook is a graduate of Arkansas State University and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She lives in Sheridan.

Governor-Elect Hutchinson issued the following statement on Sen. Bruce Holland:

“Agriculture is Arkansas’s largest industry, and a critical staple of our economy. Bruce’s background in animal agriculture and experience in the legislature have prepared him for this new opportunity as the new Director of the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission. I am confident in Bruce’s work, and I know he will represent our state and the industry well.”

Senator Bruce Holland has made his living as a full time cattleman since 2005. He was born and raised in south Sebastian County where his family has made their living raising cattle for six generations dating back to the early 1800s. Sen. Holland has served on several boards and committees serving agriculture on county, state, and national levels, including: past President Sebastian County Farm Bureau, Sebastian County Fair Association, Farm Service Agency Farmer Elected Committee (Chairman for Crawford, Scott, and Sebastian Counties), past Vice President of Sebastian County Cattlemen’s Association, Director of Farmers Cooperative in Van Buren, and Ag Governance Council for the Land O’Lake’s Corporation (one of four producers on a nine member board representing 14 states). Holland was elected to the State Senate in 2010 and has served as Chairman of the Senate Agriculture, Forestry, and Economic Development Committee. He lives in Greenwood.

Governor-Elect Hutchinson issued the following statement on Joe Fox:

“Joe has done an outstanding job in his current role as State Forester for the Arkansas Forestry Commission. His expertise in this field makes him the ideal choice, and I am pleased to announce that he will continue as State Forester in my administration.”

Joe Fox has held the title of State Forester since May of 2012. Prior to that, Mr. Fox was the Director of Conservation Forestry for the Nature Conservancy in Arkansas from 2000 to 2012. Mr. Fox was the Chairman of the Forestry Commission from 1995 to 96 and President of the Forestry Association from 1990 to 1991. He is a native of Pine Bluff, a graduate of North Carolina State, and he lives in Little Rock.

Walther Bio

 


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90th ARKANSAS GENERAL ASSEMBLY CONVENES JANUARY 12

Published: 01/08/2015

(January 8, 2015) Little Rock,Ark. – Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin invites Arkansans to the State Capitol to observe the 90th General Assembly. The legislative session begins Monday, January 12, 2015. Pursuant to Arkansas State Law, Secretary Martin will introduce the newly elected House and Senate members certified to the Secretary of State’s office by the County Boards of Election Commissioners.

The proceedings are open to the public; it is first come first serve. Seating is available in the West Gallery of the House Chamber. The East Gallery will be closed for reserved seating only. The event will stream live courtesy of the House of Representatives.

The following day, Tuesday, January 13, 2015, Secretary Martin will be sworn in for a second term as the Secretary of State of Arkansas.

“I am humbled and overwhelmed by the support I received from Arkansas voters. Thank you for your confidence in my leadership to serve another four years as Secretary of State,” said Secretary Martin. “I will continue to be a good steward of the job entrusted to me.”

Please keep in mind parking is congested during the Legislative Session. Parking spaces are reserved with numbers and signs, please only park in slots designated for visitors.

 

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Senator Dismang Appoints Four Assistant Pro Tems

Published: 01/08/2015

LITTLE ROCK - Senator Jonathan Dismang of Searcy, the President Pro Tempore of the Arkansas Senate for the 90th General Assembly, has appointed Senators Cecile Bledsoe of Rogers, Eddie Joe Williams of Cabot, Jane English of North Little Rock and Bobby J. Pierce of Sheridan to be Assistant Pro Tempore during the upcoming biennium. The assistants are chosen from the four Congressional Districts i...

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Legislators Begin Pre-filing Bills Before 2015 Regular Session

Published: 01/05/2015

LITTLE ROCK - Legislators have begun pre-filing bills in anticipation of the regular session that begins January 12. Measures filed in the Senate include a bill to restructure lottery scholarships, in order to maintain the long-term financial viability of the system. Changes to the lottery system are Senate Bills 3 and 5. Also, a shell bill to lower taxes for middle class wage earners has bee...

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New Leadership Taking the Helm of Arkansas Legislature

Published: 01/05/2015

LITTLE ROCK - When the legislature convenes in regular session on January 12, Arkansas will have a new governor for the first time in eight years. Asa Hutchinson is replacing Mike Beebe. The Senate will have four new members - Senator Scott Flippo of Bulls Shoals will represent District 17, Senator Terry Rice of Waldron, District 9, Blake Johnson of Corning, District 20 and Linda Collins-Smith ...

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Rare African-American Doll Collection on Display at Arkansas State Capitol

Published: 12/23/2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Laura Labay

laura.labay@sos.arkansas.gov

Phone: 501-683-3702



RARE AFRICAN-AMERICAN DOLL COLLECTION ON DISPLAY AT ARKANSAS STATE CAPITOL

Arkansas Secretary of State Martin unveils doll exhibit for Christmas season

(December 23, 2014) Little Rock, Ark. – Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin invites Arkansans to view “Living Colors,” an exhibit featured on the first floor of the Capitol. Retired teacher Mrs. Mary E. Swift's rare and extensive doll collection is on display at the Capitol through the end of December.

“Hearing Mrs. Swift’s story about what motivated her to collect African-American dolls, and what they represent to a large swath of our society is very inspiring,” said Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin.

Mrs. Swift’s well-loved and cared for collection includes hundreds of black dolls from antique to modern, American-made and foreign, representing African Americans plus the black populations of Europe, the Americas and Africa itself. There are many rare and renowned dolls in this collection. 

"I started this collection because I wanted little black girls to feel good about themselves, to know that people around the world appreciate them and their culture," said Mary Swift.

Highlights of the display include a selection of vintage jointed composition dolls, a papier-mâché –headed doll dating to the mid-19th century, a selection of Byron Lars-designed collectable Barbies and a family of doll house-scaled figures made in the German Democratic Republic (East Germany).  One display case is given over to black Kewpies; their creator, Rose O’Neill, created black versions of the Kewpies before 1920, including them and sympathetic portrayals of black children in her ladies’ magazine pages.

Living Colors will remain on display through December in the Capitol’s first-floor exhibit areas.

 



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Arkansas Trauma System is Saving LIves

Published: 12/16/2014

LITTLE ROCK - The Arkansas trauma system has been a tremendous success, not only when measured by the number of lives it has saved but also by the improved quality of life of survivors. Before the legislature created the trauma system in 2009, it took several hours for medical officials to arrange for trauma patients to be accepted at a higher level facility that had the resources to provide pr...

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Arkansas Working to Expand Broadband Access in Public Schools

Published: 12/15/2014

LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas must move quickly to take advantage of available federal grants worth up to $30 million, according to a non-profit organization that is working with the state Education Department to expand broadband access in public schools. In order to keep schools competitive and to provide Arkansas students with better opportunities in the modern economy, educators, elected officials ...

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215 Arkansas Schools Receives Bonuses for Outstanding Performance

Published: 12/15/2014

LITTLE ROCK - The Arkansas School Recognition and Reward Program has awarded monetary grants to 215 schools that have been deemed "high performing" based on test results and other criteria from last school year. The awards were made to 109 schools that placed in the top 10 percent and 106 schools that were ranked in the top 20 percent. Arkansas has more than 1,100 schools from kindergarten thro...

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Legislative Council Signs Off on Medicaid Review Contract

Published: 12/15/2014

LITTLE ROCK - The Legislative Council's Review Committee signed off on a long-term contract with a computer technology firm to process claims for the state Medicaid system. The value of the contract is an estimated $203 million. It is with HP Enterprise Services LLC, which is part of Hewlett Packard of Palo Alto, California. Medicaid officials say the new processing system will improve the s...

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Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin Hosts Sounds of the Season - Streamed Live

Published: 12/08/2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Laura Labay

Laura.labay@sos.arkansas.gov

Phone: 501-683-3702

 

Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin Hosts Sounds of the Season - Streamed Live

(December 8, 2014)Little Rock, Ark. – Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin invites Arkansans to the annual “Sounds of the Season” holiday program at the Capitol Dec. 8th –19th, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Almost 200 school choirs and vocal groups will spread holiday cheer for all to hear over a two-week period on the second floor of the State Capitol. Schools are traveling from all corners of Arkansas to sing a wide variety of seasonal songs. Each group will perform for 20 minutes. Secretary Martin looks forward to seeing children, parents and anyone else interested in coming; this event is free and open to the public. 

As a special feature, this year’s program will stream live courtesy of the Arkansas House of Representatives. To watch Sounds of the Season live on the internet, visit the Secretary of State’s Facebook page & Twitter feed and follow the livestream link. “Sounds of the Season” is viewable from any computer connected to the internet or with a mobile device utilizing the Livestream app.

For a performance schedule go to www.sos.arkansas.gov. and click  “choir info” on the homepage.

 

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Capitol Lighting Ceremony Dec. 6th

Published: 12/01/2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Laura Labay

Laura.labay@sos.arkansas.gov

Phone: 501-683-3702

Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin Invites Arkansans to Capitol Lighting Ceremony Dec. 6th

(December 1, 2014) Little Rock, Ark. – Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin invites Arkansans to the 76th anniversary of the Capitol Lighting Ceremony Saturday, December 6th at 5:30 p.m. on the front steps of the State Capitol. Fox 16 News Anchor Donna Terrell will emcee the event. Folks are invited to take part in the count down to light the Capitol with thousands of Christmas lights, followed by a breathtaking fireworks display. After the ceremony the celebration will continue inside the Capitol with Santa, story time, and a magic show for kids. The festivities will begin after the Little Rock Big Jingle Jubilee Holiday Parade.

The Capitol Lighting ceremony is just the beginning of the holiday celebration at the Capitol; December 8th, just two days after the Capitol Lighting Ceremony, children of all ages and from all corners of the state will travel to the Capitol to perform “Sounds of the Season.” Over 190 schools are set to perform Christmas carols for all to enjoy over a two-week period, Monday through Friday each week. Performances are from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  For a performance schedule go to www.sos.arkansas.gov.

The Capitol Lighting ceremony’s original intent was to lift the spirits of children suffering from life threatening illnesses in the hospital during the holidays. In honor of that time honored tradition, a portion of the 2014 State Capitol Ornament sales will go to the Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Guests are invited to visit the gift shop (located on the first floor of the State Capitol) to purchase the 2014 State Capitol Ornament, the 11th in the Capitol Ornament series. This year’s ornament features two state symbols: The State Flower and the State Bird. The appleblossom (adopted in 1901) lines the base of the ornament, while the mockingbird(adopted 1929) rests on the apple blossom. This beautiful collectible ornament can also be purchased online at the Secretary of State’s website, www.sos.arkansas.gov; click “State Capitol Info” and then click “State Capitol Gift Shop Info.” 


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Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin Confirms Certification of Election Results

Published: 11/20/2014

Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin Confirms Certification of Election Results

 

(November 20, 2014) Little Rock, Ark. - Secretary of State Mark Martin confirms November 4 General Election results are certified and certificates of election will be issued to candidates who received the highest number of votes.

"Approximately 50 percent of the 1.7 million people registered to vote in Arkansas cast their ballots in the Nov. 4, election," said Secretary Martin. "I appreciate our county clerks and poll workers across Arkansas who work year-round to maintain the integrity of our voting process."  

According to section 7-5-701 of Arkansas election law, counties must certify results to the Secretary of State’s office no earlier than 48 hours after the election and no later than 15 days after the election.  This allows overseas military and citizens time to ensure their votes are counted in accordance with the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act.


As the state’s chief election officer, Secretary Martin reminds Arkansans “the only place to find official statewide results for the general election is under our Election Results tab on our website.”


Comprehensive Election Night reporting provided by the Elections Division on the Secretary of State’s website allowed the public to easily monitor the election results reported by officials statewide throughout the evening of the election. 


Results for Constitutional Offices, the U.S. House of Representatives, Judicial, State Senate, State Assembly, and local government races are available for review.


For a historical perspective, detailed results from previous elections can be found under the Elections Division tab on the Secretary of State’s website, www.sos.arkansas.gov.

 

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Senate Committee Assignments for 2015 Session

Published: 11/14/2014

Click on Download MS Word Document to view the Senate committee assignments for the 90th General Assembly, which begins on January 12.

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Voters Approve Constitutional Amendments to Dramatically Change Government Procedures

Published: 11/13/2014

LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas voters approved fundamental changes in how state government operates when they voted in favor of three constitutional amendments on the November 4 ballot. Issue One changes the process for issuing new state agency rules and regulations. No new rule or regulation shall take effect until it has been approved by the appropriate legislative committee. Previously, during the ...

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Senator Jonathan Dismang's statement on the passing of former Senator Ruth Whitaker

Published: 11/10/2014

November 10, 2014 President Pro Tem-designate Sen. Jonathan Dismang of Searcy had this statement on the death of former Senator Ruth Whitaker of Cedarville: "She will be truly missed. You always knew Ruth would vote her conscious. She was one of the most honest and fearless legislators and had a real knack for keeping this group in line."

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CERTIFICATION OF ELECTION RESULTS UNDERWAY

Published: 11/07/2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Laura Labay, laura.labay@sos.arkansas.gov

Phone: 501-683-3702

11/7/14

 

 CERTIFICATION OF ELECTION RESULTS UNDERWAY

(November 7, 2014) Little Rock, Ark. - Secretaryof State Mark Martin announced approximately 49 percent of the 1.7 millionpeople registered to vote in Arkansas cast their ballots in the Nov. 4, 2014General Election.

According to section7-5-701 of Arkansas election law, counties must certify results to the Secretary of State’s office no earlier than 48 hours after the election and no later than 15 days after the election.This allows overseas military and citizens time to ensure their votes are counted in accordance with the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens AbsenteeVoting Act.

As the state’s chief election officer, Secretary Martin reminds Arkansans “the only place to find official statewide results for the general election is under our Election Results tab on our website.”

Comprehensive Election Night reporting provided by the Elections Division on the Secretary of State’s website allowed the public to easily monitor election results reported by officials statewide throughout the evening of the election. 

Results for Constitutional Offices, the U.S. House of Representatives, Judicial, State Senate, State Assembly, and local government races are available for review.

For a historical perspective, detailed results from previous elections can be found under the Elections Division tab on the Secretary of State’s website, www.sos.arkansas.gov.

 

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ELECTION ADVISORY FROM ARKANSAS SECRETARY OF STATE MARK MARTIN

Published: 11/06/2014

ELECTION ADVISORY FROM ARKANSAS SECRETARY OF STATE MARK MARTIN
Election Day is Nov. 4th; voters have many opportunities to cast ballots.

(Nov. 3, 2014) Little Rock, Ark. – As Arkansans prepare to go to the polls for the November 4th General Election, Secretary of State Mark Martin wants to remind voters of the following information.

Early Voting

Early Voting starts October 20th – November 3rd contact your county clerk to find out specific early voting locations. You can find your county clerk’s contact information in our Voting 101 Pocket Guide on our website.

Election Day Voting

Polls are open 7:30 am to 7:30 pm on Election Day. Voters choosing to head to the polls on Election Day need to know their polling place and precinct. Voters can verify their polling place and precinct as well as other important voting information by visiting www.voterview.org.

Election Ballot Issues

In total, there are 5 issues on the ballot in the November General Election. Information on ballot issues, which include statewide alcohol and a measure that would increase Arkansas’ minimum wage, is available here.

Election Info

Go to our Facebook and Twitter page for updates on Early Voting numbers and Election Reminders.

Our Election Night Reporting will be available with real-time results on the evening of November 4th, just click the “Election Results” tab on our website.

Absentee Voting

To vote an absentee ballot, you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • You will be unavoidably absent from your polling site on election day, OR

  • You will be unable to attend your polling site on election day due to illness or physical disability, OR
  • You are a member of the Uniformed Services, merchant marines or the spouse or a dependent family member and are away from your polling location due to the member's active duty status, OR
  • A U.S. citizen whose residence is in Arkansas but is temporarily living outside the territorial limits of the United States.

Please contact your county clerk with any questions about the absentee voting process.

Please don't hesitate to contact the Arkansas Secretary of State's office with any questions or concerns at voterservices@sos.arkansas.gov.

 


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So Far 16 Communities Have Applied to Become Site of Proposed New Prison Unit

Published: 11/05/2014

October 31, 2014 LITTLE ROCK - The state Correction Department received 16 applications from communities wanting to be the location of a proposed new $100 million prison unit. The unit would hire 250 people and the average salary would be $12.50 an hour, and in the future it could expand. The state Board of Correction will bring its plans for the new prison unit before the legislature during t...

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Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin Announces Student Mock Election Underway Across Arkansas

Published: 10/31/2014

For Immediate Release

Contact: Laura Labay

Phone:501-683-3702

Laura.labay@sos.arkansas.gov

 

Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin Announces Student Mock Election Underway Across Arkansas

 

Little Rock, Ark.(Oct. 31, 2014) – Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin announced Friday the National Student Mock Election is underway in schools all across Arkansas. More than 258 school districts throughout Arkansas were invited to take part in this nationwide tradition, instructing students from kindergarten through high school in the importance of voting. The program encourages students to research and educate themselves on candidates before placing their vote. The mock election is hosted by Secretary of State Mark Martin, serving as Arkansas Coordinator in collaboration with the Washington D.C.-based National Student/Parent Mock Election (NSPME).

“This is the second election cycle in which I enjoyed the privilege to participate. I appreciate the opportunity to encourage our young citizens to get involved in civic life, in the responsibilities of being an American and Arkansan,” stated Secretary of State Mark Martin. “I honestly love seeing their eyes light up when they realize they can make a difference in their local community and nation through participation in the voting process.”

Statewide, students receive a sample ballot created by the NSPME and certified for accuracy by the Elections Division of the Arkansas Secretary of State.

In this year’s election, young Arkansans vote for candidates in three major offices: U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives and Governor. Votes from the students’ mock election are tabulated in Washington D.C. after their transmission to the National Student/Parent Mock Election.

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AHECB recognizes new UA System eVersity, a completely online institution

Published: 10/31/2014


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Senator English Honored for Her Support of Adult Education

Published: 10/29/2014

Senator Jane English of North Little Rock was honored on October 24 by the Arkansas Association for Administrators for Adult Education when she received the 2014 Garland Hankins Award. The recipient is chosen for his or her outstanding contributions to and support of adult education in Arkansas. English is a former member the state"s Workforce Investment Board at the Department of Workforce Serv...

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Four Proposed Constitutional Amendments on the Ballot

Published: 10/29/2014

LITTLE ROCK - When Arkansas voters go to the polls, they will receive lengthy ballots that include four proposed constitutional amendments. Three of the proposed amendments were referred by the legislature during last year's regular session. They would change current laws on ethics, ballot issues, term limits and the procedures for implementing rules and regulations. The fourth was placed on t...

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Arkansas Minority Health Commission Announces Funding Opportunities up to $2,000 for Health-Related Events

Published: 10/24/2014

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. --The Arkansas Minority Health Commission recognizes that improving minority health in Arkansas and the nation requires collaboration across many organizations. The Commission's intent is to cooperate with community-based organizations, schools, faith-based organizations and others to address the health problems that effect minorities in Arkansas. To help develop new and innovati...

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Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin Receives National Awards

Published: 10/23/2014

              For Immediate Release

Contact: Laura Labay

Phone: 501-683-3702

laura.labay@sos.arkansas.gov

   

Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin Receives

 National Awards 

   

Little Rock, Ark. (October 22, 2014) - Arkansas is raking in national awards and recognition according to Secretary of State Mark Martin.  In an October 22 release, Secretary Martin announced the Office of the Secretary of State received three awards for projects completed in 2014. Included in the awards are the “Public Service Web Video Silver Winner Award,” the “Digital Government Achievement Award,” and an Honorable Mention for “Excellence in Preservation” for restoration of the Capitol Dome.

 

“The staff of the Office of the Secretary of State brings innovation, dedication, and a spirit of service to every project, and they do this with one goal in mind – service to Arkansans,” stated Secretary Martin. “I am proud to lead such a dedicated team, a group focused upon making improvements within each division of the Secretary of State’s office.”

 

Capitol Dome Restoration

 

Secretary of State Mark Martin accepted an Honorable Mention Award for "Excellence in Preservation" for the Capitol Building Dome Restoration Project from the Historic Preservation Alliance.  As part of this highly technical project, the interior dome paint underwent testing to determine the original paint type and application process.  This ensured restoration of the dome to its original appearance. The Secretary of State’s Office paid for the restoration project with grants from the Natural and Cultural Resources Council.

 

Public Service Web Video Winner

Secretary of State Mark Martin’s focus on utilizing technology to provide better services to the citizens of Arkansas resulted in national recognition  from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts. Secretary of State Mark Martin announced the Business & Commercial Services Division of his office received the prestigious "Public Service Web Video Silver Winner" for 2014.  Secretary Martin accepted the award, selected from over 4,000 entries, for the Web design and online marketing of “Dream It Do It Arkansas"

           

Digital Government Achievement Award

Recognizing a unique synergy of dedicated employees and technological innovation, Secretary of State Mark Martin announced his office received the prestigious "Digital Government Achievement Award" (DGAA) from the Center for Digital Government. This national award is for implementing a new technology-based Corporation Filings Automation project.  In the first year of operation, this automation project saved taxpayers approximately $124,212. Today, the submission of tax filings electronically bypasses the requirement for paper copies and manual data entry.  In one year alone, this saved almost 2,100 staff hours, over 72,000 individual sheets of paper, and eliminated the expense of over $20,500 in postage. Secretary of State Martin lauded the efforts of a team led by BCS Director Daryl Bassett, recognizing their abilities to implement an entirely new process, save thousands of tax dollars, and still maintain the existing high levels of service to the citizens of Arkansas.  “Our goal is to offer all government business services online and allow companies to interact with the state wherever they are, at any time of day,” stated Director Bassett.

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Arkansas Prescription "Take Back" Program One of Nation's Most Successful

Published: 10/23/2014

LITTLE ROCK - Thanks to participation by law enforcement agencies in all regions of the state, Arkansas has one of the most successful prescription drug take-back campaigns in the country. Since 2010, Arkansas drug prevention and law enforcement teams have collected more than 62 tons of out-of-date prescription drugs turned in by people cleaning out their medicine cabinets. At a joint meeti...

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Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin Receives

Published: 10/22/2014

               For Immediate Release

Contact: Laura Labay

Phone: 501-683-3702

laura.labay@sos.arkansas.gov

   

Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin Receives

 National Awards 

   

Little Rock, Ark. (October 22, 2014) - Arkansas is raking in national awards and recognition according to Secretary of State Mark Martin.  In an October 22 release, Secretary Martin announced the Office of the Secretary of State received three awards for projects completed in 2014. Included in the awards are the “Public Service Web Video Silver Winner Award,” the “Digital Government Achievement Award,” and an Honorable Mention for “Excellence in Preservation” for restoration of the Capitol Dome.

 

“The staff of the Office of the Secretary of State brings innovation, dedication, and a spirit of service to every project, and they do this with one goal in mind – service to Arkansans,” stated Secretary Martin. “I am proud to lead such a dedicated team, a group focused upon making improvements within each division of the Secretary of State’s office.”

 

Capitol Dome Restoration

 

Secretary of State Mark Martin accepted an Honorable Mention Award for "Excellence in Preservation" for the Capitol Building Dome Restoration Project from the Historic Preservation Alliance.  As part of this highly technical project, the interior dome paint underwent testing to determine the original paint type and application process.  This ensured restoration of the dome to its original appearance. The Secretary of State’s Office paid for the restoration project with grants from the Natural Cultural and Resources Council.

 

Public Service Web Video Winner

Secretary of State Mark Martin’s focus on utilizing technology to provide better services to the citizens of Arkansas resulted in national recognition  from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts. Secretary of State Mark Martin announced the Business & Commercial Services Division of his office received the prestigious "Public Service Web Video Silver Winner" for 2014.  Secretary Martin accepted the award, selected from over 4,000 entries, for the Web design and online marketing of “Dream It Do It Arkansas"

           

Digital Government Achievement Award

Recognizing a unique synergy of dedicated employees and technological innovation, Secretary of State Mark Martin announced his office received the prestigious "Digital Government Achievement Award" (DGAA) from the Center for Digital Government. This national award is for implementing a new technology-based Corporation Filings Automation project.  In the first year of operation, this automation project saved taxpayers approximately $124,212. Today, the submission of tax filings electronically bypasses the requirement for paper copies and manual data entry.  In one year alone, this saved almost 2,100 staff hours, over 72,000 individual sheets of paper, and eliminated the expense of over $20,500 in postage. Secretary of State Martin lauded the efforts of a team led by BCS Director Daryl Bassett, recognizing their abilities to implement an entirely new process, save thousands of tax dollars, and still maintain the existing high levels of service to the citizens of Arkansas.  “Our goal is to offer all government business services online and allow companies to interact with the state wherever they are, at any time of day,” stated Director Bassett.

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General Election Advisory from Secretary of State Mark Martin

Published: 10/17/2014

For Immediate Release

Laura Labay, 501-683-3702


ELECTION ADVISORY FROM ARKANSAS SECRETARY OF STATE MARK MARTIN
Election Day is Nov. 4th; voters have many opportunities to cast ballots.

(September 30, 2014) Little Rock, Ark. – As Arkansans prepare to go to the polls for the November 4th General Election, Secretary of State Mark Martin wants to remind voters of the following information.

"I want to make sure Arkansans know we are here to serve them. Our Elections Team has worked year-round with our County Clerks to prepare for this upcoming election," said Secretary of State Mark Martin. "Our website is full of information on updated election laws, ballot issues, and a list of candidates with background information on each. We want Arkansans to head to the polls well informed on exactly what they are voting on."

Voter Registration Deadline

October 6th is the deadline to register to vote in the general election. You can fill out an application to vote at your county clerk’s office, state revenue offices, public library or Arkansas State Library, public assistance agency, disability agency, military recruitment office, Arkansas National Guard or you can download an application from the Secretary of State’s website here and mail it to your county clerk.

Early Voting

Early Voting is October 20th – November 3rd, contact your county clerk to find out Early Voting locations. You can find your county clerk’s contact information in our Voting 101 Pocket Guide on our website at www.sos.arkansas.gov.

Election Day Voting

Polls are open 7:30 am to 7:30 pm on Election Day. Voters choosing to head to the polls on Election Day need to remember to bring the proper form of ID and know their polling place and precinct. Voters can check their polling place and precinct as well as other important voting information by visiting www.voterview.org.

Election Ballot Issues

In total, there are 5 issues on the ballot in the November General Election. Information on ballot issues that will appear on the Nov. 4th ballot are available for review on our website here.

Election Info

Our Voting 101 Pocket Guide has a list of important dates and deadlines. click here

Go to our Facebook and Twitter page for updates on Early Voting numbers and Election Reminders.

Our Election Night Reporting will be available with real-time results on the evening of November 4th, just click the “Election Results” tab on our website at www.sos.arkansas.gov

Absentee Voting

To be qualified to vote an absentee ballot, you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • You will be unavoidably absent from your polling site on election day, OR

  • You will be unable to attend your polling site on election day due to illness or physical disability, OR
  • You are a member of the Uniformed Services, merchant marines or the spouse or a dependent family member and are away from your polling location due to the member's active duty status, OR
  • A U.S. citizen whose residence is in Arkansas but is temporarily living outside the territorial limits of the United States.

To receive an absentee ballot application contact your county clerk (click here). 

To download an absentee ballot application (click here).

Please don’t hesitate to contact the Arkansas Secretary of State's office with any questions or concerns at 501-682-5070.

 


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Supreme Court Rules Photo ID Not Required At the Polls

Published: 10/17/2014

For Immediate Release

Laura Labay

501-683-3702

Laura.labay@sos.arkansas.gov

 

Supreme Court Rules Photo ID Not Required At the Polls

Secretary of State Mark Martin announces as of October 16, 2014, 4:39 p.m. Voters are no longer required to provide “proof of identity”(photo ID) in order to vote in person in the General Election. The law reverts back to the previous statute that existed prior to Act 595. Further, poll workers are still required by law to ask for identification, however, voters are not required to provide identification in order to vote.

Before the passage of the Voter ID law, state and federal law required first time voters to provide identification. Voters who register to vote by mail and fail to include valid identification will be required to provide identification at the polls.

For those First Time Voters, examples of identification required are: a valid photo id or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter.

Arkansas Supreme Court struck down the challenged parts of Act 595, otherwise known as the Voter ID law. Arkansas General Assembly passed Act 595 on April 1, 2013, which required Arkansas residents to provide “proof of identity” when voting at the polls.

Please keep in mind, Arkansas has “fail safe voting” in place: voters can vote a Provisional Ballot at the polls if any problems or discrepancies should arise. County Board of Election Commissioners will notify voters of their appointment time to provide any additional information in order for their vote to count.


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Legislative Council Adds Infectious Disease Protocol to October 17 Meeting Agenda

Published: 10/16/2014

October 16, 2014 Senate Information Office: 501-682-5954 Senator Bill Sample of Hot Springs, the Senate chairman of the Arkansas Legislative Council, announced that the final agenda item for Friday's meeting would be an update from state Health Department officials on protocol for assessing, monitoring, screening and treating any patients in Arkansas if they contract infectious diseases. The Co...

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Legislators Begin Budget Hearings

Published: 10/15/2014

LITTLE ROCK - Legislators began a lengthy and detailed review of all state agency spending requests, in preparation for the regular session that begins in January. Setting a balanced budget for state government every year is the most time-consuming duty of the legislature. Budget hearings begin in October, but legislative review of state spending continues through the session. The Joint Budget ...

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Enrollment Down Slightly in Arkansas Colleges and Universities

Published: 10/09/2014

LITTLE ROCK - Enrollment at Arkansas colleges and universities is down 1 percent from last year, according to a report from the state Department of Higher Education. The overall decline is most notable at two-year colleges, which saw their enrollment go down from 56,116 students last year to 53,470 this year. That is a percentage decrease of 4.7 percent. Four-year universities saw a slight i...

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Senator Elliott, SREB Commission to Work on College Affordability

Published: 10/08/2014

SREB Commission Examines College Affordability in the South October 8, 2014 For information call Beth Day, SREB Communication Director, 404-879-5544 ATLANTA, GA. - The Southern Regional Education Board has launched the Commission on College Affordability in the South to focus state policies on the goal of affordability for students and families. Senator Joyce Elliott of Little Rock, one of...

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School Facilities Fund Falling Short of Demand

Published: 09/30/2014

LITTLE ROCK - Funding of public school facilities may be one of the most difficult budget issues facing legislators when they convene in regular session in January. In 2007 the legislature dedicated $456 million in "one time" money to the school facilities fund. That was the amount that was deemed necessary to equalize facilities funding among prosperous and poor districts of Arkansas, and to ...

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Arkansas Legislative Black Caucus Holding Retreat and Conference at Hot Springs

Published: 09/24/2014

September 24, 2014 Senate Information Office: 501-682-5954 HOT SPRINGS - Overhauling the state's justice system is the major theme of this year's conference of the Arkansas Legislative Black Caucus. Senators Joyce Elliott of Little Rock, Stephanie Flowers of Pine Bluff and Senator Linda Chesterfield of Little Rock were instrumental in writing the agenda for the 2014 conference. The retreat...

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Bid Opening by Highway Department Sets New Record

Published: 09/23/2014

LITTLE ROCK - The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department opened bids for 46 projects totaling $231.5 million. After a review of the bids, if the Commission accepts all of them as submitted they would comprise the largest single bid opening in Arkansas history. It would surpass the previous high bid opening in November of 2012, when bids for $222.5 million of projects were opened. The r...

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Most Arkansas colleges, universities enroll slightly lower numbers

Published: 09/18/2014


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Secretary of State Certifies Ballot Issues

Published: 09/11/2014

LITTLE ROCK - The Secretary of State's office has certified two more ballot issues for voters to decide at the November 4 election - a proposed constitutional amendment to allow sales of alcohol and an initiated act to raise the state minimum wage. The alcohol and minimum wage issues will be on the ballot along with three proposed amendments referred by the legislature. Sponsors of both measur...

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Signature Verification Process Complete for Ballot Initiatives

Published: 09/09/2014

For Immediate Release
Laura Labay, 501-683-3702
Signature Verification Process Complete for Ballot Initiatives
(September 9, 2014) Little Rock, Ark. – Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin announces the signature verification process for the ballot measures initiated by the people of Arkansas is complete. 
An Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage
As of September 9th, the Secretary of State has validated 89,790 signatures for An Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage. The sponsors turned in a total of 130,016 signatures for verification. The initiated act met the requirement of 62,507 verified signatures to qualify as Issue No. 5 on the Nov. 4, 2014 general election ballot.
The Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment
As of September 3rd, The Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment had a final count of 91,831 validated signatures.  The sponsors turned in a total of 127,265 signatures for verification. The constitutional amendment met the requirement of 78,133 verified signatures to qualify as Issue No. 4 on the Nov. 4, 2014 general election ballot. 
Voter Info
The deadline to register to vote for the general election is Oct. 6, 2014. A photo ID is required to vote in the general election. To check your voting status and location go to www.voterview.org. For additional information on voting go to the Arkansas Secretary of State’s webpage, www.sos.arkansas.gov.

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AMHC Director Idonia Trotter to Take Leadership Role at Houston-Based Non-Profit Oct. 1

Published: 09/05/2014

The Board of Directors of Gateway to Care (GTC), a Houston, Texas-based non-profit health care collaborative, is pleased to announce Idonia L. Trotter, JD, MPS as its new Executive Director beginning October 1, 2014. Trotter will follow in the footsteps of founder and long-time Executive Director Dr. Ron Cookston. Trotter brings to GTC a distinguished career in health care advocacy, policy ana...

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Dr. Rhonda Mattox Named Medical Director at AMHC

Published: 09/05/2014

Dr. Rhonda Mattox has been named Medical Director at the Arkansas Minority Health Commission. She previously worked with the commission as a medical media and research consultant beginning in 2013, hosting the Ask the Doctor Show monthly with Broadway Joe. In her new role, she will guide the AMHCs internal research efforts, assist with public health policy development and serve as media spokespers...

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AMHC Transitional Leadership Team in Place until New Director Chosen

Published: 09/05/2014

The Arkansas Minority Health Commission wishes Director Idonia Trotter well in her new endeavors as she moves forward in her career with Gateway to Care, a Houston-based 501c3 non-profit health care organization. During the transition, AMHC has put its current Medical Director, Dr. Rhonda Mattox, in place as a transitional leader until a new executive director is identified. AMHC Chair Christine P...

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Camp iRock Encourages Fitness and Good Nutrition Among Girls

Published: 09/05/2014

Girls from across Arkansas recently had fun exercising, learning about healthy eating and building their self-confidence. The Arkansas Minority Health Commission, in partnership with Arkansas Children's Hospital and Girl Scouts-Diamonds of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas, hosted its fourth residential fitness camp August 10-16. Camp iRock , for sixth, seventh and eighth grade girls, was held at Fern...

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AMHC Partners with Nine Non-Profit Organizations Doing Community Outreach

Published: 09/05/2014

The Arkansas Minority Health Commission has provided $8,721.25 in funding to nine partnering organizations that are doing health outreach in local communities. The sponsorship programs which are scheduled to occur between August through December 2014 include: Innovative lifestyles for Senior Living, 8th Annual Civil Rights Summit and Community Festival Asian Pacific Resource and Cultural Ce...

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Commissioner Laelan selected for NW Arkansas Business Journal's 40 Under 40

Published: 09/05/2014

Melisa Laelan, an AMHC Commissioner and Director of the Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese, has been honored as a member of Northwest Arkansas Business Journal's 40 Under 40 class. Each year, the journal honors 40 high achieving and intriguing business and political leaders under 40 years old who bear watching. Lealan, of Springdale, Arkansas, is the nation's only certified court interpreter fo...

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AMHC to Host Diabetes Community Health Event in McGehee on Sept. 20

Published: 09/05/2014

The Arkansas Minority Health Commission has partnered with local organizations to hold a diabetes community health awareness event in McGehee, Arkansas on Sept. 20. The "Know Your A1C" event will be held from 10 30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Desha Alumni Community Center, 500 S. First Street. It will feature health screenings, health education, free physical exams for kids, free lunch and fun activiti...

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September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month

Published: 09/05/2014

September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month. The Sickle Cell Disease Association of America wants the public to reflect on the children and the adults whose lives, education and careers have been affected by this disease. This issue of The Minority Report is dedicated to the memory of Germaine Johnson Sr., a dedicated and caring individual who in 2001 started the Sickle Cell Inner Circle ...

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An Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage Makes General Election Ballot

Published: 09/03/2014


For Immediate Release

Laura Labay, 501-683-3702

An Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage Makes General Election Ballot


Little Rock, Ark.
– Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin announces, An Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage met the signature requirements of Article 5, Section 1 of the Arkansas Constitution. An initiated act needs 62,507 valid signatures to make the ballot. The sponsors turned in a total of 129,989 signatures for verification. At this time, the initiated act has at least 70,074 valid signatures. Please note, there are signatures still being verified; therefore, the total number of valid signatures may increase.

The Secretary of State has certified the proposed initiated act to the County Boards of Election Commissioners. It will be Issue No. 5 on the Nov. 4, 2014 ballot. 

If approved by voters, the measure will increase the state’s minimum wage from $6.25 to $7.50 per hour on January 1, 2015, $8.00 per hour January 1, 2016, and $8.50 per hour on January 1, 2017. 

The deadline to register to vote for the General Election is October 6, 2014.  For information on voter registration, go to the Elections tab on this site.


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Changes Return Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund to Solid Financial Health

Published: 09/02/2014

LITTLE ROCK - The state's unemployment insurance trust fund has recovered significantly and by the end of the year will not owe any money to the federal government, the governor announced. A few years ago the state's trust fund was in debt to the federal government for $360 million because the severe economic recession in 2008 and 2009 that caused so many people to lose work and file for unempl...

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Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment Makes General Election Ballot

Published: 08/29/2014

For Immediate Release

Laura Labay, 501-683-3702

Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment Makes 2014 General Election Ballot

(August 29, 2014) Little Rock, Ark. – Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin announces that the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment met the signature requirements of Article 5, Section 1 of the Arkansas Constitution. The constitutional amendment needed 78,133 valid signatures; the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment sponsors tuned in 127,265. At this time, the proposed amendment has at least 87,102 valid signatures. There are still signatures being verified; please note the total number of valid signatures may increase.

The Secretary of State has certified the proposed amendment to the County Boards of Election Commissioners. It will be Issue No. 4 on the November 4, 2014 ballot.

Registered voters will decide on the proposed amendment that if approved, would legalize the sale, manufacture and transportation of alcohol statewide. The deadline to register to vote for the General Election is October 6, 2014.  For information on voter registration, go to the Arkansas Secretary of State’s webpage, www.sos.arkansas.gov.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Legislature Working on Expansion of Broadband Access in Public School

Published: 08/27/2014

LITTLE ROCK - The legislature has begun the complex task of providing school districts in Arkansas with expanded broadband access. Innovations in computers, phones and the Internet are being introduced at an ever faster pace. Schools with outdated equipment risk falling further behind those with newer technology. One of the first steps toward providing equal educational opportunities to all ...

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Legislators Study Length of School Bus Routes

Published: 08/27/2014

LITTLE ROCK - Almost 60 percent of Arkansas public school students take the bus to school, and each morning they spend an average of about 49 minutes on the bus, according to an extensive survey by legislative analysts. On average, they spend another 49 minutes riding home. The survey was required by Act 1288 of 2013. Under the Arkansas Constitution it is the legislature's duty to provide an ade...

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An Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage Turns in Additonal Signatures

Published: 08/18/2014

An Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage Turns In Additional Signatures

Date: 8/18/2014

For Immediate Release

Laura Labay, 501-683-3702

An Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage Turns In Additional Signatures

(August 18, 2014) Little Rock, Ark. – Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin announces that An Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage turned in an additional 69,070 signatures today.  The Arkansas Secretary of State’s office now has 30 days to verify the newly submitted signatures.  The petition to raise the state’s minimum wage from $6.25 to $8.50 by 2017 was short 15,107 valid signatures after the initial verification process. The initiative needs 62,507 verified signatures to make the November 4 ballot.

 


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Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment Turns In Additional Signatures

Published: 08/15/2014

For Immediate Release

Laura Labay, 501-683-3702

Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment Turns In Additional Signatures

(August 15, 2014) Little Rock, Ark. – Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin announces that the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment turned in an additional 41,492 signatures today.  The Arkansas Secretary of State’s office now has 30 days to verify the newly submitted signatures.  The petition to allow statewide alcohol sales was short about 17,000 valid signatures after the initial verification process. The Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment needs 78,133 verified signatures to make the November 4 ballot.


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College-going rate increases by 1.4 percent; AHECB approves new academic programs

Published: 07/25/2014


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An Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage Short Valid Signatures

Published: 07/23/2014

For Immediate Release:
Laura Labay, 501-683-3702  

An Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage Short Valid Signatures

(July 23, 2014) Little Rock, Ark. – Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin announced An Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage did not meet the required 62,507 valid signatures after the verification process.  They now have until August 18 to gather 15,107 more valid signatures to make the November 2014 General Election ballot.   In order to be considered valid, there must be sufficient signatures from 15 of the 75 counties across Arkansas along with an affidavit filed with us stating the number of Petition Parts and the total number of signatures.Here is a list of what causes an entire page of petition signatures to be invalidated:         
  • Photocopy, not an original;      
  • Not signed by a Canvasser;      
  • A petition part signed by more than 1 Canvasser;      
  • Not signed by a Canvasser under oath;       
  • Canvasser’s verification dated earlier than the date the petition was signed by a Petitioner;        
  • Not notarized;        
  • Lacking a notary seal;       
  • A petition part is lacking a notary signature or is notarized by more than 1 Notary;   
  • A forged notary or Canvasser signature;
  • A notary notarizing his or her own signature;
  • A notary using the Great Seal of Arkansas; 
  • Failure to attach a legible copy of the entire text of the measure to each Petition sheet containing signatures; 
  • Failure to attach the popular name and ballot title to each petition sheet containing signatures; 
  • If litigated, a challenger may claim that the Canvasser failed to sign the affidavit in the presence of the notary; 
  • If litigated, a challenger may claim that the affidavit of the Canvasser is false.
If the petition submitted for signature verification does not contain the required number of valid signatures of registered voters, the Secretary of State will notify the Sponsor, they will then have 30 days to do any or all of the following:   
    
A) Solicit and obtain additional signatures;
B) Submit proof that all or some of the rejected signatures are good and should be counted;
C) Make the petition more definite or certain. The Secretary of State will verify signatures up to 10% above the required number.


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Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment Falls Short on Signatures

Published: 07/18/2014

Date: 7/18/2014

For Immediate Release:

Laura Labay, 501-683-3702

  

Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment Falls Short on Signatures

 

(July 18, 2014) Little Rock, Ark. – Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin announces the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment did not meet the signature requirements after the verification process. The proposed amendment requires an additional 17,133 verified signatures to reach the 78,133 needed to be placed on the general election ballot. The Secretary of State’s Office has notified the petition sponsor that they now have an additional 30 days to collect signatures to compensate for those disqualified during the signature verification process.


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An Act to Increase The Arkansas Minimum Wage Meets Initial Count

Published: 07/16/2014

For Immediate Release:

Laura Labay, 501-683-3702

  

An Act to Increase The Arkansas Minimum Wage Meets Initial Count

 

(July 16, 2014) Little Rock, Ark. – Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin announces An Act to Increase The Arkansas Minimum Wage has met the initial signature count requirement. The Initiated Act needed 62,507 signatures; the initial count was over 64,000. The Secretary of State’s Office is now moving to the signature verification stage. Meeting the initial count qualifies the petition sponsor for an additional 30 days to collect signatures, to compensate for any that may be disqualified during the signature verification process.

We will continue to update you as information becomes available.


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Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment Meets Initial Count

Published: 07/09/2014

For Immediate Release:

Laura Labay, 501-683-3702

  

Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment Meets Initial Count

 

(July 9, 2014) Little Rock, Ark. – Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin announces the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment has met the initial signature count requirement. The amendment needed 78,133 signatures; the initial count was well over 84,000. The Secretary of State’s Office is now moving to the signature verification stage. Meeting the initial count qualifies the petition sponsor for an additional 30 days to collect signatures, to compensate for any that may be disqualified during the signature verification process.

An Act To Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage is still being counted to see if they have enough signatures to make their initial count. 

We will continue to update you as information becomes available.



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Korean War Veterans to Receive Ambassador of Peace Medals

Published: 07/09/2014

For Immediate Release:

Laura Labay, 501-683-3702

  

Korean War Veterans to Receive Ambassador of Peace Medals

 

(July 9, 2014) Little Rock, Ark. – Secretary of State Mark Martin in coordination with the Republic of Korea, and the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs announces a medal presentation ceremony and dinner in honor of Arkansas Korean War Veterans. The event begins at 5 p.m. July 11 at the Association of Arkansas Counties.

 

“Six decades ago, more than 54,000 American soldiers died, 103,000 were wounded and 1,000 are still missing in action. We want all veterans to know their heroic service is not forgotten,” said Secretary of State Mark Martin. “We are honored to be a part of the upcoming ceremony, and proud to see our veterans recognized.”

  

The veterans will receive Ambassador of Peace Medals from South Korean Ambassador Suk-bum Park, the consul-general for the Republic of Korea’s Houston consulate.

  

Ambassador of Peace Medal Ceremony:

  

Date:                           July 11 2014

  

Time:                           5 p.m. - 7 p.m. 

  

Place:                         Association of Arkansas Counties

           1415 W 3rd St, Little Rock, AR 72201

  



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See You at the Fair

Published: 06/25/2014

For Immediate Release:
 
Laura Labay, 501-683-3702
 
(June 25, 2014) Little Rock, Ark. –Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin proudly announces “See You at the Fair,” a new exhibit featured at the State Capitol.
 
Secretary Martin salutes the Livestock Show Association’s 75-year tenure. The summer exhibit features: rare pictures, instruments autographed by stars who have appeared at the Fairgrounds’ famed Barton Coliseum venue, a saddle presented to the Fair’s Rodeo Queen of 1966 and a muslin “horse blanket” used to publicize the first fair held in Hot Springs in 1906.
 
“Arkansas has had a long history of livestock shows and state fairs.  It is not just fun and games; not only does it generate revenue for our local economy, up to $16 million in 2013 alone, but behind the scenes this is a serious business of making Arkansas farmers competitive in world markets,“ said Secretary Martin.
 
The exhibit is on display in the Capitol’s first-floor galleries now through Labor Day.
 
Capitol Hours:
 
8a.m.-5p.m. Monday-Friday
 
10a.m.-5p.m. Saturday-Sunday

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Teacher Workshop at the State Capitol

Published: 06/24/2014

For Immediate Release:
Laura Labay, 501-683-3702

Little Rock, Ark. – Secretary of State Mark Martin is pleased to announce the availability of an ADE approved three hour teacher workshop at the State Capitol this Wednesday, June 25 in the Old Supreme Court Room from 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m. This workshop is worth two hours of ADE approved Arkansas History credit.

Learn about the FREE resources available to you and how to use the State Capitol to teach Arkansas History, Government and American History.
Agenda includes:
  • How to Make the Most of Your Capitol Field Trip
  • Beyond State Symbol Activity Books: An Overview of Programs and Materials
  • On-Line Resources for Arkansas History, Civics and Government

To attend contact:
Lisa Watson
501-682-5279
lisa.watson@sos.arkansas.gov

* To order educational materials go to the links below:
http://www.soskids.arkansas.gov/
http://www.soskids.arkansas.gov/general-order-form/index.html


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ADHE scholarships deadline June 1

Published: 05/28/2014


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Unauthorized Letter Sent to Voters

Published: 05/13/2014

For Immediate Release

Laura Labay, 501-683-3702

 

Unauthorized Letter Sent to Voters

 

(May 12, 2014) LITTLE ROCK, AR — Secretary of State Mark Martin wants to inform the public that a letter claiming to be from the Arkansas State Voter Program is circulating in Arkansas. This letter was not issued or authorized by the Secretary of State's Election Division, nor is this program from a registered business entity in the state of Arkansas.

 

If you have received a letter from the Arkansas State Voter Program, please contact the Attorney General's Office at 501-682-2007 for further investigation.



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ADHE extends scholarship application deadlines to July 1 for Faulkner, Independence, Randolph, Pulaski, White County residents

Published: 05/05/2014


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Secretary Martin Reminds AR Businesses Franchise Taxes due May 1

Published: 04/30/2014

For Immediate Release

Laura Labay 501-683-3702

 

Secretary Martin Reminds AR Businesses Franchise Taxes due May 1

(April 29, 2014) LITTLE ROCK, AR— Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin reminds Arkansas businesses that annual reports and franchise taxes are due by midnight Thursday, May 1, to the Secretary of State’s Business and Commercial Services (BCS) division.

Every incorporated business, whether domestic or foreign, pays an annual fee to do business in Arkansas.  Earlier this year, corporations were notified about the upcoming deadline.  The taxes are payable between January and May 1 annually.  Around 80 percent of the state’s corporations pay the minimum franchise tax rate of $150.

I encourage all business to pay their franchise tax before the deadline to avoid accruing penalties and interest,” Secretary Martin said.

These corporate taxes generated $24 million in 2010, $23 million in 2011 and 2012 and $25 million in 2013.  Act 94 of the Second Extraordinary Session of 2003 increased franchise tax rates and required all funds collected over $8 million to be deposited into an Education Adequacy Trust Fund. 

Corporations may file their franchise taxes online, 24 hours a day, by visiting the Secretary of State’s website at www.sos.arkansas.gov.  The easy-to-use system provides automatic calculations to eliminate mathematical errors that can slow down processing time.  The system generates email confirmations and copies of each completed filing.  Credit cards and electronic checks are accepted.

Corporations can pay in person at:

Victory Building

1401 West Capitol, Suite 250

Little Rock, AR 72201.

Or

 

Mail tax forms to:

Business and Commercial Services (BCS) division

P.O. Box 8014

Little Rock, AR 72203-8014

BCS is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

For additional information, call BCS at (888) 233-0325.



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Franchise Tax Deadline Extended for Tornado Victims

Published: 04/30/2014

For Immediate Release

Laura Labay, 501-683-3702

 

Franchise Tax Deadline Extended for Tornado Victims

(April 29, 2014) LITTLE ROCK, AR — Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin announced today that the deadline for franchise taxes will be extended an additional 30 days past the original May 1 deadline for those counties affected by the tornadoes. Businesses from Faulkner, Pulaski and White counties needing an extension can contact the Business and Commercial Services (BCS) division for further information.

Corporations may file franchise taxes online, 24 hours a day, by visiting the Secretary of State’s website at www.sos.arkansas.gov.  The easy-to-use system provides automatic calculations to eliminate mathematical errors.

Credit cards and electronic checks are accepted.

Corporations can pay in person at:

Victory Building

1401 West Capitol, Suite 250

Little Rock, AR 72201.

Or

Mail tax forms to:

Business and Commercial Services (BCS) division

P.O. Box 8014

Little Rock, AR 72203-8014

BCS is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

For additional information, call BCS at (888) 233-0325.



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Tornado Relief and Blood Drive at the Capitol

Published: 04/30/2014

(April 29, 2014) LITTLE ROCK, AR –Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin and his staff are collecting donations and hosting an annual blood drive to help those affected by the tornadoes that devastated Arkansas counties April 27. “Our prayers go out to our families and friends that are suffering from losing their loved ones and property. We are standing by, ready to help in any way possible,” said Martin.

Secretary Martin hosts an annual blood drive every year, but this year the blood donations will be used to help ensure all blood given to those injured from the tornadoes will be replaced on hospital shelves. According to the Red Cross, several units of type 0 negative blood and 40 units of plasma were used to help treat the injured. “We want to help put that back in the blood bank supply to help save lives when unbearable tragedies like this happen,” Secretary Martin said.

If you would like to donate blood May 7 please contact Susan Carter at 501-682-3042.

To help the over 200 people displaced by the April 27 tornadoes, you can donate items such as canned goods, batteries, toys and clothes. Donation boxes will be placed in several locations around the Capitol until May 19.


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Secretary Martin introduces electronic notarization initiative

Published: 04/03/2014

For Immediate Release

Alex Reed, 501-682-1217

 

Secretary Martin introduces electronic notarization initiative

 

(April 2) LITTLE ROCK — Secretary of State Mark Martin announced today that Arkansas is implementing electronic notarization of documents.

 

“We are offering this option to help Arkansas business owners conduct operations more efficiently and economically,” Martin said.  “By electronically notarizing documents, procedures can be completed quickly, even if the parties of a transaction are miles apart, and without the expense of printing or mailing paper.”

 

The Secretary of State’s office is offering the commission enhancement to notaries public who are already in good standing.

 

“We do require training for e-notaries, to ensure that they understand the process,” Martin said. “For example, this is not remote notarization; the notary must still physically witness the signature.”

 

Notaries must submit an application form and, upon approval, register for the free e-notary training. The application is available on the Secretary of State’s website, at http://www.sos.arkansas.gov/BCS/Pages/enotary.aspx.

 

“One of my primary goals for this program was that it involve minimal cost to both the taxpayers and the notary,” Martin said. “I believe we have met that goal, and I am very pleased that we can offer this service. I look forward to seeing this initiative grow in Arkansas.”

 

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Secretary Martin Reminds Businesses to Pay Franchise Taxes by May 1 Deadline

Published: 03/25/2014

For Immediate Release

Alex Reed, 501-682-1217

 

 

Secretary Martin Reminds Businesses to Pay Franchise Taxes by May 1 Deadline

 

(March 25, 2014) LITTLE ROCK—Secretary of State Mark Martin today reminded Arkansas businesses who have not received a franchise tax filing form that they should request or obtain one today.

 

Annual reports and franchise taxes must be filed by midnight on May 1 with the Secretary of State’s Business and Commercial Services (BCS) division.

 

Every incorporated business, whether domestic or foreign, pays an annual fee to do business in Arkansas.  Earlier this year, the state’s 130,861 corporations were notified of the upcoming deadline.  The taxes are payable between January and May 1 annually.  Around 80 percent of the state’s corporations pay the minimum franchise tax rate of $150.

 

“Payment of franchise taxes is an important part of our state budget,” Martin said. “Part of these funds go to the state’s general fund, but the majority of it is assigned to education adequacy.”

 

All entities that have not received a tax form in the mail or electronically by March 20 must request, download, or file an online franchise tax form in order to comply with the May 1 franchise tax deadline.

 

Corporations may file their franchise taxes online, 24 hours a day, by visiting the Secretary of State’s website at www.sos.arkansas.gov.  The easy-to-use system provides automatic calculations to eliminate mathematical errors that can slow down processing time.  The system generates e-mail confirmations and copies of each completed filing.  Credit cards and electronic checks are accepted.

 

Corporations can also pay in person at BCS located in the Victory Building in Little Rock at 1401 West Capitol, Suite 250, or by mailing their tax forms to  P.O. Box 8014, Little Rock, AR 72203-8014. 

 

BCS is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.  For additional information, call BCS at (888) 233-0325.

 

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Photo ID Required for Voting

Published: 03/05/2014

For Immediate Release

Alex Reed, 501-682-1217

 

Photo ID Required for Voting

 

With early voting beginning this week for upcoming special elections in several counties, Secretary of State Mark Martin reminds voters to take photo identification to the polls.

 

“Voters who cast an absentee ballot must include identification when they send their absentee ballot,” Martin said. “Anyone voting at the polls, whether early or on election day, must be prepared to show a photo ID before receiving a ballot.”

 

The Secretary of State’s office has been working to inform voters of the new law.

 

“Act 595 of 2013 requires voters to provide some form of photo ID,” Martin said. “Several types of identification are acceptable, and voters who do not have any kind of photo ID can go to their county clerk’s office for a free voter photo ID card.”

 

Accepted forms of photo identification include passports, post-secondary school issued IDs, state or federal employee ID badges, a concealed handgun permit, a public assistance identification card, U.S. military IDs and state-issued driver’s licenses.

 

A voter who does not have any acceptable photo ID can go to the county clerk’s office and apply for a free photo ID card. This card is valid only for voting.

 

Residents of long-term or residential care facilities licensed by the state are not required to show photo ID. However, they must have a letter from the facility administrator, saying the voter is a resident of the facility.

 

Anyone who fails to provide photo ID may cast a provisional ballot. The voter must return to the county clerk’s office or the County Board of Election Commissioners by noon the Monday after the election with proof of ID, or an affidavit swearing the voter has no ID because of indigence or a religious objection to being photographed.

 

“We want every voter’s ballot to be counted,” Martin said. “It’s important that each voter remember to carry some form of state or federally-issued photo identification, in order to protect their vote.”

 

More information about the new law and voter ID is available at www.faceyourvote.org.

 

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Capitol Hosts Two Exhibits

Published: 02/11/2014

Capitol Hosts Two Exhibits

 

Installations celebrate Black History Month

and Arkansas-manufactured Products

 

(Feb. 4, 2014) LITTLE ROCK – Secretary of State Mark Martin announced the opening of two exhibits at the State Capitol.

 

February is Black History Month, and this is a great time to honor the African Americans who have served in the Arkansas legislature, Martin said.

 

Arkansas African American Legislators, 1868-1893, is a traveling exhibit produced by the Arkansas History Commission and Black History Commission of Arkansas. It will be displayed at the Arkansas State Capitol throughout the month.

 

The exhibit tells the story of the 85 African-Americans who served in the Arkansas General Assembly during the last half of the nineteenth century. In 1868, Arkansas adopted a new constitution; its provisions included the right to vote and hold public office for black males. African American lawyers, merchants, ministers, educators, farmers, and other professionals served in the Arkansas General Assembly.

 

The display features photographs of 46 of the 85 legislators. Also featured is a complete listing of the legislators and a short history of post-Civil War and election law “reforms” that effectively ended African Americans’ election to legislative positions until the 1970s.

 

I encourage all Arkansans, regardless of race or ethnicity, to visit the Capitol during February to see this important exhibit, Martin said.

 

The exhibit is located in the Capitols first floor Rotunda area.

 

“We have also opened our spring exhibit, examining products manufactured in Arkansas,” Martin said. “Everyone knows about our agriculture, our commodities and our resources, but many people don’t know about manufacturing in our state.”

 

Made Here: From Arkansas, for the World highlights a handful of roughly 3,000 Arkansas manufacturers whose products are made in Arkansas, destined for national and even global markets.

 

During the 1950s, state and local governments began to actively court manufacturers, touting Arkansas’s work force, a favorable tax and financial climate and a location with good access to both materials and markets. The Arkansas Industrial Development Commission, created in 1955, helped “sell” Arkansas to producers.  Over time, many factories and assembly shops have closed, but others continue to open. Currently about 163,000 Arkansans work in manufacturing, and in 2012, their output was valued at nearly $16 billion.

 

Made Here profiles the histories of six of Arkansas’s major manufacturers, including Daisy Outdoor Products, Baldor Electric, Remington Arms, American Railcar Industries, Ranger Boats and Alliance Rubber. Images and items supplied by these companies help tell their stories and illustrate the output of their Arkansas operations.

 

These include small arms ammunition and components from Remington and the prototype for Daisy’s 2015 Red Ryder 75th anniversary commemorative edition airgun.  Alliance Rubber of Hot Springs has supplied what may be the exhibit’s most eye-catching single item: a dress adorned with literally thousands of varicolored rubber bands.  Across from the dress, a pair of long-bill scissors commemorates one of Twentieth-century Arkansas’s pioneering manufacturers, Solid Steel Scissors of Fort Smith.

 

Made Here is located on the Capitol’s ground floor, north and south of the rotunda area.  It will remain on display through mid-May.

 

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Nonpartisan Judicial and Prosecutorial Candidates Petition Deadline This Week

Published: 01/16/2014

(Dec. 31, 2013) LITTLE ROCK — Secretary of State Mark Martin  reminds potential nonpartisan judicial and prosecutorial candidates of important deadlines this week.

 

“On this last day of the year, it is important for people affected by these deadlines to take appropriate action,” Martin said. “We want to make sure they are aware of the important dates today and later this week.”

 

Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, is the first day on which nonpartisan judicial and prosecutorial candidates may file petitions with the Secretary of State’s office to get on the ballot without payment of a filing fee.

 

“This is also the first time that candidates for district judge will file with the Secretary of State’s office,” Martin said. “We expect Thursday to be the start of a very active period of petition filing as we prepare for the 2014 midterm elections.”


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State Tour of Champion Trees Art Exhibit Continues

Published: 01/16/2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE    

 

Contact: Alex Reed,

Phone: 501-682-1217

Email: alex.reed@sos.arkansas.gov

 

ARKANSAS STATE CAPITOL TO HOST EXHIBIT ON CHAMPION TREES

State Tour of Champion Trees Art Exhibit Continues

(January 13, 2014)  Little Rock, Ark.  – Selected works from Arkansas Champion Trees: An Artist’s Journey will be on display from January 13 2013 in the Lower-Level Gallery of the Arkansas State Capitol.  The statewide touring exhibit features the drawings and documentation of selected Arkansas champion trees by Hot Springs artist Linda Williams Palmer.  The public is invited to view the exhibit through February 12 during the Capitol’s regular hours: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.  There is no admission fee.

“Arkansas is such a beautiful state and nothing shows it better than our state’s trees. Combining this natural beauty with the work of our artists allows visitors to our Capitol to view the variety of landscapes and artisans that Arkansans know and love,” said Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin.

Secretary Martin added, “All Arkansans should be proud of this limited Capitol exhibit.”

The exhibit explores Arkansas’s natural and artistic heritage and inspires viewers to celebrate the beauty that can be found in their own backyards.  The complete exhibit consists of 18 large colored pencil drawings, detail drawings, and photo-documentation of depicted trees; due to space constraints, the Capitol installation includes nine of Palmer’s striking drawings. The artwork is accompanied by short anecdotes and stories to encourage multi-generational conversations, and informative text panels and a full-color brochure designed to inspire visitors to learn more about Arkansas forests, history, art and science. The public can find exhibit information, educational materials and related links to forestry and natural resource programs at www.ChampionTreesExhibit.com.

 Arkansas Champion Trees: An Artist’s Journey is made possible through contributions by Champion Sponsors Plum Creek Timber Company, Domtar, and the Williams-Palmer Family; Medalist Sponsors Robyn and John Horn; and individual. This program is supported in part by the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, and by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The artist’s research and artwork are highlighted in a documentary produced by the Arkansas Educational Television Network. The program will premiere on February 20; Capitol visitors can view a preview version in the Capitol’s first-floor audiovisual area beginning January 14. An educator’s guide and additional teacher resources are available to enrich the exhibit’s educational emphasis. 

Arkansas Champion Trees: An Artist’s Journey is organized for travel by the Arkansas State Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Organizations and institutions interested in hosting the exhibit can find schedule and venue information on the exhibit website www.ChampionTreesExhibit.com

The Arkansas State Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts is an advocacy organization for Arkansas women artists on the national level by organizing representation in the museum in Washington, D.C.  In the state, the Committee advocates for Arkansas women artists on the state level by sponsoring juried exhibits, awarding scholarships and paid internships to artists and students, and providing an informative web site with an artists’ registry.  Since 1991, the Arkansas Committee has exhibited the work of over 500 Arkansas women artists in Washington, D.C., Germany, and throughout the state. For more information about the Arkansas Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, visit acnmwa.org.

SELECTED CHAMPION TREES IN EXHIBIT

  1. 1.            Eastern Cottonwood (Populus deltoids), Co-champion, Crawford County, Van Buren
  2. 2.            Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum), Arkansas County, White River Refuge, Ethel
  3. 3.            American Holly (Ilex opaca), White County, Rosebud
  4. 4.            Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), Miller County, Texarkana
  5. 5.            Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum), “Guardian of the Fallen” (Confederate Cemetery), Washington County, Fayetteville
  6. 6.            Cherrybark Oak (Quercus pagoda), Phillips County, Lexa
  7. 7.            Chinkapin Oak (Quercus muehlenbergii), Independence County, Batesville
  8. 8.            White Oak (Quercus alba) “Council Oak”, Yell County, Dardanelle
  9. 9.            Shortleaf Pine (Pinus echinata), Ashley County, Hamburg

 

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For Additional Information: 

                Exhibit Website: www.ChampionTreesExhibit.com    

                Barbara Satterfield, Exhibit Project Manager, member of the Arkansas State Committee

                (501) 733-9916

                barbarabdesign@yahoo.com

 

                Linda Palmer, Featured Artist

                (501) 620-3063

                lindawilliamspalmer@yahoo.com

 

                Marta Jones, President, Arkansas State Committee

                (479) 414-5237

                ms.martajones@gmail.com 


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Weather Forces Cancellation of Capitol Lighting, Pearl Harbor Ceremonies

Published: 12/06/2013


Weather Forces Cancellation of Capitol Lighting, Pearl Harbor Ceremonies

 

(Dec. 6, 2013) LITTLE ROCK –Secretary of State Mark Martin said today that due to winter weather, the Pearl Harbor Remembrance and Capitol Lighting ceremonies are cancelled.

 

“The precipitation we are receiving, and the cold temperatures forecast for tonight and tomorrow, present safety concerns,” Martin said. “We will still turn the Capitol Christmas lights on this weekend, but we will not hold the lighting ceremony.”

 

This is the fourth time the since its inception 75 years ago that there will be no lighting ceremony. The Capitol remained dark at Christmas two years during World War II, and it was lit without ceremony during a major construction project in more recent history.

 

The annual Pearl Harbor Remembrance ceremony, which was to be held in conjunction with the Capitol lighting, has also been cancelled. “Although the weather prevents our officially honoring these men and their families, we should never forget what they faced 72 years ago,” Martin said.

 

Other Christmas activities at the Capitol will continue through December. From Dec. 9 to Dec. 20, visitors can enjoy seeing 180 school choirs and dance troupes from around the state perform in the Rotunda.

 

“We know people were excited about seeing attending the Capitol lighting ceremony, but we felt the safety of staff, the participants and the public was paramount,” Martin said. “My staff and I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, and we hope visitors will still come to the Capitol this month to enjoy this wonderful time.”

 

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Secretary Martin Unveils Restoration of Capitol Dome

Published: 12/05/2013

Secretary Martin Unveils Restoration of Capitol Dome

 

(Dec. 5, 2013) LITTLE ROCK — Secretary of State Mark Martin on Thursday unveiled the restoration of the State Capitol’s interior dome to its 1914 appearance.

“I’m honored to be part of the process of restoring this building to its original grandeur,” Martin said before the ceremony.

The project, funded by a grant from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council, began in late July and concluded by mid-November. It involved chemical analysis of the original paint to recreate colors, as well as repairing plaster in the dome.

Evergreene Architectural Arts of Oak Park, Ill., did the decorative painting and glazing. Using 16 shades of paint, they emphasized carving and trim, making details visible that had been lost to view for years.

Project architect Gary Clements, of Clements & Associates Architecture, has conducted several restoration projects for the Capitol. The dome, he said, was the most significant.

Baldwin & Shell Construction Company was the general contractor and has completed many notably ornate buildings. Executive Vice President Scott Copas said his crew was excited to work on the Capitol, and Project Superintendent Jerry Wheetley earlier said he was very pleased and proud of the work.

Martin said all Arkansans can be pleased with the results.

“I’m extremely pleased with the restoration,” he said. “We had some excellent artisans working on the Capitol this summer and fall. Thanks to their dedication, visitors to the Capitol can more easily see the fine craftsmanship original to the building.”

The project finished just in time to be showcased with Christmas decorations, Martin said. “With the restoration just concluded, we are very proud to present the building to the thousands of Arkansans who will visit at Christmas.”


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Voter ID Preparation Nears Completion

Published: 11/21/2013

For Immediate Release

Media Contact:

Alex Reed

501-682-1217

 

Voter ID Preparation Nears Completion

 

(Nov. 21, 2013) LITTLE ROCK – Secretary of State Mark Martin announced today the completion of a statewide installation of equipment to produce photographic identification for voters.

 

“This project has put counties in compliance with the requirements of Act 595 of 2013. It also provides additional integrity to our electoral system” Martin said. “

 

The act requires that, as of Jan. 1, 2014, voters show photographic proof of identity. It tasked the Secretary of State with establishing rules to issue identification cards to voters who have no other proof of identity.

 

The Secretary of State’s office provided Voter ID systems to each of Arkansas’s 75 counties. The Voter ID systems allow the county clerk’s office to produce photo identification cards at no charge.

 

The installation project concluded Wednesday, Nov. 20, with delivery of Voter ID systems to Saline and Grant counties.

 

“Free photographic voter ID cards are available to registered voters who sign an oath that they have no other valid form of photo identification,” Martin said.

 

Act 595 established a broad definition of a valid photo identification, besides the new voter identification cards, including post-secondary school issued IDs, employee ID badges, a concealed handgun permit, a public assistance identification card, U.S. military IDs, and state-issued driver’s licenses or ID cards.

 

Voters who have another form of photographic identification as defined in the Act do not qualify for one of the new voter identification cards.

 

“These identification cards accommodate voters who might otherwise not meet the ID requirements for voting,” Martin said.

 

 “We have worked closely with county clerks’ offices across the state to implement this program, and will continue to do so,” he added. “We have set up a website with information about the Voter Identification law, and we encourage Arkansans to visit that site to learn what qualifies as photo ID and other aspects of the law. Additionally, we have worked through civic organizations like the NAACP to publicize the new law and will continue to actively work to notify voters of the new requirements.”

 

The Voter ID website through the Secretary of State’s office is www.faceyourvote.org.

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Scam Alert for Businesses

Published: 11/05/2013

Scam Alert for Businesses

 

 

(Nov. 5, 2013) LITTLE ROCK--Many of our BCS customers received a mailing from an entity calling itself “Compliance Services” requesting a fee of $125 to prepare documents concerning records or minutes of an Annual Meeting of Shareholders or Board of Directors. Despite the implications in the letter, this mailing or notice is NOT from the Arkansas Secretary of State and is neither required nor approved by this Office.  The Arkansas Secretary of State does not have a current and valid registration for a business named “Compliance Services” at the Post Office Box address in Fayetteville, AR. 

 

“Arkansas law does not allow a business to have someone else prepare minutes for an Annual Meeting that did not occur.  Please contact your own corporate attorney or your accountant for the legal requirements for your type of business entity.”  Martin said.  “We are gathering information to turn this over to the Attorney General’s office.”

 

Should you have any additional questions about this mailing from “Compliance Services” please contact the Business and Commercial Services Division at 501 682 3409.

 

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Autumn Exhibit Tells “New Stories” at State Capitol

Published: 09/27/2013

Media Contact:

Alex Reed

501-682-1217

 

Autumn Exhibit Tells “New Stories” at State Capitol

 

 

(Sept. 27, 2013) LITTLE ROCK – The State Capitol’s autumn exhibit celebrates “New Stories” at several Arkansas state parks, Secretary of State Mark Martin announced.

 

“The state park system is the crown jewel of Arkansas’s natural and cultural assets,” Martin said. “Those parks are continuously changing, and I am very pleased with the opportunity to share those changes with visitors to the Capitol.”

 

The exhibit features new interpretive exhibits at Arkansas parks, including Petit Jean State Park and the Ozark Folk Center. Extensive renovations of Petit Jean’s venerable Mather Lodge culminated this summer with the return of paintings created there in 1937 by an artist working for the Civilian Conservation Corps. At the Ozark Folk Center, a new major musicological display dedicated to the memory of the late Lieutenant Governor Winthrop Paul Rockefeller greets visitors attending concerts in the thousand-seat auditorium.

 

The Mississippi River State Park and Delta Heritage Trail complete the Capitol exhibit, Martin said. The Mississippi River State Park, a cooperative effort with the U.S. Forest Service, offers a sprawling new visitor center with state-of-the-art natural history exhibits. The Delta Heritage Trail, based on an extended strip of abandoned railroad right-of-way between Lexa and Arkansas City, will feature a series of wayside exhibits resembling historic rail passenger shelters.

 

Martin said the exhibit and the parks it features send an important message. “Individually, each of these park improvements is significant,” he said. “Together, they demonstrate that no matter how many destinations one has visited, there’s always something new and worth seeing in the Arkansas State Parks system.”

 

“New Stories” features graphics from the parks and the new displays. Exhibit highlights include scale recreations of one of the Delta Heritage Trail shelter/exhibits, a reduced “log wall” evoking the rustic lobby of Mather Lodge and a selection of vintage musical instruments complementing the Ozark Folk Center exhibit narrative.

 

“New Stories,” a collaboration between the Secretary of State’s Office and the Arkansas State Parks Exhibit Shop, will remain on display in the Capitol’s first-floor exhibit cases through November 8.

 

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Secretary of State's Office reminds business of penalty and interest waiver

Published: 09/03/2013

For Immediate Release

Contact: Alex Reed, 501-682-1217

 

 

Secretary of State's Office reminds business of penalty and interest waiver

 

(Sept. 3, 2013) LITTLE ROCK - Secretary of State Mark Martin reminds businesses that the amnesty season on franchise tax penalties and interest has begun.

 

The program was created by Act 1041 of the 2013 legislative session, establishing a franchise tax penalty and interest amnesty season.

 

"From now until the end of this year, businesses that complete the proper paperwork can catch up on delinquent franchise taxes without having to pay accrued penalties and interest," Martin said.

 

All current and delinquent franchise taxes must be submitted with the appropriate paperwork and payment in person or by mail. Martin emphasized that the amnesty is applicable only for businesses revoked as of Dec. 31, 2012, and that penalties and interest due for the current year are not eligible.

 

"Business owners should remember this is a one-time deal," Martin urged. "They must pay current franchise taxes as well as their delinquent amounts of up to three years."

 

Amnesty application forms may be downloaded from the Secretary of State's website, 
http://www.sos.arkansas.gov/BCS/Pages/FTAmnesty.aspx.
 

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Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission Approves Firefighter Memorial

Published: 07/31/2013

Media Contact:

Alex Reed

(501) 682-1217

 

Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission Approves Firefighter Memorial

 

Feb. 12, 2013 (LITTLE ROCK)--The Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission on Tuesday approved installation of a memorial to fallen firefighters.

 

"I'm very pleased that the commission was able to approve this project," Secretary of State Mark Martin said.  Martin serves as chairman of the commission.

 

The Arkansas Fallen Firefighters have pursued the project for eight years and have raised funds for construction and maintenance of the monument.

 

The installation will include a statue grouping of firefighters, a series of granite panels and a fountain, set in an amphitheater. It will be located on the west side of the Capitol, at the end of Capitol Mall.

 

"This will be a quiet place in the middle of five or six office buildings, where workers can come out during their break or for lunch to share the monument," said Johnny Reep of the Fallen Firefighters.

 

The proposal was approved contingent upon a preconstruction meeting of architects, contractors and the Secretary of State's Capitol Facilities department.

 

Reep said the Fallen Firefighters Association plans to have construction completed in time for dedication in October, which is National Fire Prevention Month.

 

The commission also heard a presentation from the Arkansas Military Veterans' Hall of Fame.

 

The AMVHOF has proposed installing the Hall of Fame in the Capitol's south foyer.

 

The commission took no action pending research of an earlier site survey and moratorium on memorials inside the Capitol.

 

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Martin Announces Beginning of Capitol Dome Interior Restoration

Published: 07/29/2013

Contact: Alex Reed, 501-682-1217

 

Martin Announces Beginning of Capitol Dome Interior Restoration

 

(July 29, 2013) LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin announced that renovation of the Capitol’s interior dome began today.

 

“I’m very pleased to have this project underway,” Martin said. “It has been several years since the dome’s interior was repainted, and this will enhance the Capitol’s appearance.”

 

A grant from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council is funding the restoration, he said.

 

Work began Monday and will continue through fall. The dome’s interior will again be repainted to be as historically accurate as possible, dating back to the Capitol’s original construction.

 

“I look forward to seeing this restoration completed in time for all our winter activities around the Capitol, from the Christmas lighting ceremony to press conferences,” Martin said.

 

The Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council has provided several grants in recent years to restore and renovate the Arkansas State Capitol, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

 

“I appreciate the Council and its members for their support,” Martin said. “The Capitol was in competition with several other projects for this recent grant. Receiving this support will help us continue making the Capitol a valuable resource for all Arkansans.”

 

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Capitol Observes Korean War Commemorative Ceremony

Published: 07/29/2013

Capitol Observes Korean War Commemorative Ceremony

 

More than 300 people crowded the Capitol Rotunda Wednesday to honor veterans of the Korean War, 60 years after the conflict ended.

 

The emotional ceremony featured Secretary of State Mark Martin, Governor Mike Beebe, Grand Master In Ho Lee of the American Taekwondo Association and Ambassador Suk-Bum Park, consul general of the Republic of Korea, and other speakers.

 

Martin said when American soldiers returned from Korea, “they quietly went about their lives. No parades. No celebrations. No famous pictures from Times Square. Mostly, their service was ignored.”

 

That absence of tribute led to Korea’s being called “the forgotten war.” Martin said, “We want you to know you are not forgotten. We thank you, and we appreciate you. Today, we are here to honor you.”

 

Beebe spoke about Arkansas’s relationship with South Korea, and the sacrifices of military personnel and their families.

 

“It’s incumbent on us … we have an obligation to say to all men and women in uniform, and their families — to say God bless you,” Beebe said “We thank you from the bottom of our heart, and we salute you.”

 

Dr. David Stricklin, director of the Butler Center, described the Center’s project, “Arkansas Remembers: The Forgotten War.” Stricklin encouraged any Korean veterans who have not already been part of the Butler Center’s research to contact his staff (www.butlercenter.org) to become part of the project.

 

Lee recounted the effects of the war on South Koreans. “After the war, most Koreans lived on food aid from the United States,” he said. And Koreans, both in South Korea and the U.S., have worked hard to build and strengthen their country. “Our hard work and industry can help both the country we came from, and the country we now call home,” he said.

 

Park said when the war began in 1950, “the aggression was not an attack on South Korea, but on the very idea of freedom.”

 

American soldiers, he said, “risked and gave their lives for a country they had never seen, and a people they had never known… I am deeply honored and humbled to be surrounded by so many brave spirits. On behalf of the people of Korea, please let me express our gratitude.”

 

“It is true that the Korean War is often called the forgotten war. But no one who fought, no one who sacrificed, no one who suffered and died, will ever be forgotten in Korea,” Park added. “As a result of your sacrifice, Korea was able to accomplish much in the last six decades. None of this would have been possible without you, or dreamed of without your sacrifice. We will never forget what you have done for us.”

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State Capitol to Host Korean War Remembrance

Published: 07/22/2013

For Immediate Release

Contact: Alex Reed, 501-682-1217

 

 

State Capitol to Host Korean War Remembrance

 

(July 22, 2013) LITTLE ROCK — Secretary of State Mark Martin said the Arkansas State Capitol is hosting special events this week to commemorate the Korean War. 

 

A week-long exhibit opens Monday. The climax of the week will be a ceremony to honor Arkansas’s Korean War veterans on Wednesday, July 24, featuring Ambassador Suk-bum Park, Consul General of the Republic of Korea, and Governor Mike Beebe.

 

“Korea is often called the Forgotten War,” Martin said. “We want Arkansas’s veterans of that war to know we remember them on this poignant anniversary.”

 

The special exhibit includes memorabilia, conflict maps, oral histories and a documentary provided by the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies. Veterans of the 1950-1953 war can sign maps indicating where they were stationed, and all visitors can learn about the conflict’s history from interpretive displays.

 

 The Korean War began June 25, 1950, and raged across the Korean Peninsula until July 27, 1953.

 

“Ceremonies across the nation have commemorated the sixtieth anniversary of the war over the past three years,” Martin said. “As we approach the anniversary of the armistice, I invite all Korean War veterans in Arkansas, and all Arkansans, to join us at the Capitol this week.”

 

He added, “Whether you attend the ceremony, or can come any time Monday through Friday to study the exhibit, I hope Arkansans will take some time to learn about the South Koreans’ struggle for freedom, and show their appreciation to the veterans of that war.”

 

The commemorative ceremony is at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 24, in the State Capitol Rotunda. The exhibit will be open from noon Monday until noon Friday. The Capitol will be open to visitors from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

 

The events are a joint project of the Arkansas Secretary of State’s Office, the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs and the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies/Central Arkansas Library System.

 

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Secretary of State's Office prepares for penalty and interest waiver

Published: 07/11/2013


For Immediate Release

 

Media Contact:
Alex Reed
(501) 682-1217

 

Secretary of State's Office prepares for penalty and interest waiver

 

(July 11, 2013) LITTLE ROCK - Secretary of State Mark Martin said his office is preparing for a franchise tax amnesty program this fall.

 

The program was created by Act 1041 of the 2013 legislative session, establishing a franchise tax penalty and interest amnesty season.

 

"From September 1 until December 31 this year, businesses that complete the proper paperwork can catch up on delinquent franchise taxes without having to pay accrued penalties and interest," Martin said.

 

All current and delinquent franchise taxes must be submitted with the appropriate paperwork and payment in person or by mail. Martin emphasized that the amnesty is applicable only for businesses revoked as of Dec. 31, 2012, and that penalties and interest due for the current year are not eligible.

 

"Business owners should remember this is a one-time deal," Martin urged. "They must pay current franchise taxes as well as their delinquent amounts of up to three years."

 

Amnesty application forms will be available by August 19 on the Secretary of State's website, www.sos.arkansas.gov, prior to the amnesty program beginning September 1.

 

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