Briefs

Administrative judge from Scott tapped to lead Arkansas Public Service Commission

BY: - September 29, 2022

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Thursday appointed an administrative law judge from Scott to be the next chair of Arkansas’ utility regulator. Katie Anderson, an administrative judge for the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission and vice president of her family’s Lonoke bait fish farm, will take the helm of the Arkansas Public Service Commission on Oct. 2. […]

Lawmakers authorize almost $55 million in recovery funds for school districts

BY: - September 28, 2022

More than $54.8 million in federal relief funds will be disbursed to 26 school districts following approval by an Arkansas Legislative Council subcommittee Wednesday. The action marked the panel’s seventh round of review of school districts’ spending plans since July, when the council strongly recommended that schools use American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School […]

U.S. House panel investigating Jan. 6 attack postpones hearing

BY: - September 27, 2022

WASHINGTON — A Wednesday hearing planned by the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol has been postponed due to Hurricane Ian nearing landfall in Florida. A new date has not been announced. “In light of Hurricane Ian bearing down on parts of Florida, we have decided to […]

UAMS researchers track monkeypox mutation as possible spur to its spread

BY: - September 26, 2022

A team of UAMS researchers found that the recent rapid spread of the monkeypox virus may be different from previous outbreaks because of genetic mutations they identified, according to a press release from the medical school. The researchers, led by UAMS’ David Ussery, published their findings this month in the Journal of Applied Microbiology. The […]

Arkansas DHS chief of staff will replace outgoing Human Services secretary

BY: - September 22, 2022

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced on Thursday the appointment of Mark White as the next head of the Arkansas Department of Human Services. White, the agency’s current chief of staff and chief legislative and intergovernmental affairs officer, will replace Human Services Secretary Cindy Gillespie, who announced last week that she would resign next month. “I have […]

Legislators approve $72 million in relief funds for Arkansas school districts

BY: - September 22, 2022

An Arkansas Legislative Council subcommittee approved the disbursal of $72.4 million in federal recovery funds to seven school districts Thursday. This was the sixth round of plans reviewed by lawmakers. The council adopted recommendations in July that schools use American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund money to provide retention and recruitment […]

Louisiana federal judge blocks COVID vaccine mandate for Head Start staff

BY: - September 21, 2022

  A federal judge in Louisiana has issued a permanent injunction to block the Biden administration’s mandate that all Head Start program workers, volunteers and contractors be vaccinated for COVID-19. A temporary injunction had been in place since January after Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and his counterparts in 23 states, including Arkansas, filed against […]

Arkansas LGBTQ group cancels minor league baseball event after drag queen denied first pitch

BY: - September 15, 2022

A Central Arkansas LGBTQ advocacy group canceled its participation in an Arkansas Travelers game Thursday after the team did not allow a drag queen to throw the first pitch, the organization said in a Facebook post. Central Arkansas Pride was set to host its second Out Days, in which members of the local LGBTQ community […]

Arkansas DHS secretary to resign next month

BY: - September 15, 2022

Cindy Gillespie, the secretary of the Arkansas Department of Human Services, will resign next month. Gillespie, who came to Arkansas in 2016 to lead DHS, oversaw several major reforms of Arkansas’ Medicaid programs, particularly its version of Medicaid expansion, now called ARHOME. Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Gillespie’s resignation in a Thursday afternoon news release. Hutchinson […]

Legislators authorize $65 million in recovery funds for school districts

BY: - September 13, 2022

Another $65.6 million in federal relief funds will be disbursed to 23 school districts following approval by an Arkansas Legislative Council subcommittee Tuesday. This was the fifth round of plans reviewed by lawmakers. The Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review panel began reviewing districts’ use of American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund […]

Biden pitches ‘moonshot’ to cut the number of cancer deaths in half

BY: - September 12, 2022

WASHINGTON —  Hoping to channel the momentum that led scientists to land Americans on the moon more than 50 years ago, President Joe Biden doubled down Monday on his quest to halve the number of cancer deaths as part of his revamped “cancer moonshot” initiative.  Speaking from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum […]

Groups mount opposition to Arkansas lawmakers’ proposal on ballot initiatives

BY: - September 12, 2022

A group formed last week to oppose the November ballot measure to make it more difficult to pass ballot initiatives in Arkansas. The Arkansas Public Policy Panel registered Friday as a legislative question committee to campaign against Issue 2. The Arkansas General Assembly referred Issue 2 to the November ballot. It would increase the threshold […]