missy irvin

Panel approves another $12.5M in federal aid for rural Arkansas hospitals, totaling nearly $40M

BY: - November 14, 2023

More than $12.5 million in federal aid will go to four rural Arkansas hospitals that received preliminary approval for the funds Tuesday from state lawmakers.  The full Arkansas Legislative Council on Friday will vote on whether to disburse the funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021, aimed at covering costs incurred during […]

Lawmakers OK fresh audit into Arkansas PBS’ purchases, procedures as far back as July 2021

BY: - November 9, 2023

Arkansas lawmakers asked the state’s nonpartisan auditing body on Thursday to examine more than two years of “procurements and related processes” at Arkansas PBS. The request comes after the state’s regularly scheduled fiscal year 2022 audit into the publicly funded educational channel revealed what auditors considered questionable purchasing practices. At the heart of lawmakers’ and […]

An upper portion of the Buffalo River with Big Bluff in the background. (National Park Service photo)

Panel approves Buffalo River water-quality project over trail connectivity proposal

BY: - November 1, 2023

A state panel on Tuesday rejected a proposal to create a recreation master plan for the Buffalo National River in favor of a project that aims to improve water quality through community engagement.  The Buffalo River Conservation Committee approved the disbursement of its remaining funds, $69,676, to support H2Ozarks’ proposal to hold landowner workshops and […]

Executive order bans gender-neutral language in Arkansas government documents

BY: - October 19, 2023

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed an executive order Thursday eliminating what she called “woke, anti-women words” from Arkansas government documents. The order prohibits “exclusionary, sexist language in official state government business,” citing XX chromosomes and the ability to “perform the miracle of birth” as what defines women. Sanders signed the order after a press conference […]

Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin

Working group recommends human trafficking prevention, intervention tactics to Arkansas leaders

BY: - October 16, 2023

A group of experts on Friday recommended three steps Arkansas can take to address and prevent human trafficking in, an effort that a $1.5 million federal grant will support, the state Department of Human Services announced in a press release.  Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders created the working group with an executive order in February, and she […]

Pregnancy resource centers tout their services to Arkansas lawmakers

BY: - August 10, 2023

CORRECTION: Arkansas Pregnancy Resource Center is next door to Little Rock Family Planning Services. An earlier version of this story erroneously named another organization. Some Arkansas lawmakers said Thursday that they see pregnancy resource centers as tools to help reduce infant, child and maternal mortality in the state, which has a near-total abortion ban and […]

Arkansas pharmacies face backlog of unpaid insurance claims for COVID-19 treatments

BY: - July 18, 2023

More than 170 Arkansas pharmacies will receive nearly $3.7 million in federal funds, pending approval from a legislative committee, as reimbursement for unpaid insurance claims covering COVID-19 treatments between March 2020 and May of this year. The Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review (PEER) subcommittee of the Arkansas Legislative Council approved the funding request from the […]

Legislative panel will hear Southeast Arkansas hospital’s $5M request for financial aid

BY: - June 12, 2023

Arkansas lawmakers will consider a request on Tuesday for nearly $5 million in federal financial assistance for a rural Southeast Arkansas hospital. Drew Memorial Health System is asking for $4,926,897 from the pot of money the state received from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to […]

Arkansas Legislature saw wide range of maternal and reproductive health legislation in 2023

BY: - April 17, 2023

Prenatal and postpartum healthcare policies rose on Arkansas’ priority list after abortion became illegal in the state, but did not rise high enough, according to advocates for the well-being of pregnant and newborn Arkansans. Rep. Aaron Pilkington, R-Knoxville, introduced several bills to bolster this area of healthcare during the 2023 legislative session. Some made it […]

Sen. Clarke Tucker, Sen. Breanne Davis

Arkansas lawmakers send sweeping education bill to governor’s desk

BY: - March 7, 2023

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders will sign her signature education package into law Wednesday, two weeks after the bill was filed.  The Arkansas Senate gave final approval to Senate Bill 294, also called the LEARNS Act, on Tuesday. “I’m ready to sign it into law tomorrow and end the failed status quo that has governed our […]

Rural emergency hospital proposal passes Arkansas Senate unanimously

BY: - February 10, 2023

A proposed state law that could bolster federal funding for rural hospitals as an incentive to specialize in emergency and outpatient care passed the Arkansas Senate and was sent to Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ desk Thursday. House Bill 1127 received “yes” votes from all 34 senators, with one senator absent. The bill passed the House […]

Sen. Tyler Dees

Proposed bill would require age verification on pornography websites

BY: - January 31, 2023

A Senate committee on Tuesday approved a bill to require age verification for online material that’s harmful to minors, such as pornography.  Adult-oriented businesses are typically regulated with an age verification process, and that same standard must be applied to online materials, Senate Bill 66 sponsor Sen. Tyler Dees (R-Siloam Springs) told Senate Committee on […]