Asa Hutchinson

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. […]

Arkansas School Safety Commission chair Cheryl May speaks into a microphone while sitting at a table with Gov. Asa Hutchinson

School Safety Commission adopts final proposals before report due date

BY: - September 27, 2022

The Arkansas School Safety Commission wrapped up four months of work by approving seven more recommendations at its final meeting Tuesday. Its final report to the governor is due Oct. 1. Three proposals at Tuesday’s meeting focused on cybersecurity and included recommendations for school districts to implement best practices in third-party risk management and cybersecurity […]

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 […]

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 […]

Arkansas governor, AG oppose proposed protections for LGBTQ students

BY: - September 15, 2022

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on Thursday criticized the Biden administration’s proposal to increase protections and opportunities for transgender students under Title IX.  The civil rights law, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, prohibits sex-based discrimination in federally-funded education programs like sports. The proposed regulations would strengthen safeguards for LGBTQ students […]

Lawmakers approve $188 million in relief funds for schools in third review round

BY: - September 1, 2022

An Arkansas Legislative Council subcommittee approved the disbursal of $188 million in federal relief funds to 44 school districts Thursday. This was the third round of plans reviewed by lawmakers. Today’s authorization by the Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review panel is part of the council’s continued efforts to review districts’ use of American Rescue Plan […]

Federal funds will help connect 5,500 homes and businesses to broadband

BY: - August 30, 2022

Arkansas has received $47.5 million to connect 5,500 homes and businesses in rural areas to high-speed internet through the American Rescue Plan’s Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund. U.S. Department of Treasury officials on Tuesday announced the approval of plans from Arkansas, Connecticut, Indiana, Nebraska and North Dakota. The rescue plan’s capital projects fund is providing $10 […]

School Safety Commission recommends support for anti-bullying and inclusive classrooms

BY: - August 30, 2022

The Arkansas School Safety Commission adopted eight more recommendations Tuesday, including one to provide access to training and support for programs that deter bullying and create an inclusive classroom environment. These initiatives can provide better ways to provide intervention and assistance to students who need it, said commissioner Lori Poston, vice president of clinical services […]

Arkansas groups seek more than $275,000 total from state fund aimed at encouraging birth

BY: - August 29, 2022

This story was updated on Aug. 31, 2022. Twelve Arkansas pregnancy resource centers are among 16 groups that applied for a share of the state’s $1 million grant program created this year to help fund crisis pregnancy centers, adoption agencies and maternity homes. The other applicants include an adoption agency, a maternity care home, a […]

Buttons depicting anti-death penalty slogans

With election looming and no drug supply, future of death penalty in Arkansas is uncertain

BY: - August 29, 2022

Arkansas is actively searching for a new supply of lethal injection drugs, and the next governor will likely decide whether to use them. What that means is unclear with an election still months away and a hodgepodge of positions on capital punishment. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this month upheld Arkansas’ execution […]

Farmers in 40 Arkansas counties can receive drought-related financial aid

BY: - August 26, 2022

Farmers in more than half of Arkansas’ 75 counties can apply for federal funds to help them cope with the effects of ongoing drought conditions, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Thursday. The USDA declared a “primary natural disaster area” in 20 counties: Benton, Boone, Carroll, Clay, Cleburne, Conway, Faulkner, Independence, Izard, Johnson, Lawrence, Madison, […]

A counselor holds a pregnant woman's hands during a session.

Arkansas’ $1M pregnancy resource center grant untouched so far

BY: - August 18, 2022

Arkansas’ crisis pregnancy centers so far have declined to apply for a new $1 million grant program created by the state Legislature to help fund their operations. The application period opened Aug. 1 and ends Aug. 26, but no one has applied for the money aimed at helping those facing unintended pregnancy and encouraging them […]