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News and information from Arkansas government agencies and officials.

Legislature Approves Overhaul of Vocational Education System

Published: 04/16/2015

LITTLE ROCK - Among the most important economic development legislation approved this year are three new laws that dramatically restructure how Arkansas trains people for the technical job skills they need to work in today's work place. The governor and the sponsors of the three bills described them as foundational and momentum changing, adding that they will make Arkansas more competitive in r...

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Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Appointments

Published: 04/14/2015

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

Sheriff Boyd Hicks, Magazine, to the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training. Appointment expires January 14, 2022. Replaces Randall Morris.

Lieutenant Stacie Rhoads, Bigelow, to the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training. Appointment expires January 14, 2016. Replaces Jami Cook.

Shelia Magness, Star City, to the Arkansas Fire Protection Services Board. Appointment expires March 31, 2018. Replaces David Kirkpatrick.

Dr. Douglas Parker, Gravette, to the Veterinary Medical Examining Board. Appointment expires March 1, 2020. Reappointment.

Sarah Martin, Fayetteville, to Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2018. Replaces Rebecca Rains.

Vanessa Crossfield, North Little Rock, to the Advisory Committee on Petroleum Storage Tanks. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Reappointment.

Beverly Lambert, North Little Rock, to the Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System. Appointment expires January 1, 2019. Reappointment.

Robert Downum, Springdale, to the Arkansas Home Inspector Registration Board. Appointment expires January 26, 2017.

Jane Phillips, Hot Springs, to the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2021. Replaces Dianne Hammond.

Chief Allen “AJ” Gary, Conway, to the Criminal Justice Institute Advisory Board. Appointment expires January 14, 2019. Reappointment.

Officer John Murphy, Tumbling Shoals, to the Criminal Justice Institute Advisory Board. Appointment expires January 14, 2019. Reappointment.

Sheriff William “Andy” Shock, Conway, to the Criminal Justice Institute Advisory Board. Appointment expires January 14, 2019. Replaces Sheriff Charles Lucas.

Steven Shults, Pocahontas, to the Criminal Justice Institute Advisory Board. Appointment expires January 14, 2019. Replaces Steven Thomason.

William Wright, Little Rock, to the Contractors Licensing Board. Appointment expires December 31, 2019. Reappointment.

Sara Lenehan, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Fire and Police Pension Review Board. Appointment expires January 1, 2016. Replaces Jackie McPherson.

Steven Miller, Pine Bluff, to the Arkansas Fire and Police Pension Review Board. Appointment expires January 1, 2016. Replaces Chris Claybaker.

William Willis, Hot Springs, to the Arkansas Geological Survey. Appointment expires January 14, 2022. Reappointment.

David Chris Gardner, Paragould, to the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission.  Appointment expires March 29, 2019.  Replaces William Thompson.

Dr. Wesley Stites, Fayetteville, to the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission.  Appointment expires March 29, 2019.  Replaces John Simpson.

John Nabholz, Conway, to the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority.  Appointment expires January 14, 2019.  Replaces Heartsill Ragon.

Daniel Williams, Little Rock, to the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority.  Appointment expires January 14, 2019.  Replaces John Miller.

Ed Winant, Rogers, to the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority.  Appointment expires January 14, 2019.  Replaces Robert Sproles.

Dr. Scott McKay, Magnolia, to the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority.  Appointment expires January 14, 2019.  Replaces Cesar Compadre.

David Rosegrant, Pine Bluff, to the Board of Developmental Disabilities Services.  Appointment expires January 15, 2022.  Reappointment.

Lenora Erickson, Hot Springs, to the Arkansas Board of Examiners in Counseling.  Appointment expires December 1, 2017.  Replaces Philip Hestand.

Cheryl Edwards, Fort Smith, to the Arkansas Board of Examiners in Counseling.  Appointment expires December 1, 2017.  Replaces Mark Coffman.

Dr. Art Gillaspy, Conway, to the Arkansas Psychology Board.  Appointment expires December 31, 2019.  Replaces Lisa McNeir.

Dr. Betty Everett, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Psychology Board.  Appointment expires December 31, 2019.  Replaces Gary Souheaver.

Randy Fore, Mountain Home, to the Arkansas Board of Hearing Instrument Dispensers.  Appointment expires July 31, 2017.  Replaces Linda Lowry.

Harold “Hal” Gunter, Jacksonville, to the Arkansas State Board of Chiropractic Examiners.  Appointment expires June 9, 2018.  Replaces Weldon Roberts.

Ann Xu, Hot Springs, to the Board of Visitors for the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts.  Appointment expires January 14, 2021.  Replaces Karen Garcia.

Steve Faris, Hot Springs, to the Board of Visitors for the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts.  Appointment expires January 14, 2021.  Replaces Luther Lowe.

Tasha Sinclair, El Dorado, to the South Arkansas Community College Board of Trustees.  Appointment expires December 31, 2020.  Replaces Marc Parnell.

Robert Fagan, Little Rock, to the Arkansas State Independent Living Council.  Appointment expires February 1, 2018.  Reappointment.

Sarah Faitak, Fayetteville, to the Breast Cancer Control Advisory Board.  Appointment expires January 1, 2019.  Reappointment.

Dr. Jerri Fant, Little Rock, to the Breast Cancer Control Advisory Board.  Appointment expires January 1, 2019.  Reappointment.

Duane Neal, Bentonville, to the Arkansas Motor Vehicle Commission.  Appointment expires January 14, 2022.  Replaces Bobby Ferguson.

William Varner, Fulton, to the Arkansas Waterways Commission.  Appointment expires January 14, 2022.  Reappointment.

Bill Poynter, Texarkana, to the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission.  Appointment expires January 14, 2022.  Replaces Corbet Lamkin.

Rickey “Buck” Joyner, Morrilton, to the Professional Bail Bondsman Licensing Board.  Appointment expires September 30, 2016.  Replaces Jeremy Rowland.

Joseph Self, Fort Smith, to the State Crime Laboratory Board.  Appointment expires January 14, 2022.  Replaces J. Carter Fairley.

Chuck Graham, Cabot, to the State Crime Laboratory Board.  Appointment expires January 14, 2020.  Replaces Carlton Jones

Jimmy Didier, Fort Smith, to the Arkansas Racing Commission.  Appointment expires January 14, 2020.  Replaces Thomas Akin.

Michael “Denny” East, Marion, to the Arkansas Racing Commission.  Appointment expires January 14, 2020.

Michael Post, Altus, to the Arkansas Racing Commission.  Appointment expires January 14, 2019.

Hani Hashem, Monticello, Special Associate Justice to the Arkansas Supreme Court. CV-14-594. Replaces Justice Paul Danielson.

Vincent Guest, Wynne, Special Associate Justice to the Arkansas Supreme Court. CV-14-594. Replaces Justice Robin Wynne.

Noyl Houston, Jonesboro. Special Associate Justice to the Arkansas Supreme Court. CV-13-721. Replaces Justice Rhonda Wood.

Joseph Self, Fort Smith. Special Associate Justice to the Arkansas Supreme Court. CV-14-1059. Replaces Justice Robin Wynne.   

Henry Kinslow, El Dorado. Special Associate Justice to the Arkansas Supreme Court. CV-14-1060. Replaces Justice Courtney Goodson.

Paul Byrd, Little Rock. Special Associate Justice to the Arkansas Supreme Court. CV-14-618. Replaces Rhonda Wood.

Chalk Mitchell, West Helena. Special Associate Justice to the Arkansas Supreme Court. CV-14-1072. Replaces Paul Danielson.

Rex Terry, Fort Smith. Special Chief Justice to the Arkansas Supreme Court. CV-14-978. Replaces Chief Justice Jim Hannah.


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Governor Asa Hutchinson Appoints Three Special Justices

Published: 04/14/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the following special justices:

Brett Watson, Searcy, Special Associate Justice to the Arkansas Supreme Court. CV-15-227. Replaces Chief Justice Jim Hannah, who has disqualified himself from the case.

Judge Betty Dickey, Heber Springs, Special Associate Justice to the Arkansas Supreme Court. CV-15-227. Replaces Justice Rhonda Wood, who has disqualified herself from the case.

Judge Shawn Womack, Mountain Home, Special Associate Justice to the Arkansas Supreme Court. CV-15-227. Replaces Justice Paul Danielson, who has disqualified himself from the case.


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National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils Brings Multi-Million Dollar Youth Fitness Campai

Published: 04/10/2015

April 10, 2015  
CONTACT: Bill Bradley
PHONE: (916) 213-5230
bill@me-comm.com

 

National Foundation for Governors' Fitness Councils Brings Multi-Million Dollar Youth Fitness Campaign to Arkansas

Fitness Icon Jake Steinfeld and Governor Asa Hutchinson Open National Champion Schools Nominations for Elementary and Middle Schools in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK — Fitness icon Jake Steinfeld, chairman of the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils, has declared war on childhood obesity. To help combat this disease, he’s bringing the foundation’s multi-million dollar physical fitness campaign to Arkansas and has engaged Governor Asa Hutchinson to partner in this effort. 

The campaign encourages elementary and middle school educators to think outside the box by implementing innovative ideas in fitness and nutrition for their students. Three schools, selected by the national foundation, will be deemed National Champion Schools and will each be awarded a $100,000 state-of-the-art Live Positively(TM) Fitness Center for its efforts. The nomination process opens today at www.natgovfit.org and will run through mid-June.

"I'm honored to partner with Jake Steinfeld to bring the National Champion Schools campaign to Arkansas schools,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson. “Jake and the foundation have done incredible work around the country in the fight against childhood obesity, and I’m excited that he has chosen Arkansas to take part in this campaign. Childhood obesity is a significant problem in this great state. I believe this program is a step in the right direction for getting our kids fit and healthy, and I would encourage every elementary and middle school in the state to take part in the nomination process. Three schools in the state will become the recipient of a brand new fitness center, but every school participating in the process will be setting its students on the path to a healthier tomorrow.”

The National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils program will make its way into all 50 states in the coming years. What sets it apart from other initiatives is that it does not rely on taxpayer dollars or state funding, making it even more attractive to cash-strapped states. Each fitness center is financed through public/private partnerships with companies like The Coca-Cola Company and Nike. In addition, TuffStuff Fitness International equips all of the fitness centers. The national foundation’s goal is to build a nation of the fittest, healthiest kids in the world.

“For many, change can be difficult. It’s often easier to stay with the status quo. Yet, change can also be the start of something new and exciting. The National Champion Schools campaign is that change,” said Jake Steinfeld. “When you have the right tools and the inspiration, anything is possible. Today, we are changing the way our kids think about fitness and physical activity. We’re changing their habits and in the process changing their lives! And now, Arkansas schools have a great opportunity to make a change that will have a lasting impact on kids well into their future. Academics and fitness go hand in hand. We’re not only building bodies, but most importantly we are building confidence and self esteem in these terrific kids. By placing fitness centers in elementary and middle schools, we are certain to see positive, healthy changes. Our children are our most precious resource, and by providing them with a strong foundation in health and fitness, we can feel confident that they’ll excel beyond their wildest dreams.”

Physical activity and exercise are shown to help prevent and treat more than 40 chronic diseases, enhance individual health and quality of life, and reduce health care costs. In schools, studies show that physical activity improves academic achievement, increases confidence and self-esteem, reduces discipline problems, cuts absenteeism and fosters better interpersonal relationships.

For more information about the national foundation or to download a nomination form, visit www.natgovfit.org.

About the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils

The national foundation seeks to encourage and reward innovation in the field of youth fitness by awarding fitness centers to schools that use new and unique methods to promote student physical activity and wellness. The national foundation envisions a fitness center in every school in the United States, helping to build a nation that — through innovation and a "Don’t Quit" attitude — boasts the fittest kids in the world.

 

 


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2015 Legislative Session Goes Into Recess

Published: 04/09/2015

LITTLE ROCK - Lawmakers ended the 2015 regular session after passing a balanced budget that requires many state agencies to reduce spending next fiscal year. The state general revenue budget next year will be about $5.2 billion, which is about $133 million more than this year. The increase is due to growth in the economy and not to higher tax rates. Public schools, prisons and health services w...

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Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Members of the Computer Science Task Force

Published: 04/03/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has announced the members of the Computer Science Task Force. The purpose of the Task Force will be: to research and recommend computer science and technology courses and standards; study the computer science and technology needs of the state; recommend strategies to meet the anticipated computer science and technology workforce needs of the state.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“This is critical in making sure the computer-science initiative we’ve started in Arkansas continues to advance and lead the nation. Members of this task force will guide the initiative and provide a plan to motivate and assist teachers and schools across the state.”

Members are as follows:

Johnny Key, Department of Education, Commissioner of Education

Tom Chilton, Arkansas Economic Development Commission, Director of Technology Development

Dr. Charisse Childers, Department of Career Education, Director.

Brett Powell, Department of Higher Education, Director.

Daryl Bassett, Department of Workforce Services, Director.

Tim Atkinson, Arkansas Science & Technology Authority, President.

Carl Frank, Arkansas’s Computer Science Teachers Association, President.

Gary Dowdy, Arkansas Academy of Computing, President.

Andy Mayes, Bentonville. IT Solutions teacher, Bentonville High School. President of Arkansas Society for Technology in Education. A High School Computer Science Teacher.

Suzanne Mitchell, Little Rock. Executive Director, Arkansas STEM Coalition. Representative of the Arkansas STEM Coalition.

Rasesh Patel, Little Rock. Director of Product Development, Acxiom. Representative in the field of computer programming.

Dave Wengel, Little Rock. Founder and CEO, iDatafy. At-large member.

John James, Fayetteville. CEO, Acumen Brands. At-large member.

James Hendren, Technology Startup Consultant, Self Employed. Little Rock. At-large member.

David Hopkins, Clarksville. Superintendent, Clarksville School District. At-large member.  


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Governor Asa Hutchinson on the Passing of Former Congressman John Paul Hammerschmidt

Published: 04/01/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson issued the following statement on the passing of former Arkansas Third District Congressman John Paul Hammerschmidt:

“John Paul Hammerschmidt was an icon of Arkansas and Washington politics. For years, he was the lone Republican member of Arkansas’s congressional delegation, representing the Third Congressional District for 13 terms. As such, he balanced his conservative convictions with a unique ability to work across party lines and accomplish great things for the people of Arkansas. His was the voice heard most clearly and often in the bipartisan effort to preserve the Buffalo as the first National River in the United States.

“Congressman Hammerschmidt was also a leader on transportation issues, helping to build Arkansas’s roads and highways and making the state more competitive nationally. On a personal note, John Paul was a mentor of mine. I was privileged to hold his seat in Congress, and I called on his wise counsel and advice countless times. I will miss him greatly. The state has lost a true statesman and a good man.”

  


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Senate Votes to Build Monument of Ten Commandments on Capitol Grounds

Published: 04/01/2015

LITTLE ROCK - The Senate approved legislation to place a monument of the Ten Commandments on the grounds of the state Capitol. It would be paid for entirely with private donations, but the Secretary of State would be responsible for its placement and design. The Secretary of State's office is in charge of maintenance of the Capitol building and its grounds. If a lawsuit is filed that challeng...

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Governor Hutchinson’s Veto Letter to Senate Concerning SB79

Published: 03/31/2015

Dear Mr. President and Members of the Senate:

Pursuant to Article 6, Section 15 of the Arkansas Constitution, I write to inform you that today I have vetoed Senate Bill 79, which I have returned to you with this letter. I have done so because in its current form it is overbroad, vague and will have  the effect of restricting free speech.

SB79 grants a property right in the use of an individual's name, voice, signature, photograph or likeness and makes this right freely transferable, assignable, and descendible. SB79 provides that this right continues through the individual's lifetime and up to fifty (50) years after the individual's death.  The intent of the bill is to "[p]rotect the names, voices, signatures, photographs, and likenesses of the citizens of the state from exploitation and unauthorized  commercial use without the citizen's consent."  However, the bill as drafted would extend protection beyond the stated intent of the bill, unnecessarily restrict free expression and may result in unnecessary litigation in Arkansas.

SB79 defines "commercial use" to include any use for advertising, fundraising or "obtaining money, goods or services." While the intent is to protect citizens of Arkansas from unauthorized  commercial speech, the definition of "commercial use" to include any use for "obtaining money, goods or services" is too broad and vague.  This language may include speech beyond traditional commercial speech, including expressive speech produced for a profit. This would result in Arkansas having one of the broadest Rights of Publicity statutes in the country and making Arkansas the forum of choice for many litigants.

Additionally, while SB79 provides clear and explicit exemptions for certain types of noncommercial speech including news, public affairs, sports broadcasts and advertising for a political campaign, SB79 fails to extend an exemption to other forms of noncommercial  speech. Instead, SB79 provides that certain expressive works such as plays, books, magazines, newspapers, audiovisual work, and original works of art are only exempt to the extent they are protected by the First Amendment.  I believe the absence of a clear exemption for these types of expressive works will result in unnecessary  litigation in Arkansas courts and will suppress Arkansans who engage in artistic expression from photography to art work.

Moreover, the bill includes inconsistent language that makes it unclear whether a type of speech is completely exempt or is only exempt to the extent it is protected by the First Amendment. For example, SB79 explicitly exempts news and the promotion and advertising for a political campaign.  However, a "work of a political or newsworthy value" is only exempt to the extent it is protected by the First Amendment.  This ambiguity in SB79, and the lack of clear exemptions for certain types of expressive works, may have the effect of restricting and chilling constitutionally protected  speech.

Finally, SB79 includes broad jurisdictional  language to allow a party to file a civil action in any county where one or more defendants reside or a violation occurred. The broad jurisdictional  language allowing a civil action to be brought in any county where a violation occurred in combination with the absence of clear exemptions for certain types of expressive works goes beyond the stated intent of the bill, invites unnecessary litigation in Arkansas courts and encourages forum shopping.

I have received scores of letters from professional and amateur photographers in Arkansas who raise legitimate concerns about the bill and they request the language be amended so that they are not subject to substantial financial burdens in the conduct of their small businesses around the state.

Although I must veto SB79 for the reasons mentioned above, I wish to express my appreciation to its principal sponsor, Senator Woods. While I respect Senator Wood's intent to protect the names, voices, signatures, photographs and likeness of Arkansas citizens, such as the Broyles family, from exploitation and unauthorized commercial use, I cannot support SB79 in its current form.


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Governor Asa Hutchinson Vetoes SB79

Published: 03/31/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has vetoed Senate Bill 79, a bill with the intent to “protect the names, voices, signatures, photographs, and likenesses of the citizens of the state from exploitation and unauthorized commercial use without the citizen’s consent.” However, the bill as drafted would extend protection beyond the stated intent of the bill, unnecessarily restrict free expression and may result in unnecessary litigation in Arkansas.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement upon his veto:

“In its current form, the bill unnecessarily restricts free expression and thus could have a chilling effect on freedom of speech and freedom of the press. In addition, SB79 exempts certain types of noncommercial speech while failing to exempt other forms of noncommercial speech. The absence of these exemptions could result in unnecessary litigation and suppress Arkansans who engage in artistic expression.”


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Secretary Martin Reminds Businesses Franchise Tax Deadline May 1

Published: 03/31/2015

March 31, 2015

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Laura Labay | laura.labay@sos.arkansas.gov | (501) 580-6430

 

 Secretary Martin Reminds Businesses Franchise Tax Deadline May 1

(LITTLE ROCK, AR.) – Secretary of State Mark Martin reminds Arkansas businesses, 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. 

“Franchise taxes are an important part of our state budget,”Martin said. “The first $8 million collected is placed into the state’s general fund and the remaining balance into the Education Adequacy Fund, which provides necessary funding to public schools and higher education across Arkansas.” 

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 May1 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, 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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Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Mike Preston as the New Executive Director of AEDC

Published: 03/26/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has announced Mike Preston of Florida as his new Executive Director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement on Mike Preston:

“Mike Preston is a perfect fit to lead the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. As vice president for government affairs at Enterprise Florida, Michael has years of statewide economic development and business expertise and experience working with a state Legislature and governor. He’s a proven leader with an impressive track record of bringing in capital investment from major companies. Having worked in a highly competitive atmosphere, Michael understands what it takes to position a state to be a leader in job creation. I cannot wait to see what his experience, expertise and vision can do for Arkansas.”


Mike Preston issued the following statement:

“I look forward to using my economic-development experience and management skills to implement Governor Hutchinson’s plan to make Arkansas more competitive and create more jobs. I’ve been fortunate to work with a great team in Florida, and I’m very proud of the work we’ve done in the Sunshine State. But I’m eager to put my experience, background and vision to work for Arkansas, which has so much to offer and so much potential. I’m honored to be given this incredible opportunity and excited to get started.” 


A Florida native, Mike Preston has an extensive career in politics and economic development. He comes to Arkansas from Enterprise Florida, where he has served as director of government relations for the last six and a half years. During that time, he was part of a team that helped create more than 147,000 jobs generating more than $10 billion in capital investment. He was instrumental in some key projects, including: relocating the Hertz corporate headquarters and bringing 700 jobs and $68,750,000 in capital investment; establishing a Northrop Grumman manufacturing Center of Excellence with 1,800 jobs and $500,000,000 in capital investment; and attracting Navy Federal Credit Union to expand in the state bringing 5,000 jobs and $350,000,000 in capital investment. Before joining Enterprise Florida, he was the chief of staff to a Florida state senator and a legislative assistant to a state representative. Preston is a 2005 graduate of the University of Florida.

Danny Games has done a tremendous job in his role as Deputy Director of AEDC over the last few months, and he remains an important part of what the state is doing to create jobs. Games will continue in his current capacity.​
 


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Senate Passes Overhaul of Technical and Vocational Education

Published: 03/26/2015

LITTLE ROCK - The Senate passed and the governor publicly endorsed legislation to overhaul the state's system of vocational, technical and occupational education. Legislative leaders have been working for at least two years on broad changes to how the state offers job training. Currently, students and people in established jobs navigate a mix of courses offered by state agencies, universities a...

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WIRED Magazine: Arkansas is Leading the Learn to Code Movement

Published: 03/23/2015

“…beating better known tech centers like California and New York to the punch.”

LITTLE ROCK – Last month, Governor Asa Hutchinson signed his campaign promise to provide computer coding classes in every Arkansas high school into law (Act 187). Since that time, Arkansas has gained national attention for what many are calling an unprecedented endeavor.

Most recently, nationally acclaimed WIRED Magazine featured the state in its online publication touting Arkansas as the leader in the “learn to code movement”:

Arkansas may be one of the last states that comes to mind when you think of major hubs of tech talent. And yet, last month, it became the first to pass a truly comprehensive law requiring all public and charter high schools to offer computer science courses to students, beating better known tech centers like California and New York to the punch.

As Hadi Partovi, CEO of Code.org, points out in the article, states other than Arkansas “have taken half-steps toward similar legislation” but that many have “gone unenforced and unfunded”. Reporter Issie Lapowsky continues:

All of which makes what Arkansas just did particularly noteworthy. The state didn’t just pass a law. It also set aside $5 million to get this new program off the ground in Arkansas schools this fall. That money will not only fund teacher training, but it will also be used to reward schools that have high performance and enrollment rates in the new courses, which are not mandatory for students. “It’s a way to put a larger investment into it and make the whole program stronger and more long lasting,” Hutchinson says. “It’s a small investment with the opportunity for a huge return.”

Click HERE to view the article in its entirety.


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Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Members of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Medicaid Reform

Published: 03/18/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has announced the members of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Medicaid Reform to be chaired by Surgeon General Greg Bledsoe. This council is made up of advocacy groups representing Medicaid providers and recipients, as well as legislative and citizen representatives. Members will work closely with the Governor’s Office and the Legislative Task Force on Healthcare Reform to identify more efficient and effective reforms for the Medicaid Program. 

Dr. Greg Bledsoe, Arkansas’s Surgeon General, released the following statement:

“I think the most important purpose of the Medicaid advisory council is to provide a voice for the various stakeholders. I expect they’ll have some great ideas as to areas where Medicaid is ripe for reform. This council provides them with that opportunity to be heard. It also gives the stakeholders a direct line to the Governor through me and John Selig. I’ll provide the council a voice to the Healthcare Legislative Task Force, which I sit on as a non-voting member. So there’s a synergy, a back-and-forth communication between those two groups and also directly to the Governor.”

Leadership and State Agency Representatives

Arkansas Surgeon General Greg Bledsoe, Chair
Department of Human Services, John Selig, Vice Chair
Arkansas Department of Health, Dr. Nate Smith
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Dr. Dan Rahn
Arkansas Minority Health Commission, Michael Knox

Advisory Council Members 

Alliance for Health Improvement, Robin Ravendran
Americans for Prosperity, David Ray
Arkansas AARP, Herb Sanderson
Arkansas Academy of Family Physicians, Carla Coleman
Arkansas Academy of Pediatrics, Aimee Olinghouse
Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, Rich Huddleston
Arkansas Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Jerry Mitchell
Arkansas Behavioral Health Council, Angie Lassiter
Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, Kurt Knickrehm
Arkansas Center for Health Improvement, Dr. Joe Thompson
Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care, Ray Hanley
Arkansas Health Care Association, Rachel Davis
Arkansas Hospital Association, Ray Montgomery
Arkansas Medical Society, Dr. David Wroten
Arkansas Nurses Association, Veronica Clark
Arkansas Pharmacists Association, Mark Riley
Arkansas State Dental Association, Billy Tarpley
Arkansas Waiver Association, Keith Vire
Community Health Centers of Arkansas, Mary Leah
Developmental Disabilities Providers Association, Judy Watson
Families and Friends of Care Facility Residents, Darrell Pickney     
HomeCare Association of Arkansas, Nancy Elphingstone
Mental Health Council of Arkansas, Dianne Skaggs
National Federation of Independent Businesses, Sylvester Smith
Partners for Inclusive Communities, David Deere

Legislative Representatives

Representative Josh Miller
Representative Vivian Flowers
Senator Missy Irvin
Senator Joyce Elliot

Citizen Representatives

Dr. Jack Sternberg
Dr. Carl Johnson
Mr. Sandy Stroope


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Legislature Approves Waiver Process for Small Schools to Avoid Potential Consolidation

Published: 03/18/2015

LITTLE ROCK - The legislature passed an act that enables small schools to seek a waiver from the state Education Department when they are in jeopardy of being consolidated because their enrollment has fallen below 350 students. Act 377 allows school districts to seek a waiver if they are not on probationary status for being in fiscal or academic distress. The threshold of 350 students was put...

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Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin Leads Team at Economic Development Forum in Ghana, Africa

Published: 03/16/2015

March 16, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Laura Labay | laura.labay@sos.arkansas.gov| (501) 580-6430

 Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin Leads Team at Economic Development Forum in Ghana, Africa

(LITTLE ROCK, AR.)– Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin is leading a six-member delegation to Ghana for a two-week trip to explore opportunities for economic development and trade. The Sister Cities organization, who has sponsored this trip, is hosting the forum; Sister Cities is a global partner managing the relationship between the Ghana Region of Africa and the Arkansas Delta Region.

“I am proud to lead this team to explore ways we can enhance trade and grow our economies. Not only can we find ways to alleviate poverty in Africa, we can do so by strengthening exports from Arkansas and provide jobs right here at home,” stated Secretary Martin.

The Economic Development Forum slated for March 16, 2015 plans to discuss agriculture, tourism, communication, oil and gas, health, education-exchange programs, roads, and building infrastructures.

A memorandum of understanding to seal the partnership would be signed after an exploratory meeting bringing together businesses and individuals to expand both local economies.

 

 

 

 


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Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces His Preference for Arkansas Agriculture Secretary

Published: 03/13/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has submitted the name of Wes Ward to the Agriculture Board as his preference for the new Secretary of Agriculture. 

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement on Wes Ward:

“Wes Ward is someone who understands Arkansas’s important place in the world when it comes to agriculture, and his credentials make him impeccably well suited to this job. A native of Lake City, he is a lawyer and a Marine with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business and an L.L.M (Masters of Law degree) in Agricultural and Food Law. Because of his experience, education and knowledge of the field, I have no doubt that Wes Ward will do an outstanding job for the state of Arkansas.”

Wes Ward has demonstrated his commitment to Arkansas agriculture by earning degrees in agricultural business and in agricultural and food law. He has also served our state and nation as a captain and civil affairs officer in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. He is from Lake City and is a graduate of Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.


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Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Members of the Governor’s Council on Common Core Review

Published: 03/13/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has announced the members of the Governor’s Council on Common Core Review to be chaired by Lt. Governor Tim Griffin. These individuals come from every corner of the state, representing every Congressional District, and were chosen out of more than 700 applicants. As promised, this council is made up of teachers, parents, business leaders and students, and while they might have different perspectives on Common Core, they all bring an open mind and a willingness to listen. Most importantly, though, each member agrees that high standards for Arkansas students is a must and will focus on such throughout this process.

Members are as follows:

Kay Giddens, Searcy. Parent Representative.

Gary Rhinehart, Scranton. Scranton Elementary, Principal.

Lisa Cooper, Melbourne. Northcentral Arkansas Education Services Cooperative, Teacher.

Mike Luttrell, Springdale. Walker Brothers Insurance, President.  

Jason Williamson, Ozan. Nashville Junior High School, Assistant Principal.

Theresa Courtney-Ketcher, Little Rock. Forest Park Elementary School, Principal.

Luke Van De Walle, Helena. Chief Academic Officer, KIPP Delta Public School.

Jonathon Guthrie, Bentonville. Lincoln Junior High, Principal.

Dianna Lowe, Texarkana. Texarkana Arkansas School District, Secondary Curriculum Specialist & Advanced Placement Coordinator.

Cindy Allen, Fort Smith. Chaffin Junior High, Teacher.

Jacob Smith, Paragould. University of Arkansas, Student.

Kalven Trice, Little Rock. Retired.

Sherry Hicks, Dardanelle. First State Bank.

Charisse Dean, Little Rock. Parent Representative.

Kayla Davidson, Jonesboro. Westside Middle School, Teacher.

Jeanne Gartman, Sheridan. Sheridan High School, Teacher.


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Senate Approves Governor's Prison Reform Plan

Published: 03/11/2015

March 6, 2015 LITTLE ROCK - The Senate approved legislation to implement the governor's ambitious prison reform plan. It's now in the House of Representatives. Senate Bill 472 embodies much of the governor's proposals to relieve prison overcrowding. It authorizes the state Correction Department to contract with counties, the federal government and other states to house Arkansas inmates. Already...

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Gov. Asa Hutchinson Announces His Submission for Arkansas Development Finance Authority President

Published: 03/09/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has submitted the name of Aaron Burkes to the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Development Finance Authority to serve as its new President.

Aaron Burkes was recently selected for the position of associate vice chancellor for business affairs at the University of Arkansas but, before beginning in that post, was invited to serve the State in this important role with ADFA.  Burkes is coming back to Arkansas after several years in economic development and college administration roles in northeast Iowa and Madison, Wisconsin.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement on Aaron Burkes: 

“I am pleased to submit the name of Aaron Burkes to serve as the next president of the Arkansas Development Finance Authority. Aaron’s varied experience and educational background make him an ideal fit to lead this department. He understands banking, real estate and the law and, as a former state representative, Aaron knows the legislative process. In addition, his recent experience in economic and workforce development and administration should serve him well in this important post.”

Burkes, a former member of the Arkansas House of Representatives, spent 15 years in banking and real estate development in Northwest Arkansas before becoming the executive director of a regional council of governments focused on the economic development and housing needs of five Iowa counties. For the last three years, Burkes has served as an administrator at Madison College in roles that include assistant vice president for economic and workforce development and interim vice president for administration.

Burkes, an Arkansas native and graduate of Southside High in Ft. Smith, received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, a master’s degree in economics from Clemson University and a juris doctor degree from Baylor University.  He is a licensed attorney. 


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Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Appointments

Published: 03/05/2015

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

Janet Moore, Hot Springs, to Chair the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Appointment expires January 14, 2017. Replaces Michael Ellis.  

William Benton, Heber Springs, to the Arkansas State Police Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2016. Replaces Wallace Fowler.

Susan Pack, Little Rock, to the Arkansas School for the Blind and the Arkansas School for the Deaf Board of Trustees. Appointment expires January 14, 2020. Replaces Khayyam Eddings.  

Chris Bequette, Little Rock, to the War Memorial Stadium Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2022. Replaces Nancy Monroe.

James Smith III, Springfield, to the Livestock and Poultry Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2022. Replaces William Dixon.

Lawrence Bearden, Smackover, to the Southern Arkansas University. Appointment expires January 14, 2016. Replaces William Stringfellow.

Brenda Fendley, Marshall, to the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2021. Replaces Betty Shaw.

Lacye Vance, Conway, to the Arkansas State Board of Athletic Training. Appointment expires January 14, 2018. Replaces Kathy Burl.

Dr. Terry DeWitt, Arkadelphia, to the Arkansas State Board of Athletic Training. Appointment expires January 14, 2018. Reappointment.  

Jimmy Ashley, Jonesboro, to the Arkansas Spinal Cord Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2025. Replaces Annette Stacy.

Keven Anderson, Springdale, to the Northwest Arkansas Community College Board of Trustees. Appointment expires December 31, 2015. Replaces Amy Forrest.

Sam Snead, Mena, to the Arkansas Forestry Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2024. Replaces Jerry Davis.

Steve Cousins, El Dorado, to the South Arkansas Community College Board of Trustees. Appointment expires December 31, 2020. Reappointment.

Kermit Parks, El Dorado, to the South Arkansas Community College Board of Trustees. Appointment expires December 31, 2020. Replaces Vicki de Yampert.

Cheryl Anderson, Van Buren, to the Arkansas Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission. Appointment expires June 30, 2017. Replaces Bobby McDaniel.

Stephen Whitwell, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Cemetery Board. Appointment expires January 14, 2019. Reappointment.

Dr. Daniel Hennessey III, Little Rock, to the Baby Sharon’s Children’s Catastrphic Illness Grant Program Advisory Committee. Appointment expires May 1, 2015. Replaces John Marschewski.

Steven Ernest Pender, Texarkana, to the Waterwell Construction Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2020. Reappointment.

Stacey Sebree, Little Rock, to the Governor Developmental Disabilities Council. Appointment expires June 30, 2016. Replaces Jeb Joyce.

Randy Wolfinbarger, Eureka Springs, to the Parks, Recreation and Travel Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2021. Replaces Barbara Harvel.

Tim Smith, Fort Smith, to the Oil and Gas Commission. Appointment expires February 20, 2021. Replaces Charles Wohlford.

Chris Weiser, Magnolia, to the Oil and Gas Commission. Appointment expires February 20, 2021. Reappointment.

Alan Curtis, Forrest City, to the East Arkansas Community College Board of Trustees. Appointment expires December 31, 2020. Replaces Al Miller.

Steve Hollowell, Forrest City, to the East Arkansas Community College Board of Trustees. Appointment expires December 31, 2020. Replaces Gazzola Vaccaro.

Carrell Billingsley, Forrest City, to the East Arkansas Community College Board of Trustees. Appointment expires December 31, 2020. Reappointment.

Pastor Frank Stewart, Conway, to the Black History Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2022. Replaces Marion Butler.

Randy Scott, Blytheville, to the Arkansas Northeastern College Board of Trustees. Appointment expires December 31, 2020. Replaces John Logan.

Dr. Anes Abraham, Blytheville, to the Arkansas Northeastern College Board of Trustees. Appointment expires December 31, 2020. Reappointment.

Sandra Kennett, Leachville, to the Arkansas Northeastern College Board of Trustees. Appointment expires December 31, 20020. Replaces Todd Edwards.

David Norsworthy, Gateway, to the Health Services Permit Commission. Appointment expires April 9, 2018. Replaces Michael Morton.

Eddie Arnold, Arkadelphia, to the Henderson State University Board of Trustees. Appointment expires January 14, 2022. Replaces William Wright.

Chuck Graham, Cabot, to the State Crime Laboratory Board. Appointment expires January 14, 2022. Replaces J. Fairley.


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Students Get First Hand Look at the Legislative Process

Published: 03/04/2015

March 3, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Laura Labay | laura.labay@sos.arkansas.gov | (501) 580-6430

 

 

Students Get First Hand Look at the Legislative Process

 

Little Rock, Ar. – Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin was honored to host at the State Capitol TeenPact, a leadership organization developed to allow students to get a first-hand look at the legislative process. TeenPact was founded with a mission to train youth to understand the political process, value their liberty, defend the Christian faith, and engage in their culture. Thousands of students participate in Teen Pact nationwide.

“I am always honored and pleased to host events like these at the State Capitol. TeenPact is a great example of young people taking action to secure a better future for Arkansas and for America,” Secretary Martin said.“I have long said that focusing on the next generation, and not the next election, will be how we move America forward.”

Teens spent the week meeting with legislators and lobbyists, participating in mock elections, and heated debates. Every one of theseTeenPact students was eager to discuss issues facing our state and country today. Many of these teens have hopes to one day take part in the legislative process.

Every year TeenPact hosts a National Convention, which is the climax of the TeenPact year, drawing close to 1,000 people from around the Nation. Students experience engaging speakers, passionate worship, dynamic small groups, hands-on activities, leadership opportunities, like-minded friends, and life-changing memories.

For more information go to Teenpact.com or call 888-343-1776.

 Watch and share our video.

 

 

 


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Governor Asa Hutchinson Appoints Holly Meyer to 16th Judicial District, 2nd Division Circuit Court

Published: 03/03/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has announced his appointment of Holly Meyer to Arkansas’s 16th Judicial District, 2nd Division Circuit Court.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement on Holly Meyer: 

“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Holly Meyer to the 16th Judicial District, 2nd Division Circuit Court. Her knowledge of Arkansas law is evident and her experience is invaluable. I have no doubt Holly will do a fine job for the district, its people and our state, as a whole.”

Holly Meyer is currently the Chief Deputy Prosecutor in Cleburne County. Previously, Meyer has held the position of Chief Counsel to the State of Arkansas Department of Human Services and has traveled the country teaching cross examination techniques for the National College of District Attorneys. She has been practicing law since 1989 and possesses extensive experience in various fields of law. She has been awarded many accolades from her peers and has completed several leadership programs. Meyer is a graduate of Hendrix College and the University of Arkansas William H. Bowen School of Law.

Meyer will assume the judgeship of the Honorable John Adam Harkey, who resigned over health reasons.


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Senate Approves Measure to Enhance Computer Technology Offerings in High School

Published: 03/03/2015

LITTLE ROCK - When the 2015-2016 school year begins, Arkansas schools will be required to offer high school level courses in computer technology. Act 187 of 2015 requires expanded computer technology offerings in charter schools too. The measure was a key part of the governor's legislative agenda, and was a component in his campaign platform last year. The act also creates a 15-member task fo...

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Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Office Wants YOUR Photos of Arkansas!

Published: 03/02/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson is launching his new website March 27, and we need your help. We want to show Arkansas from your perspective. Professional and amateur photographers alike are encouraged to participate. Send us photographs that emphasize a setting and a place: Main Streets, Town Squares, iconic buildings and landscapes … anything that shouts Arkansas!

As much as we love your pictures of flowers and dogs, we’re looking for images of what makes Arkansas, Arkansas. You know what we mean. Have fun with it and thanks for your help!

Visit www.governor.arkansas.gov to submit your photo(s), or click HERE. The deadline for submission is March 23, 2015.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“Arkansas is known for its scenic landscapes and natural beauty, but The Natural State is also home to unique cities and towns and historic landmarks. Help me showcase our one-of-a-kind locations in the state, and I'll feature them on my website.”


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Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces His Submission for Commissioner of Education

Published: 03/02/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has submitted the name of Johnny Key to the State Board of Education to act as the new Commissioner of Education and to serve as the administrative head of the Arkansas Department of Education.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement on Johnny Key: 

“I am extremely pleased to submit Johnny Key to act as the next Commissioner of the state Department of Education. Johnny has always exhibited a passion for improving education, from his work as a legislator who focused on educational issues to his current position as associate vice president for the University of Arkansas system.

“In the General Assembly, where he served as chairman of the Senate Education Committee, Johnny was noted for his leadership, consensus-building and bipartisan approach. We are lucky to have someone with his skill set as the next Education Commissioner, especially someone whose reputation is as impressive as his résumé.

“I also want to thank outgoing Commissioner Tony Wood for staying on during this transition and working hard for the people of Arkansas. His leadership has been invaluable.

“There may be no more important confirmation I make as governor than Education Commissioner, and I am fortunate that Johnny Key is willing and eager to take on the challenge of improving education for all Arkansans. I know he will do an outstanding job.”

Johnny Key issued the following statement:

"I am grateful to Governor Hutchinson for asking me to serve his administration and the people of Arkansas in this capacity, and I look forward to working with him, the General Assembly, and the State Board of Education to lead Arkansas toward educational excellence.  

“I am confident that the 475,000 students of Arkansas can lead the nation in educational growth and achievement if all stakeholders - parents, teachers, administrators, communities, businesses, and state officials - hold high expectations and work in a cooperative and collaborative manner to meet those expectations.  I am excited to have the opportunity to promote that spirit of cooperation and collaboration."

Johnny Key began his service in the General Assembly in 2003.  He was a member of the Senate Education Committee from 2009 to 2014, including a term as chairman. He led the effort in 2013 to update the Arkansas public school choice law after it was ruled unconstitutional by a Federal judge.  Originally from Gurdon, Key is a 1991 graduate of the University of Arkansas with a degree in chemical engineering.  He is currently the Associate Vice President for University Relations at the University of Arkansas System.


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Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Bear Chaney as New Director of Assessment Coordination Department

Published: 02/26/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has announced Bear Chaney as the new Director of the Arkansas Assessment Coordination Department. 

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement on Bear Chaney: 

"I am pleased to announce Bear Chaney as the new director of the Arkansas Assessment Coordination Department. Bear brings decades of experience in real estate and as an assessor. His expertise in the field and his knowledge of Arkansas real estate makes him an ideal fit to lead this important department."

Bear Chaney has worked in the real estate field for over 30 years, working for three different Arkansas Assessor's offices and owning his own appraisal business. He is a licensed and a Certified Residential Appraiser with Arkansas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board in addition to being a Level 4 Appraiser and a reappraisal manager according to ACD guidelines. Bear is currently the Assessor in Benton County and lives in Bella Vista.


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Arkansas State Offices to Close for the Remainder of the Day in Little Rock Metropolitan Area

Published: 02/25/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Due to inclement weather, Governor Asa Hutchinson will close state offices for non-essential personnel in the Little Rock Metro area at 12:00 pm for the remainder of Wednesday, February 25, 2015.

State employees outside of central Arkansas should check with their supervisors for closings.


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Governor Outlines Prison Reform Plans

Published: 02/24/2015

LITTLE ROCK - The governor outlined an ambitious plan to ease prison overcrowding through expansion of existing facilities, construction of regional re-entry centers and strengthening of probation and parole systems. He broke his plan into three parts: adding prison space, improving the parole and re-entry system and providing alternative sentencing for non-violent offenders. A major focus wi...

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Arkansas State Offices to Close for the Remainder of the Day in Little Rock Metropolitan Area

Published: 02/23/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson's office, in conjunction with Acting Governor Tim Griffin, will close all state offices in the Little Rock Metro area immediately for the remainder of the Monday, February 23, 2015.

State employees outside of central Arkansas should check with their supervisors.


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Veteran's Issues Addressed at the Capitol on Veteran’s Legislative Day

Published: 02/21/2015


Veteran's Issues Addressed at the Capitol on Veteran’s Legislative Day


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Laura Labay | laura.labay@sos.arkansas.gov | (501) 580-6430


LITTLE ROCK, Ark., (February 20, 2015) – The Office of Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin organized a special event to enhance relations between Veteran Service Organizations, legislators and state agencies.

According the Federal Department of Veterans Affairs, one million troops will leave the military over the next six years, making this a key issue facing the nation.  

With that in mind, Secretary of State Mark Martin hosted Legislators and Constitutional Officers at the Capitol to enable constructive dialogue between veterans organizations and policy makers. The main focus was to ensure Arkansas has an inviting and competitive climate to attract and retain recently retired and separating veterans.

Secretary of State Mark Martin presented retired United States Air Force Col. Don Berry with a Capitol Citation for his work in advancing veteran’s issues in the legislature and across Arkansas.

Watch the video here.


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Legislators File Proposed Constitutional Amendments

Published: 02/19/2015

LITTLE ROCK - In each regular session the legislature may refer up to three proposed constitutional amendments to voters. This year 27 proposals were filed in the House of Representatives and 15 were filed in the Senate. The State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committees of each chamber will begin the task of narrowing the list to three. Among the resolutions filed this year are proposal...

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Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin to Host Veterans Service Organizations at the Capitol for Veteran’s Legislative Day

Published: 02/17/2015

***MEDIA ADVISORY***

Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin to host Veterans Service Organizations at the Capitol for Veteran’s Legislative Day

February 17, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Laura Labay | laura.labay@sos.arkansas.gov | (501) 580-6430

LITTLE ROCK, Ark., – The Office of Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin is hosting a special event to enhance relations between Veterans Service Organizations, legislators and state agencies.

WHAT: Arkansas Veteran’s Legislative Day

WHEN: Thursday, February 19th, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

WHERE: Second Floor Capitol Rotunda, Arkansas State Capitol Building

According to the Federal Department of Veterans Affairs, one million troops will leave the military over the next six years, making this a key issue facing the nation.  

With that in mind, Secretary of State Mark Martin will host Legislators and Constitutional Officers at the Capitol to enable constructive dialogue between veterans organizations and policy makers. The main focus is to ensure Arkansas has an inviting and competitive climate to attract and retain recently retired and separating veterans.

Secretary of State Mark Martin will take approximately ten minutes to honor retired United States Air Force Col. Don Berry, an instrumental voice in advancing veteran’s issues in the legislature and across Arkansas. 

Following Secretary Martin’s presentation and speech, Lt. Governor Tim Griffin will address attendees and make remarks about veteran’s issues in Arkansas. 

WHAT: Secretary of State Mark Martin to present Capitol Citation to Veteran, Lt. Governor Tim Griffin to address veterans in attendance

WHEN: February 19th from 10:00 a.m. to 10:20 a.m.

WHERE: Second Floor Capitol Rotunda, Arkansas State Capitol

Col. Don Berry is retired from the United States Air Force; Col. Berry spent 30 years in the service with assignments across the globe. He spent time as an airlift pilot, operations officer, and a commander of three squadrons during Desert Storm. Col. Berry and his wife of 40 years, Martha, are now retired and living in Sherwood, AR. 

 


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Sculpture Unveiled at Capitol in Honor of Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday

Published: 02/12/2015

February 12, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Laura Labay

laura.labay@sos.arkansas.gov        

(501) 580-6430

Sculpture Unveiled at Capitol in Honor of Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday

LITTLE ROCK, ARSecretary of State Mark Martin invites Arkansans to the Capitol February 12 for an unveiling of a hand-sculpted bust of Abraham Lincoln in honor of the 16th President of the United States 206th birthday.

The larger-than-life equestrian sculpture will be on display on the second-floor of the Rotunda in the Arkansas State Capitol through spring.

Previously, it was on display at the Lincoln Boyhood Museum in Hodgenville, KY, the Donald W. Reynolds Library in Mountain Home as well as Harding University in Searcy.

Sculptor Ron Moore is from Mountain Home, Arkansas. During his research process he found no shortage of likenesses of Lincoln; he was photographed periodically throughout his political career, from the 1840s to 1865, and life masks were created by sculptors in 1860 and again in 1865.  Ron indicates that, “trying to capture his personality was a rewarding experience and working without a customer or a deadline provided … artistic freedom.”

 

 

 

 

 


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Legislature Enacts Broad-Based Income Tax Reduction

Published: 02/12/2015

LITTLE ROCK - The Senate gave final approval to a broad income tax reduction proposed by the governor, which will save middle class wage earners about $102 million a year when it takes full effect. Considering it will benefit an estimated 600,000 people, it is likely to be the signature accomplishment of the 2015 legislative session. Besides reducing income tax rates for people who earn betwe...

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AHECB reviewed Mid-South Community College merger with Arkansas State University System

Published: 02/11/2015


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Senate Passes Governor's Plan to Reform Medicaid

Published: 02/09/2015

January 30, 2015 LITTLE ROCK - The Senate approved the governor's bill to initiate broad reforms of the Medicaid system. It was the second major victory for the governor in the Senate, which earlier had passed his bill to cut income taxes on middle class wage earners. Both the Medicaid overhaul plan and the income tax legislation are now in the House of Representatives. Senate Bill 96 crea...

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Italian Ambassador Bisogniero Visits Arkansas

Published: 02/04/2015

February 3, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Laura Labay, (501) 580-6430

laura.labay@sos.arkansas.gov                 

 

Italian Ambassador Bisogniero Visits Arkansas

Met With Governor Hutchinson and

Secretary of State Mark Martin

 

LITTLE ROCK, AR – Secretary of State Mark Martin welcomed Claudio Bisogniero, Ambassador of Italy to the United States, to Arkansas this morning as part of the Ambassador’s multi-state trip. Ambassador Bisogniero met with Secretary Martin and Governor Asa Hutchinson to promote business, cultural, and scientific ties with Italy, and to raise awareness about the Expo Milan 2015 and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

“As we continue to explore opportunities to grow and diversify our economy, strengthening our relationships with trade partners will prove to be an invaluable asset. I welcome Ambassador Bisogniero to our beautiful state and can’t wait to discuss ways to increase the mutual benefits our countries can provide each other,” Secretary Martin stated.

During his tour of Arkansas, Ambassador Bisogniero plans to address students and Italian researchers at local schools and universities.

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To see pictures of the Ambassador's visit click here



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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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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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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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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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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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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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Most Arkansas colleges, universities enroll slightly lower numbers

Published: 09/18/2014


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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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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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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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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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