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News and information from Arkansas government agencies and officials.

Governor Asa Hutchinson Issues Statement in Response to Legislature

Published: 07/02/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson issued the following response to statements released by the Arkansas House and Senate earlier today involving the recent ruling from the Supreme Court on same-sex marriage and how it applies to Arkansans:

“In response to the statements issued today by the House and Senate Republican Caucuses, I am grateful for their continued efforts to assure the religious freedom protection of pastors, churches and religious institutions as a result of last week’s Supreme Court ruling on same sex marriage. I share their concern and frustration with the Supreme Court’s decision which is contrary to the expressed will of the Arkansas voter.   It is important to note that it affects government action only. It has no bearing on private individuals or institutions. The ability of pastors, churches, and private individuals to follow their own convictions on marriage is protected under the First Amendment and has not been affected by the Supreme Court’s ruling. In terms of further legislative action, I am not aware of any legislation that would protect county clerks from the requirements of the ruling.  

“I am committed to ensuring the rights of pastors, religious institutions, and private individuals to exercise their freedom of conscience. It is my view that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act passed earlier this year accomplishes this purpose. Regardless, it is very important that our church leaders who have convictions on the definition of marriage understand that I will work every day to protect their right of conscience and freedoms under the 1st Amendment.  There will be many future challenges as a result of the Supreme Court decision.  I will continue to determine what legislative action is needed to address the myriad of legal issues that will result from the ruling and also what legislation is needed to protect the churches, pastors and religious institutions who cannot follow the dictates of the Court.”


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Governor Asa Hutchinson Appoints Dean, Williamson and Chambers to the Arkansas Board of Education

Published: 07/02/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has appointed Charisse Dean, Brett Williamson and Susan Chambers to serve on the Arkansas Board of Education.

Member Name:  Charisse Dean
Expiration Date:  6/30/22
City – District:  Little Rock, 2 
Qualification:  2nd Congressional District
Replaced:  Samuel Ledbetter

Charisse Dean has served on the Governor’s Council for Common Core Review. She has four children in the Little Rock School District (Mabelvale Middle School, Parkview High School, and Williams Traditional Magnet School) and has served on the Family Council Action Committee. Dean is currently the project coordinator for the Family Council and lives in Little Rock.

Member Name:  Brett Williamson
Expiration Date:  6/30/22
City – District:  El Dorado, 4 
Qualification:  4th Congressional District
Replaced:  Alice Mahony

Brett Williamson currently serves on The Murphy Foundation Board, which provides scholarships for colleges, universities and trade schools to students in El Dorado and Union County. He has three children – two in college and one in the El Dorado School District. He is part of the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Union County, El Dorado Fifty for the Future and El Dorado Works. Williamson is currently the general manager for Murphy Offices, LLC and lives in El Dorado.

 Member Name:  Susan Chambers
Expiration Date:  6/30/21
City – District:  Fayetteville, 3
Qualification:  3rd Congressional District
Replaced:  Kim Davis

Susan Chambers, who will be replacing Mr. Kim Davis, who announced his resignation at the last Board of Education meeting, has served on the board for Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and William Jewel College. She has been named Fortune Magazine’s “50 Most Powerful Women in Business,” Forbes Magazine’s “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women in Business” and Fortune Magazine’s “Top Ten Chief Human Resource Officer’s (CHRO).” Chambers is currently the Executive Vice President of Global People, CHRO for Walmart, a position that extends past the traditional role of human resources and allows her to work on education and workforce issues, as they seek to attract and train 21st century employees. Chambers lives in Bella Vista. 


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Arkansas Senate Republican Caucus Pledges to Protect Religious Freedom, After Supreme Court Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage

Published: 07/02/2015

FOR RELEASE IMMEDIATELY PRESS RELEASE Ark Senate Republican Caucus unanimously pledges to propose legislation ensuring SCOTUS ruling regarding same sex marriage does not infringe on religious freedoms of Churches, Pastors, and religious institutions. In light of the recent U.S. Supreme court decision about same sex marriage, the Arkansas Senate Republican caucus will be drafting legislation to ...

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Legislators Look at Levee Maintenance Needs

Published: 07/02/2015

LITTLE ROCK - Flooding due to recent heavy rains has focused the legislature's attention on the need to improve oversight of the patchwork of levees throughout Arkansas. Two joint legislative committees - the Senate and House Committees on Insurance and Commerce and the Senate and House Committees on Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development - are working on a plan to modernize how levees ...

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Prison Population Predicted to Increase

Published: 07/02/2015

LITTLE ROCK - Stricter parole policies are driving a sharp increase in the number of inmates in Arkansas prisons. Legislators are paying close attention to the effect of new state laws enacted earlier this year, which they hope will stabilize growth in the prison population. The Criminal Justice Oversight Task Force received a report from a consultant who has studied trends in Arkansas prisons ...

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Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Appointments

Published: 07/01/2015

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

Lieutenant Colonel Charles Jason Carter, North Little Rock, as State Judge Advocate for the Arkansas National Guard.  Appointment expires at the Will of the Governor.

Steele Kelly, Plummerville, to the Arkansas Suicide Prevention Council. Appointment expires June 4, 2019.

Tanya Phillips, North Little Rock, to the Arkansas Suicide Prevention Council. Appointment expires June 4, 2019.

Cindi Blackwood, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Suicide Prevention Council. Appointment expires June 4, 2019.

Angie Waliski, Sherwood, to the Arkansas Suicide Prevention Council. Appointment expires June 4, 2019.

Jan Sims, El Dorado, to the Arkansas Suicide Prevention Council. Appointment expires June 4, 2019.

Reverend David Gill, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Suicide Prevention Council. Appointment expires June 4, 2019.

Steven Blackwood, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Suicide Prevention Council. Appointment expires June 4, 2019.

Bruce Trimble, Sherwood, to the Arkansas Suicide Prevention Council. Appointment expires June 4, 2019.

Daniel Oxford, Gravette, to the Arkansas Suicide Prevention Council. Appointment expires June 4, 2019.

Christopher Epperson, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Suicide Prevention Council. Appointment expires June 4, 2019.

Tabitha Breshears, Batesville, to the Arkansas Suicide Prevention Council. Appointment expires June 4, 2019.

Jamie Burr, Fayetteville, to the Nutrient Water Quality Trading Advisory Panel. Appointment expires June 8, 2017.

Heath Ward, Springdale, to the Nutrient Water Quality Trading Advisory Panel. Appointment expires June 8, 2017.

Dr. Delia Haak, Gentry, to the Nutrient Water Quality Trading Advisory Panel. Appointment expires June 8, 2017.

Evan Teague, Little Rock, to the Nutrient Water Quality Trading Advisory Panel. Appointment expires June 8, 2017.

Rick Rodenroth, Fouke, to the Nutrient Water Quality Trading Advisory Panel. Appointment expires June 8, 2017.

Larry Lloyd, Fayetteville, to the Nutrient Water Quality Trading Advisory Panel. Appointment expires June 8, 2017.

Jimmy Mardis, Rogers, to the Nutrient Water Quality Trading Advisory Panel. Appointment expires June 8, 2017.

Roy Caldwell, Hartman, to the Criminal Detention Facility Review Committee, Judicial District 5. Appointment expires January 14, 2019. Replaces Joe Hoing.

Gerald Sturdevant, Texarkana, to the Criminal Detention Facility Review Committee, Judicial District 8 South. Appointment expires January 14, 2019. Replaces Frank Turk.

Billy Cotten, Dewitt, to the Criminal Detention Facility Review Committee, Judicial District 11 East. Appointment expires January 14, 2019. Reappointment.

Matthew Soto, White Hall, to the Criminal Detention Facility Review Committee, Judicial District 11 West. Appointment expires January 14, 2019. Replaces William Webb.

Donna Watson, Fort Smith, to the Criminal Detention Facility Review Committee, Judicial District 12. Appointment expires January 14, 2019. Replaces Thomas Brock.

Daniel Heflin, Rison, to the Criminal Detention Facility Review Committee, Judicial District 13. Appointment expires January 14, 2019. 

Linda House, Ponca, to the Criminal Detention Facility Review Committee, Judicial District 14. Appointment expires January 14, 2019. Reappointment.

Michael Hammonds, Magazine, to the Criminal Detention Facility Review Committee, Judicial District 15. Appointment expires January 14, 2019. Replaces Ronald Stell.

James Cureington, Viola, to the Criminal Detention Facility Review Committee, Judicial District 16. Appointment expires January 14, 2019. Replaces Jerry Smith.

Mack Hollis, Russellville, to the Arkansas Outdoor Recreation Grants Advisory Committee. Appointment expires January 7, 2019. Replaces Alan Swaim.

Judge Jeffrey Arey, Haskell, to the Arkansas Outdoor Recreation Grants Advisory Committee. Appointment expires January 7, 2019. Replaces Judge Keith Neely.

Josh Barger, Quitman, to the Arkansas Outdoor Recreation Grants Advisory Committee. Appointment expires January 7, 2019. Replaces Danny Bone.

Stephen Arrison, Hot Springs, to the Arkansas Outdoor Recreation Grants Advisory Committee. Appointment expires January 7, 2019. Replaces Joseph Dabney.

Warren Allen, Texarkana, to the Arkansas Alternative Energy Commission. Appointment expires at the Will of the Governor. Replaces Mickel Lolley.

Jim Holub, North Little Rock, to the Arkansas Fire Protection Licensing Board. Appointment expires April 1, 2020. Reappointment.

Ronald Rispoli, Russellville, to the Arkansas Fire Protection Licensing Board. Appointment expires April 1, 2020. Replaces Vernon McTeer.

Russell Carlisle, Fort Smith, to the Arkansas Fire Protection Licensing Board. Appointment expires April 1, 2020. Reappointment.

Thomas Jenkins, Rogers, to the Firefighter Benefit Review Panel. Appointment expires May 6, 2019.

Kevin Miller, Jonesboro, to the Firefighter Benefit Review Panel. Appointment expires June 8, 2019. 

Rusty McClain, Wynne, to the Firefighter Benefit Review Panel. Appointment expires May 6, 2019.

Joseph Cunningham, West Helena, to the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Board. Appointment expires January 14, 2019. Reappointment.

Judge David Talley, Magnolia, to the Arkansas Public Defender Commission. Appointment expires July 1, 2016. Replaces Larry Chandler.

Brianna Fields, Springdale, to the Legislative Arkansas Blue Ribbon Committee on Local 911 Systems. Appointment expires January 1, 2017.

Remica Gray, Texarkana, to the Arkansas Arts Advisory Council. Appointment expires June 30, 2016. Replaces Cindy Hale.

Rick Grace, Springdale, to the Arkansas Board of Examiners in Counseling. Appointment expires December 1, 2017. Replaces Mary Bradley.

Sharon Hoehn, Bella Vista, to the Arkansas Psychology Board. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Harmon Seawel.

Dr. Robert Smalling, Warren, to the State Board of Optometry. Appointment expires April 26, 2020. Reappointment.

Brian Hester, Farmington, to the Arkansas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board. Appointment expires January 15, 2018. Replaces Rick Mahan.

Bill Booker, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Cemetery Board.  Appointment expires January 15, 2019.  Reappointment.

Mark Oyler, Rogers, to the Arkansas Board of Hearing Instrument Dispensers.  Appointment expires July 31, 2017.  Replaces David Oyler.

Rick McClure, Malvern, to the College of the Ouachitas Board of Trustees.  Appointment expires July 1, 2017.  Replaces Ron Holt.

Honorable David Greenbaum, Little Rock, as a Special Workers’ Compensation Commissioner. Replaces Dale Douthit.

Honorable Milton Fine II, Little Rock, as a Special Workers’ Compensation Commissioner. Replaces Dale Douthit.

Honorable Eric Wells, Paris, as a Special Workers’ Compensation Commissioner. Replaces Dale Douthit.

Curtis Ahrens, Stuttgart, as a Justice of the Peace of the Arkansas County Quorum Court District 9. Appointment expires December 31, 2016. Replaces Justice Kirk Meins.

Mary Lou Slinkard, Gravette, as a Justice of the Peace of the Benton County Quorum Court District 11. Appointment expires December 31, 2016. Replaces Justice Steve Curry.

Bryan Tilley, Heber Springs, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-15-111; Shelter Mutual Insurance Company v. Michael Goodner. Replaces Justice Josephine Linker Hart.

Ronald A. Williams, Springdale, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-15-111; Shelter Mutual Insurance Company v. Michael Goodner. Replaces Justice Courtney Goodson.

Kevin R. Holmes, Van Buren, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-15-111; Shelter Mutual Insurance Company v. Michael Goodner. Replaces Justice Robin Wynne.

Emily Sneddon, Little Rock, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-14-1018, Sheryl Sue Norris v. Ashley N. Davis. Replaces Justice Robin Wynne.

Robert Shafer, Little Rock, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-15-156; George Brumley v. Arkansas Department of Human Services. Replaces Justice Robin Wynne.

Michael Ryburn, Little Rock, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-15-65; Desoto Gathering Company, LLC v. Faulkner County Circuit Court. Replaces Justice Paul Danielson.

Michael O’Quinn, Little Rock, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CR-14-818; John Chad Griffin v. State of Arkansas. Replaces Justice Paul Danielson.

Tommy Fowler Jr., Jonesboro, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-14-533; Don Davis v. Cheryl Davis. Replaces Justice Paul Danielson.

 


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ArkTank Event Announcement

Published: 06/30/2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Caron Dunn, PhD | Email: arksubmit@outlook.com | Phone Number: 870-898-0401 | P.O. Box 4382, Little Rock, Arkansas 72214  

 

ArkTank Event Announcement

Youth Entrepreneurs Wanted for Business Competition

(Little Rock, AR) - We are searching for Youth Entrepreneurs living in the Central Arkansas (Little Rock, North Little Rock,and Conway) area who are interested in participating in the first ever “ARKTANK”. This is Arkansas’ take on the popular Shark Tank television program, geared to supporting our young entrepreneurs.

The purpose of Ark Tank is for youth entrepreneurs 14-18 years of age to present their business concept and/or business plan in front of a group of successful business owners (business mentors) in an attempt to secure a partner(s), mentoring and assistance to launch/build their company.

Youth entrepreneurs interested in applying can find detailed information on the Secretary of State website at http://www.sos.arkansas.gov/BCS/Pages/ArkTank.aspx. The deadline to apply is July 6th at 11:59 p.m.

There will be an Ark Tank Demo Day on July 29th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Old Supreme Court Chamber at the State Capitol,and an Ark Tank Appreciation Luncheon invitation to all applicants who applied for Ark Tank, is scheduled for July 30th. Daryl Bassett, Director of the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, will speak to our young entrepreneurs and encourage them to continue their work as developing business owners. The luncheon will take place in the Secretary of State Training Room(Room 165, Victory Building, 1401 W. Capitol Ave., Little Rock, AR 72201).

ARK TANK is in partnership with Career Management and Service (CMSC), Inc., Self-Help, Inc., the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, Arkansas Capital Corporation, and is being hosted by the Secretary of State.

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Governor Asa Hutchinson to Host MOU Signing Ceremony Monday

Published: 06/26/2015

LITTLE ROCK– Governor Asa Hutchinson will host a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing ceremony with officials and companies from Vietnam’s Dong Nai Province. This MOU will help develop economic development, trade, and education opportunities between Arkansas and Dong Nai.

Details are as follows:

WHAT:
MOU Signing Ceremony with Officials & Companies from Vietnam’s Dong Nai Province

WHEN:
10:00 am, Monday, June 29, 2015

WHERE:
Governor’s Conference Room
Arkansas State Capitol
Little Rock, AR


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Governor Asa Hutchinson Applauds Disaster Declaration for Arkansas

Published: 06/26/2015

LITTLE ROCK – As a result of severe weather and flooding during May and early June, the President has approved a major disaster declaration for the State of Arkansas. The declaration, based upon the request from Governor Asa Hutchinson, will allow residents and governmental bodies in the affected areas, who meet certain criteria, to apply for assistance.

Governor Hutchinson released the following statement:

“I applaud the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s decision to issue a major disaster declaration for Arkansas. This will provide residents and local communities with financial assistance as they continue their recovery efforts. Much remains to be done, but Arkansans have proven again and again that they can overcome any obstacle. 

Individual assistance for individuals and households will be available for residents of Crawford, Garland, Howard, Jefferson, Little River, Miller, Perry, Sebastian, and Sevier counties.

Public assistance for emergency work and repair/replacement of disaster-damaged facilities will be available for Clark, Crawford, Dallas, Franklin, Garland, Hempstead, Howard, Independence, Izard, Jefferson, Johnson, Lafayette, Little River, Logan, Madison, Marion, Miller, Montgomery, Nevada, Newton, Ouachita, Perry, Pike, Polk, Scott, Searcy, Sevier and Yell counties.

Through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, funds will be available for actions taken to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards for all areas of the state.

Additional designations may be added to the declaration if requested by the state and warranted by results of further damage assessments.

Arkansas Department of Emergency Management and Federal Emergency Management Agency officials will soon announce plans to open offices throughout the affected areas to accept assistance applications.


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Governor Asa Hutchinson Issues Statement on Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Published: 06/26/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson released the statement below following the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage:

"Today the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision requires the State of Arkansas to recognize same-sex marriage. This decision goes against the expressed view of Arkansans and my personal beliefs and convictions. While my personal convictions will not change, as Governor I recognize the responsibility of the state to follow the direction of the U.S. Supreme Court. As a result of this ruling, I will direct all state agencies to comply with the decision.

“It is also important to note that the Supreme Court decision is directed at the states to allow and recognize marriage between two people of the same sex. It is not a directive for churches or pastors to recognize same-sex marriage. The decision for churches, pastors and individuals is a choice that should be left to the convictions of conscience."


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Governor Asa Hutchinson Issues Statement on King v. Burwell

Published: 06/25/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson released the statement below following the Supreme Court’s ruling in King v. Burwell

“I am surprised at the lengths to which this court will go in an effort to stretch statutory interpretation to uphold the Affordable Care Act. The decision is disappointing. For now, the court’s decision maintains the status quo. In terms of what this means for Arkansas, we will continue our work with the task force to find innovative solutions for Medicaid and healthcare reform. I am convinced now more than ever that we need to proceed with caution to measure the costs to the taxpayers and the reliability of the outcome as we consider the potential of a state exchange.”


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Governor Asa Hutchinson Praises Passage of TPA; Applauds Congressional Action

Published: 06/24/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson issued the statement below following the final passage of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA):

"I congratulate Congress for getting this trade authority passed so that we as a state can continue forward as a global competitor on a more level playing field. During my recent trade mission to Europe, I heard first-hand how this country's lack of a better trade agreement with Europe is costing us jobs and business, especially in the auto industry.

"This trade authority is good for the United States and good for Arkansas. It will create jobs here, and I strongly support it."


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Delegation from Ghana Welcomed at State Capitol

Published: 06/24/2015

Delegation from Ghana Welcomed at State Capitol

Officials from Volta Region in Arkansas to Build Partnerships

(LITTLE ROCK, AR) – The Secretary of State’s Office welcomed a delegation from the Volta Region of Ghana to the State Capitol on Tuesday, June 23. 

The delegation included Governor Helen Ntoso of the Volta Region; Mayor Pauline Aninyra of Kpando; Dr. Francis Zotor, University of Health & Allied Services; Rev. Dr. Cyril Fayose, President of Evangelical Presbyterian University College; Prince Kofi Kludjeson, business leader and President of Kludjeson International; and Prince Kwame Kludjeson, Chairman of Global Africa Sister Cities.  Sherman Banks of Little Rock, President Emeritus of Sister Cities International attended as well.

While at the Capitol, the delegation was hosted by Deputy Secretary of State Joseph Wood. The guests also visited with Governor Asa Hutchinson, State Auditor Andrea Lea, Commissioner of State Lands John Thurston, and representatives from the State Treasurer’s Office.

The group is in Arkansas to solidify working relationships developed with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Shorter College, and will visit the Aquaculture Fisheries Center at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and Riceland Foods in Stuttgart. Wednesday through Friday, they will meet their counterparts (mayors and local officials) across the state during the Annual Convention of the Arkansas Municipal League.

This visit follows a recent trip in March by Secretary of State Mark Martin and Deputy Secretary Wood to Ghana’s Volta Region, as part of an economic development forum sponsored by Sister Cities International in partnership with the Arkansas Delta Region.

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Libertarian Party of Arkansas Petition Meets Signature Requirements

Published: 06/23/2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Chris Powell | chris.powell@sos.arkansas.gov | 501-529-5441


Libertarian Party of Arkansas Petition 
Meets Signature Requirements

Party Notified of Approval for 2016 Ballot Access

 
(LITTLE ROCK, AR) – In accordance with Arkansas Code Annotated § 7-7-205, the Office of the Secretary of State has notified the Libertarian Party of Arkansas that the new political party petition submitted to our office on June 2, 2015 is sufficient.

For a new political party, the required number of signatures is 10,000. The total number of signatures submitted was 15,619 and, after checking each submitted signature, 11,918 were valid.  Petitions for new political parties must be signed by registered Arkansas voters.

Before the Secretary of State can provide a certificate officially recognizing the Libertarian Party of Arkansas as a new political party, they must submit an affidavit, signed by the officers of the party, under oath, that complies with the provisions of Arkansas Code Annotated § 7-3-108(b).

Upon certification as a new political party, the Libertarian Party of Arkansas is free to field candidates in any upcoming partisan elections through the next general election in 2016.  However, as a new political party, they must nominate candidates by convention for the general election, rather than by primary.

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Governor Asa Hutchinson Sends Letter to Department of Education; Directs a Withdraw from PARCC

Published: 06/22/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson sent a letter to Education Commissioner Johnny Key this afternoon directing the Department of Education to withdraw the State of Arkansas from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) Consortium.

You will find a copy of Governor Hutchinson’s letter at the link below.

Governor Hutchinson's Letter Commissioner Key


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Governor’s Letter to Bureau of Indian Affairs

Published: 06/18/2015

STATE OF ARKANSAS
ASA HUTCHINSON
GOVERNOR

June 11, 2015

 

Scott C. Meneely
Acting Regional Director
Bureau of Indian Affairs
Eastern Regional Office
Attention: Divison of Real Estate Services
545 Marriott  Drive, Suite 700
Nashville, TN 37214

Dear Director Meneely:

As Governor of the State of Arkansas, I would like to extend my respect and appreciation to the Quapaw Tribe's culture and heritage within Arkansas. My staff and I have had the opportunity to meet Chairman John Berrey and applaud his interest in insuring a legacy for his Tribe.

I am writing in response to the Eastern Region Acting Regional Director, Scott C. Meneely's, invitation to comment on the proposed acquisition of 160 acres of land in Pulaski County, Arkansas, to be held in trust by the United States for the use and benefit of the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma (Tribe). The Tribe proposes to use the property to facilitate tribal self­ determination through the protection and preservation of the archeological sites located thereon of cultural significance to the Tribe. The interests of the State of Arkansas must be balanced with the honor due the Quapaw Nation.

The letter requested  information regarding taxes, assessments, services and zoning. On May 11, 2015, Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde provided a thorough response containing data and figures which detail the current state of taxes, assessments, services and zoning on the property to date. I ask that you consider the response provided by Judge Hyde regarding these questions.

The Office of Attorney General of the State of Arkansas has prepared a legal analysis on behalf of the state, and I ask to you consider this information as a part of my comments and information provided along with this letter. General Rutledge has set forth the jurisdictional challenges and other issues that would affect my role in governing the State of Arkansas as well as identifying the effect this request has on the state.

I would like to highlight several points which are addressed in more detail in the brief. First, the land in consideration  is more than 300 miles away from the Quapaw Headquarters. I am concerned as to what  extent the Tribal law would be administered on the land in question considering the distance to the Tribal government. Further, the state's respective bodies of government will be limited in their jurisdictional capacity on the Arkansas land, causing inability to carry out the laws of the state and limiting its ability to protect the citizens of the State of Arkansas.

Second, the land in consideration has historical significance as containing burial grounds. The State of Arkansas is charged by statute to protect burial grounds. Act 1533 of 1999, the Grave Protection Act, prohibits tampering of Native American, Civil War, or slave burial grounds and places strict criminal penalties on anyone convicted of trading, collecting, or displaying subsequent remains. The protection of our state's history and heritage has been and will continue to be a priority of our state and of mine as governor. Placing the land into federal trust would remove the state's ability to protect the interest of its citizens.

The Tribe's application asserts the burial remains are that of the Quapaw. However, the report provided by the Tribe does not offer definitive proof identifying the remains as that of the Quapaw people. Further, the Tribe asserts that there are also burial remains of African American slaves on the land in question. I am assured that the Tribe is interested in protecting the burial remains and that the Tribe has conferred with the Preservation of African American Cemeteries Inc. regarding protection of the African American slave remains. I have no doubt Chairman Berrey has a genuine desire to protect Quapaw remains. However, this desire alone is not sufficient to allay my concerns.

The non-Quapaw burial remains and historical presence which deserve state protection on the land at issue, coupled with the question of whether the earlier remains discovered on the land are Quapaw or that of an earlier people, gives me great pause. If the land were placed into trust, the state would lose the ability to protect the interests of the decedents of the original inhabitants and any other historical presence or artifacts discovered on the land. I am concerned about whether there is a rational basis to place the land into trust given these unrequited issues.

My final point of concern involves the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. The Tribe has not provided an environmental assessment and impact statement in support of its application. The fact that the land in question contains burial grounds and is located in a flood plain necessitates a thorough review and consideration of the environmental impact of placing this land into trust.

I appreciate your careful consideration of this application and of the state's concerns. For the reservations stated herein and more fully set forth in the brief provided by the Attorney General, the state cannot support the application. Regardless of the decision, the Quapaw will remain an essential part of Arkansas heritage and the Office of Governor will continue to do its best to administer the rule of law and protect the interests of the State of Arkansas.

 

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Secretary Martin Announces Vendor, Pilot Program for New Voting Equipment

Published: 06/17/2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Chris Powell | chris.powell@sos.arkansas.gov | (501) 529-5441

 

Secretary Martin Announces Vendor, Pilot Program for 

New Voting Equipment

Funding Still Sought for Statewide Implementation

 

(LITTLE ROCK, AR) – Secretary of State Mark Martin has chosen Election Systems & Software (ES&S) as the vendor for any state-purchased integrated voting system equipment going forward.  This announcement comes after months of evaluation and analysis and input from state and county officials.

“Sixty percent of votes cast nationwide in the last general election were cast using equipment from ES&S.  They are uniquely positioned to fulfill any requirement that we have and do so in a timely manner,” said Secretary Martin. 

Full statewide implementation, however, will not occur at this time.  Four counties(Boone, Columbia, Garland, and Sebastian) have been chosen to participate in a pilot program in which all voting equipment will be replaced and appropriate training conducted in time for the 2016 Primary Election in March.  The pilot program will be funded solely by the Secretary of State. 

Secretary Martin said, “We have listened to county officials and realize that integrating an entirely new system by next spring would be a challenge.  I am grateful to all of the county judges, clerks, election commissions and quorum court members who have been part of this process and offered feedback. My staff and I look forward to continuing to work with them as we begin to implement a new and modern election system for the people of Arkansas.” 

Specifically, the Secretary of State would like to express appreciation to the four county clerks who served on the voting system advisory board: Sherry Bell, Columbia County Clerk; Sharon Brooks, Sebastian County Clerk; Crystal Graddy, Boone County Clerk; and Sarah Smith, Garland County Clerk.

Act 151 of 2015 appropriated $30 million toward a new statewide voting system.  The pilot program will cost approximately $2.5 million. The Secretary of State will continue to seek the remaining funds needed for statewide implementation with a goal to have all counties equipped and trained by the 2016 General Election.

 

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Capitol Summer Exhibit Unveiled: "Tales From the Vault"

Published: 06/17/2015

June 16, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Chris Powell  | chris.powell@sos.arkansas.gov | (501) 529-5441

Capitol Summer Exhibit Unveiled: "Tales From the Vault"

Celebrating 110 Years of the Arkansas History Commission


(LITTLE ROCK, Ark) - This year, the Arkansas History Commission marks 110 years of collecting and preserving the source materials of the history of Arkansas with an online exhibit, “Tales From the Vault,” showcasing these state treasures.  The Capitol’s summer exhibit, of the same name, brings visitors face to face with some of these documentary gems, chosen by the Commission archivists themselves.

In 1905, the Arkansas History Commission was created by the General Assembly to be the official archives of the state, responsible for collecting, preserving and publishing historic records and other materials central to understanding the state’s history.  The brainchild of University of Arkansas history professor John Hugh Reynolds, the Commission had no physical seat until 1911, when Governor George W. Donaghey offered the Commission space in the new, as-yet uncompleted Capitol.  The Capitol would be the Commission’s home for the next four decades. During those years, under the direction of Dallas T. Herndon, the Commission would amass the core of its unequaled collection of Arkansiana.

“Tales From the Vault,” the Commission’s online offering, consists of 110 favorite items chosen by staff members, one for each year of the Commission’s service.  The Capitol installation features a wide sample of these staff choices, including minutes of the first meeting of the Arkansas History Commission, a headscarf worn by an Arkansas WOW (Woman Ordinance Worker) in a World War II-era defense plant, a rolling pin used in the household of early Arkansas missionary Cephas Washburn and a light-hearted letter penned by Washburn’s son, artist Edmond Payson Washbourne, while in camp during the Mexican- American War.  Two selections recall the Commission’s long history with the State Capitol: a souvenir of the Capitol’s November 1900 cornerstone laying, and the 1903 contract between the Capitol Commissioners and contractors Caldwell & Drake, for completion of the building by December 23, 1905.  Each item’s label offers detailed descriptions and information including archivists’ statements on why they chose each particular item for inclusion.

“Tales From the Vault,” the Capitol’s summer exhibit, is currently on view in the Capitol’s first-floor galleries, through Labor Day.

A video overview of the exhibit, produced by the Secretary of State's Office can be viewed on YouTube:  https://youtu.be/-23d7duJYvg

 # # # 


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Uncertainty Over Federal Funding Forces Postponement of Highway Projects

Published: 06/16/2015

LITTLE ROCK - At its most recent meeting, the Highway Commission opened bids on two construction projects - one to replace a bridge on Interstate 30 in southwest Arkansas and another to widen Interstate 49 in northwest Arkansas. Bids on another nine projects were not opened because highway officials continue to have serious questions about the future of federal highway funding. In a statement...

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Governor Asa Hutchinson Comments on Board of Education’s Vote on Statewide Assessment

Published: 06/11/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Today, the State Board of Education voted against adopting a recommendation by the Governor’s Council on Common Core Review to terminate the state’s contract with Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment and to enter into a contract with ACT and ACT Aspire.

Governor Asa Hutchinson issued the following statement:

"I’m disappointed the state Board of Education rejected the recommendation for student assessment for the next school year. The recommendation was based on the conclusions reached by the Common Core Review Council, a 16 member council made up of teachers, administrators, business leaders and students from all over the state.

"The legislature had directed through Act 1074 that the current PARCC contract not be renewed long term and for the State Board to consider a change for the 2016-17 school year. I determined it best to make the change for the next school year for the sake of long-term stability for the teachers, school districts and for the sake of our students.

"In the coming days, I will work closely with Commissioner Key and the Board to determine the best guidance we can provide our students, teachers and administrators as to the next steps in student assessments."


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Duncan Baird Named State Budget Administrator

Published: 06/11/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced that Duncan Baird will fill the position of State Budget Administrator at the Department of Finance and Administration. 

“I appreciate Duncan’s work as we crafted our first budget and worked with the legislature to enact it into law,” Hutchinson said. “In his new role, he’ll continue to play a critical part in both the budget process and our efforts to reform state government.”  

 “Duncan’s experience as Budget Director and his previous work with the budget as a legislator make him a great fit for this position,” said Larry Walther, Director of the Department of Finance and Administration.

 “It’s been an honor to be a part of the Governor’s staff through the transition and the Regular Session,” Baird said. “I look forward to the opportunity to put my budget experience to work as part of the team at DFA.”

Baird was as a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives from 2009 until he was term-limited in 2015, where he served as the House chairman of the Joint Budget Committee. Before being elected to the legislature, Baird was in the investment industry, working as a licensed securities trader for Arvest bank in Northwest Arkansas. He holds a degree in Finance and Accounting from the University of Arkansas.


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Governor Asa Hutchinson Names Elizabeth Thomas Smith as Medicaid Inspector General

Published: 06/11/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced that Elizabeth Thomas Smith, currently the administration’s chief legal counsel, will become the state’s next Medicaid Inspector General.

“Given her background in healthcare law and as a former prosecutor, Elizabeth is a perfect fit as the next Medicaid Inspector General,” Governor Hutchinson said. “She has been an invaluable member of our team as my legal counsel, and I know she will do a great job in her new role, which is critical to Arkansas.”

“I’m honored and appreciative of the trust the Governor has placed in me,” Smith said. “It’s been a privilege to serve as his legal counsel, and I am eager to take on this new challenge to best serve the people of Arkansas.”

Smith has more than two decades of experience practicing law, including more than 15 years combined as a prosecutor and later as associate general counsel for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Smith served as deputy prosecuting attorney under Larry Jegley for the 6th Judicial District. She also served as an assistant attorney general of Arkansas under Mike Beebe and with the firm of Mitchell Williams Selig Gates and Woodyard, specializing in healthcare.

The office of the Medicaid Inspector General, created in 2013, prevents, detects and investigates fraud and abuse within the medical assistance program.


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General Assembly Approves 12 New Acts During Special Session

Published: 06/10/2015

LITTLE ROCK - During the three-day special session the legislature enacted 12 bills. Some acts are duplicates because they began as identical versions of Senate or House bills. Act 4 moves up the date of next year's primary elections, from May to March 1 so that Arkansas will join other Southern states in a so-called "SEC primary," named after the athletic conference. As a result of moving up...

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Governor Asa Hutchinson to Stop in Miller and Little River Counties to Survey Flood Damage

Published: 06/08/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson will fly to southwest Arkansas Tuesday morning, June 9, 2015, to survey damage in parts of Little River and Miller counties. Stops will include Ogden and Garland City, with a news conference to follow.

Details are as follows:

Tour of Ogden, AR
9:00 am

Tour of Garland City, AR
9:45 am

News Conference
10:15 am
Foot of the U.S. Highway 82 Bridge,
Miller County Side,
Garland City, AR


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Governor’s Council on Common Core Review Makes Testing Recommendation

Published: 06/08/2015

Council Still Gathering Information from Public on Common Core

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has received the first recommendation from the Governor’s Council on Common Core Review regarding testing in Arkansas. The Council has recommended the state terminate its contract with Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and, instead, enter into a new contract with ACT and ACT Aspire. Governor Hutchinson has reviewed and accepted this recommendation and has asked the Arkansas Department of Education to begin taking the necessary steps for the transition to ACT and ACT Aspire. This recommendation comes at the request of the Governor due to timing and is the only recommendation by the Council until after the listening tour is complete.

Governor Hutchinson released the following statement:

“I have accepted the recommendation of the Common Core Review Council that the state leave PARCC and use the ACT and ACT Aspire, pending state Board of Education approval and a contract agreement with ACT and ACT Aspire.”

The Council recommended the move for various reasons, including: the national recognition of ACT; the comparability between states; the minimal time spent testing relative to PARCC (about half the time of PARCC); and the ACT’s relevance to students.

The General Assembly endorsed the use of the ACT and ACT Aspire assessments by the passage of Act 989, and the Governor’s office believes this transition is in keeping with the spirit of that legislation. To be clear, there is NO recommendation on the Common Core Standard at this time. The Council is still conducting its listening tour around the state. A recommendation will be made later this summer.

For more on the Governor’s Council on Common Core Review, please visit the Common Core Review page on the Governor’s website.


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Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Intent to Grant Executive Clemency

Published: 06/05/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced his intent to grant two pardons and one restoration of firearms rights only. An additional 39 clemency requests were denied and 11 had no action taken upon them. These include requests from both inmates and non-inmates.

The two applicants intended for pardons and the applicant intended for restoration of firearms rights only have completed all jail time, fulfilled all parole and probationary requirements and paid all fines related to their sentences. There is a 30-day waiting period to receive public feedback on the notices before final action is taken.

Governor Hutchinson intends to grant pardons to the following people:

Johnathan A. Collins (White Hall): Possession of a Controlled/Counterfeit Substance (A Misdemeanor) and Drinking in Any Unlicensed Public Place

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2009 – Pine Bluff District), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law-enforcement objections to the application.

Bryan Hornbuckle (Malvern): Delivery of a Controlled Substance, Crystal Methamphetamine (Y Felony)

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2000 – Ashley County), the fact that all terms of the applicant's sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law-enforcement objections to the application.

Governor Hutchinson intends to grant restoration of firearms rights only to the following person:

Emory Martin, III (Benton): Forgery II (C Felony) and Theft Of Property (B Felony)

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2006 - Saline County), the fact that all terms of the applicant's sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations.  There are no law-enforcement objections to the application.


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Legislature Completes Special Session

Published: 06/04/2015

LITTLE ROCK - The legislature completed a special session after voting to issue $87 million in bonds for a proposed industrial development project in south Arkansas that would manufacture the next generation of light military vehicles for the Army and the Marines. The Arkansas Economic Development Commission has been working on the proposal for two years. Arkansas is in competition with Indiana...

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Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Appointments

Published: 06/02/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the following appointments, including appointments to the Arkansas Workforce Development Board (Act 907/SB 791), which replaced the Arkansas Workforce Investment Board:

Arkansas Workforce Development Board:

Chairman Charles Clark, Louann
Tom Anderson, Roland
Dr. Chad Bishop, Springdale
Scott Bull, Fayetteville
Melissa Hanesworth, Fort Smith
Diane Hilburn, Little Rock
Randy Hopper, Flippin
Abby Houseworth, Blytheville
Dean Inman, Paragould
Bart Langley, Russellville
Holley Little, Benton
Michael Newcity, Fort Smith
Jerry Riley, Pine Bluff
Gary Sams, Morrilton
Robert Thorne, Marion
Lindsey Brown, North Little Rock
Alan Hughes, Bismark
Karen Breashears, Arkadelphia
Brian Itzkowitz, Little Rock
Dr. Brett Powell, Little Rock
Johnny Key, Little Rock

Other Appointments:

Robert Neal, Jonesboro, to the Arkansas Home Inspector Registration Board.  Appointment expires January 26, 2017.  Replaces Lowell Coomer.

Anthony Utsey, Hot Springs, to the Arkansas Home Inspector Registration Board.  Appointment expires January 26, 2017.  Reappointment.

Mayor Michael Gaskill, Paragould, to the Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System Board of Trustees.  Appointment expires January 1, 2019.  Reappointment.

Zach McClendon, Monticello, to the State Banking Board.  Appointment expires December 31, 2019.  Replaces Marcus McCain.

Dr. William Rutledge, Little Rock, to the Arkansas State Medical Board.  Appointment expires December 31, 2020.  Replaces Harold Betton.

Honorable David Hudson, Fort Smith, to the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees’ Retirement System.  Appointment expires March 9, 2021.  Replaces Audrey Jacobs.

Barry Phillips, Jonesboro, to the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training.  Appointment expires January 14, 2018.  Replaces Alonza Jiles.

Dr. Daniel Hennessey, Little Rock, to the Baby Sharon’s Children’s Catastrophic Illness Grant Program Advisory Committee.  Appointment expires May 1, 2019.  Reappointment.

John Cooley, Fort Smith, to the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Development Finance Authority.  Appointment expires January 14, 2019.  Replaces Art Morris.

Duncan Baird, Rogers, to the Governing Board of the Streamlined Sales Tax Administrative Act.  Appointment expires at the Will of the Governor.  Replaces Mary Cameron.

John Brown III, Siloam Springs, to the Arkansas Educational Television Commission.  Appointment expires March 23, 2023.  Replaces Ronnie Williams.

Stacy DeJarnette, White Hall, to the Old State House Commission.  Appointment expires March 19, 2024.  Reappointment.

William Anderson, DeValls Bluff, to the Criminal Detention Facility Review Committee, Judicial District 17.  Appointment expires January 14, 2019.  Replaces Donald Guess.

Michael Mayton, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion Commission.  Appointment expires April 1, 2020.  Reappointment.

Charlene Reed, Marianna, to the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion Commission.  Appointment expires at the Will of the Governor.  Replaces Margaret Schueck.

Georg Andersen, Conway, to the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion Commission.  Appointment expires at the Will of the Governor.  Replaces Wayne Cranford.

Thomas Ferstl, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board.  Appointment expires January 15, 2018.  Replaces Burney Lightle.

Scott McKennon, Morrilton, to the Arkansas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board.  Appointment expires January 15, 2018.  Replaces Rhona Weaver.

Cary Matthews, Jonesboro, to the Arkansas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board.  Appointment expires January 15, 2018.  Replaces Robert Costner.

Peter Prutzman, Arkadelphia, to the Arkansas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board.  Appointment expires January 15, 2018.  Reappointment.

Jammy Turner, Gillett, to the State Plant Board.  Appointment expires March 17, 2017.  Replaces Richard Bransford.

Kyle Baltz, Pocahontas, to the State Plant Board.  Appointment expires March 17, 2017.  Replaces Terry Dabbs.

Ray Vester, Stuttgart, to the State Plant Board.  Appointment expires March 17, 2017.  Reappointment.

Darrel Kester, Pocahontas, as a Constable of the Randolph County Shiloh Precinct.  Appointment expires December 31, 2016.

Joe Lewis, Blytheville, as a Justice of the Peace of the Mississippi County Quorum Court District 7.  Appointment expires December 31, 2016.  Replaces Hattie Middlebrook.

Timothy Harvey, Brinkley, as a Justice of the Peace of the Monroe County Quorum Court District 4.  Appointment expires December 31, 2016.  Replaces Michael Edwards.

Sharon Lawson, Wynne, as a Justice of the Peace of the Cross County Quorum Court District 7.  Appointment expires December 31, 2016.  Replaces Mike Curtner.

Mark Overturf, Arkadelphia, as a Justice of the Peace of the Clark County Quorum Court District 2.  Appointment expires December 31, 2016.  Replaces Mac Neel.

James Davis, Ozark, as a Justice of the Peace of the Franklin County Quorum Court District 1.  Appointment expires December 31, 2016.  Replaces Paul Schaffer.

Bob Estes, Fayetteville, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas.  CV-15-197 Seeco, Inc. n/k/a SWN Production (Arkansas), Inc. v. Eldridge Snow.  Replaces Justice Karen Baker.

Michael Scott Willhite, Jonesboro, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas.  CV-15-197 Seeco, Inc. n/k/a SWN Production (Arkansas), Inc. v. Eldridge Snow.  Replaces Justice Paul Danielson.

Bob Estes, Fayetteville, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas.  CV-15-198 Seeco, Inc. n/k/a SWN Production (Arkansas), Inc. v. Sara Stewmon.  Replaces Justice Karen Baker.

Michael Scott Willhite, Jonesboro, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas.  CV-15-198 Seeco, Inc. n/k/a SWN Production (Arkansas), Inc. v. Sara Stewmon.  Replaces Justice Paul Danielson.

Terry Pool, Fayetteville, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas.  CR-15-3 Jimmy Paul Pickle v. State of Arkansas.  Replaces Justice Robin Wynne.

Sean Keith, Rogers, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas.  CV-13-919 John K. Kelly v. Christian Snowden Kelly.  Replaces Justice Robin Wynne.

Chalk Mitchell, West Helena, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas.  CV-14-1072 In the Matter of the Estate of John M. Fulmer, Deceased, David Patton, William Patton and Mary Jones v. Dorothy Fulmer.  Replaces Justice Paul Danielson.


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Governor Asa Hutchinson Declares Four Additional Counties Disaster Areas

Published: 06/02/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has issued disaster declarations for four additional counties due to heavy rain and flooding over much of the western and southwestern parts of the state during the month of May. Those additional counties include:

  • Conway
  • Jefferson
  • Perry
  • Sebastian

 

Counties declared disasters by the Governor since May 8, 2015:

Madison
Newton
Marion
Searcy
Izard
Independence
Franklin
Johnson
Pope
Scott
Yell
Polk
Montgomery
Garland
Sevier
Howard
Pike
Little River
Hempstead
Nevada
Ouachita
Chicot
Crawford
Miller
Lafayette
Logan
Faulkner
Conway
Jefferson
Perry
Sebastian


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New Law Expands DNA Collections by Police

Published: 06/01/2015

LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas law enforcement authorities will have access to a greater number of DNA samples because of Act 543, which the legislature approved in the regular session earlier this year. The police had been empowered to collect DNA samples from people arrested for violent crimes and sexual offenses. Act 543 expands that authority and enables law officers to collect DNA from everyone ar...

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Governor Asa Hutchinson Declares Five Additional Counties Disaster Areas

Published: 05/29/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has issued disaster declarations for five additional counties due to heavy rain and flooding over the past few days. Those counties include:

  • Lafayette
  • Miller
  • Logan
  • Crawford
  • Faulkner

You can find the disaster declaration in its entirety on the Governor’s website, HERE. Please see attached for a full list of counties listed as disaster areas since May 8, 2015.

 

Counties declared disasters by the Governor since May 8, 2015:

Madison
Newton
Marion
Searcy
Izard
Independence
Franklin
Johnson
Pope
Scott
Yell
Polk
Montgomery
Garland
Sevier
Howard
Pike
Little River
Hempstead
Nevada
Ouachita
Chicot
Crawford
Miller
Lafayette
Logan
Faulkner


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Governor Asa Hutchinson on the Passage of Government Efficiencies Initiative

Published: 05/28/2015

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson’s government efficiencies initiative (HB 1001 and SB 1) has passed both chambers of the Arkansas General Assembly with unanimous consent and will head to the Governor’s desk for his signature. (See below for “Efficiencies Fact Sheet.”)

Governor Hutchinson released the following statement upon final passage:

“I’m very pleased with the broad-based, bipartisan support for our efficiencies measures. It signals to the taxpayers of Arkansas that the executive and legislative branches of government are of one mind when it comes to finding smarter, more efficient ways to deliver services. It makes sense. If we can do a better job for the taxpayers at less cost, we should.”
 

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Efficiency Initiative

Merging         
Arkansas Department of Rural Services (“Rural Services”)
Receiving      
Arkansas Economic Development Commission (“AEDC”)
Mechanism         
Type 2 transfer of Rural Services and the eleven-­‐member Arkansas Rural Development Commission (ACA 15-­‐6-­‐105 et seq.); transfer entire Rural Services department, along with all of its powers, duties, functions, budget, records, and personnel into AEDC.
Information               
Rural Services is responsible for promoting cooperative and integrated efforts among various public, private, and nonprofit sector organizations that are designed to address rural issues and development.   
Justification              
AEDC’s Global Business Division’s responsibilities include community development through attracting businesses to invest in the State, including its rural communities. 
Potential Savings     
$175,599 in immediate annual state general revenue through the elimination of two positions. This represents an 8.4% reduction in agency operating costs and a 33% reduction in agency personnel.  

Merging          
Arkansas Science and Technology Authority (“ASTA”)
Receiving
Arkansas Economic Development Commission (“AEDC”)
Mechanism
Type 2 transfer of ASTA and its Board of Directors (ACA 15-­‐3-­‐101 et seq.); transfer entire department, along with all of its powers, duties, functions, budget, records, and personnel into AEDC.
Information
ASTA is responsible for leading a broad spectrum of programs and services that are designed to gain benefits and opportunities through advanced science and technology development. ASTA currently leases space in the same building as AEDC.
Justification    
AEDC’s Global Business Division’s responsibility is to support technology development through the use of existing business resources and developing opportunities for outside business investment in the State.  Science, technology, and economic development go hand-­‐in-­‐hand.
Potential Savings
$450,808 in state general revenue immediately through the elimination of six vacant positions. This represents a 14.4% reduction in general revenue and a 20% reduction in agency personnel. An additional $272,464 (not general  revenue)  could be saved through attrition.

Merging
Division of Land Survey (“Land Survey”)
Receiving 
Arkansas Geographic Information Office (“AGIO”)
Mechanism 
Type 2 transfer of Division of Land Survey and the Land Survey Advisory Board (ACA 15-­‐21-­‐201 et seq.); transfer entire Land Survey department, along with all of its powers, duties, functions, budget, records, and personnel into AGIO.
Information
Land Survey is a division of the Department of Agriculture and is responsible for investigation of consumer complaints and the maintenance of minimum standards for survey plats.  The Division currently leases space in southwest Little Rock and is not co-­‐located with any other state agency.
Justification
There is very little nexus between Land Survey and the Agriculture Department. However, there are a number of commonalities and service overlaps with AGIO, such as website design, hosting, and data utilization. A merger would facilitate greater cooperation and efficiencies in service delivery.
Potential Savings
$166,880 in state general revenue immediately through the elimination of two positions. This represents a 37% reduction in agency operating costs and a 50% reduction in agency personnel.

Merging
Arkansas Building Authority (“ABA”)
Receiving
DFA – Management Services (“DFA”)
Mechanism
Type 2 transfer of ABA and the Board (ACA 22-­‐2-­‐101 et seq.); transfer entire department, along with all of its powers, duties, functions, budget, records, and personnel into DFA.
Information
ABA acts as the State’s agent in all lease negotiations, assists with capital projects, and actively maintains and operates ABA-­‐owned or managed buildings.
Justification
A merger would utilize existing DFA departmental administrative support and resources to provide efficiency and eliminate possible duplications of duties.
Potential Savings
$416,069 immediately with the elimination of nine vacant positions. This represents a 2.4% reduction in agency operating costs and a 9.7% reduction in agency personnel. An additional $717,291 could be saved through attrition. This would increase the total reductions in revenues and positions to 6.7% and 22.5%, respectively.

Approximate Savings over 5 Years: 
$10,000,000 to $12,000,000

 


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AHECB Adopts Workforce Grant Guidelines and Discusses Master Plan

Published: 05/27/2015


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ADHE scholarships deadline June 1

Published: 05/27/2015


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Bids Awarded for Public School Broadband Expansion Projects

Published: 05/06/2015

LITTLE ROCK - All bids have been awarded to telecommunications contractors and work is set to begin this summer on an ambitious statewide project to enhance broadband capacity in Arkansas public schools. The goal is to provide Internet access that will not only meet national standards but also exceed them so that Arkansas schools can plan improvements in technology offerings far into the future...

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Legislature Adjourns 2015 Session Sine Die

Published: 04/30/2015

LITTLE ROCK - After a 19-day recess, the legislature officially ended the 2015 regular session on April 22, when it completed a few housekeeping measures and adjourned sine die. The legislative session began on January 12 and lasted until April 2, when lawmakers finished business. The recess allowed time for proofing and processing the 1,289 bills that became acts. In all, 2,063 were introduced ...

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Arkansas Public School Report Cards to Include a Letter Grade, from A to F

Published: 04/23/2015

LITTLE ROCK - Individual public schools received a letter grade, from A to F, on school report cards issued by the state Education Department. The legislature mandated the letter grades in Act 696 of 2013 to make the school report cards easier for parents to understand. Among other things, the report cards indicate how well individual schools are teaching mathematics and literacy, based on st...

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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