arkansas

With Feds Distracted, States Will Have Much to Ponder in 2020 | 11-22-2019

It’s the holiday season, and if most voters are thinking about politics at all they are probably pondering more about how to get through family festivities without a major blowup over differing political philosophies than they are about next year’s...

Budgets in Brief - November 25 2019 | 11-22-2019

CA Budget Surplus Could Grow to $26B by 2021 A report from CALIFORNIA’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office indicates the state’s cash reserves could reach a record $26 billion by 2021. Over a quarter of that sum would be unrestricted...

Kemp Plan Would Conditionally Expand GA Medicaid: | 11-08-2019

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) unveiled a plan to expand Medicaid in the Peach State, on the condition that new recipients pay monthly premiums and spend at least 80 hours a month working, volunteering, training or attending school. The expansion would be...

Trump Administration Sued by Many Mostly Democrat-Led States | 10-18-2019

As of October 17, 68 lawsuits had been initiated against the Trump administration via a complaint or petition filed by multiple states, according to data compiled by Dr. Paul Nolette, an associate professor of political science at Marquette University...

Budgets in Brief - October 21 2019 | 10-18-2019

‘OPPORTUNITY ZONE’ PROGRAM NOT HAVING DESIRED EFFECT IN PA A program included in the 2017 federal tax overhaul, granting a tax break for investing in economically distressed areas designated as “opportunity zones,” was supposed...

Rainy-Day Fund Balances Vary Widely Across States | 09-20-2019

Wyoming has the largest estimated fiscal year 2019 rainy-day fund balance as a percentage of total state expenditures, at 109 percent, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers’ Spring 2019 Fiscal Survey of States . California...

Budgets in Brief - September 23 2019 | 09-20-2019

TN PROPOSES SWITCH TO MEDICAID BLOCK GRANT FUNDING TENNESSEE unveiled a plan last week that would fund its Medicaid program through a federal block grant, limiting how much is spent on the program instead of paying for whomever enrolls, which is the...

Online Sports Betting | 09-13-2019

There was a time when, if you weren’t in Las Vegas and you wanted to put some money down on a football game – say $100 that the Rams would cover the spread on Sunday – you needed to talk to a bookie. So, you picked up your phone. ...

Will Government Ransomware Outbreak Spur More Legislation? | 09-06-2019

This year more than 70 state and local governments have been targeted by hackers that have locked up their computer systems and demanded ransoms to release them. A majority of states have taken legislative action in recent years to protect data held by...

Government Cybersecurity Bills Introduced in Nearly 3/4 of States in 2019 | 09-06-2019

At least 37 states have introduced legislation this year dealing with the cybersecurity of government agencies, 24 of which have enacted such measures, according to information from the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State Net...

Governors in Brief - August 12 2019 | 08-09-2019

DESANTIS ORDERS PROBE INTO FL SEX TRAFFICKING CASE FLORIDA Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) last week ordered a state criminal probe into the actions of Palm Beach sheriff Ric Bradshaw and former Palm Beach state attorney Barry Krischer for their handling of...

States Adding Biometrics to Data Privacy Battle | 08-02-2019

At the start of this year, many observers believed states might be lining up to duplicate California’s tough new data privacy law, set to go into effect next year. That rush didn’t quite materialize, but that doesn’t mean lawmakers completely...

Biometric Data Privacy Bills Considered in Over Half of States | 08-02-2019

At least 26 states have introduced bills this session dealing with the collection and use of biometric information, such as fingerprints, speech patterns or gait, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State...

Health & Science - August 5 2019 | 08-02-2019

Federal Judge Blocks Three Arkansas Abortion Laws Saying they provide women with “no discernible medical benefit,” a federal judge temporarily blocks three ARKANSAS abortion laws from going into effect. The state is expected to appeal the...

Medicaid Work Requirements Approved for Nine States | 07-19-2019

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved waivers allowing the imposition of work requirements for Medicaid enrollees in nine states, according to the National Academy for State Health Policy. Approved waivers have been blocked by legal...

Independent Contractor Legislation Active in States | 06-28-2019

At least 189 bills dealing with independent contractors have been introduced in state legislatures this session, according to LexisNexis State Net’s legislative tracking system . Fifty of those measures have been passed by one or both chambers of...

Politics in Brief - July 1 2019 | 06-28-2019

SCOTUS UPHOLDS REDRAWN LEGISLATIVE DISTRICTS IN VA In a 5-4 decision, with liberal justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan joining conservative justices Thomas and Gorsuch, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed a challenge by VIRGINIA House Republicans to...

Politics in Brief - June 17 2019 | 06-14-2019

GOP STRATEGIST’S HARD DRIVES LINKED TO NC GERRYMANDERING CASE Court documents filed in NORTH CAROLINA by Common Cause allege that computer drives belonging to recently deceased GOP strategist Thomas Hofeller show North Carolina Republicans lied...

Will Arizona Lead Charge for Licensing Reciprocity? | 06-07-2019

If a hair stylist learns their craft and is licensed in Las Vegas and then moves across the state line to Arizona, does what they learned in Vegas stay in Vegas? Probably not. But their ability to work might. Or at least it used to. Presumably,...

Many States Looking at Occupational Licensing Reciprocity | 06-07-2019

At least 28 states have considered legislation this session addressing reciprocity with other states in occupational licensing, according to LexisNexis State Net’s legislative tracking system . Such measures have been enacted in half of those states...

Over Half of States Have Passed Private-Sector Data Security Laws | 05-31-2019

As of the start of this year, at least 25 states had passed laws requiring businesses that handle personal data to implement security procedures to protect that information from unauthorized access, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures...

State Lawmakers Stepping Up Fight Against Insurance Fraud | 05-10-2019

By some accounts, insurance fraud has reached epidemic proportions, costing insurance companies and their policyholders tens of billions of dollars each year. State lawmakers have taken several measures in recent years to combat the problem, but this...

Healthcare Common Focus of Insurance Fraud Legislation in 2019 | 05-10-2019

So far this year, according to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, one state, New Mexico, has enacted legislation dealing with balance billing, the practice of charging consumers for medical costs not paid by their insurance. Balance billing measures...

Gas Tax Hikes Not Long-Term Fix for Transportation Funding | 05-10-2019

Since 2013, 31 states have raised their gas taxes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures . Four states - Alabama, Arkansas, Ohio and Virginia - have done so this year. And Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin could be next...

Soda Taxes Stalled in States | 05-03-2019

In his budget address in late February, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) called for a tax increase on sodas and other sugary drinks. Soda tax legislation has also been introduced this year in California, Massachusetts New York, Rhode Island and Vermont...

Medicaid Work Requirements under Fire | 04-19-2019

The Trump administration is plunging ahead with waivers that will encourage states to impose controversial work requirements on Medicaid recipients despite a federal judge’s ruling striking down such requirements in Arkansas and Kentucky. ...

Medicaid Work Requirements Approved in Nine States and Counting | 04-19-2019

Nine states have received federal approval for waivers allowing them to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients. A federal judge has struck down the requirements in two of those states, Arkansas and Kentucky. But waivers are pending in another...

Social Policy - April 22 2019 | 04-19-2019

US Supreme Court Declines The U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear a challenge to a NEW JERSEY law that bans the use of so-called “conversion therapy,” which seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation, on minors (NJ.COM). NJ...

The Local Front - April 15 2019 | 04-12-2019

AR House Gives Final Approval to SB 411 The ARKANSAS House gives final approval to SB 411 , a bill that would bar Razorback State cities from becoming so-called “sanctuary cities,” which bar law enforcement from cooperating with federal...

Consumer Data Privacy Bills Introduced in Half of States | 04-05-2019

Legislation dealing with consumer data privacy has been introduced this year in at least 25 states, according to information from the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State Net. As of April 3, such measures had been passed by their...

Governors in Brief - April 8 2019 | 04-05-2019

HOLCOMB SIGNS INDIANA HATE CRIME BILL Saying that his state has “made progress and taken a strong stand against targeted violence,” INDIANA Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) signed a measure last week that for the first time gives the Hoosier State...

Education - April 8 2019 | 04-05-2019

NE Governor Signs LB 399 NEBRASKA Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) signs LB 399 , which provides Cornhusker State schools with three different options for students to learn civics: participating in and reporting on a local government meeting, taking the test...

Murphy Ensures NJ Stays Cash-Friendly | 03-22-2019

Countering a growing trend among retailers toward accepting only credit cards or other forms of electronic payment, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed legislation last week requiring brick-and-mortar retail operations to accept cash and imposing potentially...

Business - March 25 2019 | 03-22-2019

NJ Governor Signs SB 121 NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil Murphy (S) signs SB 121 , which bars the use of nondisclosure agreements in employment contracts and settlement agreements if those cases involve discrimination, retaliation, sexual harassment or assault...

Education - March 25 2019 | 03-22-2019

AR House Approves HB 1626 The ARKANSAS House approves HB 1626 , which would require schools to offer classes on the Bible if enough students request such courses. It moves to the Senate (ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE [LITTLE ROCK]).

Social Policy - March 25 2019 | 03-22-2019

AR Governor Signs HB 1439 ARKANSAS Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) signs HB 1439 , which outlaws abortion 18 weeks into a woman’s pregnancy except in medical emergencies and in cases of rape or incest. Opponents have indicated they will sue to block...

Social Policy - March 18 2019 | 03-15-2019

IA Supreme Court Upholds The IOWA Supreme Court upholds a lower court’s ruling that the Hawkeye State cannot deny Medicaid coverage for sex reassignment surgery. The court ruled that doing so would violate the state’s 2007 Civil Rights...

NY Spends Most on Medicaid | 03-08-2019

New York pays a larger share of its total Medicaid spending than any other state, at 51.2 percent, with the federal government covering the other 48.8 percent, according to data compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation . New York also pays the most in...

Health & Science - March 11 2019 | 03-08-2019

GA House Approves HB 213 The GEORGIA House approves HB 213 , which would allow Peach State farmers to cultivate hemp for use in Cannabidiol, or CBD, oils and other products. It moves to the Senate (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION). WA House Approves...

Education - February 25 2019 | 02-22-2019

WV House Tables Bill The WEST VIRGINIA House tables a bill that would have, among other things, created the state’s first charter schools and legalized education savings accounts for parents to pay for private school. The proposal prompted teachers...

AK Gov Proposes $300M Highway Funding Plan | 02-15-2019

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) has proposed a plan to provide $300 million a year in funding for the state’s roads and highways - which would make it the largest road plan in the state’s history - and about $114 million a year for city and...

Out With the Old | 02-15-2019

We’re pretty sure that once upon a time former Arkansas Gov. James P. Clarke and attorney Uriah Rose were big deals in the Razorback State. They must have been because, after all, their accomplishments were recognized with statues at the state Capitol...

Budgets in Brief - February 11 2019 | 02-08-2019

UT HOUSE SPEAKER CALLS FOR RECORD TAX CUT UTAH House Speaker Brad Wilson (R) kicked off the state’s 2019 session by calling for a tax cut of at least $225 million. According to the Utah Taxpayers Association, that would be the state’s largest...

Health & Science - February 11 2019 | 02-08-2019

AR House Approves HB 1176 The ARKANSAS House approves HB 1176 , which would set minimum standards for breast milk sharing programs and encourage nonprofits to launch depositories and banks for human breast milk. It moves to the Senate (ARKANSAS GAZETTE...

The Local Front - February 11 2019 | 02-08-2019

AK Supreme Court Rules Local Gender Ordinance The ARKANSAS Supreme Court rules that the city of FAYETTEVILLE can’t enforce an ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The court said it has already ruled...

Politics in Brief - January 28 2019 | 01-25-2019

RECORD NUMBER OF ETHICS COMPLAINTS IN AK ELECTIONS LAST YEAR The ARKANSAS Ethics Commission received 146 citizen complaints against candidates and others during last year’s election cycle. That number was a new record and a 45 percent increase...

Most States Prepared for Next Recession | 01-18-2019

It’s been 9 1/2 years since the last U.S. recession - the second-longest period between economic downturns on record. The economy still appears to be going strong. But there are signs trouble may not be far off. The good news for states is that...

Lawmakers Grapple With Proliferation of E-Scooters | 01-11-2019

Many lawmakers left their state capitol buildings around the country after adjourning last year having never seen an e-scooter. A good number may never even have heard of such a thing. But that’s changed for many lawmakers returning for sessions...

More States Under Unified One-Party Control in 2019 | 12-14-2018

As a result of the November elections, in 2019 Republicans will control both the legislature and the governor’s office in 23 states, three less than the number of states under unified GOP control this year. Democrats will control the legislative...

Politics in Brief - October 19 2018 | 10-19-2018

GA GOV EXTENDS VOTER REGISTRATION IN FOUR COUNTIES HIT BY HURRICANE MICHAEL GEORGIA Gov. Nathan Deal (R) issued an executive order last week extending the state’s Oct. 9 voter registration deadline for four counties where Hurricane Michael forced...