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News and information from Arkansas government agencies and officials.

Legislative Council approves Rainy Day Funds transfer of up to $2M for state’s highest scholarship recipients

Published: 04/18/2014


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Governor Beebe's weekly column and radio address: Tourism Treasures

Published: 04/18/2014

Throughout my time as Governor, we have seen many twists and turns in the national economy that have made their impact known in Arkansas. Throughout both the tumultuous and brighter times, I’ve been extremely pleased by the accomplishments of the Arkansas tourism industry. Its members have worked hard to promote Arkansas’s unfailing hospitality and the many wonders our State has to offer. ...

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Governor Beebe's weekly column and radio address: Tourism Treasures

Published: 04/18/2014

Throughout my time as Governor, we have seen many twists and turns in the national economy that have made their impact known in Arkansas. Throughout both the tumultuous and brighter times, I’ve been extremely pleased by the accomplishments of the Arkansas tourism industry. Its members have worked hard to promote Arkansas’s unfailing hospitality and the many wonders our State has to offer. ...

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Tuckerman School Every Child is Ours 5th Birthday Event

Published: 04/16/2014



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Tuckerman School Every Child is Ours 5th Birthday Event

Published: 04/16/2014

Governor Beebe today visited with Tuckerman students and toured the Every Child Is Ours North Jackson County Food Pantry.

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Jaynn Sepich to Speak to Judiciary Committee

Published: 04/15/2014

Senate Information Office: 501-682-5954 The Senate Judiciary Committee will hear from Jayann Sepich, founder of DNASaves, on Thursday, April 17 at 1:30 p.m. in Room B of the Multi-Agency Complex next to the state Capitol. Sepich's daughter Katie was raped and brutally murdered in 2003 in New Mexico and her killer was caught with the use of a DNA data base. Stronger laws about collection of DNA ...

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Governor Beebe's weekly column and radio address: Rewarding Educational Excellence

Published: 04/11/2014

As part of our ongoing quest to improve educational outcomes, the State of Arkansas now provides financial awards to public schools for academic achievement, academic growth and high graduation rates. This motivational approach is called the Arkansas School Recognition and Reward Program. It allows the top 20 percent of our schools to receive financial incentives to be used for improving and maint...

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Governor Beebe's weekly column and radio address: Rewarding Educational Excellence

Published: 04/11/2014

As part of our ongoing quest to improve educational outcomes, the State of Arkansas now provides financial awards to public schools for academic achievement, academic growth and high graduation rates. This motivational approach is called the Arkansas School Recognition and Reward Program. It allows the top 20 percent of our schools to receive financial incentives to be used for improving and maint...

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Senator Rapert and Family Council to Hold Press Conference April 11

Published: 04/10/2014

April 10, 2014 Senate Information Office: 692-5954 LITTLE ROCK - Senator Jason Rapert of Conway and Jerry Cox, President of the Arkansas Family Council, will hold a press conference at 11:30 a.m. Friday, April 11, in the rotunda of the state Capitol to discuss developments in the litigation of Act 301 of 2013, also known as the "Human Heartbeat Protection Act." Rapert was the lead sponsor of th...

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State Agriculture Department Promotes Arkansas Grown Products

Published: 04/10/2014

LITTLE ROCK - The state Agriculture Department promotes Arkansas products in domestic and international markets, and helps ensure that farm, fiber and forestry products are safe. A relatively new effort of the Department promotes products grown in Arkansas. It is particularly helpful to small growers who don't have a large budget to market their products. They can apply to the Agriculture Depar...

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Governor Beebe Announces Intent to Grant Pardons

Published: 04/08/2014

LITTLE ROCK - Governor Mike Beebe today announced his intent to grant ten pardons. An additional 32 clemency requests were denied and 13 had no action taken upon them. These include requests from both inmates and non-inmates. The ten applicants intended for pardons have completed all jail time, fulfilled all parole-and-probationary requirements and paid all fines related to their sentences....

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Governor Beebe Announces 35 Appointment to Boards and Commissions

Published: 04/07/2014

LITTLE ROCK - Governor Mike Beebe today announced the following appointments to boards and commissions: John Beachboard, Little Rock, to the Public Health Advisory Board. Appointment expires November 1, 2017. Replaces Sam Culpepper. Carol Bevis, Cabot, reappointed to the Arkansas Public Employees’ Retirement System Board of Trustees. Appointment expires March 9, 2018. Raul Blasini, P...

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Governor Beebe's weekly column and radio address: Our Underground Infrastructure

Published: 04/04/2014

This past week, we marked the one-year anniversary of the detrimental Pegasus pipeline breach in Mayflower. The pipeline, owned by a subsidiary of Exxon-Mobil, ruptured and spilled more than 200,000 gallons of heavy crude oil. This oil seeped into a neighborhood subdivision, lake, drainage ditches and a cove near Lake Conway. Twelve months later, Pegasus remains shut down in Arkansas after sp...

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Governor Beebe's weekly column and radio address: Our Underground Infrastructure

Published: 04/04/2014

This past week, we marked the one-year anniversary of the detrimental Pegasus pipeline breach in Mayflower. The pipeline, owned by a subsidiary of Exxon-Mobil, ruptured and spilled more than 200,000 gallons of heavy crude oil. This oil seeped into a neighborhood subdivision, lake, drainage ditches and a cove near Lake Conway. Twelve months later, Pegasus remains shut down in Arkansas after sp...

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Reward Schools Recognition Event

Published: 04/04/2014

Governor Beebe recently participated in the Reward Schools Recognition Event at Southwest Middle School in Searcy. Four of the six schools in the Searcy School District were identified as top 20 percent schools, with two of those in the top 10 percent. The four schools received a total of $165,722.27.

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Secretary Martin introduces electronic notarization initiative

Published: 04/03/2014

For Immediate Release

Alex Reed, 501-682-1217

 

Secretary Martin introduces electronic notarization initiative

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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Governor Beebe Announces Two Appointments to Fill Vacancies

Published: 04/03/2014

LITTLE ROCK - Governor Mike Beebe today announced the following appointments to fill vacated positions: James Clark, Rogers, as Prosecuting Attorney for Judicial District 19 West. Appointment expires December 31, 2014. Replaces Van Stone. Dennis Young, Texarkana, to the Arkansas Parole Board. Appointment expires January 14, 2015. Replaces Joe Peacock.

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Reward Schools Event in Searcy

Published: 04/03/2014



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Senator Irvin Continues as Chair of Hunger Caucus

Published: 03/31/2014

Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance. For immediate release. For more information contact Nancy Conley, Communications Director, nconley@arhungeralliance.org SENATOR IRVIN CONTINUES AS CO-CHAIR OF HUNGER CAUCUS LITTLE ROCK, AR (March 27, 2014 )−The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance is proud to announce that Senator Missy Thomas Irvin (R-18) has agreed to continue her service as Senate Co-...

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Governor Beebe's weekly column and radio address: Arkansas Grown

Published: 03/28/2014

Over the years, consumers have become increasingly health-conscious, as well as environmentally aware of farming practices. One of the results of this has been a monumental rise in demand for locally grown foods. In Arkansas alone, the number of farmers markets has nearly tripled in just the past decade. This desire for nutritious food that is fresh from the farm has presented a huge opportuni...

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Governor Beebe's weekly column and radio address: Arkansas Grown

Published: 03/28/2014

Over the years, consumers have become increasingly health-conscious, as well as environmentally aware of farming practices. One of the results of this has been a monumental rise in demand for locally grown foods. In Arkansas alone, the number of farmers markets has nearly tripled in just the past decade. This desire for nutritious food that is fresh from the farm has presented a huge opportuni...

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Safe Digging Month Proclamation

Published: 03/27/2014



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Legislature Completes 2014 Fiscal Session After Approving $5 Billion General Revenue Budget

Published: 03/27/2014

After approving a $5 billion budget for state government, the legislature officially adjourned the 2014 Fiscal Session. All but a few of the 300 bills approved during the session were budgets for state agencies, public schools and institutions of higher education. One non-budget measure, Act 210, will save the state more than $1 million because it avoids the necessity of holding a special elec...

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

Published: 03/25/2014

For Immediate Release

Alex Reed, 501-682-1217

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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Arkansas Fallen Firefighters Memorial Dedication

Published: 03/25/2014

Governor Beebe recently addressed the Arkansas Fallen Firefighters Memorial Dedication on the State Capitol Grounds.

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Firefighter Memorial Dedication

Published: 03/22/2014



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Governor Beebe's weekly column and radio address: Feeding Our Future

Published: 03/21/2014

I’ve always said that state government’s top priorities are the protection and the education of its people. And one of the simplest ways to improve our students’ academic performance is to make sure they’ve had breakfast. Unfortunately, Arkansas has a high rate of hunger, and preventing childhood hunger is not an easy task. So in 2010, my office partnered with the Arkansas Hunger Reli...

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Governor Beebe's weekly column and radio address: Feeding Our Future

Published: 03/21/2014

I’ve always said that state government’s top priorities are the protection and the education of its people. And one of the simplest ways to improve our students’ academic performance is to make sure they’ve had breakfast. Unfortunately, Arkansas has a high rate of hunger, and preventing childhood hunger is not an easy task. So in 2010, my office partnered with the Arkansas Hunger Reli...

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Statewide Trauma System is Saving Lives

Published: 03/20/2014

LITTLE ROCK - The Arkansas Trauma System, which the legislature authorized through Act 393 of 2009, saves more than 200 lives and $237 million a year, according to the most recent Health Department update. The trauma system ensures that accident victims are taken as soon as possible to a hospital that best can address their needs. That is not always the nearest hospital. In the past, ambulances...

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Governor Beebe Appoints New Member to University of Arkansas Board of Trustees

Published: 03/17/2014

Governor Mike Beebe today named Morril Harriman of Little Rock to the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees. “Morril has been my best friend and most trusted ally throughout my political career,” Beebe said. “It comes as no surprise that he wants to continue his public service, and I am confident that the U of A Board will benefit from his experience and wisdom.” Harriman, 63, ha...

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Gov. Beebe Takes Part in Childhood Hunger Panel Discussion with Jeff Bridges

Published: 03/17/2014

Governor Mike Beebe took part in a panel discussion on childhood hunger in...

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No Kid Hungry Panel Discussion

Published: 03/17/2014

Governor Beebe today participated in a No Kid Hungry Panel Discussion on Childhood Hunger with Jeff Bridges.

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No Child Hungry with Jeff Bridges

Published: 03/17/2014



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Governor Beebe Issues Line-Item Veto

Published: 03/17/2014

LITTLE ROCK - Governor Mike Beebe has invoked the line-item veto for Section 16 of House Bill 1048, the appropriation bill for the Revenue Services Division of the Department of Finance and Administration. Section 16 adds a new category of items exempted from the State’s gross receipts tax without following the constitutional steps of doing so during a fiscal session. Beebe’s veto letter ...

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Governor Beebe Announces 36 Appointment to Boards and Commissions

Published: 03/17/2014

LITTLE ROCK - Governor Mike Beebe today announced the following judicial appointment: Chris Palmer, Little Rock, as Circuit Judge in the Third Division of the 6th Judicial District. Appointment expires December 31, 2014. Replaces Jay Moody. Governor Beebe also announced appointments to the following boards and commissions: Jacqueline Bettis, Springdale, reappointed to the Arkansas Indep...

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MISO's Groundbreaking Ceremony

Published: 03/14/2014

The Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (MISO) broke ground today on a regional operations center in Little Rock.

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Governor Beebe's weekly column and radio address: Firewise Statewide

Published: 03/14/2014

Already this year, wildfire activity is surging in Arkansas. And because of unusually low humidity levels, we continue to be at higher risk of these unpredictable and dangerous blazes. Fortunately, our communities and local fire departments work hard to mitigate and prevent wildfires. In fact, the National Fire Protection Agency recently named Arkansas the number-one Firewise state in the country ...

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Miso Ground Breaking

Published: 03/14/2014



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Governor Beebe's weekly column and radio address: Firewise Statewide

Published: 03/14/2014

Already this year, wildfire activity is surging in Arkansas. And because of unusually low humidity levels, we continue to be at higher risk of these unpredictable and dangerous blazes. Fortunately, our communities and local fire departments work hard to mitigate and prevent wildfires. In fact, the National Fire Protection Agency recently named Arkansas the number-one Firewise state in the country ...

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Legislature Votes to Help Local School Districts Expand Broadband Capacity

Published: 03/11/2014

March 7, 2014 LITTLE ROCK - If the legislature gives the measure final approval during the fiscal session, public schools could apply for grants to expand their broadband capacity with new fiber optic cables. The grants would come from a $10 million appropriation from the state surplus. The authorization to spend surplus funds on improved broadband for schools is in Senate Bill 146, sponsored b...

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Peco Foods Announcement

Published: 03/10/2014



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Peco Foods Announcement

Published: 03/10/2014

Peco Foods, a fully integrated poultry processing and further processing company, today announced plans to locate a new, fully integrated poultry facility in Randolph and Clay Counties. The new facility will include a hatchery, feed mill and processing plant. Through both locations, the company plans to add 1,000 new jobs and invest an estimated $165 million.

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Governor Beebe Announces Intent to Grant Pardons

Published: 03/10/2014

LITTLE ROCK - Governor Mike Beebe today announced his intent to grant nine pardons. An additional 59 clemency requests were denied and 23 had no action taken upon them. These include requests from both inmates and non-inmates. The nine applicants intended for pardons have completed all jail time, fulfilled all parole-and-probationary requirements and paid all fines related to their sentence...

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Peco Foods Jobs Announcement

Published: 03/10/2014

Release from Arkansas Economic Development Commisssion: Peco Foods to invest...

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Governor Beebe's weekly column and radio address: The Private Option Passes

Published: 03/07/2014

This week, after much debate and national attention, the General Assembly reauthorized funding for the Arkansas Private Option. I have now signed the bill into law, meaning that more than 100,000 Arkansans will keep their health insurance through at least June of 2015. Tens of thousands more will become eligible and insured, and hundreds of millions of federal dollars will continue flowing into ...

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Governor Beebe's weekly column and radio address: The Private Option Passes

Published: 03/07/2014

This week, after much debate and national attention, the General Assembly reauthorized funding for the Arkansas Private Option. I have now signed the bill into law, meaning that more than 100,000 Arkansans will keep their health insurance through at least June of 2015. Tens of thousands more will become eligible and insured, and hundreds of millions of federal dollars will continue flowing into ...

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Governor Beebe Announces 44 Appointments to Boards and Commissions

Published: 03/06/2014

LITTLE ROCK - Governor Mike Beebe today announced the following appointments to boards and commissions: Jeffery “Scott” Baxter, Jonesboro, to the Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System Board of Trustees. Appointment expires January 1, 2018. Replaces Timothy Webb. Jimmy Bolt, Arkadelphia, to the Arkansas Fire and Police Pension Review Board. Appointment expires January 1, 201...

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Highway Commission Opens Bids for Work on Connecting Arkansas Program

Published: 03/06/2014

LITTLE ROCK - The largest highway construction program in state history got off to a good start when the Highway Commission opened bids for a $52.7 million project in northwest Arkansas. The project is the next phase in the Bella Vista bypass. It will relieve congestion in that city and eventually become part of the route of Interstate 49 between Canada and New Orleans. It's the first project...

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Senate Transportation Committee to Study Problems Caused by Winter Storm along Interstates 40 and 55 in eastern Arkansas

Published: 03/06/2014

Senate Information Office: 501-682-5954 March 6, 2014 LITTLE ROCK - At the request of Senators Keith Ingram of West Memphis and Johnny Key of Mountain Home, there will be a joint meeting at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 11, of the Senate Transportation, Technology and Legislative Affairs Committee and the House Transportation Committee. It will be in Room B of the Big Mac Building. Officials of the...

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Photo ID Required for Voting

Published: 03/05/2014

For Immediate Release

Alex Reed, 501-682-1217

 

Photo ID Required for Voting

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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State Responding to Stranded Drivers on Interstates 40 and 55

Published: 03/04/2014

LITTLE ROCK - Throughout Tuesday morning, Governor Beebe and his staff have been coordinating State efforts to assist motorists stranded on Interstates 40 and 55 in East Arkansas. National Guard teams and State Troopers are checking on motorists to make sure there are no health emergencies. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is helping transport fuel to vehicles that have run out of gas. ...

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Little Rock Marathon 2014

Published: 03/02/2014

Governor Beebe welcomes and shakes hands with a portion of the ten-thousand...

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Governor Beebe's weekly column and radio address: Protecting Those Who Protect Us

Published: 02/28/2014

This past weekend, I participated in my final winter meeting of the National Governors Association in Washington, D.C. These meetings allow governors to come together to share ideas and discuss issues that our states face collectively. As you might expect, other governors approached me about the ground we have broken on health care in Arkansas, both with our Payment Improvement Initiative and wi...

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Governor Beebe's weekly column and radio address: Protecting Those Who Protect Us

Published: 02/28/2014

This past weekend, I participated in my final winter meeting of the National Governors Association in Washington, D.C. These meetings allow governors to come together to share ideas and discuss issues that our states face collectively. As you might expect, other governors approached me about the ground we have broken on health care in Arkansas, both with our Payment Improvement Initiative and wi...

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No Child Hungry

Published: 02/27/2014



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Black History Month Celebration

Published: 02/26/2014

Governor Beebe today participated in a Black History Month Celebration at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.

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Black History Month

Published: 02/26/2014



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Lottery Commission Lowers Forecast for Current Fiscal Year

Published: 02/25/2014

LITTLE ROCK - The Arkansas Lottery Commission has revised downward its revenue estimate for the current year, from $89.5 million to $82.8 million. Higher education officials are paying close attention to the negative trend because revenue from lottery tickets is the financial foundation for the popular Academic Challenge Scholarship Program. If the decline continues, the amounts of college sch...

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Fiscal Session Allows for Introduction of Non-Budget Bills

Published: 02/25/2014

LITTLE ROCK - Although the main purpose of fiscal sessions of the legislature is to approve budgets for state agencies, there is a mechanism for considering non-budget bills. The first step is for sponsors to introduce a resolution on the first day of the fiscal session to authorize the filing of a non-appropriation bill. The resolution states the purpose of the non-budget bill. It must be pa...

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Governor Beebe's weekly column and radio address: Good Results From Health Care Payment Reform

Published: 02/21/2014

Discussions at the Capitol have centered around the Arkansas Private Option these past two weeks. However, our State’s other major health-care initiative, created before the Affordable Care Act, continues to produce impressive results. When Arkansas’s innovative plan to lower health-care costs and improve the quality of care began in 2012, it was already the object of national attention. Now...

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Governor Beebe's weekly column and radio address: Good Results From Health Care Payment Reform

Published: 02/21/2014

Discussions at the Capitol have centered around the Arkansas Private Option these past two weeks. However, our State’s other major health-care initiative, created before the Affordable Care Act, continues to produce impressive results. When Arkansas’s innovative plan to lower health-care costs and improve the quality of care began in 2012, it was already the object of national attention. Now...

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Hoops for Kids' Sake Arkansas Legislative Basketball Game

Published: 02/19/2014

Governor Beebe recently attended the Hoops for Kids' Sake Arkansas Legislative Basketball Game at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

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Opponents of Private Option to Propose Alternative

Published: 02/19/2014

Senate Information Office: 501-682-5954 February 19, 2014 House and Senate members who oppose the private option method of expanding Medicaid will hold a press conference at noon today (Wednesday, February 19) in the Old Supreme Court Room on the second floor of the state Capitol, to propose their alternative health care plan.

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Governor Beebe's weekly column and radio address: Agents of Change and Equality

Published: 02/14/2014

Fifty years ago, Congress passed what has been called one of the most important laws of the 20th century. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 ended the era of legal segregation in public places like hotels and restaurants. It was a historic moment of progress that marked dramatic change in our nation. But we know that, even though we no longer live with the blatant discrimination of the past, our work is...

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Governor Beebe's weekly column and radio address: Agents of Change and Equality

Published: 02/14/2014

Fifty years ago, Congress passed what has been called one of the most important laws of the 20th century. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 ended the era of legal segregation in public places like hotels and restaurants. It was a historic moment of progress that marked dramatic change in our nation. But we know that, even though we no longer live with the blatant discrimination of the past, our work is...

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January Revenue Comes in Close to Forecast

Published: 02/13/2014

LITTLE ROCK - At the beginning of each month, the state Department of Finance and Administration releases a detailed report on how much tax revenue state government collected during the previous month. Legislators and state officials study the revenue report closely for a couple of reasons. It gives an up-to-date estimate on the status of state agency budgets. Also, it is an accurate gauge of o...

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Capitol Hosts Two Exhibits

Published: 02/11/2014

Capitol Hosts Two Exhibits

 

Installations celebrate Black History Month

and Arkansas-manufactured Products

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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Governor Beebe's weekly column and radio address: Farm Families Persevering

Published: 02/07/2014

Farming is a tough business, and it’s one on which our very quality of life depends. Here in Arkansas, that’s especially true, as agriculture is our largest industry, employing more than a quarter of a million people, and accounting for approximately one of every six jobs in our state. Many Arkansas farm families have persevered for generations. To recognize that fact, the Arkansas Departme...

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Governor Beebe's weekly column and radio address: Farm Families Persevering

Published: 02/07/2014

Farming is a tough business, and it’s one on which our very quality of life depends. Here in Arkansas, that’s especially true, as agriculture is our largest industry, employing more than a quarter of a million people, and accounting for approximately one of every six jobs in our state. Many Arkansas farm families have persevered for generations. To recognize that fact, the Arkansas Departme...

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College Remediation Rates Continue to Improve

Published: 02/06/2014

LITTLE ROCK - A recent report by the Arkansas Higher Education Department indicates that incoming students are better prepared for college level courses than they were in the past several years. According to records compiled by the state-supported colleges and universities, 43.2 percent of students had to take remedial classes last year. That is the best that Arkansas students have done since 2...

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Governor Beebe Announces Intent to Grant Pardons

Published: 02/05/2014

LITTLE ROCK - Governor Mike Beebe today announced his intent to grant five pardons. An additional 33 clemency requests were denied and 13 had no action taken upon them. These include requests from both inmates and non-inmates. The five applicants intended for pardons have completed all jail time, fulfilled all parole-and-probationary requirements and paid all fines related to their sentence...

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AHECB approves new programs; higher ed remediation rates continue dropping

Published: 01/31/2014


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Governor Beebe's weekly column and radio address: How Health Care Policy Impacts Prisons

Published: 01/31/2014

This week, I spoke at a meeting of Arkansas sheriffs. I speak annually to these dedicated law-enforcement leaders, who are charged with protecting our counties and citizens, including the most remote and rural parts of our State. Some of these sheriffs are distressed as they see their county jails at or near capacity because of a recent influx of state inmates. When state prisons have no empt...

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Governor Beebe's weekly column and radio address: How Health Care Policy Impacts Prisons

Published: 01/31/2014

This week, I spoke at a meeting of Arkansas sheriffs. I speak annually to these dedicated law-enforcement leaders, who are charged with protecting our counties and citizens, including the most remote and rural parts of our State. Some of these sheriffs are distressed as they see their county jails at or near capacity because of a recent influx of state inmates. When state prisons have no empt...

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Governor Beebe Appoints New Member to Arkansas State University Board of Trustees

Published: 01/30/2014

LITTLE ROCK - Governor Mike Beebe today named Dr. Tim Langford of Little Rock to the Arkansas State University Board of Trustees. “From the moment Tim arrived in Jonesboro as a student athlete, his commitment to ASU has never wavered, and indeed has grown stronger along with his professional achievements,” Beebe said. “His previous service to colleges and universities statewide shows his...

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Legislature to Allocate Surplus Funds During Fiscal Session

Published: 01/30/2014

LITTLE ROCK - In addition to approving budgets for state government operations next year, during the fiscal session the legislature will allocate unspent surplus funds that have built up in the state treasury over the previous year. Traditionally, surplus funds are spent on "one time" projects, while recurring expenses such as salaries and maintenance are paid for with tax revenues that are col...

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Political Animals Q & A Session

Published: 01/29/2014

Governor Beebe fields questions from the audiences after giving remarks at...

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Governor Beebe Announces 40 Appointment to Boards and Commissions

Published: 01/29/2014

LITTLE ROCK - Governor Mike Beebe today announced the following appointments to education boards and commissions: Charles Blanchard, Russellville, reappointed to the Arkansas Tech University Board of Trustees. Appointment expires January 14, 2019. Elizabeth Farris, Hot Springs, reappointed to the University of Central Arkansas Board of Trustees. Appointment expires January 14, 2021. Edg...

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Governor Beebe addresses the Political Animals Luncheon

Published: 01/29/2014

Governor Mike Beebe addressed the Political Animals Luncheon held on January...

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Senator Cooper Takes Oath of Office

Published: 01/28/2014

January 28, 2014 LITTLE ROCK - John Cooper of Jonesboro was sworn in Tuesday as the state Senator representing District 21 in the Arkansas legislature. Chief Justice Jim Hannah of the state Supreme Court administered the oath of office in the Senate chamber of the state Capitol. Cooper, 66, won a special election on January 14 to replace former Senator Paul Bookout of Jonesboro, who had resigne...

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Governor Beebe's weekly column and radio address: Still Time for Flu Protection

Published: 01/24/2014

Although temperatures have swung wildly this January, one thing has remained consistent in Arkansas: the lingering flu season. While we always emphasize the importance of vaccinating children and the elderly, this year, an unusually high number of young and middle-aged adults are falling ill. The most frequent flu strain contracted this year, H1N1, disproportionately affects young people and ...

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Governor Beebe's weekly column and radio address: Still Time for Flu Protection

Published: 01/24/2014

Although temperatures have swung wildly this January, one thing has remained consistent in Arkansas: the lingering flu season. While we always emphasize the importance of vaccinating children and the elderly, this year, an unusually high number of young and middle-aged adults are falling ill. The most frequent flu strain contracted this year, H1N1, disproportionately affects young people and ...

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Governor Presents Balanced Budget in Preparation for 2014 Fiscal Session

Published: 01/23/2014

LITTLE ROCK - During legislative budget hearings in preparation for the 2014 fiscal session, the governor presented a balanced budget proposal for next year that projects more than $5 billion in general revenue spending. The proposed budget calls for an increase in spending next year of $105.8 million. Public schools would receive an additional $65.4 million over the amount of education funding...

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Arkansas Foodbank 30th Anniversary Event

Published: 01/21/2014

Governor Beebe recently participated in the Arkansas Foodbank 30th Anniversary news conference in Little Rock.

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Governor Beebe's weekly column and radio address: Budget Decisions Ahead

Published: 01/17/2014

The members of the Arkansas General Assembly return to the Capitol in February for the 2014 Fiscal Session. This will be the third such session since voters changed the Arkansas Constitution in the 2008 election. Only budget bills are considered when the Legislature convenes, making it a quicker and less expensive undertaking than the regular sessions that occur in odd-numbered years. For the...

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Governor Beebe's weekly column and radio address: Budget Decisions Ahead

Published: 01/17/2014

The members of the Arkansas General Assembly return to the Capitol in February for the 2014 Fiscal Session. This will be the third such session since voters changed the Arkansas Constitution in the 2008 election. Only budget bills are considered when the Legislature convenes, making it a quicker and less expensive undertaking than the regular sessions that occur in odd-numbered years. For the...

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Nonpartisan Judicial and Prosecutorial Candidates Petition Deadline This Week

Published: 01/16/2014

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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State Tour of Champion Trees Art Exhibit Continues

Published: 01/16/2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE    

 

Contact: Alex Reed,

Phone: 501-682-1217

Email: alex.reed@sos.arkansas.gov

 

ARKANSAS STATE CAPITOL TO HOST EXHIBIT ON CHAMPION TREES

State Tour of Champion Trees Art Exhibit Continues

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SELECTED CHAMPION TREES IN EXHIBIT

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

 

# # #

For Additional Information: 

                Exhibit Website: www.ChampionTreesExhibit.com    

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

                (501) 733-9916

                barbarabdesign@yahoo.com

 

                Linda Palmer, Featured Artist

                (501) 620-3063

                lindawilliamspalmer@yahoo.com

 

                Marta Jones, President, Arkansas State Committee

                (479) 414-5237

                ms.martajones@gmail.com 


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Governor Beebe Announces 28 Appointment to Boards and Commissions

Published: 01/16/2014

LITTLE ROCK - Governor Mike Beebe today announced the following appointments to boards and commissions: Ronald Angel, Maumelle, to the Arkansas Veterans Commission. Appointment expires October 15, 2017. Replaces Roger McClain. Amber Bagley, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Commission for the Newborn Umbilical Cord Blood Initiative. Appointment expires September 4, 2017. Replaces Amy Stewart....

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Schools Recieve Extra Funding for Low-Income Students

Published: 01/15/2014

LITTLE ROCK - State education funding in Arkansas is based on enrollment, with local school districts receiving extra money for each pupil in attendance from a low-income family. The legislature established the bonus funding for poor students during the 2003-2004 special session that was devoted almost entirely to improving Arkansas public schools. That special session was called in response t...

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Millions in State Tax Cuts Take Effect January 1

Published: 01/08/2014

LITTLE ROCK - A package of tax cuts took effect at the new year that over time will save Arkansas more than $161 million a year. The major tax reductions are Act 1459 to reduce state income tax rates, Act 1488 to lower state taxes on capital gains and Act 1411 to reduce the sales tax paid by manufacturers on utility bills. The reduction in state income tax rates became effective at the beginn...

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Recommendation: Create Public-Private Partnership to Expand Broadband Capacity

Published: 12/30/2013

LITTLE ROCK - Providing greater broadband capabilities to public schools in rural areas is an ongoing project for state policy makers. Last week, a panel of civic leaders, educators and public officials completed a study and sent it to the governor with their recommendations for efficiently bringing enhanced broadband to rural schools. The policy makers made four major recommendations. First, a...

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State Budget Forecast Revised

Published: 12/12/2013

LITTLE ROCK - Budget officials revised their economic forecast for the current fiscal year, and now predict that state government will collect 1.7 percent less in tax revenue than it did last year. The state will still generate sufficient revenue so that all state agencies can meet their budgets. It does reduce the amount of anticipated surplus that is predicted to be available at the end of t...

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Weather Forces Cancellation of Capitol Lighting, Pearl Harbor Ceremonies

Published: 12/06/2013


Weather Forces Cancellation of Capitol Lighting, Pearl Harbor Ceremonies

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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Secretary Martin Unveils Restoration of Capitol Dome

Published: 12/05/2013

Secretary Martin Unveils Restoration of Capitol Dome

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Martin said all Arkansans can be pleased with the results.

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

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


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Attorney General Announces Proposed Settlement of Pulaski County Desegregation Lawsuit

Published: 12/04/2013

LITTLE ROCK - In a development that has financial implications for every school district in Arkansas, the parties in the 30-year old Pulaski County desegregation case have all agreed to end the suit. Under terms of a 1989 settlement, state government pays about $70 million a year to the three school districts in Pulaski County. They are the Little Rock, North Little Rock and the Pulaski County...

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AEDC Advance Arkansas Sites Rollout

Published: 11/25/2013

Arkansas Economic Development Commission announce 2 sites that have qualified...

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Voter ID Preparation Nears Completion

Published: 11/21/2013

For Immediate Release

Media Contact:

Alex Reed

501-682-1217

 

Voter ID Preparation Nears Completion

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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Board of Corrections Considers Tougher New Parole Policies

Published: 11/13/2013

LITTLE ROCK - Officials of the state Department of Community Correction presented tougher new parole policies to the Senate Judiciary Committee. They include a proposal to limit the number of violations a parolee may incur before being sent back to prison. The state Board of Correction will also consider the proposed rules changes. The Department operates the state parole system, which has b...

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Tourism Officials Expect More Gains in 2014

Published: 11/07/2013

LITTLE ROCK - State tourism officials constantly re-adjust their marketing strategies to keep up with changing trends among consumers, in this case among people in Arkansas and neighboring states who are planning a vacation or an extended weekend. The latest adaptation is to concentrate on the state's main tourism web site, to simplify the process and to capture the attention of vacationers who...

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