Press Release

Asa Arkansas's Governor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04.24.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Issues Statement on the Execution of Marcel Williams

LITTLE ROCK - Governor Asa Hutchinson today issued the following statement on the execution of Marcel Williams:

“After more than 20 years, justice has prevailed for the family of Stacey Errickson. I reviewed this case thoroughly and determined that clemency should not be granted. I appreciate the patience and long-suffering of the Errickson family through this ordeal. This is a serious and reflective time in our state and it is important for the Errickson family and all Arkansans to know that in this case our laws ended in justice.”

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.683.6439)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04.24.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Issues Response to the Execution of Jack Jones

LITTLE ROCK - Governor Asa Hutchinson today issued the following response to the execution of Jack Jones:

“This evening the rule of law was upheld when the sentence of the jury for Jack Jones was carried out after 20 years of review. The victim’s family has waited patiently for justice during that time. The jury sentenced Jack Jones to death, and his sentence was upheld by judges and reviewed thoroughly in courts of appeal at each level. 

“A governor never asks for this responsibility, but I accept it as part of the solemn pledge I made to uphold the law. Jack Jones expressed his willingness to proceed today, and we hope this will help bring closure to the Phillips family.”

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.683.6439)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04.21.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Issues Statement on the Passing of Former Arkansas Congressman, Jay Dickey

LITTLE ROCK - Governor Asa Hutchinson issued the following statement on the passing of former Arkansas Fourth District Congressman Jay Dickey:

“Jay was one of those unique people who loved life and everyone around him. I had the privilege of serving with Jay in Congress, and I have never seen anyone who was so determined to fight for the people in his district. He made friends easily, and he stuck by them. I played basketball with Jay in the House gym, where, like everywhere else in his life, he was a competitor. He will be missed."

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04.19.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Issues Statement on Arkansas Supreme Court’s Decision to Stay Johnson Execution

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson issued the following statement in response to the Arkansas Supreme Court’s decision to stay the execution of Stacey Johnson:

"I am both surprised and disappointed at the last minute stay by the Arkansas Supreme Court.  When I set the dates, I knew there could be delays in one or more of the cases, but I expected the courts to allow the juries' sentences to be carried out since each case had been reviewed multiple times by the Arkansas Supreme Court, which affirmed the guilt of each. The minority opinion was clear in its dissent, but I know the families of the victims are anxious for a clear-cut explanation from the majority as to how they came to this conclusion and how there appears to be no end to the court's review. I will continue to work with the attorney general as we evaluate our next steps."

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.683.6439)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04.17.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Issues Statement on United States Supreme Court Decision

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today issued a response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s denial of the motion to vacate the Arkansas Supreme Court’s stay on the execution of Don Davis.

Governor Asa Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to vacate the Arkansas Supreme Court decision in reference to Don Davis. I am disappointed in this delay for the victim’s family. However, the 8th Circuit decision today overturning Judge Baker’s stay and the Arkansas Supreme Court ruling vacating Judge Griffen’s temporary restraining order mean that the courts have once again cleared the state to proceed with carrying out the sentences of the other inmates. While this has been an exhausting day for all involved, tomorrow we will continue to fight back on last minute appeals and efforts to block justice for the victims’ families.” 

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04.17.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Issues Statement on Appellate Court Opinions on Executions

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today issued a response to the decisions handed down by the Arkansas Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit.

Governor Asa Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“Once again last minute court rulings have changed the course of justice. Today, the 8th Circuit ruled the state could proceed with the death penalty sentence and expressed no concern over the execution schedule and the legislatively mandated means to carry out the lethal injection protocol.  However, the State Supreme Court went a different direction and ruled that the execution of Don Davis and Bruce Ward could not proceed based upon the potential of some future direction of the U.S. Supreme Court that is unknown at the present time.

“This decision was not unanimous and the dissenting opinions reflect the harm the delays cause the families of the victims and it also expresses my frustration in the continued delayed justice. We have asked the US Supreme Court to overrule the Arkansas Supreme Court and hope to get a decision later tonight.”

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04.15.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Issues Statement on Recent Court Decisions Regarding Scheduled Executions

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson issued the following statement in response to the recent court decisions regarding the scheduled executions:

“When I set the eight execution dates in accordance with the law and my responsibilities, I was fully aware that the actions would trigger both the individual clemency hearings and separate court reviews on varying claims by the death row inmates. I understand how difficult this is on the victims’ families, and my heart goes out to them as they once again deal with the continued court review; however, the last minute court reviews are all part of the difficult process of death penalty cases. I expect both the Supreme Court of Arkansas and the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to review the decisions quickly, and I have confidence in the Attorney General and her team to expedite the reviews.

“I’ll be meeting with the Attorney General and the Arkansas Department of Correction on Monday to determine next steps.”

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.683.6439)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04.11.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Appointments

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the following appointments:

Gregory Vardaman, Arkadelphia, as Circuit Judge of the Ninth East Judicial Circuit, Division 1. Term begins May 1, 2017 and expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Judge Robert McCallum.

Hugh Finkelstein, Little Rock, as District Judge of Little Rock District Court, Department 1. Term begins May 1, 2017 and expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Judge Alice Lightle.

Johnnie Copeland, Mountain Home, as District Judge of Fulton County District Court, Salem Department. Term begins May 1, 2017 and expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Judge Jim Short.

Tommy Boyer, Fayetteville, to the Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas. Appointment expires March 1, 2027. Replaces Reynie Rutledge.

Director Daryl Bassett, Little Rock, to the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees’ Retirement System. Appointment expires March 9, 2020. Replaces Artee Williams.

Commissioner Candace Franks, Little Rock, to the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees’ Retirement System. Appointment expires March 9, 2019. Replaces William “Bill” Gaddy.

Steve Faris, Hot Springs, to the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees’ Retirement System. Appointment expires March 9, 2023. Replaces Ouida Wright.

Dr. Conley Byrd, Jr., Redfield, to the Veterinary Medical Examining Board. Appointment expires March 1, 2022. Replaces Dr. Jim Ralston.

Warner Smith, Sr., Smackover, to the State Board of Collection Agencies. Appointment expires January 1, 2019. Replaces Jimmy Gross.

Edward Vance, Benton, to the State Board of Collection Agencies. Appointment expires January 1, 2020. Reappointment.

John F. Gibson, Monticello, to the Red River Compact Commission. Appointment expires March 31, 2024. Reappointment.

Cassondra Williams-Stokes, Little Rock, to the Arkansas State Independent Living Council. Appointment expires February 1, 2020. Replaces Katy Morris.

Derek Scott, Bentonville, to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission. Appointment expires September 1, 2020. Replaces Dexter Howard.

José Covas, El Dorado, to the Board of Trustees of South Arkansas Community College. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Charles Thomas.

Pat Johnson, Pocahontas, to the Black History Commission of Arkansas. Appointment expires January 14, 2021. Replaces Carla Coleman.

Jimmy Bryant, Conway, to the Arkansas History Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2024. Replaces Michael Lindsey. 

Sheriff Tim Helder, Fayetteville, to the State Crime Laboratory Board. Appointment expires January 14, 2024. Replaces Sheriff Bill Gilkey.

Laith Adams, Sheridan, as a Justice of the Peace for the Grant County Quorum Court, District #3. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Louise Lavelle.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04.05.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Intent to Grant Executive Clemency

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced his intent to grant nine pardons. An additional 46 clemency requests were denied and five had no action taken upon them. These include requests from both inmates and non-inmates.

The applicants intended for pardons have completed all jail time, fulfilled all parole and probationary requirements and paid all fines related to their sentences. There is a 30-day waiting period to receive public feedback on the notices before final action is taken.

Governor Hutchinson intends to grant pardons to the following people:

David F. Bailey (Eureka Springs): Burglary (B Felony), Theft of Property (B Felony), and Theft by Receiving (C Felony).

This notice is issued based on the dates of conviction (1991 – White County; 1993 – Cleburne County; 1993 – White County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Janet Brezler (Batesville): Possession of Methamphetamine (C Felony), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony), and Possession of Marijuana (A Misdemeanor).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2003 – Independence County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application. 

Michael Gamble (Hackett): Theft of Property (A Misdemeanor), Breaking or Entering (D Felony), and Attempted Residential Burglary (C Felony).  

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1998 – Sebastian County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Michael D. Ganus (Steele, MO): Theft by Receiving (C Felony).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1994 – Mississippi County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Michael Lambert (Amity, AR): Possession of Marijuana over 1 ounce (Felony).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1972 – Clark County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Yashika M. Morris (Pine Bluff): Theft of Property (A Misdemeanor), Fail to Appear for Plea (A Misdemeanor), and Failure to Comply with Court.

This notice is issued based on the dates of conviction (2001, 2002 and 2003 – Jefferson County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Stewart R. Sears (Cave Springs): Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Deliver (C Felony).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1987 – Sebastian County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Rebecca Spears Tucker (Charleston): Violation of Arkansas Hot Check Law (C Felony).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1993 – Washington County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Nadine Wood (Bentonville): Forgery in the Second Degree (C Felony).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1998 – Benton County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further Arkansas criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application. 

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04.04.2017

Governor Hutchinson Comments on Trump-Xi Jinping Meeting

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today issued a response to President Trump’s meeting with President Xi Jinping:

“The work we have done to recruit direct investment from China has resulted in the commitment of more than $1 billion in new capital investments with more than 650 new jobs. We are confident President Trump’s meeting with President Xi Jinping will only strengthen the United States’ relationship with China as they discuss any unresolved trade issues. 

“This relationship is important for the United States as a whole and Arkansas specifically because of the growing level of interest from Chinese companies that are considering doing business in the state. President Trump’s appointment of Governor Terry Branstad of Iowa as Ambassador to China is another positive step in improving relations between our countries. The significant investment China is making in Arkansas will continue to strengthen our position on the global stage.”

Governor Hutchinson led trade missions to China in 2015 and 2016 to recruit foreign investment and to advocate for Arkansas agricultural exports. After his 2015 visit, Sun Paper agreed to invest $1 billion to build a facility in Arkadelphia that will employ 250 people. After a second trade mission in October of 2016, Suzhou Tianyaun Garment Company signed an agreement to invest $20 million to establish a clothing manufacturing facility in Little Rock that will create 400 new jobs.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04.03.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Remarks on the Adjournment of the 91st General Assembly

LITTLE ROCK – With today’s adjournment of the 91st General Assembly, Arkansas has concluded one of the state’s most successful pro-growth and pro-business legislative sessions in recent history.

Governor Asa Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“Over the past 84 days the Arkansas General Assembly has worked hard to institute policies that make our state a better place to live, work and raise a family. I applaud the legislature’s work this session to spur economic development, improve education and raise the quality of life for all Arkansans.

“Our successes this session will have a positive impact on the lives of all those we serve. I am glad that we avoided unnecessary battles and were able to focus our attention on the issues that matter most to Arkansans like improving education, lowering the tax burden and creating an environment that encourages job growth. I am pleased that we can close the 91st General Assembly as one of the most pro-growth legislative sessions in recent memory.”  

Gov. Hutchinson signed into law numerous proposals aimed at job creation and economic growth this session, including Act 165, which coupled with the state’s computer science initiative, will bring financial technology start-ups to the state. Hutchinson also signed two tax relief bills into law earlier this year. Act 78 reduces the tax burden on individuals who make below $21,000 annually and Act 141 exempts military retirement pay from the state income tax. 

In addition to signing Act 280 to establish a funding mechanism for natural gas infrastructure projects, Hutchinson also signed bills lowering Arkansas’s soda tax and reducing sales tax on manufacturing machinery.  

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.31.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: April 2nd – April 8th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Sunday, April 2, 2017, through Saturday, April 8, 2017: 

Sunday, April 2, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
Mosaic Church 15th Anniversary Celebration
10:45 AM
Mosaic Church
6221 Colonel Glenn Rd.
Little Rock, Ark.

Monday, April 3, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
Arkansas State FBLA Conference
8:30 PM
Statehouse Convention Center
101 E Markham St.
Little Rock, Ark.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
2017 “Give Us This Day” Prayer Breakfast & Gathering
8:00 AM
DoubleTree Little Rock
424 W Markham St.
Little Rock, Ark.

Thursday, April 6, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
Easterseals 2017 Arkansan of the Year
5:00 PM
Statehouse Convention Center
Wally Allen Ballroom
101 E Markham St.
Little Rock, Ark.

Saturday, April 8, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
Arkansas World War I Centennial Commemoration Kickoff
10:00 AM
Old State House Museum
300 W. Markham St.
Little Rock, Ark.

Schedule is subject to change. For further updates from Governor Hutchinson, follow on Facebook or Twitter (@AsaHutchinson).

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.27.2017

Legislature Approves Governor Hutchinson’s Full Agenda

LITTLE ROCK– With the signing of SB519, now Act 561, last Tuesday, which separates the Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert E. Lee holidays, the Arkansas General Assembly has now approved each of the measures included in Governor Hutchinson’s legislative agenda. The Governor laid out his legislative agenda for the 2017 session in a press conference in December of last year. Each of the included priorities reflect the administration’s focus on Economic Development, Education, and Efficiencies and Government Transformation. 

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“I am pleased that the legislature has approved each of the measures included in my legislative priorities for 2017. These initiatives will help drive economic development, increase educational opportunity, ease the tax burden and enable us to more efficiently serve the people of our state. I am confident that these important measures will have a positive impact on our state. I look forward to continued work with the General Assembly to enact policies that benefit all Arkansans.” 

The approved initiatives are as follows:

Economic Development:

  • Retired Military Tax Cut – Act 141 – Signed into law 2/7/2017
  • Accelerator Program – Act 165 – Signed into law 2/15/2017
  • $50.5 Million Income Tax Cut – Act 78 – Signed into law 2/1/2017

Education:

  • ArFuture Grant – Act 316 –  Signed into law 3/2/2017
  • New Higher Education Productivity Funding Formula – Act 148 – Signed into law 2/8/2017
  • Teacher Opportunity Program Redirect (TOPs) – Act 160 – Signed into law 2/13/2017

Efficiencies and Government Transformation:

  • Reform of the State Pay Plan – Act 365 – Signed into law 3/3/2017
  • Repurposing Tobacco Settlement Funds to Decrease the Disability Waitlist – Act 50 –  Signed into law 1/26/2017
  • Consolidation of Select Boards and Commissions – Act 540 – Signed into law 3/20/2017
  • Agency Reorganization and Efficiencies – Signed into law 2/22/2017 
    • Office of Energy to Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality - Act 271
    • Office of Health Information Technology to Department of Health - Act 270
    • War Memorial Stadium Commission to Department Parks and Tourism - Act 269
  • Waste Tire Management Program – Act 317 – Signed into law 3/2/2017
  • Establishing Regional Mental Health Crisis Stabilization Centers – Act 423 – Signed into law 3/8/2017
  • Eliminating the dual holiday status of MLK-Lee Day – Act 561 – Signed into law 3/21/2017

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.24.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: March 27th – April 1st

 

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, March 27, 2017, through Saturday, April 1, 2017: 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
18th Annual Cancer Summit
8:30 AM
Holiday Inn Little Rock Airport 
3201 Bankhead Drive
Little Rock, Ark.

Thursday, March 30, 2017:

NORTH LITTLE ROCK
North Little Rock High School Dedication Ceremony
10:00 AM
North Little Rock High School
101 West 22nd Street
North Little Rock, Ark.

Schedule is subject to change. For further updates from Governor Hutchinson, follow on Facebook or Twitter (@AsaHutchinson).

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.23.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Appointments

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the following appointments:

Bruce Alford, Lewisville, to the Red River Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2024. Reappointment. 

Clayton Sorrells, Amity, to the Governor’s Advisory Commission on National Service and Volunteerism. Appointment expires February 12, 2020. Reappointment. 

Doyle Ray, Pine Bluff, to the Governor’s Advisory Commission on National Service and Volunteerism. Appointment expires February 12, 2020. Reappointment. 

Misty Pitman, Conway, to the Governor’s Advisory Commission on National Service and Volunteerism. Appointment expires February 12, 2020. Reappointment.

Reverend David Hudak, Bella Vista, to the Governor’s Advisory Commission on National Service and Volunteerism. Appointment expires February 12, 2020. Reappointment.

Kristi Davis, Little Rock, to the Governor’s Advisory Commission on National Service and Volunteerism. Appointment expires February 12, 2020. Reappointment.

Charlie Cain-Davis, Little Rock, to the Governor’s Advisory Commission on National Service and Volunteerism. Appointment expires February 12, 2020. Reappointment.

Mayor JoAnne Bush, Lake Village, to the Governor’s Advisory Commission on National Service and Volunteerism. Appointment expires February 12, 2020. Reappointment. 

Ty Roberson, Marble Falls, as Constable for the Dogpatch Township in Newton County. Appointment expires December 31, 2018.

Peyton Clark, Jasper, as Constable for the Mt. Sherman Township in Newton County. Appointment expires December 31, 2018.

Brad Doney, Imboden, as Constable for the Spring River Township in Randolph County. Appointment expires December 31, 2018.

Ricky Middleton, Batesville, as Constable for the Ashley Township in Independence County. Appointment expires December 31, 2018.

Oscar Hoskins, Helena, as a Justice of the Peace for the Phillips County Quorum Court, District #2. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. 

Alicia Deavens, Fayetteville, as a Justice of the Peace for the Washington County Quorum Court, District #7. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. 

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.21.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Signs SB 519; Eliminates Dual Holiday Status of Dr. King and Gen. Lee

“I expected a debate that would divide. Instead, we listened to each other, and the conversation brought us together.”

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today signed into law Senate Bill 519, eliminating the dual holiday status and concurrent commemoration of General Robert E. Lee and Dr. Martin Luther King. With his signature, the Dr. King holiday will continue to be celebrated on the third Monday in January, while General Lee’s day of recognition will be moved to the second Saturday of October. 

Senate Bill 519 will also provide, for the first time in Arkansas, a statewide policy of teaching our children about the Civil War. In addition, with this bill we will coordinate instruction about civil rights leaders and Martin Luther King-specific teaching materials with the holiday that bears his name.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“This is a historic day for our state. The legislative support for a separate holiday to recognize Martin Luther King far exceeded my expectations. To be frank, I expected a debate that would divide. Instead, we listened to each other, and the conversation brought us together. We learned that history needs to be viewed—not just from our own lens—but through the eyes and experiences of others.

“Dr. King—his work and sacrifice—deserves, without question, a day of celebration and reflection unto himself. Today, we underscore that point and, by doing so, we show the rest of the country that, in Arkansas, actions speak louder than words. I’m delighted to sign this bill into law, and when all is said and done, I believe this legislation will perhaps be the most meaningful piece passed this session.”

Senate Bill 519 received bipartisan support in both chambers of the legislature, garnering a 24-0 vote in the Senate and a 66-11 vote in the House. 

To view video of the signing, go HERE. Media outlets are welcome to use video. Please attribute credit to the Governor's Office.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.17.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Appoints Yessica Jones Director of DIS

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the appointment of Yessica Jones as the Director of the Department of Information Systems (DIS). Jones served as Deputy Director of DIS before being named Interim Director after the departure of Mark Myers in November of last year. 

Governor Hutchinson released the following statement:

“I am pleased to announce Yessica Jones as the Director of the Department of Information Systems. Yessica’s leadership and knowledge of the technology sector has made her a tremendous asset to DIS over the last year, and I look forward to working with her as we continue to improve our state’s digital services. I am confident that she will lead the agency with vision and innovation to meet the demands of the rapidly-evolving technology industry.”

Yessica Jones released the following statement:

“I am honored to be selected by Governor Hutchinson as the permanent director of DIS. I am excited about the future of the agency and what we are going to achieve on behalf of our colleagues in the public sector and the citizens of Arkansas. Each day, I am grateful to work with such a hard-working, dedicated staff of employees. Their support has helped guide my success throughout the months I have served as acting director. I have pledged to work side-by-side with employees in fulfilling the commitments we make to our customers with attention to quality and service.” 

Jones is a member of the Open Data and Transparency Task Force, Arkansas Homeland Security Executive Committee, Arkansas Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Board, Information Network of Arkansas (INA) Board and Arkansas Interoperable Communications Executive Committee.

In 2016, Jones was the recipient of a StateScoop Top 50 Up and Comer Award, and in 2017, StateScoop named her as one of its Top Women in Technology. Prior to joining DIS, Jones was an assistant professor in Harding University’s Department of Management Information Systems, where she taught data management, database design and business applications programming. She has also served as a solutions developer for Little Rock-based Acxiom and as a database developer for Pennzoil. Jones also served as Gov. Hutchinson’s outreach liaison to the Hispanic community.

Jones holds a B.S. in Computer Science and an M.B.A. from Harding University.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.17.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: March 20th – March 25th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, March 20, 2017, through Saturday, March 25, 2017: 

Thursday, March 23, 2017:

WYNNE
Crossroads Coalition 12th Annual Banquet
5:00 PM
Delta Center for Technology
1790 N Blvd
Wynne, Ark.

Schedule is subject to change. For further updates from Governor Hutchinson, follow on Facebook or Twitter (@AsaHutchinson).

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.13.2017

Governor Hutchinson Responds to Unemployment Rate Drop to 3.8 Percent

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today issued a response to news from the National Bureau of Labor Statistics that the state’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent in January.

Governor Hutchinson released the following statement:

“I was pleased to hear that Arkansas again dipped to a record-low 3.8 percent unemployment rate in January. The fact that our unemployment rate is a full point lower than the national average is a great sign that our state is moving in the right direction when it comes to instituting policies that aid economic growth.

“As Governor, I will continue to focus on creating an atmosphere that promotes job creation, spurs economic development and encourages people to move to our state.”

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.10.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: March 13th – March 18th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, March 13, 2017, through Saturday, March 18, 2017: 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
Governor’s Art Awards Luncheon
11:30 AM
Governor’s Mansion
Little Rock, AR

LITTLE ROCK
Governor’s Conference on Tourism / Henry Awards Luncheon
12:30 PM
Statehouse Convention Center
Wally Allen Ballroom
Little Rock, AR

Wednesday, March 15, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
ASU Bradbury Free Enterprise Scholars Program
5:30 PM
ASU System Office
501 Woodlane Street, Suite 600
Little Rock, AR

Friday, March 17, 2017:

BENTONVILLE
Free File Event
10:00 AM
Bentonville Public Library
Walmart Community Room
405 S. Main Street
Bentonville, Arkansas

Schedule is subject to change. For further updates from Governor Hutchinson, follow on Facebook or Twitter (@AsaHutchinson).

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.08.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Announces Appointments

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the following appointments:

Dr. Dexter Booth, Little Rock, to the Arkansas State Claims Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2022. Replaces James Simpson.

Jim Phillips, Jr., El Dorado, to the Oil and Gas Commission. Appointment expires February 20, 2023. Reappointment.

Tommy McWilliams, Magnolia, to the Oil and Gas Commission. Appointment expires February 20, 2023. Replaces Chad White.

Charles Wohlford, Fort Smith, to the Oil and Gas Commission. Appointment expires February 20, 2023. Replaces George Carder.

Mike Davis, Magnolia, to the Oil and Gas Commission. Appointment expires February 20, 2023. Reappointment.

Daniel Greenberg, Little Rock, to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Appointment expires January 14, 2023. Replaces Janet Moore.

James Anderson, Jr., Scott, to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Appointment expires January 14, 2022. Replaces Christopher Palmer.

Whitney Gass, Magnolia, to the Board of Corrections. Appointment expires December 31, 2023. Replaces Dr. Mary Parker.

Herbert Morales, Rogers, to the Minority Business Advisory Council. Serves at the will of the Governor. Replaces Ivan Hudson.

Lauren Marquette, Fayetteville, to the Arkansas Social Work Licensing Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2019. Reappointment.

Dr. James Golden, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training. Appointment expires January 14, 2024. Reappointment.

Sheriff Keith Slape, Compton, to the Criminal Justice Institute Advisory Board for Law Enforcement Management Training and Education. Appointment expires January 14, 2021. Reappointment.

Chief Russell White, Alma, to the Criminal Justice Institute Advisory Board for Law Enforcement Management Training and Education. Appointment expires January 14, 2021. Reappointment.

Gregory Shapiro, White Hall, to the Criminal Justice Institute Advisory Board for Law Enforcement Management Training and Education. Appointment expires January 14, 2021. Replaces Dr. Paul B. Beran.

Sergeant Zachary White, Texarkana, to the Criminal Justice Institute Advisory Board for Law Enforcement Management Training and Education. Appointment expires January 14, 2021. Replaces Lieutenant Doug Avery.

Robert Thorne, Marion, to the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion Commission. Serves at the pleasure of the Governor. Replaces Woody Freeman.

Ezell Breedlove, Little Rock, to the Arkansas State Independent Living Council. Appointment expires February 1, 2020. Reappointment.

Thomas Connell, Hope, to the Arkansas State Independent Living Council. Appointment expires February 1, 2020. Replaces Jacqueline Bettis.

Dewey Graves, Jonesboro, to the Arkansas State Independent Living Council. Appointment expires February 1, 2020.

Worthie Springer, III, Little Rock, to the Arkansas State Independent Living Council. Appointment expires February 1, 2020. Replaces Forrest Michael Long.

Charles Johnson, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board. Appointment expires January 15, 2020. Replaces William McIntosh.

James Murphy, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board. Appointment expires January 15, 2020. Replaces Thad Eckolls.

James Gibson, Fayetteville, to the Arkansas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board. Appointment expires January 15, 2020. Replaces Kay Lawrence.

Randy Minton, Ward, to the Arkansas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board. Appointment expires January 15, 2020. Replaces Andrew Vance.

Shannon Mueller, Springdale, to the Arkansas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board. Appointment expires January 15, 2020. Reappointment.

Bobby Neal, Jonesboro, to the Arkansas Home Inspector Registration Board. Appointment expires January 26, 2019. Reappointment.

Bob Downum, Springdale, to the Arkansas Home Inspector Registration Board. Appointment expires January 26, 2019. Reappointment.

Tom Allen, Jr., Beebe, to the Arkansas Home Inspector Registration Board. Appointment expires January 26, 2019. Replaces Anthony Utsey.

Phillip Lea, Russellville, to the Criminal Detention Facility Review Committee, Judicial District #5. Appointment expires January 14, 2021. Reappointment.

James Davis, Ozark, to the Criminal Detention Facility Review Committee, Judicial District #5. Appointment expires January 14, 2021. Replaces Paul Turner.

Yulonda Sims, Buckner, to the Criminal Detention Facility Review Committee, Judicial District #8 South. Appointment expires January 14, 2021.

Mayor Jon Mark Simpson, Clarksville, to the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2023. Replaces John Pope.

David Burns, Star City, as a Justice of the Peace for the Lincoln County Quorum Court, District #4. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Paul C. Carter.

Thomas Gist, Jr., Marianna, as a Justice of the Peace for the Lee County Quorum Court, District #2. Appointment expires December 31, 2018.

A.J. Kelly, Little Rock, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. 

CV-16-554 Thomas Jones and Ollye May Robinson Jones v. Kimberly Miller and Gerald Robinson. Replaces Justice Robin F. Wynne, who has disqualified himself from the case. 

Jason Hendren, Rogers, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. 

CV-16-238 Joshua Kilgore v. Robert Mullenax and Senior Dental Care, LLC. Replaces Justice Robin F. Wynne, who has disqualified himself from the case.

Karen H. McKinney, Little Rock, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-17-47 Gary Alan Marks and Kristin Schmidt v. Beckie Saville. Replaces Chief Justice John Dan Kemp, who has disqualified himself from the case.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.07.2017

Governor Hutchinson Announces Pledger as New Executive Director of AETN

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the selection of Courtney Pledger to serve as the Executive Director of the Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN). Pledger will replace former Director Allen Weatherly, who passed away in November of last year. Her start date will be March 20, 2017.

Governor Hutchinson released the following statement:

“First of all, I want to remember former Executive Director Allen Weatherly, who passed away late last year. He served our state with passion for more than 20 years. I also want to thank Tony Brooks for his work as interim director since November and his continued commitment to AETN over the past 16 years.

“Today, I am delighted to announce Courtney Pledger as the next Executive Director of the Arkansas Educational Television Network. Courtney’s extensive experience in television and her executive leadership skills make her the ideal candidate for AETN. Her work to establish the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival as an Oscar-qualifying event demonstrates her outstanding leadership skills. Courtney’s passion for this industry is second to none and I am excited about her vision for this agency.”

Courtney Pledger released the following statement:

“I want to thank Governor Hutchinson for his support of AETN and public television in Arkansas. I am extremely grateful to the AETN Board of Commissioners for the opportunity to lead Arkansas Educational Television Network, here in my home state of Arkansas.

“I will take on this new role with a great deal of excitement about the future of Arkansas’s only statewide public media outlet, as we work to make programs in Arkansas, about Arkansas. As Executive Director, I will work to ensure that AETN continues to serve every inch of our state, rural and metropolitan, our students and educators, and with the help of a growing number of digital platforms, to provide education for all.”

Courtney Pledger has served in numerous roles in the television industry, including as Executive Director of the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, Executive Producer for DreamWorks Animation and Senior Vice President of Development and Production at Radical Pictures. Pledger worked as a producer and partner at Jigsaw Films, which focused on acquiring and adapting British children’s books to film. She also was a producer on the Golden Globe winning film, A Killing in a Small Town. 

The Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival is the oldest all-documentary film festival in North America. During her time as Executive Director of the film festival, Pledger was responsible for the re-emergence of the festival on the national scene. Pledger is a recipient of several prestigious honors and awards, including the Women in Film’s Lillian Gish Producing Award, a Golden Globe and a nomination for a primetime Emmy Award. 

Courtney Pledger's headshot can be found HERE.

To view the photo album of today's press conference, go HERE. To view video of the press conference, go HERE.  

Media outlets are welcome to use photos and video. Please attribute credit to the Governor's Office.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.06.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Intent to Grant Executive Clemency

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced his intent to grant 11 pardons and one commutation. An additional 45 clemency requests were denied and five had no action taken upon them. These include requests from both inmates and non-inmates.

The applicants intended for pardons have completed all jail time, fulfilled all parole and probationary requirements and paid all fines related to their sentences. There is a 30-day waiting period to receive public feedback on the notices before final action is taken.

Governor Hutchinson intends to grant pardons to the following people:

Cedric T. Albritton (Pine Bluff): Forgery in the Second Degree (C Felony) and Forgery (Probation Revocation) (C Felony). 

This notice is issued based on the dates of conviction (1989 and 1992 – Jefferson County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Donald L. Banks (Pine Bluff): Delivery of a Controlled Substance, five counts (Y Felony) and Possession of a Controlled Substance (C Felony). 

This notice is issued based on the dates of conviction (1993 – Arkansas County and 1994 – Pulaski County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. The Circuit Judge from Arkansas County has raised objections to the application. 

Earl L. Delaney (Fort Smith): Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon (D Felony). 

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1996 – Sebastian County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application. 

Geneva Hopkins (Ward): Forgery Second Degree (C Felony). 

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2000 – Lonoke County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application. 

Alfred Lee Pete Jiles (Tuckerman): Theft of Property (C Felony) and Theft of Property (A Misdemeanor). 

This notice is issued based on the dates of conviction (2004 – Jackson County and 2006 –Craighead County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application. 

Brittany Mayo (Pine Bluff): Disorderly Conduct (A Misdemeanor) and Resisting Arrest (A Misdemeanor). 

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2009 – Jefferson County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application. 

Kristopher P. McDaniel (White Hall): Manslaughter (C Felony).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1999 – Grant County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. The Prosecuting Attorney has raised objections to the application. 

Lee Morine (Texarkana): Manufacture, Delivery or Possession of a Controlled Substance, Cocaine (C Felony). 

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1990 – Miller County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. The Circuit Judge and Prosecuting Attorney have raised objections to the application. 

Kenneth Boyd Proctor (Wynne): Arson, two counts (B Felony) and Theft of Property (D Felony). 

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1989 – Cross County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application. 

Jason Sebo (Maumelle): Possession of Methamphetamine (C Felony). 

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2004 – Sebastian County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application. 

Lacey Zimmerman Unruh (Bentonville): Controlled Substance/Criminal Penalties (B Felony).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2003 – Pope County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application. 

Governor Hutchinson intends to grant commutation to the following person:

William Scheel (ADC #650919): Manufacture of Methamphetamine, five counts (Y Felony) and Possession with Intent to Deliver Methamphetamine (Y Felony). 

The governor has given notice of his intent to commute the sentence of William Scheel, who was convicted in Saline County in 2003 for the above offenses, from a total of 480 months to serve in the Arkansas Department of Correction to being immediately parole eligible. There are no law enforcement objections to the application. 

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.06.2017

Governor Hutchinson to Seek Changes to Arkansas Works Waiver, Legislation Needed

LITTLE ROCK – At a news conference Monday afternoon, Governor Asa Hutchinson outlined four broad changes he is seeking to make to the Arkansas Works program. The reforms would be the first initiated under the Trump Administration, and they include: capping eligibility at 100 percent of the federal poverty line (FPL); establishing a work requirement; strengthening employer-sponsored insurance; and making Arkansas an “assessment state.” The Governor has directed the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) to take the necessary steps to submit requests to the federal government to amend the Arkansas Works Medicaid waiver. Additional details are below.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“Today I have directed my Department of Human Services to file waiver amendment requests with the Trump Administration that will continue the reform efforts we started last year with Arkansas Works. The amendments will focus on meaningful work requirements, emphasizing employer-based insurance, and reducing the numbers in Arkansas Works to create a stronger and more sustainable program. 

“I have spoken with Secretary Price and the Trump Administration about our plans to file these waiver amendments, and they’ve conveyed to me that the requests are consistent with the overall objectives of reform efforts in Washington.”

The requested waiver amendments include:

  • Capping the financial eligibility of the Arkansas Works program at 100 percent of the FPL. Currently, the financial eligibility limit is 138 percent of the FPL. An estimated 20 percent of the Arkansas Works population is above 100 percent. Once this change is made, individuals in this income bracket would be eligible for federal subsidies through the federal marketplace and could pick their same plan or choose a different one that better suits their needs. Their coverage would still be subsidized as it is today, but only with federal dollars, rather than a combination of federal and state funding. 
     
  • Adding a work requirement for non-disabled adults that aligns with other public assistance programs, such as SNAP. The work requirement—along with employment and training services through the Department of Workforce Services—will be designed to encourage movement up the economic ladder for enrollees through education, training and ultimately better jobs. This raises the level of expectation for non-disabled adults on Medicaid and enables the state to encourage these individuals to use the program as s temporary safety net, rather than a permanent solution.
     
  • Replacing the current Employer-Sponsored Insurance component with a new, more targeted program that focuses only on individuals who are a) working for small employers and b) earning at least 75% FPL.
     
    • The employee will receive the same benefits as their coworkers, with no Medicaid wraparound benefits.
       
    • The state will provide funding to cover premium costs up to the amount the state would have paid for an individual enrolled in a Qualified Health Plan through Arkansas Works. This will cover the entire employee share of the premium and also offset some of the employer portion.
       
    • This program will incentivize employers to offer insurance, which will enhance the stability and productivity of their workforce, and it will incentivize employees to work more hours by eliminating the fear of losing coverage due to an increase in income.
       
  • Moving from a “determination state” to an “assessment state,” which would return control of the eligibility process to the state. Current state law designates Arkansas as a “determination state,” and that allows the federal government to determine eligibility for Arkansas Works and Medicaid enrollees who apply through the federal marketplace. Now that DHS has cleared its backlog of overdue Medicaid casework and the functionality of its eligibility system has improved, there is no longer a need to allow the federal government to make those determinations.

DHS Director Cindy Gillespie said Monday that the agency will immediately begin work on drafting the waiver amendments, and will seek input from providers, insurance carriers, legislators and other stakeholders. The goal is to have the draft amendments complete and out for public comment by April 15 and to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) by June 1 for review.

“We want this to be a very transparent process, and we truly do want input so that we can create something tailored to the needs of Arkansas,” Gillespie said. 

Once the waiver amendments are approved, DHS would promulgate necessary rules between August and November, and the new program requirements would go into effect Jan. 1, 2018.

To view Requested Waiver Amendments, go HERE.

To view the photo album of today's press conference, go HERE. To view video of the press conference, go HERE.  

Media outlets are welcome to use photos and video. Please attribute credit to the Governor's Office.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.03.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: March 6th – March 11th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, March 6, 2017, through Saturday, March 11, 2017: 

Monday, March 6, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
Arkansas School Breakfast Month Press Conference
9:30 AM
Governor’s Conference Room
500 Woodlane St.
Little Rock, Ark.

SHERWOOD
Sherwood Chamber of Commerce Installation and 
Community Awards Banquet
6:45 PM
Sherwood Forest
1111 W. Maryland Ave.
Sherwood, Ark.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
News Conference
10:00 AM
Governor’s Conference Room
500 Woodlane St. 
Little Rock, Ark. 

Friday, March 10, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
Political Animals Club
 11:30 AM
Pleasant Valley Country Club
1 Pleasant Valley Dr.
Little Rock, Ark.

Saturday, March 11, 2017:

ROGERS
American Diabetes Association Kiss A Pig Gala
6:00 PM
John Q Hammons Center
3201 Pinnacle Hills Parkway
Rogers, Ark.

Schedule is subject to change. For further updates from Governor Hutchinson, follow on Facebook or Twitter (@AsaHutchinson).

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.02.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Signs ArFuture Grant into Law

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today signed the “Arkansas Future Grant” (ArFuture) into law, which provides up to two years of tuition and fees at a publicly funded Arkansas community or technical college to any student who enrolls in a high-demand field of study or STEM field, such as computer science or welding. This state-funded grant does not require new general revenue funds and will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis to traditional, home school and non-traditional students in Arkansas. 

To view the photo album of today's bill signing, go HERE. To view video of the signing, go HERE.

Media outlets are welcome to use photos and video. Please attribute credit to the Governor's Office.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“The ArFuture Grant is changing the culture of post-secondary education in Arkansas by increasing accessibility and removing the financial hurdles that can keep students from taking the next step in their education. ArFuture makes higher education more affordable and attainable for Arkansas students at no additional cost to taxpayers. This bill will help us meet the needs of our state’s rapidly growing workforce, while also indicating to employers that Arkansas is committed to fostering an environment that supports economic growth and creates high-quality jobs. I am pleased to sign ArFuture into law today.”

Under this grant, key reforms will be implemented to ensure student accountability and success. All grant recipients are required to participate in a mentor program and a community service program. Additionally, upon graduation, the student must work full-time in Arkansas for a minimum of three years. If a student does not complete his or her commitment, the grant will be converted to a loan for repayment to the State of Arkansas. The ArFuture grant will be available for the 2017-2018 school year.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.01.2017

Governor Hutchinson to Detail MLK-Lee Bill Wednesday

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson will hold a news conference Wednesday to discuss recently filed legislation regarding history in the classroom and the dual holiday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert E. Lee Day.

Details are as follows:

WHAT:
Announcement on Separation of MLK and Robert E. Lee Holidays 

WHEN:
2:00 pm, Wednesday, March 1, 2017

WHERE:
Governor’s Conference Room
Arkansas State Capitol
Little Rock, AR

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.27.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule:  February 27th – March 4th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, February 27, 2017, through Saturday, March 4, 2017: 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
Arkansas Food Hall of Fame
6:15 PM
Ron Robinson Theater
100 River Market Ave.
Little Rock, AR

Wednesday, March 1, 2017:

OSCEOLA
The Grand Opening of Big River Steel
11:00 AM
2027 State Hwy 198
Osceola, AR

LITTLE ROCK
Announcement on Separation of MLK and
Robert E. Lee Holidays 
2:00 PM
Governor’s Conference Room
500 Woodlane St.
Little Rock, AR

Thursday, March 2, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
ArFuture Bill Signing Press Conference 
11:00 AM
Governor’s Conference Room
500 Woodlane St.
Little Rock, AR

 

Schedule is subject to change. For further updates from Governor Hutchinson, follow on Facebook or Twitter (@AsaHutchinson).

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.24.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Schedule: February 24th – February 27th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Friday, February 24, 2017, through Monday, February 27, 2017: 

Friday, February 24, 2017:

WASHINGTON, D.C.
POLITICO State Solutions Conference - Q&A Session
1:30 PM CST 
Microsoft Innovation and Policy Center
901 K St. NW, 11th Floor
Washington, D.C. 
Available via live stream at www.politico.com/live
Use #POLGovs to follow the conversation via Twitter

Saturday, February 25, 2017:

WASHINGTON, D.C.
NGA Opening Session 
9:00 AM CST (Sessions to last all day)
Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C.
NGA Plenary Session - Meet the Threat: States Confront the Cyber-Challenge
Governor will Co-Chair the Panel
3:15 PM CST
Open to Public

Sunday, February 26, 2017:

WASHINGTON, D.C.
An Evening with the President and First Lady
5:00 PM CST
Closed to Press

Monday, February 27, 2017:

WASHINGTON, D.C.
Governors-Only Meeting with President Trump
Time TBA
Closed to Press

WASHINGTON, D.C.
NGA Closing Media Briefing
Kennedy Caucus Room 
Russell Senate Office Building
2 Constitution Ave. NE
Washington, D.C.
11:00 AM CST
Open to Public

Schedule is subject to change. For further updates from Governor Hutchinson, follow on Facebook or Twitter (@AsaHutchinson). 

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.23.2017

Governor Hutchinson to Host and Chair Governor’s Joint Energy Summit in Washington, D.C. Thursday an

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson, as Chairman of both the Southern States Energy Board (SSEB) and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC), will chair the first Governor’s Joint Energy Summit in Washington, D.C. The two-day summit will play host to energy leaders from across the country and the world focusing on topics such as energy security and infrastructure planning and developing.

Governor Hutchinson is scheduled to deliver opening remarks at 12:00 pm CT. Those remarks will be live-streamed on his Facebook page.

Governor Asa Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“Energy is a critical part of our state and national economy. In order to sustain our nation’s energy security and remain competitive abroad, it is paramount that our energy sector continues its development and utilization of diverse energy resources.

“As Chairman of the IOGCC and SSEB, I look forward to discussing innovative energy solutions and bringing together the ideas of national and international thought leaders of the industry. Together, we can strengthen our nation’s diverse energy portfolio and seek productive, fair energy regulations in the modern marketplace.”

For additional updates throughout the two-day conference, follow Governor Hutchinson on Facebook and Twitter, @AsaHutchinson.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.22.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson Signs Efficiencies Bills into Law

War Memorial Stadium Commission to Move Under Parks and Tourism

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today signed into law his legislative package on government efficiencies. This legislation aligns the missions of the War Memorial Stadium (WMS) Commission, the Arkansas Energy Office (AEO), and the Office of Health Information Technology (OHIT) with their respective parent agencies. Additional details on each merger are below.

Governor Asa Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“These realignment and cost-savings efforts continue my focus on making state government more efficient for the citizens of our state. We’ve already seen significant benefits and savings from the agency consolidations of 2015, and I am confident we will achieve even greater savings as we continue to streamline services and responsibly utilize taxpayer dollars.

“As our state takes part in the development and usage of new technologies within government, we need to regularly evaluate the effectiveness of agency operations and services. As governor, I will continue working to ensure that we are consistently seeking out better, more efficient ways of serving the people of Arkansas through innovation and common-sense approaches.” 

Kane Webb, Director of Arkansas Parks and Tourism, issued the following statement regarding the War Memorial Stadium Commission’s move to Parks and Tourism:

“War Memorial Stadium is an Arkansas cultural treasure. First and foremost, it is a monument and memorial to our veterans—indeed, the largest war memorial in the state. Secondly, it holds unforgettable memories for Arkansans of all ages, whether it’s from watching college football games or high school championships or attending a concert. Magic happens in War Memorial. We at ADPT are excited about the challenge and privilege of being a part of the stadium’s future, and we can't wait to get to work.”

Becky Keogh, Director of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, issued the following statement on the Arkansas Energy Office’s move to ADEQ:

“ADEQ is excited to be a part of Governor Hutchinson’s focus on identifying efficiency opportunities and effective energy policies for Arkansas. The synergy created by aligning AEO with ADEQ will be beneficial for environmental and energy-valued projects. We look forward to AEO joining us and continuing our advancement of value added services to Arkansas businesses and citizens.”

Dr. Nate Smith, Director of the Arkansas Department of Health, issued the following statement regarding the Office of Health Information Technology’s move to ADH: 

“The Arkansas Department of Health supports this transition of the Office of Health Information Technology. ADH manages other state health care information systems through programs like the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, Immunization Registry, and Cancer Registry. This move will further ensure continuity across programs and that health care providers and public health professionals can access and exchange real-time patient information in accordance with all state and federal privacy and security rules.”

Additional Details: 

The bill includes transferring the WMS Commission to the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism (ADPT), transferring the Arkansas Energy Office from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) to the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), and merging the OHIT into the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH). 

WMS Commission to ADPT: 

Transferring the WMS Commission to ADPT will help secure the viability and sustainability of the stadium. Under ADPT, War Memorial will have greater access to resources and marketing opportunities that will support the cultural and economic importance of WMS in Little Rock. This move will also provide funding for a nationally recognized stadium consultant study to evaluate War Memorial and make recommendations for the future. 

AEO to ADEQ: 

Transferring AEO from AEDC to ADEQ will better align state agencies managing the Volkswagen settlement funds ($13.7 million), which will go toward improving the air quality, alternative fuel, and energy infrastructure in Arkansas. The move will also create better synergy between our state’s energy and environmental offices, allowing both departments to increase responsiveness and implementation of existing energy efficiency programs.

OHIT to ADH:

Moving OHIT, which had previously been a stand-alone agency, to ADH will provide OHIT with greater administrative and operational support for the sharing of resources at lower costs to taxpayers. OHIT is currently responsible for the State Health Alliance for Records Exchange program, which requires extensive knowledge of public health information and billing that will be a natural fit with the expertise of ADH leadership and staff. 

To view the photo album of today's bill signing, go HERE. To view video of the signing, go HERE.  

Media outlets are welcome to use photos and video. Please attribute credit to the Governor's Office.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.21.2017

Gov. Hutchinson to Sign Efficiency Bills Into Law at War Memorial Stadium

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson will sign three pieces of legislation into law at War Memorial Stadium Wednesday. These bills will move the War Memorial Stadium Commission under the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, the Arkansas Energy Office under the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and the Office of Health Information Technology under the Arkansas Department of Health. 

Details are as follows:

WHAT:
Gov. Hutchinson to Sign Efficiency Bills Into Law at War Memorial Stadium

WHEN:
12:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 22, 2017

WHERE:
War Memorial Stadium (on the field)
1 Stadium Drive
Little Rock, AR

Parking will be available on the west side of the stadium. Enter through the Home Team Gate, which will open at 11:30 a.m.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.20.2017

Governor Hutchinson Announces Creation of Transformation Advisory Board

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the creation of the Transformation Advisory Board, another step toward transforming state government by identifying efficiencies and cost-savings to better serve the Arkansas taxpayer. 

The Transformation Advisory Board will continue to examine the recommendations for potential efficiencies and cost-savings from a report by the Arkansas Policy Foundation released last year. In addition, the advisory board will also be charged with evaluating additional efficiencies within state government and prioritizing the state’s plan of action for transformation.

The advisory board is a volunteer group of citizens from both the public and private sectors, who will make policy recommendations to the state’s Chief Transformation Officer, Amy Fecher. No taxpayer money will be spent on the board. A full list of the advisory board members can be found HERE

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“I am pleased to announce the creation of the Transformation Advisory Board. This advisory board will continue my administration’s efforts in identifying potential efficiencies and cost-savings. Transformation is a key priority of mine, as Governor, and I will continue to maintain that focus as we look for better ways to run state government, reduce bureaucracy and increase the level of savings to the state and taxpayer.”

Greg Kaza, Director of the Arkansas Policy Foundation, issued the following statement:

“Citizen involvement is crucial to increasing efficiency in Arkansas state government.  Today's announcement is consistent with the Efficiency Project's recommendation that citizens should work with the executive branch to advance efficiencies.” 

Since January of 2015, Governor Hutchinson has, among other initiatives, instituted a state-wide hiring freeze, resulting in more than 1,100 fewer state employees; merged four state agencies saving the taxpayer $10 million over the next five years; facilitated the sale of the Department of Health’s In-Home Services Unit to the publicly traded Kindred Healthcare, netting the state $24 million; and instituted an across the board 1% cut to state agencies, saving another $7 million annually. 

In addition, Governor Hutchinson plans to sign three more efficiency bills on Wednesday, including: moving War Memorial Stadium to the Department of Parks and Tourism; moving the Arkansas Energy Office to the Department of Environmental Quality; and moving the Office of Health Information Technology to the Department of Health.  

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.17.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: February 20th – February 25th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, February 20, 2017, through Saturday, February 25, 2017: 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
Hoops for Kids Sake Legislative Basketball Game
7:00 PM
Jack Stephens Center at UALR
2801 South University
Little Rock, AR

Wednesday, February 22, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
Public Bill Signing for Efficiency Bills
12:00 PM
War Memorial Stadium
Little Rock, AR
More Details to Come

Friday, February 24, 2017:

WASHINGTON, D.C.
POLITICO's Seventh Annual State Solutions Conference
1:30 PM 
Washington, D.C.
More Details to Come

Schedule is subject to change. For further updates from Governor Hutchinson, follow on Facebook or Twitter (@AsaHutchinson).

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.16.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson Signs Maternity Leave Bill into Law

LITTLE ROCK – Gov. Asa Hutchinson today signed into law a bill to provide paid maternity leave to state workers. SB 125 was introduced by Senator Missy Irvin and Representative DeAnn Vaught. The bill provides for four weeks of paid maternity leave for state agency employees. 

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement: 

“I am pleased that the maternity leave bill passed through the legislature with bipartisan support. Mothers make up a significant portion of our state’s workforce and this bill will ensure that we retain their vital contributions, while also allowing them to take care of their new additions. A fair maternity leave policy is crucial to a state’s ability to retain valuable employees and I am pleased that this is now the law of the state.” 

Senator Irvin issued the following statement: 

“This is a monumental day for women, families and children in Arkansas. In passing Senate Bill 125 we are leading the nation on this important pro-family and pro-woman issue. Senate Bill 125 provides for paid maternity leave for our state employees for births and adoptions by utilizing hours donated by fellow employees without costing taxpayers a dime. It is by far, one of the smartest and most efficient laws we have passed.” 

Representative Vaught issued the following statement: 

“I love that we have finally found a way to help soon-to-be parents that work for state agencies here in Arkansas at no additional cost to taxpayers. Today is a great day for working mothers in our state. As a mother, I am honored to be able to carry legislation that will help our dedicated state employees as they become parents.”

Employees may now take up to four weeks of paid maternity leave within the first 12 weeks after the birth or adoption of a child. The program requires the employee to have been employed by the state for more than one year. The law does not require employees to exhaust sick or annual leave prior to being awarded catastrophic leave for maternity purposes. 

Under the new law, all agency catastrophic leave banks will be eliminated and replaced with a single leave bank for all agencies that will be administered by the Office of Personnel Management. 

It is important to note that the state’s maternity leave program will operate with no additional cost to taxpayers because the hours donated to the catastrophic leave bank are already accounted for as an unfunded liability in the state budget. 

To view the photo album of today's bill signing, go HERE. To view video of the signing, go HERE.  

Media outlets are welcome to use photos and video. Please attribute credit to the Governor's Office.

 

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.14.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Appointments

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the following appointments:

Ann Hudson, Forrest City, to the Board of Trustees of East Arkansas Community College. Appointment expires December 31, 2022. Reappointment.

Willie Smith, Forrest City, to the Board of Trustees of East Arkansas Community College. Appointment expires December 31, 2022. Reappointment.

Rausch Hodges, Forrest City, to the Board of Trustees of East Arkansas Community College. Appointment expires December 31, 2022. Replaces Frederick McCollum.

Al Miller, Forrest City, to the Board of Trustees of East Arkansas Community College. Appointment expires December 31, 2020. Replaces Steve Hollowell.

Gary Griffis, El Dorado, to the Board of Trustees of South Arkansas Community College. Appointment expires December 31, 2022. Reappointment.

Melissa Jerry, El Dorado, to the Board of Trustees of South Arkansas Community College. Appointment expires December 31, 2022. Replaces James Stephen Cameron.

Kerri Brown, El Dorado, to the Board of Trustees of South Arkansas Community College. Appointment expires December 31, 2022. Replaces David Ross.

Tom Denniston, Scott, to the Arkansas Economic Development Council. Appointment expires January 14, 2021. Replaces Mary Beth Brooks.

Gary Sewell, El Dorado, to the Arkansas Economic Development Council. Appointment expires January 14, 2021. Replaces Jack McNulty.

Tracey Rancifer, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Economic Development Council. Appointment expires January 14, 2021. Replaces Steve Ronnel.

Richard Barrows, Springdale, to the Arkansas Economic Development Council. Appointment expires January 14, 2019. Replaces Philip Taldo.

Carl Miller, Jr., Little Rock, to the State Review Committee for Historic Preservation. Appointment expires June 30, 2020. Reappointment.

Rachel Golden, Little Rock, to the State Review Committee for Historic Preservation. Appointment expires June 30, 2020. Replaces Donna Jones.

Doug Akin, Little Rock, to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Cycling. Serves at the will of the Governor.

Jeffery Moore, Sherwood, to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Cycling. Serves at the will of the Governor.

Butch Rice, Beebe, to the Arkansas Racing Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2022. Replaces Jimmie McKissack.

Damon Jackson, Garfield, to the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Board. Appointment expires January 14, 2021. Reappointment.

William Remy, Booneville, to the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Board. Appointment expires January 14, 2021. Replaces Pete Strozier.

Roy Reaves, Russellville, to the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2024. Replaces Michael Carter.

Robert Howell, Searcy, to the Advisory Committee on Petroleum Storage Tanks. Appointment expires December 31, 2020. Replaces David Zakrzewski.

Jeffery Rutledge, Newport, to the Arkansas Waterways Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2024. Replaces Gay Lacy.

David Lumbert, Maumelle, to the Arkansas Geological Survey. Appointment expires January 14, 2024. Reappointment.

Alice Eastwood, Bentonville, to the Arkansas Ethics Commission. Appointment expires December 31, 2021. Replaces Robert E. McCormack.

Robert Ellerd, Malvern, as a Justice of the Peace for the Hot Spring County Quorum Court, District 3. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Wade Overturf.

Gary Wofford, Jr., Delight, as a Justice of the Peace for the Pike County Quorum Court, District 4. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Ed Jones.

William Burnett, Rogers, as a Justice of the Peace for the Benton County Quorum Court, District 5. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Kevin Harrison.

Barney Hayes, Rogers, as a Justice of the Peace for the Benton County Quorum Court, District 3. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Mary Jane Comstock.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.10.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: February 13th – February 18th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, February 13, 2017, through Saturday, February 18, 2017: 

Monday, February 13, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
AdvancED Arkansas, Arkansas STEM Coalition, and the 
Arkansas Out of School Network STEM Summit– Speaking
8:45 AM
DoubleTree Little Rock
424 W Markham St.
Little Rock, AR

Thursday, February 16, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
"A Tribute to 4-H in Arkansas” – Speaking
10:30 AM
Arkansas State Capitol – Second Floor Rotunda
500 Woodlane St.
Little Rock, AR

Friday, February 17, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
Arkansas High School Slogan-Logo Drug Abuse Prevention 
Campaign Development Awards Ceremony 
10:30 AM
Governor’s Conference Room
500 Woodlane Street
Little Rock, AR

Please be aware of additional bill signing events that may be announced separately throughout the week. 

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.10.2017

Gov. Hutchinson’s Statement on Amazon’s Decision to Collect Sales Tax in Arkansas Starting in March

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson issued the following statement in response to Amazon’s announcement that the Seattle-based company will begin collecting sales tax in Arkansas beginning in March:

“The announcement from Amazon to start the sales tax collection for Arkansas in March is laudable and good news for the state. Arkansas will join the other 38 states in which Amazon is collecting and remitting sales tax.  This step by Amazon has been voluntary and reflects the new landscape in which retailers recognize the practicality and fairness of sales tax being treated equally between online sales and in person store sales. This decision also shifts the responsibility of sales tax payment from the customer to the retailer at the time of checkout—providing further clarity and efficiency to the current and often misunderstood Arkansas law.

“As everyone knows, lowering our state’s income tax rate has been a priority of mine from day one. This strengthened revenue stream will allow us to continue to make progress in cutting the income tax rate, making Arkansas more competitive with our surrounding states, and putting money back into the pockets of hardworking Arkansans.”

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.08.2017

Photos & Video of Higher Education Productivity Funding Formula Bill Signing

LITTLE ROCK – Digital media related to today’s public bill signing of the Higher Education Productivity Funding Formula can be found at the following links:

Photos

Video

Media outlets are welcome to use photos and video. Please attribute credit to the Governor’s Office.  

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.08.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Signs Higher Education Productivity Funding Formula into Law

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today signed into law the Higher Education Productivity Funding Formula. The new funding formula will increase accountability by taking into account student success and program completion, whereas the previous formula was largely based on student enrollment.

Governor Asa Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“When I was elected Governor, I made it a goal for my administration to increase the percentage of Arkansans who attain post-secondary degrees from 40% to 60% by 2025. With the legislature’s passing of the new Productivity Funding Formula, we have taken an important step toward achieving that goal.

“This new formula will be based upon student progress rather than student enrollment. This shift in focus will encourage and empower our students to successfully attain their degree, license or certificate in a timely manner. I am thrilled that the legislature has approved this measure and I look forward to continued work with the Department of Higher Education and our state’s colleges and universities to make Arkansas a leader in student success.”

Productivity-based funding is used to align institutional funding with statewide priorities for higher education by encouraging programs and services focused on results. This model encourages accountability to students and policymakers by focusing on the success of students through educational progress and degree attainment.  

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.07.2017

Gov. Asa Hutchinson to Sign Higher Education Productivity Funding Formula into law Wednesday

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson will sign HB1209 tomorrow in the Governor’s Conference Room. This new Higher Education Productivity Funding Formula for Arkansas’s colleges and universities will be based upon student progress rather than student enrollment.

Details are as follows:

WHAT:
Gov. Hutchinson to Sign Higher Education Productivity Funding Formula

WHEN:
11:15 a.m. | Wednesday, February 8, 2017

WHERE:
Governor’s Conference Room
Arkansas State Capitol
Little Rock, AR 72201

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.07.2017

Gov. Hutchinson signs Military Retired Pay Tax Cut into Law

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today signed into law a bill to eliminate state income tax on military retirement pay. Hutchinson initially laid out this tax cut as a part of his package for the 2017 legislative session. 

Governor Asa Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“I am pleased that the General Assembly has approved this bill to eliminate state income taxes on military retiree pay. Arkansas currently exempts active duty military pay from state income taxes and beginning in January will also exempt military retirement pay.

“This initiative will make Arkansas a more military friendly retirement destination and will encourage veterans to start their second careers or open a business right here in the Natural State. I am confident that adding these highly skilled and educated veterans to our workforce will spur economic development and benefit all Arkansans."

House Bill 1162 passed through the General Assembly with wide bi-partisan support in both chambers. The law will go into effect in January of 2018. 

To view the photo album of today's bill signing, go HERE. Media outlets are welcome to use photos. Please attribute credit to the Governor's Office.

To view video of the tax cut signing, go HERE.  

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.06.2017

Gov. Hutchinson to Sign Military Retired Pay Tax Cut Into Law Tuesday

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson will hold a bill signing for HB1162, the Military Retired Pay Tax Cut, tomorrow in the Governor’s Conference Room. This tax cut initiative will serve to recruit new military retirees to the state by eliminating the tax on military retirement pay. 

Details are as follows:

WHAT:
Gov. Hutchinson to Sign Military Retired Pay Tax Cut into Law Tuesday

WHEN:
11:00 a.m. | Tuesday, February 7, 2017

WHERE: 
Governor’s Conference Room
Arkansas State Capitol
Little Rock, AR

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.03.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: February 6th – February 11th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, February 6, 2017, through Saturday, February 11, 2017: 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
Women's Primary Suffrage Centennial Day Ceremony – Speaking
12:00 PM
Arkansas State Capitol - Capitol Steps
500 Woodlane St.
Little Rock, AR

Thursday, February 9, 2017:

SPRINGDALE
Don Tyson School of Innovation Dedication Ceremony
8:30 AM
Don Tyson School of Innovation
2667 Hylton Road
Springdale, AR

Friday, February 10, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
Arkansas Business Hall of Fame
6:30 PM
State House Convention Center - Wally Allen Ballroom
101 E Markham St.
Little Rock, AR

Please be aware of additional bill signing events that may be announced separately throughout the week. 

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.03.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Intent to Grant Executive Clemency

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced his intent to grant six pardons, one restoration of firearms rights only and one commutation. An additional 42 clemency requests were denied and three had no action taken upon them. These include requests from both inmates and non-inmates.

The applicants intended for pardons have completed all jail time, fulfilled all parole and probationary requirements and paid all fines related to their sentences. There is a 30-day waiting period to receive public feedback on the notices before final action is taken.

Governor Hutchinson intends to grant pardons to the following people:

Dawn Shirley Heymach (Ward): Theft of Property (B Felony). 

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2005 – Craighead County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. The Circuit Judge has raised objections to the application.

Reginald M. Johnson (Leesville, LA): Breaking and Entering, seven counts (D Felonies) and Theft of Property, three counts (B Felonies).  

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1996 – Jefferson County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Harold Jones, Jr. (Little Rock): Theft of Property (C Felony) and Forgery in the 1st Degree (B Felony).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1979 – Chicot County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Bradford J. Martin (Batesville): Possession of a Controlled Substance, Methamphetamine (C Felony), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia with Intent to Use (C Felony). 

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2002 – Independence County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

David L. Ramsey (Cottonton, AL): Theft of Property (C Felony).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1978 – Pulaski County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Jeremy Yeager (Van Buren): Burglary, three counts (B Felony), Theft of Property, three counts (C Felony), Theft by Deception (C Felony) and Possession of Methamphetamine (C Felony).

This notice is issued based on the dates of conviction (1992 and 1996 – Crawford County, 1994 and 1995 – Sebastian County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. The Crawford County Sheriff and the Sebastian County Prosecutor have raised objections to the application.

Governor Hutchinson intends to grant restoration of firearms rights only to the following person:

Carl U. Atkins (Nashville): Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver, Marijuana (C Felony). 

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2002 – Howard County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. The Sheriff of Howard County has signed the Recommendation of the Chief Law Enforcement Officer as required by law. There are no law enforcement objections to the application. 

Governor Hutchinson intends to grant commutation to the following person:

Jimmy D. Doyle (ADC #131654): Criminal Attempt to Manufacture Methamphetamine (A Felony), Possession of Methamphetamine (C Felony), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, two counts (C Felony), Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Deliver, two counts (Y Felony), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia with Intent to Manufacture Methamphetamine, two counts (B Felony), Criminal Conspiracy to Manufacture Methamphetamine (A Felony), Simultaneous Possession of Drugs/Firearms (Y Felony) and Possession of Ephedrine (D Felony). 

The governor has given notice of his intent to commute the sentence of Jimmy D. Doyle, who was convicted in Randolph County and Lawrence County in 2004 for the above offense, from a total of 960 months to serve in the Arkansas Department of Correction to being immediately parole eligible. The Randolph County Sheriff has raised objections to the application.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.01.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson Signs $50 Million Tax Cut Proposal into Law

LITTLE ROCK – Gov. Asa Hutchinson today signed into law the $50 million tax cut he laid out as a part of his package for the 2017 legislative session.

The tax cut signed into law today represents Governor Hutchinson’s second round of reductions to the state income tax. While Hutchinson’s first tax cut targeted middle income levels, his second round of cuts focuses on the state’s lower income levels by providing tax relief to Arkansans who earn less than $21,000 annually.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement: 

“I appreciate the legislature’s overwhelming bipartisan support for my $50 million tax cut, and I am proud to be able to sign this bill into law today. With today’s actions, we will have provided $150 million in substantive income tax relief to nearly 1.3 million Arkansans in the past year. In fact, 90% of the state’s individual income taxpayers will have benefited from substantive tax relief legislation since I took office in 2015. 

“While I know some were hoping for much larger tax cuts, it is clear that this is the most responsible and conservative reduction that we could make at this time. I look forward to working with the legislature and the task force to identify how we can responsibly lower the burden on Arkansans and make us more competitive with our surrounding states.”

To view the photo album of today's tax cut signing, go HERE. Media outlets are welcome to use photos. Please attribute credit to the Governor's Office. 

To view video of the tax cut signing, go HERE.  

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01.31.2017

Gov. Hutchinson’s Statement on President Trump’s Nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to Supreme Court

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson released the following statement upon President Donald Trump’s announcement of Judge Neil Gorsuch as his nominee to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States:

"I am both excited and encouraged to hear that the President has nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Gorsuch is an accomplished conservative with impressive credentials, whose adherence to our constitution is rock steady. I look forward to his confirmation in the coming days."

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01.27.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: January 30th – February 4th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, January 30, 2017, through Saturday, February 4, 2017:
 

Monday, January 30, 2017:

EL DORADO
AEDC Announcement
10:00 AM
El Dorado, AR

EL DORADO
AEDC Announcement
11:30 AM
El Dorado, AR


Wednesday, February 1, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Trail Induction Ceremony
12:00 PM
Ron Robinson Theater
1 Pulaski Way
Little Rock, AR


Thursday, February 2, 2017:

EL DORADO
El Dorado Promise 10th Anniversary Celebration
5:00 PM
El Dorado Conference Center
311 South West Avenue
El Dorado, AR

Contact: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01.26.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Appointments

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the following appointments:

Lona McCastlain, Austin, to the Parole Board. Appointment expires January 14, 2024. Replaces James Wallace.

Ray Dillon, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Forestry Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2026. Reappointment.

Dee Holcomb, Pine Bluff, to the Arkansas Real Estate Commission.  Appointment expires December 31, 2019.  Replaces Monica Freeland.

Bob Walker, Jacksonville, to the Arkansas Real Estate Commission.  Appointment expires December 31, 2019.  Replaces Lesia Johnson Ford.

Eric Jackson, Hot Springs National Park, to the State Parks, Recreation and Travel Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2023. Replaces LeRoy Dangeau.

John Gill, Little Rock, to the State Parks, Recreation and Travel Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2023. Reappointment.

David Bazzel, Little Rock, to the State Parks, Recreation and Travel Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2023. Replaces Jay Bunyard.

Dr. Steven Cathey, North Little Rock, to the Arkansas State Medical Board. Appointment expires December 31, 2022. Reappointment.

Dr. Sylvia Simon, Monticello, to the Arkansas State Medical Board. Appointment expires December 31, 2022. Replaces Joseph Beck.

John Newcomb, Osceola, to the Board of Trustees of Arkansas Northeastern College.  Appointment expires December 31, 2022.  Reappointment.

Clifton Chitwood, Osceola, to the Board of Trustees of Arkansas Northeastern College.  Appointment expires December 31, 2022.  Reappointment.

Dr. Thomas Westbrook, Blytheville, to the Board of Trustees of Arkansas Northeastern College.  Appointment expires December 31, 2022.  Reappointment.

Dr. John McAllister, Little Rock, to the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas School for the Blind and the Arkansas School for the Deaf.  Appointment expires January 14, 2022.  Replaces Mary Weeks.

David Leech, Stuttgart, to the State Banking Board. Appointment expires December 31, 2021. Replaces Elizabeth Bowles.

Dr. William Hewat, Fayetteville, to the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission. Appointment expires on January 14, 2024. Replaces Monty Henderson.

Mayor Mike Gaskill, Paragould, to the State Aid Street Committee. Appointment expires December 31, 2020. Replaces Mayor Mark Stodola.

Michael Hocutt, Little Rock, to the Contractors Licensing Board. Appointment expires December 31, 2021. Reappointment.

Larry Brewer, Conway, to the Arkansas Fire Protection Services Board. Appointment expires on October 14, 2019. Reappointment.

Dr. Vern Green, Jonesboro, to the Arkansas State Board of Registration for Professional Soil Classifiers. Appointment expires November 1, 2021. Replaces John Harrington.

Dr. John Fleming, Little Rock, to the Department of Human Services State Institutional System Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2018. Replaces Douglas Kidd.

Thomas Wofford, Jr., Jonesboro, to the Arkansas Department of Aeronautics. Appointment expires November 9, 2021. Replaces William Morgan.

James Dawson, Clinton, to the Arkansas Department of Aeronautics. Appointment expires on November 9, 2021. Replaces William McKenzie.

Barry Ball, Blytheville, to the Blytheville-Gosnell Regional Airport Authority. Appointment expires November 1, 2022. Reappointment.

Russell Crowell, Manila, to the Blytheville-Gosnell Regional Airport Authority. Appointment expires November 1, 2022. Replaces Oscar Ford.

Thomas Spillyards, Rogers, to the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Development Finance Authority.  Appointment expires January 14, 2021.  Reappointment.

Gregory Stanfill, Rogers, to the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Development Finance Authority.  Appointment expires January 14, 2021.  Reappointment.

Katelyn Busby, Monticello, to the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Development Finance Authority.  Appointment expires January 14, 2020.  Replaces Sarah Capp.

Stephanie Ellis, Russellville, to the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Development Finance Authority.  Appointment expires January 14, 2021.  Replaces Charley Baxter.

Larry Tate, Little Rock, to the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Development Finance Authority.  Appointment expires January 14, 2021.  Replaces Anthony Brooks.

Robert Moore, Arkansas City, to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Cycling. Serves at the will of the Governor.

Dr. Michelle Smith, North Little Rock, to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Cycling. Serves at the will of the Governor.

David Roberts, Maumelle, to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Cycling. Serves at the will of the Governor.

Joseph Jacobs, Little Rock, to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Cycling. Serves at the will of the Governor.

David Knight, Little Rock, to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Cycling. Serves at the will of the Governor.

D. Jim Dailey, Little Rock, to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Cycling. Serves at the will of the Governor.

Michael Chaffin, Little Rock, to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Cycling. Serves at the will of the Governor.

Dr. Jennifer Conner, Portland, to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Cycling. Serves at the will of the Governor.

Paxton Roberts, Fayetteville, to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Cycling. Serves at the will of the Governor.

Cherry Stewart, Hope, as a Justice of the Peace for the Hempstead County Quorum Court, District 2. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Billy Rook.

Kandice Bell, White Hall, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-16-435 Samuel A. Perroni v. David Sachar, Executive Director. Replaces Justice Karen Baker, who has disqualified herself from the case.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01.26.2017

Gov. Hutchinson, ADE Launch Reading Initiative

LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas Department of Education are excited to announce the R.I.S.E. (Reading Initiative for Student Excellence) Arkansas reading initiative. R.I.S.E. Arkansas will build a culture of reading through stakeholder collaboration and provide additional instructional support to current and future teachers. 

"Reading and literacy skills are vital for success in the classroom and life in general,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “For students looking toward a degree or new career path, high-level literacy skills are essential. For these reasons, I am pleased to support Commissioner Key and the Department of Education's R.I.S.E. Arkansas campaign to increase student success and build a culture of reading throughout Arkansas."

Based on 2015 ACT Aspire results, 48.6 percent of Arkansas' students in grades three through 10 were proficient in English language arts. A total of 39 percent of Arkansas’ graduating seniors met reading readiness benchmarks on The ACT in 2015. Nationally, Arkansas ranks in the lower third of states in reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

The goal of the campaign is to increase the number of students in grades three through eight who meet the ACT Aspire reading readiness benchmark by 10 percent within three years; rise above the bottom third in state comparisons within five years on the fourth-grade NAEP reading assessment; and increase the number of graduates meeting The ACT reading readiness benchmark by 10 percent within five years.

The R.I.S.E. Arkansas campaign will enhance and expand existing efforts by the Arkansas Department of Education and school districts to support literacy in schools. Many secondary schools across the state have adopted Literacy Design Collaborative practices as an instructional model. High schools also are providing transitional courses for students who need additional support in rigorous course work prior to graduation. Arkansas has adopted new English language arts and literacy standards for grades kindergarten through 12 and continues to provide support and additional resources for educators.

The state recognizes the need to do more in the area of literacy to accomplish these goals. R.I.S.E. Arkansas emphasizes the importance of building a culture of reading, educating parents about the importance of reading, and increasing access to books at home. In addition, the campaign will focus on increasing the depth of knowledge for teachers in the science of reading and expanding their understanding of phonics and phonological awareness, as well as how that knowledge impacts fluency, vocabulary, comprehension and writing. The science of reading, going beyond the five components outlined in the National Reading Panel Report 2010, provides educators with the scientific research and knowledge of how a student actually learns to read.

“I was blessed to be raised in a home where reading was emphasized and encouraged, and to this day I love to read,” ADE Commissioner Johnny Key said. “Reading opens doors to knowledge and enjoyment. Reading opens doors to our past, helps us understand our present and guides us to our future. Reading opens doors to a richer life. Through this initiative, we are committed to helping every student obtain the reading skills necessary to achieve success in school, but beyond that, giving them the opportunity to realize that richer life. Through placing the highest priority on reading instruction, teacher development and strengthening our partnerships, we will build a strong culture of reading in Arkansas and transform the state to lead the nation in student-focused education.”

Reading Conference

In addition to partnering with other stakeholders to promote a culture of reading, ADE is hosting its 2nd Annual Reading Conference: A Focus on Dyslexia and the Science of Reading in Hot Springs. The free conference for educators will be held March 6-7 at the Hot Springs Convention Center. Districts are encouraged to send a team of educators. To learn more, visit http://www.arkansased.gov/events/498/2017-ade-reading-conference-for-arkansas-schools.

R.I.S.E. Academy

Teachers in the primary grades must have an in-depth understanding of phonics and phonemic awareness to support beginning readers. Intermediate level teachers also need this knowledge to provide support to struggling readers and help independent readers decode multi-syllabic words and have a basis for understanding the English language. Reading professional development has focused on a general scope of basic reading skills; however, a strong foundation in phonics is necessary to move students forward in their reading. Students will rely on these foundational phonics skills, especially in the intermediate grades, to read fluently and comprehend complex text.

This summer ADE will launch the R.I.S.E. Academy to support kindergarten through second-grade teachers for the 2017-18 school year. Education service cooperatives and several school districts will host the academies. ADE is currently providing training to more than 80 literacy specialists to assist with the academies this summer. Forty of these specialists will become lead trainers who will facilitate the academies and provide support for approximately 1,000 educators who teach grades kindergarten through second for the 2017-18 school year. ADE specialists, higher education representatives, and state and district literacy specialists will provide regional support networks for each cohort group.

This year-long blended learning professional development will provide educators with in-depth information related to the science of reading, evidence-based instructional strategies and how to make data-based decisions for students. Participants will receive coaching and opportunities for collaboration with other educators. 

The R.I.S.E. Academy will expand to train educators in grades three through 12 in 2018-19. The academy also will include an administrator training. The administrator training will focus on reading supports and resources necessary to implement an effective reading program within the school, building foundational knowledge related to the science of reading and instructional components that should be evident during classroom observations. 

Continued Collaboration

ADE will continue to collaborate with community, business and education partners, including higher education, to improve instruction for future teachers to promote a deeper understanding of the science of reading. ADE also will collaborate with the DHS Early Childhood Division to promote the importance of early literacy instruction for students in preschool before entering kindergarten. 

Literacy is not only for those in education but also for all Arkansans. Business and community partnerships are critical to promoting the culture of reading within the state and providing access to books in the home. 

School districts are encouraged to begin planning local reading campaigns. Additional materials and resources will be provided this spring to school districts so they can launch their own campaign or build upon an existing reading campaign this fall.

For more information about R.I.S.E. Arkansas, visit www.arkansased.gov and #RISEArkansas. 

Click HERE to view R.I.S.E. Arkansas Fact Sheet.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612), Kimberly Friedman (kimberly.friedman@arkansas.gov or (501) 683-4788)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01.25.2017

Gov. Hutchinson to Hold News Conference to Announce R.I.S.E. Arkansas Initiative

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson, along with Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key, will announce the R.I.S.E. (Reading Initiative for Student Excellence) Arkansas initiative tomorrow. R.I.S.E. Arkansas will focus on building a culture of reading through stakeholder collaboration and provide additional instructional support to current and future teachers. The announcement will be attended by second-grade students from MLK Magnet Elementary School who will each receive a book provided by the Dept. of Education. 

Details are as follows:

WHAT:             Gov. Hutchinson, Dept. of Education to Announce Reading Initiative 

WHEN:            11:30 a.m. | Thursday, January 26, 2017

WHERE:          Governor’s Conference Room
                         Arkansas State Capitol
                         Little Rock, AR 72201

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01.20.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: January 22nd – January 28th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Sunday, January 22, 2017, through Saturday, January 28, 2017: 

Sunday, January 22, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
39th Annual March for Life
2:00 PM
Arkansas State Capitol – Capitol Steps
500 Woodlane Street
Little Rock, AR

Thursday, January 26, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
Reading Initiative Press Conference 
11:30 AM
Arkansas State Capitol - Governor's Conference Room
500 Woodlane Street
Little Rock, AR

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01.18.2017

National Guard to Provide Fire Protection at Arkansas National Guard’s 188th Wing in Fort Smith

Governor Hutchinson Applauds National Guard Announcement to Provide Crucial Fire Protection at Arkansas National Guard’s 188th Wing in Fort Smith

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today applauded the decision of Lieutenant General L. Scott Rice, Director of the Air National Guard, to base 15 firefighters at the Ebbing, ANG base in Fort Smith to provide 24-hour structural fire protection for Ebbing facilities.  Championed by Senator John Boozman and Congressman Steve Womack since the 188th lost fire protection capabilities after the Wing's primary mission changed from A-10s to remotely piloted aircraft in fall 2014, the decision will reinstate adequate fire protection capabilities at the 188th.  Firefighters will begin working at Ebbing, ANG base as soon as they can be hired and properly trained. 

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“I am delighted by Lieutenant General Rice’s decision to provide 15 firefighters to support Arkansas’s 188th Fighter Wing. This is great news for Fort Smith, and I applaud the diligence and leadership exhibited by Senator Boozman, Congressman Womack and Adjutant General Berry in working to resolve this critical issue. There’s no doubt this resolution will greatly improve the safety and emergency preparedness at the 188th.”

Senator Boozman issued the following statement:

“I am very appreciative to the U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah James, Chief of Staff General David Goldfein, Director of the Air National Guard Lieutenant General Rice and Arkansas National Guard Adjutant General Mark Berry for their persistence in helping the Arkansas delegation resolve this issue. The delegation, along with local and state officials, have been working for a long time to find a solution to this issue. Following countless meetings and discussions, I am pleased that we have now identified a path forward which preserves the 188th Wing’s long-admired presence in the Fort Smith community and addresses the concerns of the Fort Smith Regional Airport—both of which are vital to the community and our nation.”

Congressman Womack issued the following statement: 

“I’m grateful to Lieutenant General Rice for his hard work to preserve the capabilities at the 188th Fighter Wing.  The men and women of the 188th are performing some of the most important missions fighting terror around the globe, and this is not only a huge victory for them, but for City of Fort Smith and the entire state.  As a member of the Defense Subcommittee on Appropriations, I’m honored to have a seat at the table when important decisions about the future of our military are made and am very appreciative to the rest of our delegation, specifically Senator Boozman, for their support of this solution.”

CONTACT: Governor Hutchinson’s Office: press@governor.arkansas.gov, 501.682.3612 | Senator Boozman’s Office: patrick_creamer@boozman.senate.gov, 202.701.6433 | Congressman Womack’s Office: claire.burghoff@mail.house.gov, 202.225.4301

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01.18.2017

Gov. Hutchinson to Make Job Creation Announcement at SHOT Show

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson will join company leaders for a job creation announcement at the Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show) in Las Vegas.

Details are as follows:

WHAT:           Gov. Hutchinson to make job creation announcement at SHOT Show

WHEN:          12:00 p.m. (CST) | Wednesday, January 18, 2017

WHERE:       Booth #11053
                      SHOT Show
                      Sands Expo Center
                      201 Sands Avenue
                      Las Vegas, NV

To watch this announcement via a Facebook live feed, visit Governor Hutchinson’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/asaforarkansas/) at noon on Wednesday, January 18.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01.13.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: January 15th – January 21st

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, January 16, 2017, through Saturday, January 21, 2017: 

Monday, January 16, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
King Holiday Interfaith Prayer Breakfast
7:00 AM
Saint Mark Baptist Church - Family Life Center
5722 W. 12th Street
Little Rock, AR

Wednesday, January 18, 2017:

LAS VEGAS, NV
Jobs Announcement
12:00 PM (CST)
SHOT Show
Las Vegas, NV

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01.13.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Appointments

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the following appointments:

Stephen Edwards, Marianna, to the Arkansas State Police Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2024. Replaces Frank Guinn, Jr., Paragould.

Therral Story, Magnolia, to the Board of Trustees of Southern Arkansas University. Appointment expires January 14, 2022. Reappointment.

Price Gardner, Roland, to the Board of Trustees of Arkansas State University. Appointment expires January 14, 2022. Replaces Howard Slinkard, Rogers.

Eric Burnett, Fort Smith, to the Board of Trustees of Arkansas Tech University. Appointment expires January 14, 2022. Replaces John Ed Chambers, Danville.

Rev. Everette Cornell “E.C.” Maltbia, Conway, to the Board of Trustees of the University of Central Arkansas. Appointment expires January 14, 2024. Replaces Victor Green, Conway.

Ross Whipple, Arkadelphia, to the Board of Trustees of Henderson State University. Appointment expires January 14, 2024. Reappointment.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01.10.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Addresses the 91st General Assembly

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today delivered his State of the State address to the 91st General Assembly in the House Chambers at the Arkansas State Capitol.

You can view the video of the Governor’s address HERE and the full transcript of his speech HERE. Photos from today can be downloaded HERE. Please attribute all photos the Governor’s Office.

Contact: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01.09.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: January 9th – January 14th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, January 9, 2017, through Saturday, January 14, 2017: 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
Governor Hutchinson Addresses the 91st General Assembly
10:30 AM
Arkansas State Capitol – House Chamber
500 Woodlane St.
Little Rock, AR

Thursday, January 12, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
Arkansas Municipal League Winter Conference – 
Volunteer Community of the Year Awards Luncheon
12:30 PM
Statehouse Convention Center - Wally Allen Ballroom
101 E Markham St.
Little Rock, AR

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01.05.2017

Gov. Hutchinson to Appear on Arkansas Radio Network to Answer Questions from Call-in Listeners

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson will join with Bob Steel on KARN Newsradio to answer questions from statewide call-in listeners during the Ask the Governor show on Friday morning.

Details are as follows:

WHAT:           Gov. Hutchinson to Appear on Arkansas Radio Network to Answer Questions from Call-in Listeners

WHEN:           9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m., Friday, January 6, 2017

WHERE:         KARN Newsradio 102.9 FM

Listeners can call toll free statewide: 1-866-275-8255 or 1-866-275-TALK
Local listeners can call: 501-433-8255 or 501-433-TALK

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01.05.2017

Gov. Hutchinson and Facebook Announce Arkansas & Facebook Techstart Partnership

Facebook to Provide Technology, Resources to Arkansas Schools
 

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the details of an agreement with Facebook, Inc. to launch the company’s Techstart program in Arkansas high schools. The Arkansas & Facebook Techstart Partnership is a first-of-its-kind partnership with the social media giant. Under the agreement, Facebook will donate 500 Virtual Reality (VR) classroom kits, including computers, cameras and the Oculus Rift equipment necessary to administer the Techstart program.  

Techstart is a program developed by Facebook, Inc. that aims to give students access to high quality computer science and virtual reality education in order to generate interest in computer science careers and provide instruction for students. Techstart uses a combination of virtual reality instruction, curriculum support and professional development for educators, access to computer science events and connections to engineering mentors to provide a powerful tool for students.  

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement:  

“Arkansas continues to lead the nation in computer science education and this partnership with Facebook’s Techstart program will make us even stronger in that regard. Facebook’s generous donation will both excite and empower Arkansas students to sharpen their computer science skills and to explore STEM careers. Students who utilize this incredible platform will be positioned to succeed in our increasingly technology driven economy.”  

According to the agreement, Facebook will donate 500 VR kits to the state that will be distributed to approximately 250 schools, educational co-ops and STEM education centers. These donations will primarily target high schools that contain a high percentage of low-income students. Under the agreement, distribution and facilitation of these resources would be administered through the Arkansas Department of Education Computer Science Division and the Arkansas Public Resource Center. 

Erin Egan, Facebook’s Vice President of U.S. Public Policy, issued the following statement:  

“Facebook aims to inspire the next generation to be involved in and excited about computer science. With 500,000 open computing jobs in this country and just 50,000 computer science graduates every year, the opportunity is clear. Given Governor Hutchinson’s commitment to computer science education and establishing coding opportunities to Arkansas classrooms, bringing Techstart to the Natural State just made sense. We are thrilled to launch this first-of-its-kind partnership and look forward to seeing all the exciting projects students here will build.”  

This Facebook Computer Science Education program will give students the opportunity to learn about careers in technology, connect with engineering professionals, participate in coding and other technology-minded workshops and gain exposure to virtual reality using the Facebook- provided Oculus VR kits.

CONTACT: Governor’s Office: J.R. Davis (jr.davis@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)
                   Facebook: Andy Stone (astone@fb.com or 202.329.1108)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01.04.2017

Governor to Hold News Conference with Facebook to Announce Arkansas & Facebook Techstart Partnership

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson, along with representatives from Facebook, Inc., will announce the Arkansas & Facebook Techstart Partnership, a first-of-its-kind educational partnership with the social media company. The partnership is a result of the Governor’s computer science initiative passed in 2015. This announcement will have a positive impact on schools throughout the state.   

Details are as follows:

WHAT:
Gov. Hutchinson, Facebook to Announce Educational Partnership

WHEN:
1:40 p.m. | Thursday, January 5, 2017

WHERE:
Little Rock Central High School Auditorium
1500 S Park St.
Little Rock, AR 72202

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01.04.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Intent to Grant Executive Clemency

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced his intent to grant eight pardons and no commutations. An additional 49 clemency requests were denied and three had no action taken upon them. These include requests from both inmates and non-inmates.

The applicants intended for pardons have completed all jail time, fulfilled all parole and probationary requirements and paid all fines related to their sentences. There is a 30-day waiting period to receive public feedback on the notices before final action is taken.

Governor Hutchinson intends to grant pardons to the following people

Kevin D. Brandon (Hot Springs): Delivery of a Controlled Substance, Marijuana, two counts (C Felony)

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2005 – Garland County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Michelle R. Cox (Fort Smith): Delivery of Methamphetamine, Reduced (A Felony).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2005 – Sebastian County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Clinton Ethridge (Tuckerman): Possession of a Controlled Substance, Methamphetamine (C Felony).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2000 – Craighead County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Dwight D. Hale (Weir, KS): Conspiracy to Deliver a Controlled Substance, Cocaine, two counts (A Felony).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1990 – Washington County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. The Prosecuting Attorney has raised objections to the application.

Nicole Turner Litty (Mountain Home): Commercial Burglary (B Felony) and Theft of Property (B Felony).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2005 – Baxter County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Robbie W. Mitchell (Searcy): Possession of a Controlled Substance, Methamphetamine (C Felony).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2006 – White County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Robert Owens (Quitman): Possession of a Controlled Substance, Methamphetamine (C Felony).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2003 – Stone County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Thaddeus Spraggins (Little Rock): Manufacture, Delivery or Possession of a Controlled Substance (Y Felony).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1997 – Pulaski County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application. 
 

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01.04.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Approves Plant Board’s Amendment to the Pesticide Use and Restriction Regulation

Tasks Board to Provide Clear Rules on Approval Process for New Technologies

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today sent a letter to the chairman of the Arkansas State Plant Board approving the board’s proposed amended regulation entitled Pesticide Use and Restriction. 
The Governor closely analyzed the three following issues as they were the most frequently referenced in his meetings and in public comments: (1) whether the Plant Board should completely ban dicamba due to its susceptibility to volatility and drift; (2) whether the Plant Board should allow for the use of XtendiMax with VaporGrip technology as approved by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”); and (3) whether the EPA’s testing and approval is sufficient for the on-label use of VaporGrip technology in Arkansas.
After careful evaluation, Governor Hutchinson came to the following conclusion taken from an excerpt of his letter to the Plant Board:

“In conclusion, it is my position that the Plant Board’s proposed regulation will not unnecessarily burden businesses. Pursuant to Executive Order 15-02, I approve the promulgation of the Plant Board’s proposed amendment. However, the methods that are used and the research on which the Plant Board relies in approving new technologies must be more clearly defined in order to provide more certainty to all companies attempting to introduce these technologies in Arkansas.  To this end, I am tasking the Plant Board to submit a solution to me within forty-five (45) days, which provides clear rules to industry as to what the Plant Board expects in terms of prior study and testing by independent third party research.”

A copy of the Governor’s letter can be found HERE.  


CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01.03.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: January 1st – January 7th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Sunday, January 1, 2017, through Saturday, January 7, 2017: 

Sunday, January 1, 2017:

CAMDEN
National Guard Deployment Ceremony
2:50 PM
Southern Arkansas University Tech
6415 Spellman Rd.
East Camden, AR

Wednesday, January 4, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
Southern Arkansas Regional Alliance – Press Conference
11:00 AM
Governor’s Conference Room
Arkansas State Capitol

Thursday, January 5, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
Arkansas Superintendent Symposium – Speaking
11:45 AM
DoubleTree Hotel
424 W Markham St.
Little Rock, AR

LITTLE ROCK
Education/Computer Science Announcement
1:45 PM
TBA
Little Rock, AR

Friday, January 6, 2017:

NORTHEAST ARKANSAS
Northeast Arkansas Political Animals Club - Speaking
12:00 PM
TBA
Northeast Arkansas


CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.20.2016

Gov. Hutchinson Lays Out Agenda for 2017 Session

LITTLE ROCK – In a news conference Tuesday morning, Governor Asa Hutchinson laid out his full list of priorities for the 2017 legislative session. Each of the announced initiatives fall into one of three categories, consistent with the Governor’s priorities: Economic Development, Education, and Efficiencies and Government Transformation. They are as follows:

Economic Development:

  • Retired Military Tax Cut
  • Accelerator Program
  • $50.5 Million Income Tax Cut

Education:

  • ArFuture Grant
  • New Higher Education Productivity Funding Formula
  • Computer Science Part 2
  • Teacher Opportunity Program Redirect (TOPs)
  • $3 million in Quality Pre-K Funding
  • Reading Initiative

Efficiencies and Government Transformation:

  • Reform of the State Pay Plan
  • Ongoing Improvements to Address Foster Care
  • Repurposing Tobacco Settlement Funds to Decrease the Disability Waitlist
  • Consolidation of Select Boards and Commissions
  • Agency Reorganization and Efficiencies (Energy to ADEQ; OHIT to ADH; War Memorial to Parks and Tourism)
  • Waste Tire Management Program
  • Establishing Regional Mental Health Crisis Stabilization Centers

In addition to the above-mentioned initiatives, Governor Hutchinson has been a long-time supporter of separating the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert E. Lee holiday. This will once again be a priority for the Governor in the 2017 session.

Additional information on each initiative can be found HERE.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“This comprehensive list represents my agenda for the 2017 legislative session. Each initiative is in line with my administration’s three-pronged approach to thoughtful and conservative governing. We must drive economic development, further educational opportunities—including an emphasis on computer science—and identify better ways to serve Arkansans through meaningful reforms and efficiencies. These are the parameters that shape my priorities as Governor, and I look forward to working with the legislature to make each one a reality.”

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.19.2016

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces District and Circuit Judge Appointments

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the following appointments:

Meredith Switzer Rebsamen, Hot Springs, as District Judge of the Garland County District Court, First Division. Term begins on January 1, 2017 and expires on December 31, 2018. Replaces Judge David Switzer. 

Meredith Switzer Rebsamen has served at the Office of the Arkansas Attorney General since 2009. She currently serves as Deputy Attorney General, State Agencies Department, but previously served as Assistant Attorney General, Agencies Division. Prior to her time at the Office of the Arkansas Attorney General, Meredith Switzer Rebsamen was Associate Attorney, Litigation Division for five years at the Rose Law Firm. She is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. 

Spencer Singleton, El Dorado, as Circuit Judge of the Thirteenth Judicial District, Second Division. Term begins on January 1, 2017 and expires on December 31, 2018. Replaces Judge Michael Landers. 

Spencer Singleton has served as Career Law Clerk for the Honorable Bobby E. Shepherd, United States Circuit Judge, since October 2006. Prior to his time serving under Judge Shepherd, he was Pro Se Law Clerk for the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas. He also spent two years at the United States Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit, where he served as Staff Attorney. Spencer Singleton is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. He currently lives in El Dorado with his wife and two sons.

Steven Porch, Monticello, as Circuit Judge of the Tenth Judicial District, Fourth Division. Term begins on January 1, 2017 and expires on December 31, 2018. Replaces Judge Don Glover. 

Steven Porch has served as Managing Public Defender for the 10th Judicial District since 2008. Prior to this, he was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the 10th Judicial District. Steven Porch is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of Law. He lives in Monticello with his wife, Apprilla.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.19.2016

Gov. Hutchinson Announces Intent to Appoint Philip Taldo to Highway Commission

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced his intent to appoint Philip Taldo of Springdale as the next commissioner of the Arkansas Highway Commission. Taldo will replace Frank Scott, Jr. whose term will expire on January 14, 2017.

Complete details are as follows:

  • Philip Taldo, Springdale, to the Arkansas Highway Commission. This is a 10-year appointment and will expire January 14, 2027.  Replaces Frank Scott, Jr., Little Rock.

Governor Hutchinson made the announcement at a Rotary Club meeting in Springdale Monday afternoon and has released the following statement upon the announcement:

“Few understand my vision for the state—from an economic development standpoint and beyond—better than my friend, Philip. That’s why I’m pleased to announce my intention to appoint him as the next commissioner to the Arkansas Highway Commission. 

“Philip has served our state well in his current role on the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. Just as significantly, Philip has been involved in major infrastructure projects in Arkansas from his service on the Northwest Arkansas Council as well as the Northwest Arkansas Airport Authority.

“Our economy and our highways go hand-in-hand, and I have no doubt he will bring his experience and continue to provide the same thoughtful insight to this new role and responsibility.”

Philip Taldo issued the following statement:

“I am both excited and equally humbled by the opportunity and the trust Governor Hutchinson has given me. The Governor has consistently exhibited thoughtful leadership and a conservative approach to government while in office, and I am delighted to continue my service in his administration.

“I understand the key role our highways play in the economic growth and overall future of our state. This connection is vitally important, and I look forward to working with this already stellar group of commissioners to strengthen and improve Arkansas’ roadways, economy and quality of life for years to come.”

Taldo is Broker & Co-Owner Griffin Realtors Commercial Division and Weichert Griffin Realtors in Northwest Arkansas. He is also the President of One Springdale, Inc., a development corporation and Partners Construction, LLC, a residential building company. He is a member of the Northwest Arkansas Council, Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport Authority and UAMS Northwest Advisory Board, among others. Taldo lives in Springdale. He is currently a commissioner on the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.13.2016

Gov. Hutchinson Details $50 Million Tax Cut; Focuses on Lower Income Arkansans

Income Tax on Military Retiree Benefits to be Eliminated

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today laid out the details of his income tax cut of more than $50 million. The Governor’s plan will focus on lower income Arkansans who earn between $0 and $20,999 annually. The plan will also reduce the lowest rate in the middle income tax table in order to alleviate the “cliff” effect that occurs when an increase in a taxpayer’s income causes a shift to the middle income table. 

The total price tag for the tax cut is $50,517,296—the bulk of which (approximately $46 million) will substantively affect an estimated 657,000 Arkansans. Of that 657,000 (44% of the roughly 1.5 million individual income taxpayers in the state), approximately 120,000 taxpayers in the lowest bracket will be taken off the tax rolls completely. See the breakdown below or HERE.

Bracket                       Current Rate              Reduced Rate            Revenue Reduction

$0 - $4,299                  0.90%                          0.00%                          $ 22,283,558
$4,300 - $8,399           2.40%                          2.00%                          $ 7,508,244
$8,400 - $12,599         3.40%                          3.00%                          $ 5,617,899
$12,600 - $20,999       4.40%                          3.40%                          $ 10,898,058

An additional $4,290,537 will go towards bridging the lower income brackets with the middle income brackets to prevent the cliff effect.

Total Income Tax Cut                                                                        $ 50,517,296

In addition to his tax cut proposal, Governor Hutchinson also announced Tuesday afternoon his support for exempting all retirement benefits of retired military service members from state income tax—a $13 million reduction in General Revenue. This exemption, consistent with the Governor’s approach to additional tax reductions, must be offset with the repeal of other tax exemptions as outlined by the Governor, HERE. 

Gov. Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“I am excited to unveil this new round of tax cuts as a part of my continued commitment to flattening the state income tax. This cut moves the state toward that goal by removing the tax burden on the lowest income Arkansans.

“In addition, this plan also eliminates the tax on the retirement benefits of our retired service men and women. I believe that reducing the tax burden on our veterans is the right thing to do, provided that we can make up for the loss of revenue. That is why I am asking the legislature to take action to make the necessary offsets so that these cuts are budget neutral. I am confident that this conservative approach to tax cuts will increase fairness and spur economic development by keeping more money in the pockets of the everyday Arkansans who need it the most.”

In 2015, Governor Hutchinson proposed—and the legislature passed—his $100 million Middle Class Tax Cut, the largest income tax cut in Arkansas history. That tax cut provided substantive tax relief to approximately 688,000 Arkansans (46% of the state’s individual income taxpayers). If this latest proposal is passed, approximately 90%—or 1.3 million—of the state’s individual income taxpayers will have benefited from substantive tax relief legislation since 2015. 


CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.12.2016

Gov. Hutchinson Signs MOU with Microsoft for Strategic Digital Alliance

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the signing of an MOU with Microsoft Corp. to implement a Digital Alliance intended to promote STEM education and economic development, statewide. Under this relationship, Microsoft is committed to hosting a DigiCamp and YouthSpark Live event for students and a BizSpark training session. In addition, Microsoft will work with the Arkansas Department of Education to grow the TEALS Initiative, which pairs computer science professionals with computer science teachers to teach high school computer science courses. 

These events and programs will take place throughout Arkansas and will provide participants the opportunity to learn about careers in technology, connect with STEM industry professionals, participate in hands-on computer and technology workshops, connect local businesses with current digital solutions and more. The Digital Alliance will support students, teachers and administrators, entrepreneurs, and other community members across the state.

The Arkansas Department of Education will continue to work with Microsoft to finalize additional details. You can find the MOU in its entirety on the Governor’s website, HERE.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“Technology influences almost everything we do today, from recreation to education to professional development. This alliance with Microsoft will continue to empower Arkansans with digital skills essential to almost every facet of life in the 21st century. I am delighted that this Digital Alliance will provide Arkansans with additional opportunity to gain experience with coding and computation, which only helps to further my initiatives to support STEM education and economic development in the state.”

Corporate vice president of U.S. Government Affairs for Microsoft Fred Humphries issued the following statement:

“Microsoft is committed to supporting the workforce of today — and growing the workforce of the future — by ensuring that all students, regardless of economic background, have the opportunity to learn computer science and computational thinking. These skills are needed in every industry. This digital alliance builds on Arkansas’s commitment to increase access to computer science education and help close the skills gap. I thank Governor Hutchinson for his continued leadership in K-12 computer science education and for embarking on this new partnership with Microsoft.”

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.12.2016

CORRECTED TIME: Gov. Hutchinson to Sign Digital Alliance MOU Between Microsoft and the State

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson will hold a news conference today to sign a Digital Alliance memorandum of understanding between Microsoft Corporation and Arkansas.

Details are as follows:

WHAT:
Digital Alliance MOU Signing with Microsoft

WHEN:
2:00 p.m. | Monday, December 12, 2016

WHERE:
Governor’s Conference Room
Arkansas State Capitol
Little Rock, AR

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.09.2016

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: December 12th – December 17th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, December 12, 2016, through Saturday, December 17, 2016:  

Monday, December 12, 2016:

LITTLE ROCK
Club de Madrid – P80 Little Rock Accord
Reunion Proceedings
Opening Session – Speaking 
8:30 AM
Robinson Center
426 W. Markham St.
Little Rock, AR

LITTLE ROCK
Digital Alliance MOU
Between Microsoft and the State of Arkansas
(Corrected Time) 2:00 PM
Arkansas State Capitol – Governor’s Conference Room
500 Woodlane St.
Little Rock, AR

Wednesday, December 14, 2016:

FORT SMITH
AEDC Announcement 
2:00 PM
TBA
Fort Smith, AR

Thursday, December 15, 2016:

LITTLE ROCK
Arkansas Foster Children Christmas in the Capitol
Press Conference
11:30 AM
Arkansas State Capitol – Old Supreme Court Room
500 Woodlane St.
Little Rock, AR

Friday, December 16, 2016:

LITTLE ROCK
103.7 The Buzz Christmas Celebrity Karaoke
7:00 PM
Statehouse Convention Center
101 E Markham St.
Little Rock, AR

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.09.2016

Gov. Hutchinson Appoints Chris Palmer as Employer Representative to Workers’ Compensation Commission

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Hutchinson today appointed Chris Palmer of Little Rock as Employer Representative to the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission (AWCC). AWCC Commissioners are appointed to serve for a 6-year term. Palmer replaces outgoing Commissioner, Karen McKinney.  

Governor Hutchinson released the following statement:

“I am pleased to announce Chris as the newest addition to the Workers’ Compensation Commission. Chris brings a wealth of experience to an already stellar group of commissioners, and his knowledge of Arkansas law will benefit the state and our people.

“I want to thank Karen McKinney, who’s done an outstanding job in her role on the commission. She’s served our state and this commission with honor and distinction, and I wish her the very best.”

Chris Palmer is currently a Partner at Dodds, Kidd and Ryan law firm in Little Rock. In his 30 years of practice, Palmer has represented a number of significant employers and employees in workers’ compensation cases. He has also overseen numerous cases from the perspective of prosecution, defense and as a circuit judge. 

Palmer has extensive experience before the state and federal bar. Chris is a certified mediator, a member of the Pulaski County Bar Association; Arkansas Bar Association; American Bar Association; Tennessee Bar Association; Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; Association of Trial Lawyers of America; and the William Overton and Henry Woods Inns of Court.  He received his education from Hendrix College (B.A., 1981) and from the University of Arkansas School of Law (J.D., 1985).

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.08.2016

Gov. Hutchinson Introduces New ArFuture Grant

Pays Full Cost of Tuition for Community and Technical College

LITTLE ROCK – Gov. Asa Hutchinson today announced the creation of the “Arkansas Future Grant” (ArFuture) for traditional, home school and non-traditional students in Arkansas. This state funded grant would be available on a first come, first serve basis and would provide two years of tuition and fees at an Arkansas community or technical college to any student who enrolls in a high demand field of study, such as computer science or welding. 

ArFuture grants will not require new general revenues. The price tag will be covered by repurposing $8.2 million in general revenue funds from the state’s WIG and GO! grants. (The GO! grant program currently has a 77% non-completion rate.) In addition, key reforms will be implemented to address important factors such as student accountability.  

For example, under the ArFuture grant, all recipients are required to meet monthly with a program mentor. This measure will increase the likelihood of the student success. Additionally, upon graduation, the student must work full-time in Arkansas for a minimum of three years. If a student does not complete his or her commitment, the grant will be converted to a loan for repayment to the State of Arkansas.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement: 

"Through the new ArFuture Grant, we are ensuring that all Arkansans have access to affordable higher education. This plan will not only increase access to post-secondary education by removing the financial hurdles that keep many from enrolling, but it will also incentivize our students to better themselves by providing an opportunity to climb the economic ladder, while serving their communities.”

“ArFuture will send a clear message to prospective employers that the state is committed to building the 21st century workforce that will attract industry and allow the Arkansas economy to thrive.”

ArFuture Grant Information:

To be eligible for the ArFuture Grant, students must be a high school graduate with established residency, including those students that were home schooled or received their GED. This does not include high school students that are taking concurrent credit courses. Prospective students must also apply for a Federal Pell Grant. There is no grade point average prerequisite to receive the grant. Recipients of the grant may enroll as full-time or part-time students at any in-state community college. They must also complete 8 hours of community service per semester. The ArFuture grant is stackable with the Arkansas Lottery and other state scholarships. If passed, the ArFuture grant will be available for the 2017-2018 school year.

2017 Education Initiatives:

Governor Hutchinson’s ArFuture grant program is a component of his comprehensive education plan for the upcoming 2017 Legislative Session, which focuses on meeting the needs of Arkansas’s rapidly changing workforce by making post-secondary education more affordable, accessible, and attainable. Other components of the Governor’s education initiatives are as follows:

Higher Education Productivity Funding Formula:

The Higher Education Productivity Funding Model places the priority on accountability, student success and program completion as opposed to the previous formula, which places priority on student enrollment. Additionally, the Governor demonstrated his support for the new funding method in October by announcing an additional $10 million increase to higher education funding conditioned on the reform’s passage. If the new funding model is adopted, Arkansas will become only the fifth state to make significant progress toward funding higher education based on similar productivity models – joining Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio, and Oregon.

You can read more on the Governor’s proposed Higher Education Productivity Funding Formula HERE.

Additional $3 million in Pre-K funding:

Governor Hutchinson is committing an additional $3 million a year to improve the quality of pre-kindergarten programs in the Arkansas Better Chance (ABC) program. Governor Hutchinson is recommending new grant programs to improve and reward teacher quality and encourage and enhance innovation. 

Currently, Arkansas ranks 12th nationally in the percent of 4 year-olds enrolled in state-funded Pre-K, 3rd in the percent of 3 year-olds enrolled in state-funded Pre-K, and 22nd in the amount of per pupil funding. Additionally, Arkansas’ Pre-K program meets 9 out of the 10 benchmarks measuring Quality by the National Institute for Early Education Research (National Institute for Early Education Research).

Amending the Teacher Opportunity Program (TOP):

This proposal would amend the current Teacher Opportunity Program (TOP) that currently provides scholarships for teachers that are seeking further degrees. Under this proposed change, teachers that are pursuing degrees and/or certifications in Computer Science or STEM fields, Literacy, Pre-Kindergarten or Special Education would be given priority for these scholarships over teachers pursuing degrees and/or certifications in other areas.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.07.2016

Gov. Hutchinson to Roll out Education Initiatives for 2017 Session Thursday

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson will hold a news conference tomorrow outlining his education initiatives for the 2017 legislative session.  

Details are as follows:

WHAT:
Press Conference to Announce Education Initiatives for 2017 Session 

WHEN: 
11:30 a.m. | Thursday, December 8, 2016

WHERE:
Governor’s Conference Room
Arkansas State Capitol
Little Rock, AR

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.07.2016

Gov. Hutchinson Honors Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day on the 75th Anniversary of the Attack

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today honors Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day on the 75th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. He delivered a speech at the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum in remembrance of those who served in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and the veterans who served throughout World War II. 

View his speech here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNPOoy2418A

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“Today is a day of reflection on the tragedy that happened to individual lives and to our nation 75 years ago at the attack on Pearl Harbor. But while this is a time of reflection, we can also make it a moment of resolve—that we, in the United States of America, 75 years after the attack on Pearl Harbor, resolve ourselves to support the same freedoms that our fathers fought to preserve in World War II and that veterans across the nation have fought to preserve throughout history.”

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.07.2016

Gov. Hutchinson Joins House and Senate Leadership to Announce Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today, joined with Senator Jonathan Dismang, President Pro Tempore, and Representative Jeremy Gillam, Speaker of the House, announced five appointments to the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission. They are as follows:

Dr. Ronda Henry-Tillman, M.D., Little Rock, to the Medical Marijuana Commission. (Hutchinson Appointment)

Dr. Stephen J. Carroll, PharmD, Benton, to the Medical Marijuana Commission. (Gillam Appointment)

Travis W. Story, Esq., Fayetteville, to the Medical Marijuana Commission. (Gillam Appointment)

James Miller, Bryant, to the Medical Marijuana Commission. (Dismang Appointment)

Dr. J. Carlos Roman M.D., Little Rock, to the Medical Marijuana Commission. (Dismang Appointment)

The commission’s creation follows the passage of the Medical Marijuana Amendment in the 2016 General Election. The purpose of the Medical Marijuana Commission is to control the regulation of medical marijuana cultivation and distribution to qualifying patients in the State of Arkansas. The commission will also work to establish a system of administering and regulating the licensing of dispensaries, along with setting conditions and requirements for physicians, dispensaries and patients. 

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement: 

“Following the decision of Arkansas voters to legalize medical marijuana, I have worked with Pro Tempore Dismang and Speaker Gillam to appoint the members of the Medical Marijuana Commission within the 30-day period. I look forward to seeing this commission develop a responsible implementation plan that meets the needs of patients while protecting the public and assuring public safety.

“I have no doubt Dr. Tillman, with her knowledge and breadth of experience in the field of medicine, will do an excellent job in her new role on this commission.” 

Senate President Dismang issued the following statement: 

“James is uniquely qualified to tackle the issues that will come before the Medical Marijuana Commission. During his tenure with state government, he worked closely with regulatory agencies for both tobacco and alcohol. That experience will help him navigate the safety and rule-making obligations the Commission is tasked with by this new amendment.”

“Dr. Roman's statewide leadership in pain management will be a valuable contribution to this Commission. He has worked to protect both doctors and patients while encouraging crackdowns on so-called 'pill mills,' where some doctors will unethically and illegally enable prescription drug abuse and opiate dependency. Other states with medical marijuana have seen similar problems with prescriptions, and Dr. Roman's decades of work will be a great resource as we look to mitigate that possibility, along with addressing a myriad of other medical issues.”

Speaker Gillam issued the following statement: 

“Both Dr. Carroll and Mr. Story share my desire for the commission to honor the will of the voters and find a responsible path forward. Both have distinguished careers in their profession and will serve Arkansas well.”

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.06.2016

Governor Asa Hutchinson to Hold Media Availability Tomorrow

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson will hold a media availability tomorrow in the Governor’s Conference Room at 1:00 p.m. The governor will be joined by President Pro Tempore Dismang and House Speaker Gillam to announce appointments to the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission.

Details are as follows:

WHAT:          Media Availability  

WHEN:         1:00 p.m., Wednesday, December 7, 2016  

WHERE:       Governor’s Conference Room
                      Arkansas State Capitol
                      Little Rock, AR 72201

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.06.2016

Gov. Hutchinson & ADE Announce Results of the First Annual Governor’s All-Region Coding Competition

16 Teams Will Be Invited to Participate in the All-State Competition Taking Place Next Spring

LITTLE ROCK - Gov. Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas Department of Education today announced the two winning teams from each of the eight Governor’s All-Region Coding Competition Events that took place Nov. 7 at eight regional locations around the state. 

The 16 selected teams will receive an invitation to participate in the First Annual Governor’s All-State Coding Competition, which will take place in central Arkansas next spring. Each member of the first-place team will receive a $2,000 award that will be deposited into a 529 College Savings Plan. Each member of the second-place team will receive a $1,000 award deposited into a 529 College Savings Plan, with each member of the third-place team receiving a $500 award deposited into a 529 College Savings Plan. In addition, the school that produces the competition’s winning team also will receive a technology award of up to $20,000.

The following teams have been selected to advance to the Governor’s All-State Coding Competition:

Arch Ford Education Service Cooperative

  • Conway High School - Austin Codemo, Ian Isom, and Eric Pinter (Sponsor: Kimberly Raup)
  • Conway High School - Ian McCauley, Elias Noyes, and Banyon Reid (Sponsor: Kimberly Raup)

Arkansas River Education Service Cooperative

  • Hamburg High School - Morgan Blankenship, Michael Courson, and Logan Matthews (Sponsor: Cecil Cossey)
  • Star City High School - Jon-Wesley Crowder, Marco Hernandez, and Dakota Hodgdon (Sponsor: Stacy Reynolds)

Dawson Education Service Cooperative 

  • Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts - Martin Boerwinkle, Brock Davis, and Joe Sartini (Sponsor: Nick Seward)
  • Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts - Carson Cato, Brandon Cox, and Jackson Gregory (Sponsor: Nick Seward)

Northcentral ESC

  • Eureka Springs High School - Savana Shaw and Taylor Weaver (Sponsor: Eric Hearth)
  • Lead Hill High School - Michelangelo Greppi, Jacky Huang, and Zach Wessels (Sponsor: Wayne Williams)

Northeast Education Service Cooperative

  • Manila High School - Christian Booker, Kailib Brooks, and Ryan Cole (Sponsor: Gerri McCann) 
  • Paragould High School - Kasey Anderson, Sky Bateman, and Jessica Hill (Sponsor: Pam Beach)

Northwest Education Service Cooperative

  • Bentonville High School - Mohan Dodda, Saivipulteja Elagandula, and Jacob Loukota (Sponsor: Virginia Cocanower)
  • Springdale Har-Ber High School - Mason Brown, Gregory Maddra, and Noah Wehn (Sponsor: Dorothy Hill)

Southwest Education Service Cooperative

  • Arkansas High School (Texarkana) - Dillon Coburn, Alex Lee, and Kaylie Tipton (Sponsor: Linda Lowe)
  • Nevada High School - Caney Hicks, Bailey Reed, and Brady Rhodes (Sponsor: Shelly Rhodes)

Central Arkansas (hosted at Hall High School in Little Rock)

  • Central High School (Little Rock) - Evalyn Berleant, Jacob Evans-Funk, and Jackson Rayburn (Sponsor: Stephany Alhajjaj)
  • North Little Rock High School - Betsy Harrisberger, Bobby Jackson, and Melka Konshie (Sponsor: Justin Cobb)

Gov. Hutchinson and ADE extend their congratulations to the advancing team members, sponsors, and schools. In addition, all eight hosting locations are to be commended for the work of their staff in making the regional events successful and fun for students. 

Gov. Hutchinson has released the following statement: 

“Congratulations to the sixteen teams advancing to the First Annual Governor’s All-State Coding Competition! Dozens of students from across Arkansas have demonstrated exceptional computer science and coding skills in the All-Region Coding Competition, and I look forward to seeing even more of the students’ coding creativity and ingenuity as they compete in the upcoming All-State Coding Competition.” 

Schools of teams advancing to the state competition will receive an invitation with details by February 28, 2017. Details will include the date, times and location for the Governor’s All-State Coding Competition.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.05.2016

Gov. Hutchinson Establishes the Office of Transformation

Selects Amy Fecher as Chief Transformation Officer

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the establishment of the Office of Transformation to drive the implementation of state efficiencies and streamline state operations. The Office of Transformation will drive efficiency initiatives from Governor Hutchinson in addition to a portion of the potential efficiencies recommended by the Arkansas Efficiency Project, a report conducted by Arkansas Policy Foundation. The Governor’s Office of Transformation will prioritize efficiencies such as formulating a statewide strategic plan, centralizing state services and increasing utilization of online services and citizen participation. 

Governor Hutchinson also announced the selection of Amy Fecher, Executive Vice President of Operations for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) and Delta Regional Authority Governor’s Designee, as Chief Transformation Officer. Fecher will retain her current responsibilities in addition to serving as the Chief Transformation Officer. 

Governor Hutchinson released the following statement:  

“I am delighted to announce the establishment of the Office of Transformation to identify potential state efficiencies and implement cost-savings. Increasing efficiencies to conserve state resources is the best way to return money to the pockets of hard-working taxpayers and deliver better state services to Arkansans.

“I am also pleased to name Amy Fecher as my new Chief Transformation Officer. She is experienced in state government reorganization, and I have no doubt that her experience will provide valuable insight and direction as we strive to increase savings, modernize operations and reduce excessive bureaucracy.”

Amy Fecher issued the following statement:

“I am honored to take on this challenge and continue serving the people of Arkansas in this new role. As the Governor’s Chief Transformation Officer, I hope to continue working to deliver the best services for the people of Arkansas in the most cost-efficient and effective manner possible.” 

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.02.2016

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: December 3rd – December 10th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Saturday, December 3, 2016, through Saturday, December 10, 2016: 

Saturday, December 3, 2016:

LITTLE ROCK
2016 Capitol Lighting Ceremony - Speaking
5:30 PM
Arkansas State Capitol – Rotunda
500 Woodlane St.
Little Rock, AR

Sunday, December 4, 2016:

LITTLE ROCK
Christmas Open House at the Arkansas Governor's Mansion
2:00 PM
Arkansas Governor’s Mansion
1800 Center St.
Little Rock, AR

Monday, December 5, 2016:

WASHINGTON D.C.
Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Infrastructure Projects at the State Level Panel
1:00 PM EST
Four Seasons Hotel
2800 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC

Wednesday, December 7, 2016:

LITTLE ROCK
Arkansas Remembers Pearl Harbor Ceremony
11:30 AM
Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum
120 Riverfront Park Drive
North Little Rock, AR

Friday, December 9, 2016:

LITTLE ROCK
Arkansas School Boards Association 63rd Annual Conference
9:00 AM
Marriott Hotel – Grand Ballroom
3 Statehouse Plaza
Little Rock, AR

LITTLE ROCK
Women’s Foundation of Arkansas Computer Coding Event
10:00 AM
Acxiom
601 E 3rd St.
Little Rock, AR

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.02.2016

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Intent to Grant Executive Clemency

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced his intent to grant four pardons and one commutation. An additional 47 clemency requests were denied and five had no action taken upon them. These include requests from both inmates and non-inmates.

The applicants intended for pardons have completed all jail time, fulfilled all parole and probationary requirements and paid all fines related to their sentences. There is a 30-day waiting period to receive public feedback on the notices before final action is taken.

Governor Hutchinson intends to grant pardons to the following people:

Jerry R. Byars (Charlotte): Delivery of Controlled Substance, Marijuana, two counts (C Felony). 

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2001 – Independence County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application. 

Tony Ellis (Rover): Fleeing (D Felony). 

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1996 – Polk County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application. 

Jimmy R. Kelley, II (Lonoke): Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony) and Criminal Attempt to Deliver a Controlled Substance, Marijuana (D Felony). 

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2006 – Lonoke County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application. 

Walton J. Summers, II (Lonoke): Manufacture of Controlled Substance (C Felony). 

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1986 – Lonoke County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application. 

Governor Hutchinson intends to grant commutation to the following person:

Robert Maldonado, II (ADC #111892): Hot Check Violation, seven counts (Probation Revocation) (C Felony). 

The governor has given notice of his intent to commute the sentence of Robert Maldonado, II, who was convicted in Pulaski County in 2008 for the above offense, from a total of 80 years to serve in the Arkansas Department of Correction to being immediately parole eligible. The Sheriff has raised objections to the application. 

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
11.28.2016

Governor Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: November 28th – December 3rd

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, November 28, 2016, through Saturday, December 3, 2016:

Monday, November 28, 2016:

Restore Hope White County
9:15 AM
Harding University
915 East Market Street
Searcy, AR

SEDAP Grant Presentation
1:30 PM
Governor's Conference Room
State Capitol
Little Rock, AR

Tuesday, November 29, 2016:

ATA Headquarters Ribbon Cutting – Speaking
2:00 PM
ATA HQ Building
1800 Riverfront Dr.
Little Rock, AR

Wednesday, November 30, 2016:

Arkansas Farm Bureau Annual Convention - Speaking
1:00 PM
Hot Springs Convention Center
134 Convention Blvd.
Hot Springs, AR

Thursday, December 1, 2016:

Arkansas Society of Certified Public Accountants
Centennial Celebration
7:30 PM
Albert Pike Memorial Temple
712 Scott Street
Little Rock, AR

Saturday, December 3, 2016:

2016 Capitol Lighting Ceremony - Speaking
5:30 PM
Arkansas State Capitol – Front Steps
500 Woodlane St.
Little Rock, AR

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
11.21.2016

Governor Hutchinson Appoints Kim O’Guinn to Public Service Commission

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today appointed Kimberly Lindsey O’Guinn of Little Rock to the Public Service Commission (PSC). PSC commissioners are appointed to serve for a 6-year term. O’Guinn replaces outgoing Commissioner, Lamar Davis.

Gov. Hutchinson released the following statement:

“I am delighted to announce Kim O’Guinn as the next commissioner to the Arkansas Public Service Commission. Kim’s background and regulatory experience make her a great addition to an already stellar group of commissioners. I have no doubt she will serve the PSC and our state well in this new role.”


O’Guinn issued the following statement:

“After sixteen years of service to the state as an environmental engineer with the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, I am humbled and deeply honored to accept this appointment to the Arkansas Public Service Commission. I thank Governor Asa Hutchinson for the opportunity to continue serving the people of the State of Arkansas, and I look forward to bringing my technical education and regulatory experience to the Commission.”

Kimberly Lindsey O’Guinn is a sixteen-year veteran of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, where she has served the state as an Environmental Engineer and recently as the Director of Communications.

O’Guinn earned her Bachelors of Science degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Oklahoma, where she was designated the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Space Grant Consortium/NASA EPSCoR fellow. Following her three years with NASA, O’Guinn worked as an Environmental Engineer at the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality.

Born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas, O’Guinn graduated from Little Rock Central High School. Kim credits much of her exposure to the math and sciences to her twelve years as a member of the Girl Scouts of America organization, beginning as a Brownie and continuing as a Girl Scout through her senior year of high school. She remains active with the organization, along with her volunteer work with the Center for Healing Hearts and Spirits. O’Guinn and her twelve-year-old son, Prentice O’Guinn IV, live in Little Rock, Arkansas.
 

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
11.10.2016

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: November 11th – November 19th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Friday, November 11, 2016, through Saturday, November 19, 2016: 

Friday, November 11, 2016:

NORTH LITTLE ROCK
State Veterans Day Ceremony – Speaking
11:00 AM
Arkansas State Veterans Home
2401 John Ashley Dr.
North Little Rock, AR

Sunday, November 13, 2016:

FORT SMITH
Evangel Temple Veteran Celebration
10:45 AM
Evangel Temple
1110 S. 12th Street
Fort Smith, AR

Friday, November 18, 2016:

SEARCY
Searcy Regional Economic Development Corporation "100 For the Future"
12:00 PM
Location TBD

Saturday, November 19, 2016:

FAYETTEVILLE
Walton Arts Center Grand Reopening Celebration
9:30 AM
Walton Arts Center
495 W. Dickson St.
Fayetteville, AR

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
11.09.2016

Gov. Hutchinson Lays Out Balanced Budget, Reflecting Savings and Emphasizing Reforms and Job Creatio

LITTLE ROCK – On Wednesday, Governor Asa Hutchinson presented his balanced budget for the next biennium in a presentation to the Arkansas Legislative Council and Joint Budget Committee.

In his remarks, Governor Hutchinson highlighted the savings already achieved by his administration through the statewide hiring freeze, agency mergers and the creative sale of the home health business unit within the Department of Health. As a result of those executive actions, the state has saved millions of taxpayer dollars while reducing state employment (mostly through attrition) by 4% – a decrease of more than one-thousand employees.

In addition to savings, the Governor’s budget underscored specific reforms, including: new funding for Pre-K that emphasizes quality over quantity; new Mental Health Crisis Stabilization Centers; a new Higher Education Funding Formula; Foster Care; and a new State Pay Plan.

Governor Hutchinson also proposed a $50 million income tax cut. This is the Governor’s second round of tax cuts in his first term, which includes his historic $100 million tax cut in 2015 – the largest income tax reduction in Arkansas history.

Governor Asa Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“As a balanced-budget state, it is important that we control spending while determining how to best fund our priorities. This balanced budget takes a responsible approach to funding our areas of need, including education, foster care and mental health, while also lessening the tax burden on Arkansans.”

“This budget meets the needs of our state, maximizes the opportunity for economic growth, and emphasizes our continued commitment to efficiencies and reform. I look forward to working with the General Assembly to iron out the final details of the budget as we approach the legislative session in January.”

You can view the Governor’s balanced budget presentation to the legislature HERE. In addition, the Governor held a media availability following his presentation to answer questions regarding his budget, which can be viewed HERE.

If you would like a copy of the Governor’s balanced budget, please contact Jake.Bleed@dfa.arkansas.gov at the Department of Finance and Administration.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
11.09.2016

State Board of Finance to Hold Regular Quarterly Meeting

LITTLE ROCK – The State Board of Finance will hold its regular quarterly meeting on Thursday, November 10, 2016.

Details are as follows:

WHAT:
FY 2017 First Quarter Regular Board Meeting

WHEN:
10:00 am, Thursday, November 10, 2016

WHERE:
Treasurer’s Conference Room
Victory Building Suite 275
1401 Capitol Street
Little Rock, AR 72201

Regular quarterly meeting of the State Board of Finance to conduct routine business as follows:

  1. Presentation of the Treasury Investment Performance Report.
  2. Approval of Quarterly Motions
  3. Discussion of potential legislation for 2017 General Session
  4. Consideration of such other business as may appear necessary or desirable.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
11.08.2016

Gov. Hutchinson to Hold Media Availability Wednesday After Presenting His Balanced Budget

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson will present his balanced budget to legislators at 9 a.m. in Room A of the Big Mac Building Wednesday morning. Following his presentation, Governor Hutchinson will hold a media availability to answer questions from the media.

Details are as follows:

WHAT:
Media Availability with Governor Hutchinson on Balanced Budget

WHEN:
12:30 p.m. | Wednesday, November 9, 2016

WHERE:
Governor’s Conference Office
State Capitol
Little Rock, AR

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
11.04.2016

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: November 7th – November 12th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, November 7, 2016, through Saturday, November 12, 2016:

Wednesday, November 9, 2016:

LITTLE ROCK
Governor Presents Official Forecast & Balanced Budget
9:00 AM
Big Mac Building – Room A
1 Capitol Mall
Little Rock, AR

Thursday, November 10, 2016:

LITTLE ROCK
Robinson Center: The Second Act Begins
Grand Re-Opening & Ribbon Cutting
10:00 AM
Robinson Center
426 West Markham
Little Rock, AR

WALNUT RIDGE
Lawrence County Annual Chamber Banquet
12:00 PM
The Studio
123 West Main
Walnut Ridge, AR

BENTONVILLE
IMBA Opening Reception - Speaking
6:30 PM
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
600 Museum Way
Bentonville, ARjere

Friday, November 11, 2016:

NORTH LITTLE ROCK
State Veterans Day Ceremony
11:00 AM
Arkansas State Veterans Home
2401 John Ashley Dr.
North Little Rock, AR

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
11.04.2016

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Intent to Grant Executive Clemency

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced his intent to grant seven pardons and one commutation. An additional 52 clemency requests were denied and six had no action taken upon them. These include requests from both inmates and non-inmates.

The applicants intended for pardons have completed all jail time, fulfilled all parole and probationary requirements and paid all fines related to their sentences. There is a 30-day waiting period to receive public feedback on the notices before final action is taken.

Governor Hutchinson intends to grant pardons to the following people:

Kirby Dotter Cryoskie (Fort Wainwright, AK): Possession of a Controlled Substance, Cocaine (C Felony) and Possession of a Controlled Substance, Marijuana (C Felony).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2002 – Baxter County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Thurman Hayes (Little Rock): Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver (C Felony), Possession of a Controlled Substance (C Felony), Possession of a Controlled Substance without Prescription (A Misdemeanor) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony).

This notice is issued based on the dates of conviction (1990, 1993 and 1998 – Pulaski County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Michael R. Johnson (North Little Rock): Forgery, Second Degree (C Felony) and Obstruction of Governmental Operations (B Misdemeanor).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2004 – Lonoke County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Ray A. Plummer (Little Rock): Theft by Receiving (D Felony) and Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Deliver (Y Felony). 

This notice is issued based on the dates of conviction (1985 – Jefferson County and 1999 – Pulaski County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Kelvin G. Sanders (Fouke): Burglary and Grand Larceny, three counts (Felony).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1975 – Miller County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. The Miller County Prosecutor has raised objections to the application.

Richard K. Simpson (Manila): Theft of Property, two counts (C Felony).

This notice is issued based on the dates of conviction (2000 – Mississippi and Poinsett County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Douglas J. Smith (McCrory): Possession of a Controlled Substance (C Felony) and Theft by Receiving (A Misdemeanor).

This notice is issued based on the dates of conviction (1997 and 2002 – Woodruff County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Governor Hutchinson intends to grant commutation to the following person:

Jeremy J. Francis (ADC #143122): Manufacture of a Controlled Substance, Methamphetamine (Y Felony) (Guilty Plea).

The governor has given notice of his intent to commute the sentence of Jeremy J. Francis, who was convicted in Benton County in 2008 for the above offense, from a term of 300 months in the Arkansas Department of Correction to a term of 240 months. The Benton County Prosecuting Attorney has raised objections to the application. 

Contact: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
11.02.2016

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Appointments

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the following appointments:

Stacie Hipp, Pine Bluff, to the Arkansas State Board of Nursing.  Appointment expires October 1, 2020.  Replaces Sandra Priebe.

Janice Ivers, Jessieville, to the Arkansas State Board of Nursing.  Appointment expires October 1, 2020.  Replaces Cathleen Shultz.

Melanie Garner, Fort Smith, to the Arkansas State Board of Nursing.  Appointment expires October 1, 2020.  Replaces Tammy Mitchell.

Troy Galloway, Bentonville, to the Arkansas Veterans’ Commission.  Appointment expires October 15, 2021.  Replaces David Bramlett.

Gary Profit, Bentonville, to the Arkansas Veterans’ Commission.  Appointment expires October 15, 2021.  Replaces Harlie Treat.

Margaret Mary Wolf, Rogers, to the Arkansas Veterans’ Commission.  Appointment expires October 15, 2021.  Replaces Brenda Simpson.

Lori Kumpuris, Cammack Village, to the Sex Offender Assessment Committee. Appointment expires July 1, 2020. Reappointment.

Dana Watson, Springdale, to the Sex Offender Assessment Committee. Appointment expires July 1, 2020. Reappointment.

Billy Burris, Little Rock, to the Sex Offender Assessment Committee. Appointment expires July 1, 2020. Reappointment.

John Jordan, Bryant, to the Arkansas Fire Protection Services Board. Appointment expires October 14, 2019. Reappointment.

Timothy Stuckey, Sheridan, to the Arkansas Fire Protection Services Board. Appointment expires October 14, 2019. Reappointment.

Travis Dover, Mountain Home, to the Arkansas Fire Protection Services Board. Appointment expires October 14, 2019. Replaces Robert Medford.

Michael Cossey, North Little Rock, to the Arkansas Fire Protection Services Board. Appointment expires October 14, 2019. Reappointment.

Jeffrey Pritchett, Texarkana, to the Arkansas Fire Protection Services Board. Appointment expires October 14, 2019. Replaces James Grimes.

Elizabeth Lincicome, Sherwood, to the State Board of Registration for Professional Geologists. Appointment expires October 1, 2021. Replaces David Hopkins.

Ann Brown, Texarkana, to the Garland Levee District Board of Directors. Appointment expires October 1, 2021. Reappointment.

Ferrel Heigle, Fouke, to the Garland Levee District Board of Directors. Appointment expires October 1, 2021. Reappointment.

Lawrence Huff, Texarkana, to the Garland Levee District Board of Directors. Appointment expires October 1, 2021. Reappointment.

Judy Watson, Hope, to the Arkansas Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities.  Appointment expires December 1, 2021.  Reappointment.

Katherine Donoven, Sherwood, to the Arkansas Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities.  Appointment expires December 1, 2021.  Reappointment.

Maria Villagran, Lowell, to the Arkansas Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities.  Appointment expires December 1, 2021.  Reappointment.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10.31.2016

Gov. Hutchinson Announces 5,500 Students Taking Computer Science Courses; Nearly 40% Growth

Large Increase Among Female and Minority Students

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced a dramatic increase in the number of high school students enrolled in computer science classes in Arkansas. The newest numbers from the Arkansas Department of Education show an increase of 1,527 students, bringing the total enrollment number to 5,500 students for 2016-2017 school year with 1,027 students taking more than one course. That’s an increase of 38.4% over the 2015-16 school year (3,973 students enrolled) and an increase of 398% over the 2014-15 school year.

A closer look at the numbers reveal a sizeable increase among key demographics, including:

  • 49% increase in the number of females enrolled
  • 34% increase in the number of minority students enrolled

In 2015, Governor Hutchinson set a four-year goal of seeing at least 6,000 high school students enrolled in a computer science course each year. As a way of promoting computer science education around the state, the Governor recently completed his second annual computer coding tour of Arkansas high schools. You can view the video recapping the tour HERE.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“This is welcome news and further proof that Arkansas continues to lead the country in computer science education. I am pleased with the enthusiasm our school districts – especially our teachers – have demonstrated in this endeavor. That enthusiasm is clearly having an effect on our students who are discovering the endless possibilities computer science and coding have to offer. Any student with a basic knowledge of computer programming will never lack opportunity. 

“I’m proud of the long list of items we’ve accomplished in my first two years as Governor, but our computer science initiative could have the greatest long-term impact on our state. Today, these numbers send a loud and clear message to the rest of the country: If you’re a tech company looking for a new home or expansion opportunity, Arkansas is positioning itself as the next great frontier in the tech industry.”


Anthony Owen, Coordinator of Computer Science for the Arkansas Department of Education, issued the following statement:

“As Arkansas continues to be considered by other states a leader in the #CSforALL initiative, our citizens should celebrate the state’s internal successes in the #ARKidsCanCode initiative which will benefit our students, industries, and communities for years to come. This second consecutive year of substantial enrollment growth in high-quality computer science courses once again demonstrates the hard work and commitment from our schools and students and should be recognized and commended. Without committed programs, quality teachers, and motivated students, this initiative could not be successful. Continued growth and enthusiasm for the initiative would not be possible without Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s vision, support from the legislature, Commissioner Johnny Key’s leadership, and the enthusiastic cooperation of numerous state agencies and their dedicated employees. Arkansas remains dedicated to continuing to be a leader in this computer science education by supporting sustained program growth and success in future years in our state.”

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10.31.2016

Gov. Hutchinson Announces $10 Million in Additional Funding for Higher Education

Conditioned on Passage of Reform

LITTLE ROCK – Today Governor Asa Hutchinson was joined by the Director of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, Dr. Maria Markham, and several Arkansas university presidents, to announce his support for the Higher Education Productivity Funding Model. This funding model places the priority on accountability, student success and program completion as opposed to the previous formula, which places priority on student enrollment. Additionally, the Governor demonstrated his support for the new funding method by announcing an additional $10 million increase to higher education funding conditioned on the reform’s passage. If the new funding model is adopted, Arkansas will become only the fifth state to make significant progress toward funding higher education based on similar productivity models – joining Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio, and Oregon.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“I am pleased to demonstrate my support for the Higher Education Productivity Funding Model  by announcing a $10 million increase to higher education funding conditioned on passage of this reform. I have no higher priority for the upcoming session than to see funding for our universities geared more towards the success of our students. The purpose of this additional funding is to incentivize efficiency and outcomes for our institutions of higher learning, and I appreciate the support this proposal has received from college and university presidents across the state.

“My goal continues to be increasing the percentage of Arkansans that are career-ready and equipped with degrees and industry-recognized certificates. This new revolutionary funding model will help us achieve those goals, and I look forward to working with the legislature to make it a reality.”

Dr. Maria Markham, Director of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, issued the following statement:

“Productivity funding will play a central role in achieving the strategic goals set forth in the Higher Ed Master Plan. Aligning funding with the priorities of our state will motivate institutions to focus efforts on initiatives that will improve outcomes for students and elevate the available workforce in Arkansas.

“Moving away from an enrollment-based method of funding and holding ourselves accountable  for student success sends a strong message that Arkansas colleges and universities are committed to making positive change. Your Arkansas institutions of higher learning will rise to the challenges before them and demonstrate their value to the residents of our state. I commend and thank Governor Hutchinson for his support of the productivity funding model and making furthering higher education a priority.”

Statements of support below include: Dr. Donald Bobbitt, President of the University of Arkansas System; Dr. Charles Welch, President of the Arkansas State University System; Dr. Laurence Alexander, Chancellor of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff; and Bill Stovall, Executive Director of the Arkansas Community Colleges. Key support from additional institutions of higher learning include Southern Arkansas University, Henderson State University, University of Central Arkansas, and Arkansas Tech University, to name a few.

“Improving student success is a top priority of the UA System and all of our institutions. The new outcomes based funding formula will reward efforts to improve student completion and reinforce our mission to prepare students to be contributing members of the workforce and their communities. We are pleased to work with Governor Hutchinson and the General Assembly to implement a formula that makes sense for Arkansas and the goals we have to move our state forward in educational attainment and economic development.”  – Dr. Bobbitt, UA System President

“I commend, and am proud to support, Governor Hutchinson for his vision in transitioning to an outcomes-based funding formula for higher education.  Governor Hutchinson clearly understands the inextricable link between a strong higher education system and a healthy economy in Arkansas.  This formula will focus not on how many students enroll, but rather how many complete. This formula will clearly illustrate how higher education changes individual lives while also significantly enhancing our communities and our economy. I am proud of the transformative impact of our higher education system and am pleased we will be able to accurately portray that impact through this formula. While work remains in developing specific measures of the formula, development of this formula is proof of higher education' commitment to public accountability and to operating more efficiently. I look forward to working with Governor Hutchinson, legislators, my colleagues and others in developing the formula measures and in advancing our higher education system and the success of our students.” – Dr. Charles Welch, ASU System President

“Outcomes-based funding puts a premium on student success. Our goal is to continue to enhance student retention and success through graduation so our students and families get the return on their investment. Helping our students get a low-cost high-quality education is a key part of our land-grant mission.

“We hope the state will take this opportunity to increase its investment in a college-educated workforce.  If so, outcomes-based funding will have its greatest impact on economic development in Arkansas.” – Dr. Alexander, UAPB Chancellor

“We appreciate Governor Hutchinson’s and Director Markham’s leadership in pursuing a funding model that promotes student success and accountability. The progress thus far is encouraging, and we look forward to contributing towards the final product. Additionally, this is a great opportunity to pursue innovative academic and support services that will help students be successful in meeting the state’s completion goals.” – Mr. Stovall, ACC Executive Director

Additional Information on the Higher Education Productivity Funding Model:

Prior to the Governor’s proposal, colleges and universities in the state have been funded on a needs-based model that is driven mostly by enrollment. The Higher Education Productivity Funding Model is a productivity-based approach that focuses more on the student and their success, as well as access.

Productivity-based funding can be used to align institutional funding with statewide priorities for higher education by encouraging programs and services focused on student success and incentivizing progress toward statewide goals. At the same time, such models encourage accountability to students and policymakers by focusing on the success of students through the achievement of their educational goals. Any new funding model must be built around a set of shared principles embraced by institutions, employing appropriate outcomes metrics, and aligned with goals and objectives for post-secondary attainment in our state and encouraging accountability to stakeholders.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10.28.2016

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: October 31st – November 5th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, October 31, 2016, through Saturday, November 5, 2016:

Monday October 31, 2016:

LITTLE ROCK
Higher Education Funding Model Press Conference
1:30 PM
Governor’s Conference Room
500 Woodlane St.
Little Rock, AR

Tuesday, November 1, 2016:

LITTLE ROCK
Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas Rural Broadband Summit
8:30 AM
Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas
1 Cooperative Way
Little Rock, AR

LITTLE ROCK
Arkansas Century Farm Program Inductee Ceremony
10:30 AM
Arkansas State Capitol – 2nd Floor Rotunda
500 Woodlane St.
Little Rock, AR

Thursday, November 3, 2016:

LITTLE ROCK
Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit
8:30 AM
Embassy Suites
11301 Financial Centre Pkwy
Little Rock, AR

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10.28.2016

Gov. Hutchinson to Make Special Announcement Regarding Higher Education Funding Formula

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson, joined by the Director of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, Dr. Maria Markham, and several Arkansas university presidents, will hold a news conference on Monday to make a special announcement regarding the Higher Education Productivity Funding Model.

Details are as follows:

WHAT:
Governor Asa Hutchinson to Make Special Announcement Regarding Higher Education Funding Formula

WHEN:
1:30 p.m., Monday, October 31, 2016

WHERE:
Governor’s Conference Room
Arkansas State Capitol
Little Rock, AR


CONTACT - press@governor.arkansas.gov - (501) 682 - 3642

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10.25.2016

Gov. Hutchinson Announces Proposal for War Memorial Stadium

LITTLE ROCK – At a news conference Tuesday morning, Governor Asa Hutchinson laid out a proposal for the future viability and sustainability of Little Rock’s War Memorial Stadium. The Governor’s proposal would move War Memorial under the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism (ADPT). The proposed move will provide stability and access to resources that have previously been unavailable. In addition to the move, Governor Hutchinson, through his discretionary funds, will fund a study by a nationally recognized stadium consultant to make recommendations on future needs of the stadium. (You can view the entire news conference HERE.)

ADPT currently oversees Arkansas’s 52 State Parks and Museums, while managing 180 historic properties and conducting more than 42,000 programs and events annually.

The proposal will be presented to the General Assembly during the 2017 legislative session.

Governor Asa Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“First of all, I want to thank Chairman Kevin Crass and the commission for the outstanding job they’ve done – and continue to do – for War Memorial Stadium and central Arkansas. From concerts and high school championships, to the ‘Miracle on Markham’, this venerable venue holds a special place with many Arkansans, especially our veterans, and has provided a lot of great memories along the way. In order to continue that success while maintaining the stadium’s viability for future generations, I am proposing that War Memorial Stadium be moved under the direction of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism.

“Tourism is the second leading industry in Arkansas, and War Memorial Stadium has proven to be an important part of that industry – both culturally and economically. This move makes sense on a number of levels, but above all else, it will provide much needed stability while allowing access to Parks and Tourism’s abundant resources, including staff and marketing.

“In addition, I will fund a study by a nationally recognized stadium consultant to make recommendations on future needs of the stadium. It always helps to get a fresh set of eyes on something that’s so very familiar to so many of us.”

Kane Webb, Director of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, issued the following statement: 

“I think it’s a very good fit, and an exciting opportunity for our department. It’s a natural in many ways. We have an administrative and operational support system that could be of great benefit for War Memorial. We speak the same language when it comes to operations such as resale, concessions, contract labor, ticket sales and other issues dealing with handling large and small groups of people.

“Not only can we provide War Memorial that kind of operational support, but we can aid in its marketing and promotional efforts.

“I also want to note the remarkable job that Kevin Crass, chairman of the WMS commission, his commissioners and stadium staff have done with the stadium through a lot of hard work and creative thinking.

“This is an historic structure with a long, storied tradition; it’s full of great memories for generations of Arkansans. It’s important to note, too, perhaps most important, that it is the largest war memorial in the state dedicated to the servicemen and women who gave their lives fighting for this country.”

Kevin Crass, Chairman of the War Memorial Stadium Commission, issued the following statement:

“I am grateful to the Governor for his efforts to create a solution to the challenges War Memorial Stadium faces. I look forward to working with Kane Webb and the Department of Parks and Tourism to determine ways we can work together to maintain and advance War Memorial Stadium. The people of Arkansas, especially the veterans and those who are memorialized, deserve nothing less.”

Chris Bequette, a former Razorback football player and current member of the War Memorial Stadium Commission, issued the following statement:

“I believe Governor Hutchinson’s proposal will help continue the success of War Memorial Stadium and put it on the path to eventually no longer requiring a subsidy from Arkansas taxpayers.

“Being part of a family that has played many games at War Memorial, as a former Razorback I always looked forward to playing at this venerable stadium. It was an incredible experience with a rich tradition, and I hope, because of this new opportunity under Parks and Tourism, future generations will get to experience that same atmosphere – on the field or in the stands.”

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10.24.2016

Gov. Hutchinson to Announce Proposal for War Memorial Stadium in News Conference Tuesday

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson will hold a news conference on Tuesday morning at the Capitol to announce a proposal for the future of War Memorial Stadium.  

Details are as follows:

WHAT:
Gov. Hutchinson to Announce Proposal for War Memorial Stadium

WHEN:
10:00 a.m. | Tuesday, October 25, 2016

WHERE:
Governor’s Conference Room
State Capitol
Little Rock, AR

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10.22.2016

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: October 22nd – October 29th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Saturday, October 22, 2016, through Saturday, October 29, 2016:

Saturday, October 22, 2016:

WEST MEMPHIS
Big River Crossing Grand Opening
10:00 AM
Big River Crossing
Lat: 35.134967 Lon: -90.085289
West Memphis, AR

Monday, October 24, 2016:

LITTLE ROCK
Southwest Power Pool 75th Anniversary Dinner – Speaking
5:45 PM
Marriott Hotel - Grand Ballroom
3 Statehouse Plaza
Little Rock, AR

Tuesday, October 25, 2016:

HARRISON
JPH Men of Distinction Luncheon – Speaking
5:45 PM
The Durand Center
303 N. Main Street
Harrison, AR

Thursday, October 27, 2016:

ROGERS
Excellence in Free Enterprise Award Luncheon - Receiving Award/Brief Remarks
10:15 AM
Embassy Suites
3303 South Pinnacle Hills Parkway
Rogers, AR

Saturday, October 29, 2016:

LITTLE ROCK
Black Hall of Fame Ceremony and Induction
7:30 PM
State House Convention Center
3 Statehouse Plaza
Little Rock, AR

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10.20.2016

Gov. Hutchinson Bringing 400 New Jobs Back from China

Makes Announcement Live via Skype from Beijing

BEIJING, CHINA – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the signing of an MOU with Suzhou Tianyuan Garments Company, wrapping up another successful trade mission overseas. As part of the deal, Tianyuan will create 400 jobs and invest $20 million in Little Rock. (Photos of the MOU signing can be found HERE.)

Tianyuan is a garment manufacturer specializing in the production of casual and sportswear, including garments for Adidas, Reebok, and Armani. The company's annual production is approximately 10 million articles of clothing and currently supplies 90% of garments under the Adidas brand.

“I am thrilled to announce that Tianyuan has chosen Arkansas as their North American home. Arkansas' strategic location will give them great access to the US market and beyond,” said Governor Hutchinson.

“This deal with Tianyuan shows the continued momentum we have with companies looking to invest in Arkansas,” said Mike Preston Executive Director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. 

AEDC will continue to work with the company to finalize additional details. Tianyuan hopes to be operational by the end of 2017.

The Governor’s announcement came via Skype Thursday morning. You can view the announcement HERE.

Additional Company Information:

Suzhou Industrial Park Tianyuan Garments Co. (Tianyuan) was founded in 1998. In 2015, the company was named one of the top 100 garment companies in China. The company's primary activity is the production of casual and sportswear garments, including garments for Adidas, Reebok, and Armani. Tianyuan was one of several suppliers for the 2014 World Cup and for the Italian Olympic Team in 2016. Tianyuan has five facilities in China

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10.19.2016

Gov. Hutchinson to Hold News Conference from China; Will Make Special Announcement via Skype

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson will hold a news conference from China, via Skype, Thursday morning to provide updates to media on the current overseas trade mission. As part of the news conference, the Governor will make a special announcement concerning economic development in the state.

For media unable to attend, you can stream the news conference online in its entirety by visiting: https://www.youtube.com/c/GovernorAsaHutchinson/live

Details are as follows:

WHAT:
Skype News Conference with Governor Hutchinson from China

WHEN:
9:00 a.m. | Thursday, October 20, 2016

WHERE:
Governor’s Conference Room
State Capitol
Little Rock, Arkansas

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10.14.2016

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Appointments

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the following appointments:

Lloyd Freeman Wish, Clarksville, to the Academic Facilities Review Board. Appointment expires August 6, 2019. Replaces Sandra Porter.

Daniel Barnes, Fayetteville, to the Academic Facilities Review Board. Appointment expires August 6, 2018. Replaces Brad Hammond.

Mary Ann Winter Herring, Humphrey, to the Arkansas State Respiratory Care Examining Committee. Appointment expires August 7, 2019. Replaces Dr. Erna Boone.

Dr. Patricia Knott, Conway, to the Arkansas Tobacco Control Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2021. Replaces J. Lacey.

Michael Lindsey, Fayetteville, to the Career Education and Workforce Development Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2017. Replaces Dr. Steven Collier.

Dr. Justin Moore, Searcy, to the Arkansas Board of Examiners in Counseling. Appointment expires December 1, 2018. Replaces Dr. Penny Willmering.

Sharon Vogelpohl, Little Rock, to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Advisory Committee. Serves at the Will of the Governor. Replaces Curt Bradbury.

Dr. Joseph Thaddeus “Thad” Beck, Fayetteville, to the Oversight Committee on Breast Cancer Research. Appointment expires December 31, 2019. Reappointment.

Katherine Beck, White Hall, as the Director of the Office of State-Federal Relations. Serves at the pleasure of the Governor. Replaces Alison Williams.

Griffin Golleher, Carlisle, to the Arkansas Milk Stabilization Board. Appointment expires September 12, 2020. Replaces Bette Nicholson.

William Anglin, Bentonville, to the Arkansas Milk Stabilization Board. Appointment expires September 12, 2021. Replaces Mike Fisher.

Travis Senter, Osceola, to the Arkansas Boll Weevil Eradication Committee. Appointment expires July 1, 2020. Reappointment.

Matthew Hyneman, Jonesboro, to the Arkansas Boll Weevil Eradication Committee. Appointment expires July 1, 2019. Reappointment.

Pace Hindsley, Marvell, to the Arkansas Boll Weevil Eradication Committee. Appointment expires July 1, 2019. Reappointment.

Richard Bransford, Lonoke, to the Arkansas Boll Weevil Eradication Committee. Appointment expires July 1, 2020. Replaces Laudies Brantley.

Marie Bane, Magnolia, to the Arkansas State Board of Sanitarians. Appointment expires June 30, 2018. Replaces April Jones.

Dr. Lenora Newsome, Smackover, to the Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy. Appointment expires June 30, 2022. Reappointment.

Sam Whitaker, Monticello, to the Arkansas Agriculture Board. Appointment expires August 15, 2020. Replaces Dewayne Chappell.

Landon Pool, Lonoke, to the Arkansas Agriculture Board. Appointment expires August 15, 2020. Replaces Margie Saul.

Jennifer James, Newport, to the Arkansas Agriculture Board. Appointment expires August 15, 2020. Replaces David Choate.

Lonnie Cagle, Conway, to the Arkansas Fire Protection Licensing Board. Appointment expires April 1, 2018. Replaces Richard Sims.

Kristi Davis, Little Rock, to the Governor’s Advisory Commission on National Service and Volunteerism. Appointment expires February 12, 2017. Replaces Denver Landers.

James Floyd, Hardy, to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Aging. Appointment expires January 14, 2020. Replaces James Miller.

Matthew Hodges, Perryville, to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Aging. Appointment expires January 14, 2018. Replaces Robert Hodges.

William Vines, Fort Smith, to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Aging. Appointment expires January 14, 2020. Replaces Dale Carter.

Rickey Joyner, Morrilton, to the Professional Bail Bond Company and Professional Bail Bondsman Licensing Board. Appointment expires September 30, 2023. Reappointment.

D. Brian Todd, White Hall, to the Criminal Justice Institute Advisory Board. Appointment expires January 14, 2019. Replaces James Davis.

William Green Jr., Cabot, to the Residential Contractors Committee. Appointment expires October 1, 2019. Reappointment.

John Hales, Rogers, to the Residential Contractors Committee. Appointment expires October 1, 2019. Replaces Todd Wilcox.

Taylor Wynn, Berryville, to the Arkansas Geographic Information Systems Board. Appointment expires August 1, 2020. Reappointment.

Matthew Charton, Morrilton, to the Arkansas Geographic Information Systems Board. Appointment expires August 1, 2020. Replaces Glen Dabney.

Scott Foster, Benton, to the Arkansas Geographic Information Systems Board. Appointment expires August 1, 2020. Replaces Randy Everett.

Judge Rickey Bowman, Ozark, as a Special Judge in the County Court of Conway County, Arkansas. CCR 2016-1 Henry Jones and Kay Jones, husband and wife vs. John Earl and Suzanne Earl, husband and wife. Replaces Conway County Judge Jimmy Hart, who has disqualified himself from the case.

Jay Scholtens, Jonesboro, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-16-144 Marilyn Curry Troutman v. Ronald Troutman.  Replaces Justice Courtney Hudson Goodson, who has disqualified herself from the case.

David Hogue, Conway, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-16-144 Marilyn Curry Troutman v. Ronald Troutman. Replaces Justice Robin F. Wynne, who has disqualified himself from the case.

Lauren Heil, North Little Rock, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-16-435 Samuel A. Perroni v. David Sachar, Executive Director. Replaces Justice Rhonda Wood, who has disqualified herself from the case.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)