Government & Politics

COMMENTARY

Fear of reporters is fear of the truth

BY: - October 7, 2022

In the weeks after he assumed office, former President Donald Trump put reporters in the crosshairs when he labeled them “the enemy of the American people.” He was following the authoritarian playbook, long consulted by the likes of Stalin and Hitler, but it was shocking to see such strongman rhetoric coming from an American leader, […]

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) confirmed Thursday that he plans to resign. He's being considered for the presidency of the University of Florida. He's seen here questioning U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson during her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in March 2022.(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse is expected to announce resignation from Senate

BY: - October 6, 2022

OMAHA – U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican who made his name nationally by disagreeing publicly with former President Donald Trump and voting with his party, plans to resign his post, the Nebraska Examiner has confirmed. Four people familiar with Sasse’s decision making told the Examiner early Thursday afternoon that Sasse informed Senate staffers […]

AG’s Medicaid fraud watchdog arrested 51, convicted 33 in fiscal year 2022

BY: - October 6, 2022

Arkansas’ Medicaid fraud watchdog saw its most active year in fiscal 2022, which ended Sept. 30, racking up 51 arrests and 33 convictions for various types of Medicaid fraud, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced Thursday. The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit also brought in a record of more than $42.5 million in civil settlements, restitution and […]

Biden to pardon all federal offenses for simple marijuana possession, review criminalization

BY: , and - October 6, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Thursday announced executive actions that would pardon thousands of people with prior federal offenses of simple marijuana possession. Biden then called on governors to follow suit with state offenses for simple marijuana possession, saying that “just as no one should be in a Federal prison solely due to the possession of […]

Republican Sen. Jimmy Hickey of Texarkana (left) chaired Thursday's PEER subcommittee meeting. He and Sen. Keith Ingram (D-West Memphis) are seen here at another meeting in August. (Dwain Hebda/Arkansas Advocate)

Arkansas legislative panel approves $64 million in school relief funds 

BY: - October 6, 2022

An Arkansas Legislative Council subcommittee authorized the disbursal of $64.4 million in federal relief funds to 25 school districts Thursday. This is the panel’s eighth 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 Emergency Relief Fund money to […]

If approved, Arkansas’ recreational marijuana law would be tightest in U.S.

BY: - October 6, 2022

Arkansas would have the strictest recreational marijuana law in the U.S. if voters approve a constitutional amendment legalizing the drug next month. Nineteen other states have legalized cannabis for adult use, but Arkansas would be only the fourth to still outlaw growing the plants at home, an Advocate analysis of marijuana laws across the U.S. […]

LR mayoral candidates address priorities at southwest city forum

BY: - October 6, 2022

This article has been updated and slightly edited since Oct. 6, 2022. Three of the four candidates for Little Rock mayor answered questions about crime, affordable housing and community youth programs at a forum at the Southwest Little Rock Community Center Wednesday night. Mayor Frank Scott Jr. said he expects to work with a new […]

Appeals court stays judge’s ruling on voter-assist law

BY: - October 5, 2022

Arkansas election officials can once again limit the number of voters interpreters can assist at the polls after a federal appeals court delayed implementation of a ruling that had ordered the state to stop enforcing a 2009 state law. The law prohibited someone other than poll workers from assisting more than six voters in casting […]

COMMENTARY

A chance at unity devolves into political division and recrimination

BY: - October 5, 2022

Could the Little Rock mayor’s race come down to how the city administration handled a contract for a party — and how the administration responds to public records requests? The drama that has played out at City Hall, on Twitter and in the media the last three weeks kept getting stranger and stranger as a […]

Report says many utilities are slow-walking clean energy goals

BY: - October 5, 2022

DENVER — A report released this week by the Sierra Club faults dozens of utilities that provide a major chunk of U.S. electric generation for failing to speed up their decarbonization efforts.  “For the sake of our communities and planet, we must do everything in our power to create a clean, renewable electric grid by […]

Study: More Republicans than Democrats likely died of COVID

BY: - October 5, 2022

It’s already known that hundreds of thousands of Americans would still be alive if every eligible person had gotten vaccinated against COVID-19. Now new research strongly suggests that many more of those “excess deaths” in Ohio and Florida were among people with Republican voter registrations. It’s perhaps unsurprising that Republicans were more reluctant to get […]

Arkansas House panel recommends public school funding plan that includes teacher raises

BY: - October 4, 2022

The Arkansas House and Senate education committees on Tuesday split on supporting public school funding recommendations that include additional money for increased teacher salaries.  In a voice vote, the House Education Committee approved the proposal while Senators opposed it. The proposed funding formula, called the matrix, approved by House committee members Tuesday would increase funding […]