Press Release

Asa Arkansas's Governor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
07.24.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Appointments

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

Thomas McArthur, Hot Springs, to the State Board of Barber Examiners. Appointment expires June 30, 2023. Reappointment.

Lori Griffin, Van Buren, to the Southern Regional Education Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2021. Replaces Johnnie Roebuck.

Adam Arroyos, Fayetteville, to the Career Education and Workforce Development Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2020. Reappointment.

D. Burton Weis, Fort Smith, to the Career Education and Workforce Development Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2020. Reappointment.

Jeff Standridge, Conway, to the Career Education and Workforce Development Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2020. Reappointment.

Scott Copas, Little Rock, to the Career Education and Workforce Development Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2020. Reappointment.

James Sharp, Harrison, to the State Board of Election Commissioners. Appointment expires May 28, 2021. Replaces C.S. Walker.

Robert Tillman, Little Rock, to the Arkansas State Board of Physical Therapy. Appointment expires June 30, 2020. Reappointment.

Robert Jordan, Hot Springs, to the Arkansas State Board of Physical Therapy. Appointment expires June 30, 2020. Reappointment.

Cheryl Anderson, Alma, to the Arkansas Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission. Appointment expires June 30, 2023. Reappointment.

Dr. Tanya Holt, Searcy, to the Arkansas State Board of Chiropractic Examiners. Appointment expires June 9, 2022. Replaces Dr. Julie Traylor-Logan.

Dr. Herman Ginger, Pine Bluff, to the State Board of Optometry. Appointment expires April 26, 2022. Replaces Dr. William Coffee.

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

Amy Fore, Fort Smith, to the Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy. Appointment expires June 30, 2023. Replaces Dr. James Burgess.

Dr. Kenneth Lancaster, Arkadelphia, to the Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy. Appointment expires June 30, 2019. Replaces Dr. Kevin Robertson.

Dr. Rebecca Mitchell, Greenbrier, to the Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy. Appointment expires June 30, 2023. Replaces Dr. Stephanie O’Neal.

Rajesh Chokhani, Little Rock, to the Board of Visitors for the University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College. Appointment expires June 30, 2024. Replaces James Herzfeld.

Daniel Moore, Corning, to the Board of Trustees of Black River Technical College. Appointment expires June 30, 2024. Replaces Paul Baltz.

John Jordan, Forrest City, to the Board of Directors of Crowley’s Ridge Technical Institute. Appointment expires June 30, 2021. Replaces Lynn Houston.

Kathy Frein, Brinkley, to the Board of Directors of Crowley’s Ridge Technical Institute. Appointment expires June 30, 2022. Replaces Glena Willard.

Jim Engstrom, III, Little Rock, to the State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Professional Surveyors. Appointment expires July 1, 2021. Reappointment.

Kyle Salyer, Van Buren, to the State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Professional Surveyors. Appointment expires July 1, 2021. Replaces Ronald Hawkins.

Larry Lloyd, Fayetteville, to the Nutrient Water Quality Trading Advisory Panel. Appointment expires June 8, 2019. Reappointment.

Heath Ward, Springdale, to the Nutrient Water Quality Trading Advisory Panel. Appointment expires June 8, 2019. Reappointment.

Dr. Nicole Hardiman, Bentonville, to the Nutrient Water Quality Trading Advisory Panel. Appointment expires June 8, 2019. Replaces Dr. Delia Haak.

Kelley Crouch, Ashdown, to the Nutrient Water Quality Trading Advisory Panel. Appointment expires June 8, 2019. Replaces Richard Rodenroth.

John Bailey, Benton, to the Nutrient Water Quality Trading Advisory Panel. Appointment expires June 8, 2019. Replaces Evan Teague.

Joe St. Columbia, Sr., Helena, to the Mississippi River Parkway Commission of Arkansas. Appointment expires June 8, 2022. Reappointment.

Jim Craig, Stuttgart, to the Mississippi River Parkway Commission of Arkansas. Appointment expires June 8, 2022. Reappointment.

Tyler Dunegan, Osceola, to the Mississippi River Parkway Commission of Arkansas. Appointment expires June 8, 2022. Replaces Steven Son.

Detective Mark Fallis, Hot Springs, to the Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial Design Committee. Serves at the will of the Governor. 

Lucien Gillham, Sr., Sherwood, to the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2026. Reappointment. 

Jeremiah Moore, Clarendon, to the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2021. Replaces Sally McLarty. 

Wayne Edwards, Lake Village, to the Arkansas Towing and Recovery Board. Appointment expires June 22, 2020. Reappointment.

Stephen Percival, Fayetteville, to the Career Education and Workforce Development Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2020. Replaces Michael Lindsey.

Shawn Jernigan, Alma, as a Justice of the Peace for the Crawford County Quorum Court, District 11. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Carrie Jernigan. 

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

Lance Reynolds, Quitman, as a Justice of the Peace for the Cleburne County Quorum Court, District 11. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Larry Goff.

Clint Everett, Oxford, as a Justice of the Peace for the Izard County Quorum Court, District 3. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Glendon Everett. 

Fred Rausch, Springdale, as a Justice of the Peace for the Washington County Quorum Court, District 2. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Roddy Lloyd. 

Jonathan Warren, Little Rock, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-17-220 Kenneth W. Tilley, Individually and as a Trustee of the Kenneth Tilley Family Trust v. Malvern National Bank and Stephen Moore. Replaces Chief Justice John Dan Kemp, who has disqualified himself from the case. 

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
07.21.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule:  July 24th – July 29th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, July 24, 2017, through Saturday, July 29, 2017: 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
VC FinTech Demo Day 
2:30 p.m.
Clinton Presidential Center
1200 President Clinton Ave.
Little Rock, AR

Friday, July 28, 2017:

FORT SMITH
Ribbon Cutting and Dedication of Curt, Cliff and Opal Young Children’s Home 
9:45 a.m.
Curt, Cliff and Opal Young Children’s Home
11207 Custer Blvd.
Fort Smith, 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 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
07.20.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Issues Statement Applauding USDA Agreement Permitting U.S. Rice Exports to China

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today issued the statement below applauding the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s announced agreement permitting U.S. rice exports to China for the first time.

“The news today announcing that the U.S. is now permitted to sell rice to China for the first time in history is a significant boost to Arkansas—the nation’s No. 1 rice producer—and our overall economy,” said Governor Hutchinson. “This is an issue I’ve consistently advocated for on my trade missions to China and in meetings with the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture. I applaud Secretary Perdue and the USDA for their tireless efforts in getting this deal done. It’s a great day to be an Arkansan.”

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

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
07.20.2017

Arkansas Water Quality Shows Dramatic Improvement

EPA Announces 335 Waters Now Meeting Standards

LITTLE ROCK – According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Arkansas’s water has dramatically improved. In a Thursday morning meeting in Little Rock, Governor Asa Hutchinson met with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt during his visit to Arkansas on his national state action tour. At this meeting, Administrator Pruitt announced that EPA approved Arkansas’s 303(d) list of water quality standards, which sets forth Arkansas’s impaired waters. Arkansas’s list has been pending before the EPA since 2010. 

As a result of Arkansas’s efforts, 76 percent of water bodies classified as impaired in 2008 are no longer considered such. After the announcement, a total of 335 waters are now considered to satisfy Arkansas’s water quality standards.

“Under the Trump Administration, EPA is focused on partnering with states to achieve the best environmental outcomes,” said EPA Administrator Pruitt. “I am proud to announce that EPA is now approving the 303(d) list that recognizes Arkansas’s water quality improvements made under Governor Hutchinson’s leadership.”

“Today’s announcement by the EPA means 76 percent of Arkansas water bodies impaired in 2008 are no longer showing impairments,” said Governor Hutchinson. “Arkansas has taken great strides to protect and to enhance our natural environment, and this decision underscores that effort. I also appreciate Administrator Pruitt for listening to the states about how regulations affect our citizens.  The clear and efficient regulations from EPA under his leadership—as well as the agency's focus on a more balanced partnership with the states—is good news for Arkansans.”

Governor Hutchinson and Administrator Pruitt were also joined at the meeting by Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, and two of Governor Hutchinson’s cabinet members, Director Becky Keogh of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and Secretary Wes Ward of the Arkansas Agriculture Department. 

“Administrator Pruitt's visit to Arkansas and his recent actions signify EPA's commitment to return power back to the states,” said Director Keogh. “EPA's approval of Arkansas's 303(d) list further bolsters that commitment and recognizes and supports Arkansas's scientific integrity and successes in continually improving our water quality.”

“Arkansas’s agriculture industry was honored to host EPA Administrator Pruitt and his staff this morning,” said Secretary Ward. “We are pleased that under his leadership the EPA will engage in cooperative federalism and work with our state and our state’s largest industry instead of against it. Today’s approval of Arkansas’s 303 (d) list proves that the EPA is taking real steps toward providing timely regulatory certainty that has been lacking for several years.”

Also on Thursday morning, Governor Hutchinson joined Administrator Pruitt at the Poultry Federation for a roundtable discussion with Arkansas agriculture stakeholders where the Administrator received public comments on the official record regarding the 2015 “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule. These public comments will assist in the EPA’s actions moving forward on the WOTUS issue.  All segments of Arkansas's agricultural industry were represented.

Photos from Administrator Pruitt's visit can be found HERE

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
07.20.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Announces Completion of Arkansas Public School Computer Network High-Speed Broadband

Arkansas 1 of only 6 States with 100% Connectivity

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the completion of the Arkansas Public School Computer Network (APSCN), the high-speed broadband upgrade for 100 percent of the state’s K-12 school systems. The completion of this two-year project catapults Arkansas to the top of the nation in broadband connectivity, delivering secure, high-speed broadband to 293 public schools, charter schools and education-service cooperatives statewide. Governor Hutchinson, DIS Director Yessica Jones and ADE Assistant Commissioner Eric Saunders made the announcement from the Glen Rose School District in Malvern on Thursday.

Arkansas is now one of only six states in the nation to achieve at least 100 kilobits per second (kbps) per student in 100 percent of its school districts, according to the most recent data. In fact, the state doubled that figure, meaning Arkansas students will now have access to a minimum of 200 kbps per student. The new APSCN provides students, teachers and faculty in Arkansas school districts of all sizes and geographic locations a highly secure, all-fiber, high-speed broadband network that delivers internet speeds 40 times faster than the previous network.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“In 2015, when I issued the directive to connect all our schools, I didn’t know exactly how it would look, but I knew for sure that information systems and the education department would get the job done. They did, and the final product looks grand. Not only are we leading the way, we surpassed the federal goals and set a standard for the rest of the nation.”

Yessica Jones, Director of DIS, issued the following statement:

“Because Arkansas is a rural state, many of our school districts were falling into that digital divide cited in study after study of the national broadband environment. A national organization said Arkansas had an unprecedented opportunity to lead the nation in upgrading the internet access to its K-12 schools in a comprehensive and cost-effective way. Today, I am proud to say we did it.”

ADE Commissioner Johnny Key issued the following statement:

“In order to accomplish our vision of transforming Arkansas to lead the nation in student-focused education, our students must have access to high-speed Internet. The partnership between ADE and DIS has helped make this bandwidth goal a reality for every student in the state. Because of this accomplishment, the learning opportunities for all students are endless.”

In April 2015, the governor directed DIS and ADE to build a network to meet the federal internet access target of 100 kbps per student for digital learning. At that time, only 58 percent of Arkansas districts were meeting the federal target.

The new network provides bandwidth speeds to access online courses and conduct online research and internet-based class projects, such as coding and virtual field trips. Additionally, it will be instrumental in facilitating students’ completion of online courses the state requires for graduation.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
07.18.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Issues Statement on Latest Healthcare News Out of Washington

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today issued the following statement regarding the latest news on the health-care debate in Washington.

“My goal in recent weeks has been to help shape the national health-care debate on a repeal of Obamacare that is accompanied by a replacement bill that allows states like Arkansas to continue its reform efforts; assures access to affordable health-care coverage; and reduces the escalating costs of Medicaid in the future. As part of that debate, I have consistently said it is important to know where we are going with a replacement bill at the same time we repeal. Now it has been announced that the Senate bill does not have the votes. I look forward to discussing any future action with both Senator Boozman and Senator Cotton. They have provided significant help in getting changes in the Senate bill that are more favorable to Arkansas, and I am grateful for their support.

“Leaders from all parties agree that our nation’s current health-care system is clearly not working, and it is incumbent on us, as leaders, to find solutions to improve it. Democrats must join Republicans at the table and work to accomplish a solution to support sustainable health care in our nation. Governors, including myself, stand ready to partner with our colleagues in Congress in this effort.”

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
07.13.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Approves Arkansas Participation in National Emergency Communication System

Arkansas Joins Virginia and Wyoming as one of the first states to officially “opt in” to the FirstNet and AT&T plan

PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced that Arkansas will opt in to the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) and AT&T plan to deliver a wireless broadband network to the State’s public safety community. The Governor made the announcement from the National Governors Association’s Summer Conference in Providence, Rhode Island. With the announcement, Arkansas joins Virginia and Wyoming as one of the first states to officially declare their intention to participate in the program. The Governor’s official letter can be found HERE.

“After an in-depth review of the FirstNet and AT&T plan by the appropriate state agencies and stakeholders, I have decided to approve their recommendation to opt in to the program,” Governor Hutchinson said. “As a former Undersecretary of Homeland Security after 9/11, I understand the necessity of a reliable stand-alone emergency communications system. FirstNet has received wide support among our community of first responders because it will enable us to respond more quickly during crises when seconds can mean the difference between life and death.” 

“Governor Hutchinson and I have shared a vision for a safe and secure country since our days in Homeland Security. Today, he has made one of the most economical and technologically advanced decisions he can make for the safety of Arkansas’ residents and first responders," said former Pennsylvania Governor and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. "Participation in FirstNet is going to transform how Arkansas’ first responders coordinate during emergencies and everyday situations."

FirstNet and AT&T will build, operate and maintain a highly secure wireless broadband communications network for Arkansas’ public safety community at no cost to the State for the next 25 years. The FirstNet network will deliver innovation and create an entire system of modernized devices, apps and tools for first responders, transforming the way Arkansas’ fire, police, EMS and other public safety personnel communicate and share information. Click HERE for more information on how FirstNet will help public safety save lives and secure communities. 

“Arkansas has been a tremendous partner to work with to plan and design this network,” said FirstNet CEO Mike Poth. “With today’s decision, Governor Hutchinson realizes public safety’s efforts and sets this life-saving network into motion. We look forward to delivering the technology and communication tools that first responders need to serve and protect the residents of Arkansas.”
 
“In 2015, Governor Hutchinson directed the state to develop a robust process to review whether opting in to FirstNet was the right decision for the state. Since that time, we have been hard at work researching and collaborating with our emergency responders to arrive at the best decision for Arkansas. I would like to thank everyone involved for the work they have done over the last few years leading up to the final review of the plan,” said Director of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, A.J. Gary. “FirstNet will be a great asset to our first responders and the citizens they serve.”

Since 2013, FirstNet has met with Arkansas officials and public safety personnel more than 30 times to address their unique communication needs and challenges. In addition, before Governor Hutchinson received the FirstNet state plan for his approval, the plan was reviewed for potential financial, legal and environmental implications by a group of stakeholders and state agencies including the Governor’s office, the Department of Information Systems, the Attorney General, the Department of Emergency Management and the Arkansas Interoperable Communications Executive Committee. 

“It is our honor to provide advanced communications capabilities to ensure Arkansas’ first responder community has a network they can rely upon when needed most," said Ed Drilling, president, AT&T Arkansas. “AT&T has a long history with the public safety community, and together we know we will create a first-of-its-kind network that will help first responders operate faster, safer and more effectively when lives are on the line. We will bring first responders the coverage, value and experience they expect.”

About FirstNet
The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) is an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce. Chartered in 2012, its mission is to ensure the building, deployment, and operation of the nationwide, broadband network that equips first responders to save lives and protect U.S. communities. For more information on FirstNet, please visit FirstNet.gov/mediakit.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
07.12.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Announces Benton Police Chief Kirk Lane as New Arkansas Drug Director

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has announced Kirk Lane, Chief of Police for the Benton Police Department, as the new Arkansas Drug Director. Chief Lane will replace former Arkansas Drug Director Denny Altes, who resigned in May of this year. 

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement: 

“Chief Lane’s extensive experience in law enforcement and his background with the FBI has well-equipped him to serve as the new Arkansas Drug Director. Chief Lane is a dedicated leader who has been a valuable asset to several Arkansas drug and alcohol boards and programs. I am confident that he will continue to do an outstanding job working to further alcohol- and drug-abuse prevention and treatment initiatives of our state.”

Chief Kirk Lane issued the following statement:

"This is a great opportunity to lead people in the same direction to prevent drug abuse and improve the quality of life for all Arkansas. My job is to encourage people to work together to resolve these issues, and I look forward to being a part of the Governor’s team in this effort."

Chief Lane has served as chief of police for the Benton Police Department since 2009. Prior to serving in that role, Chief Lane spent more than 20 years with the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office and served as captain of its Criminal Investigations Division for nearly a decade. He is a graduate of the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy and the FBI National Academy. 

Chief Lane has also served as a member of the Arkansas Drug and Alcohol Coordinating Council, the Arkansas Gulf Coast HITDA State Board, the Terrorism Task Force, the Arkansas Prescription Drug Advisory Board and the Arkansas Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. 

Chief Lane has also received countless awards for his service including the Mayoral Distinguished Medal of Merit for Benton, 2010 Benton Citizen of the Year and the 2012 Marie Interfaith Award.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
07.11.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Applauds Recent Strides in Tackling DD Wait-List, Substance-Abuse Treatment

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas is making significant progress in reducing the number of those waiting for in-home medical care and in providing treatment for mental-health issues and substance abuse, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced at Tuesday’s meeting of the Little Rock Rotary Club.

During the 2017 general assembly, legislators designated money from the Tobacco Settlement Fund that has allowed the Department of Human Services to reduce the waiting list of over 3,000 developmentally disabled Arkansans seeking in-home care.

“I am pleased that we have made it a priority to care for the most vulnerable in our state,” Governor Hutchinson said. “With the support of the legislature, my administration has been able to significantly reduce the number of developmentally disabled who are currently waiting for in-home care. I am delighted that 500 additional Arkansans will now have access to quality in-home care, rather than placement in an institution.”

In addition, under DHS rules that went into effect July 1, those with substance-abuse and mental-health issues will now have quicker and simpler access to treatment and counseling.

The new rules allow and encourage new providers to become certified to accept and bill for Medicaid beneficiaries who need outpatient mental health and substance abuse services. 

“It is no secret that the abuse of opioids and methamphetamines is a growing issue in dire need of a solution. We must have a system in place to help people who struggle with addiction,” Governor Hutchinson said. “We have expanded the services that Medicaid covers, and for the first time, we are allowing counselors to house their practices in the same building with physicians. This common-sense approach will increase access to addiction treatment by allowing doctors to send a patient directly to a counselor, rather than hoping the patient will keep an appointment across town a week later.”

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
07.11.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Announces Stan Jones As New Arkansas Game and Fish Commissioner

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today appointed Stan Jones of Walnut Ridge to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. 

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement: 

“As a fifth generation farmer and an avid outdoorsman, Stan appreciates Arkansas in ways that few others do, and he is a perfect fit for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. As a fellow hunter and conservationist, I understand how critical it is to appoint a leader who dearly loves all the natural resources that Arkansas has to offer. Stan has demonstrated a passion for stewarding Arkansas’ natural resources throughout his entire life.”

Stan Jones issued the following statement:

“I have always loved the outdoors. That is one thing I like to share, and I want to see others experience that. I look forward to serving Arkansans by working to protect the land in this new role. I am grateful for Governor Hutchinson’s confidence in me to serve on the Game and Fish Commission.”

Jones is an Arkansas native and a long-time resident of Walnut Ridge. He farms over 7,000 acres of land in Northeast Arkansas and owns BANDED outdoor sporting apparel, Avery Outdoors and the Stan Jones Mallard Lodge. Jones is a graduate of Arkansas State University and serves on the Chancellor’s Cabinet. Jones, a member of ASU’s 1970 National Football Championship team, was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2015. He also serves in the Red Wolves Foundation 500 Club and the Clover Bend Historical Society. 

Arkansas Game and Fish Commissioners are appointed to serve 7-year terms. Stan Jones will replace outgoing commissioner, Fred Brown.  

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
07.10.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Issues Statement Applauding ACT Aspire Preliminary Scores

Arkansas Achieves Significant Increases

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson on Monday commended Arkansas teachers, students and the Arkansas Department of Education for the significant improvement in state scores on the 2016-2017 ACT Aspire. The largest increases occurred in grades 6 and 8 math and writing. Large gains occurred in writing for grades 4 through 8, with a 21.72 percent increase in grade 5. English Language Arts averages reflect statistically significant increases, particularly for grade 4. More can be found HERE.

“Congratulations to Arkansas teachers, students and the Arkansas Department of Education for the notable improvement on the 2016-2017 ACT Aspire. While we want to see continued improvements in the future, the increased scores in math and writing bode well for our state in our efforts to attract more industry with a strong workforce. In addition, these advances further underscore the hardwork our teachers put forth every day and indicates that our students are responding well to the department’s new vision to provide a student-focused education.”

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
07.03.2017

Gov. Hutchinson, Miss America 2017 and KARK Announce Month-Long #BeHealthyBeActive Challenge

Campaign to Kick Off July 5 on KARK Today


LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson and Miss America 2017, Savvy Shields—the Governor’s Honorary Chair and Statewide Ambassador for Healthy Active Arkansas—are partnering with KARK TV, Little Rock’s NBC affiliate, throughout the month of July to kick off the first ever #BeHealthyBeActive Challenge as part of Healthy Active Arkansas. 

Every Wednesday morning in July, KARK 4 TODAY will air a segment featuring Miss America and KARK 4 TODAY personalities, along with appearances by Governor Hutchinson and First Lady Susan Hutchinson. Each segment will promote healthy living and encourage Arkansans in specific areas of health, including diet, mental, and indoor and outdoor exercise. 

This month-long challenge will urge Arkansans to share their healthy choices on social media, too, to promote what they are doing to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle this summer. The segments will air on July 5, July 12, July 19, and July 26.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement: 

“The #BeHealthyBeActive Challenge is a creative and exciting way for Arkansans to get involved and take further control of their health. Improving the health of our state not only enables Arkansans to lead more fulfilling, happy lives, but it also benefits our businesses and strengthens our state’s workforce. Ultimately, a healthier Arkansas is a stronger Arkansas. 

“I want to thank Miss America for her leadership in encouraging healthy lifestyles in our state, as well as the KARK 4 TODAY team for its partnership and collaboration in this challenge. I look forward to furthering the Healthy Active Arkansas mission by promoting healthier lifestyles in our state through the #BeHealthyBeActive Challenge.” 

Miss America 2017, Savvy Shields, issued the following statement:

"The #BeHealthyBeActive Challenge is the perfect way to integrate new and creative healthy habits into your lifestyle. I'm so excited to join my state in this challenge, finding ways towards eating healthy, and living better.”

KARK News Director, Austin Kellerman, issued the following statement:

“Being healthy and active are two major priorities for our KARK 4 TODAY team. They couldn’t be more excited about partnering with Governor Hutchinson, the First Lady, and Miss America to spread their passion for physical fitness.

“We’re excited to give people ideas centered around wellness to kick start their day.  Hopefully, the reports will provide that little boost and motivation people need to get active and enjoy everything our great state has to offer.”

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
07.03.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Intent to Grant Executive Clemency

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced his intent to grant 13 pardons. An additional 45 clemency requests were denied and 3 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:

Pinkey Brooks (Jonesboro): Delivery of Marijuana (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 Arkansas criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Javier Espinoza (Hebron, Kentucky): Failure to Appear (C Felony).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2002 – 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.

Tommy L. Fields (Solgohachia): Manufacturing a Controlled Substance (C Felony) and Unauthorized Use of Another Person’s Property to Facilitate Certain Crimes (B Felony).

This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (2002 – Van Buren 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.

Javan Fuller, Jr. (Smackover): Conspiracy to Deliver Cocaine (A Felony).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1994 – Union 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.

Mike Garner (Jonesboro): Breaking or Entering (D Felony).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1994 – Greene 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.

Jesse L. Green (Arnold, Missouri): Burglary (Felony) and Grand Larceny (Felony).

This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (1959 – Jackson 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.

Kevin K. Lindley (Hot Springs): Possession of a Controlled Substance, Cocaine (C Felony).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2005 – Benton 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.

Christopher P. McCrary (Hot Springs): Possession of a Controlled Substance-Schedule I/II, To Wit: Oxycotin (C Felony), Controlled Substance/Criminal Penalties (A Misdemeanor), and Drug Paraphernalia (A Misdemeanor).

This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (2005 – Faulkner 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. 

Ginger Smith Clancy (Atkins): Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver, Marijuana (C Felony), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony), and Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver, Methamphetamine (C Felony).

This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (1996 – Boone 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. 

Joe A. Puckett (Greenbrier): Harassing Communications (A Misdemeanor) and Terroristic Threatening in the 1st Degree (D Felony).

This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (2000 – Van Buren 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 applicant’s request.

Chris Ramsey (Little Rock): Breaking of Entering (D Felony) and Theft of Property (C Felony); Breaking of Entering (Revocation) (D Felony), Theft of Property (Revocation) (C Felony), and Theft by Receiving (C Felony); Failure to Appear (A Misdemeanor).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1990, 1991 and 1995 – Pulaski County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further felony criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Christina Weathersby (Rogers): Theft of Property (C Felony).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2005 – 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.

Scott A. McConnell (Mountain Home): Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver, 1 count (C Felony) and Delivery of a Controlled Substance, Marijuana, 6 counts (C Felony).

This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (1995 – Baxter County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further felony 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
07.01.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Issues Response to Overnight Shooting in Little Rock, Injuring 17

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson issued the following statement in response to an overnight shooting at a Little Rock nightclub injuring 17 people:  

"First and foremost, my thoughts are with the victims and their families this morning, and the First Lady and I are praying for their quick recovery. I also want to thank the first responders who no doubt saved lives with their quick action. 

"Little Rock's crime problem appears to be intensifying. Every few days it seems a high profile shooting dominates the news, culminating with this morning's event.  I have spoken this morning with Mayor Stodola and I have offered both my heart felt concern over this senseless violent tragedy and state assets as needed to address the continued threat of violence in our community.

“We are still gathering facts, but it is clear that we need to have a comprehensive enforcement strategy in place that helps take the violent threats off the streets. The state will participate and bring assets to the table to support local law enforcement efforts."

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
06.27.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Applauds EPA Administrator Pruitt’s Proposal to Rescind 2015 Clean Water Rule

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today issued a statement applauding a proposal from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt and the Army Corps of Engineers to rescind the 2015 Clean Water Rule and return to the previous regulatory status. 

In 2015, under President Obama, the EPA instituted new rules clarifying which bodies of water could be regulated by the federal government under the Clean Water Act. Known as the Clean Water Rule, these guidelines significantly increased the EPA’s authority to regulate small waterways.

“Arkansas is a state that supports clean water and has taken great strides to protect and enhance our natural environment,” Governor Hutchinson said. “As communicated in my recent letter to Administrator Pruitt, I support clear and efficient regulations and a more balanced partnership with the states. I commend the EPA, Administrator Pruitt, and the Army Corps of Engineers for withdrawing the burdensome requirements and federal overreach of the 2015 Clean Water Rule.”

A ruling from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals had halted implementation of the Clean Water Act after determining that the rule likely constituted regulatory overreach. If the rule is officially rescinded, the power to regulate ponds, wetlands and other non-navigable bodies of water would return to the states.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
06.23.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule:  June 26th – July 1st

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, June 26, 2017, through Saturday, July 1, 2017: 

Monday, June 26, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
Arkansas Public Safety Communications Conference 
1 p.m.
Embassy Suites
11301 Financial Centre Parkway 
Little Rock, AR

Tuesday, June 27, 2017:

STUTTGART
Stuttgart Rotary Club
Noon
Grand Prairie Center
2807 Highway 165
Stuttgart, AR

Wednesday, June 28, 2017:

BENTONVILLE
Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Open Call 
8 a.m.
Walmart Home Office
702 SW 8th Street
Bentonville, 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
06.23.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Announces Cost-Saving Move for Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission

Cut in Unnecessary Spending Nets Taxpayers More Than $70,000

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission (AWCC) announced today that the AWCC will not renew its lease of space for executive offices on the 26th floor of the Regions Building and will instead relocate those three commissioners to the Workers’ Compensation building nearby, at no additional cost to the state. This move will save Arkansas taxpayers more than $70,000 a year and additional savings in utility costs. 

The current five-year lease was signed in 2012 and will end June 30, 2017. The full Commission offices have been on the 26th floor of the Regions Bank building for 30 years. These executive high-rise offices are separate from the state-owned Commission building at 324 Spring Street, which currently serves as the office for all Little Rock employees of the agency.  

“As Governor, one of my top priorities has been to streamline state government to eliminate unnecessary costs for taxpayers,” Hutchinson said. “The decision to house Workers’ Compensation Commissioners within the Workers’ Compensation building is great news in that regard. This common-sense move to unite the three commissioners’ offices with their staff will save Arkansas taxpayers more than $70,000 per year.

“It is encouraging to see our agencies taking a deep look at spending to determine how to better serve the people of our state. I encourage other agencies to follow the lead of the AWCC, and I look forward to continued work with our legislature, state agencies and the Office of Transformation to find more ways to cut unnecessary spending and improve state government.” 

This change was a result of the Hutchinson administration’s continued focus on finding efficiencies and driving down the cost of state government. 

“Shortly after the Governor’s inauguration in 2015, the Governor asked me to look into the high-rise executive offices leased by the full Commission,” said S. Dale Douthit, chairman of the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission. “In 2015, we had approximately two and a half years on the five-year lease. As a result of reduction in staff due to natural attrition, our state-owned facility at 324 Spring Street now has more than enough office space for the full Commission. The full Commission has given notice to Regions that we will not be exercising another lease. Beginning July 1, 2017, the full Commission will move into its existing state-owned building at 324 Spring Street. The move into vacant space will require no major renovation. This is in line with Governor Hutchinson’s directive for more efficient state government.”

In 2015, the Commission had 104 employees; that number now stands at 89 employees. 

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
06.21.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Announces Appointments

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

Lori Griffin, Van Buren, to the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Appointment expires May 1, 2022. Replaces James von Gremp. 

Keven Anderson, Rogers, to the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Appointment expires May 1, 2023. Replaces Bob Crafton.

Al Brodell, Jonesboro, to the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Appointment expires May 1, 2023. Replaces Ben Pickard.

Randy Sims, Conway, to the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Appointment expires May 1, 2022. Replaces Florine Milligan. 

John Shepherd, El Dorado, to the Commission on Uniform State Laws. Appointment expires April 30, 2021. Replaces Carolyn Witherspoon. 

Jerald McKinney II, Benton, to the Commission on Uniform State Laws. Appointment expires April 30, 2021. Replaces Elisa White. 

David Nixon, Fayetteville, to the Commission on Uniform State Laws. Appointment expires April 30, 2021. Replaces Lynn Foster.

Joseph Roberts, Benton, to the Arkansas Sentencing Commission. Appointment expires May 15, 2022. Replaces Alvin Bradley.

Holly Meyer, Heber Springs, to the Arkansas Sentencing Commission. Appointment expires May 15, 2022. Replaces Henry Boyce.

Representative Sonia Eubanks Barker, Smackover, to the Southern Regional Education Board Legislative Advisory Council. Serves at the Will of the Governor.

Representative Grant Hodges, Rogers, to the Southern Regional Education Board Legislative Advisory Council.  Serves at the Will of the Governor.

Representative Mark Lowery, Maumelle, to the Southern Regional Education Board Legislative Advisory Council.  Serves at the Will of the Governor.

Judge Shannon Blatt, Fort Smith, to the Arkansas Sentencing Commission. Appointment expires May 15, 2019. Replaces Judge Berlin Jones. 

Dr. Jason Richey, Paris, to the Health Services Permit Commission. Appointment expires April 9, 2021. Replaces Dr. Kimberly Curseen.

David Deaton, Fairfield Bay, to the Health Services Permit Commission. Appointment expires April 9, 2021. Replaces Johnny Hodges.

Eugenia Brown, Mountain View, to the Advisory Council of the Arkansas Arts Council. Appointment expires June 30, 2021. Reappointment.

Remica Gray, Texarkana, to the Advisory Council of the Arkansas Arts Council. Appointment expires June 30, 2020. Reappointment. 

Bruce Alford, Lewisville, to the Red River Levee District No. 1. Appointment expires May 10, 2023. Reappointment.

Dewey McDonald Jr., Lewisville, to the Red River Levee District No. 1. Appointment expires May 10, 2023. Replaces William Goza.

Jammy Turner, Gillett, to the State Plant Board. Appointment expires March 17, 2019. Reappointment.

Kyle Baltz, Pocahontas, to the State Plant Board. Appointment expires March 17, 2019. Reappointment. 

Michael Lejong, Greenwood, to the State Board of Architects, Landscape Architects and Interior Designers. Appointment expires April 26, 2022. Replaces David French. 

James Mardis III, Rogers, to the Arkansas-Oklahoma Arkansas River Compact Commission. Appointment expires February 1, 2018. Replaces Michael Carter. 

Mark Pearson, Little Rock, to the Baby Sharon’s Children’s Catastrophic Illness Grant Program Committee. Appointment expires May 1, 2021. Reappointment. 

Julie Mullenix, Hot Springs, to the Capitol Zoning District Commission. Appointment expires May 1, 2019. Replaces Darrell Brown. 

Vickie Strickland, Jonesboro, to the Old State House Commission. Appointment expires March 19, 2026. Replaces Mary Abramson. 

Connie Timmons, Hamburg, as a Justice of the Peace for the Ashley County Quorum Court, District 5. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Robert Barnes.

Sherrie Sanders, Ozark, as a Justice of the Peace for the Franklin County Quorum Court, District 5. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Chad Haberer.

Lonnie Taff, Waldron, as a Justice of the Peace for the Scott County Quorum Court, District 7. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces William Lutrell.

Donald Ragland, Marshall, as a Special County Judge in the County Court of Carroll County, Arkansas. Carroll County Court Case Number 2016-02 Michael and Robin Phillips, et al. vs. Ryan Wilson. Replaces Carroll County Judge Sam Barr, who has disqualified himself from the case. 

Judge Doug Erwin, Lonoke, as a Special County Judge in the County Court of Boone County, Arkansas. Boone County Court Case Number 05CC-2016-5 North Arkansas Medical Services, Inc. v. Karen Hardesty, in her official capacity as Boone County Assessor. Replaces Boone County Judge Robert Hathaway, who has disqualified himself from the case. 

Robert Veach, Russellville, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-17-103 Air Evac EMS, Inc. v. USABLE Mutual Insurance Co. d/b/a Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Replaces Chief Justice John Dan Kemp, who has disqualified himself from the case. 

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
06.16.2017

Arkansas Unemployment Falls to Record 3.4 Percent

LITTLE ROCK – The unemployment rate continued its record-setting decline in May, dropping to 3.4 percent from 3.5 percent in April, Arkansas’ Department of Workforce Services announced Friday. This is the lowest rate in Arkansas’ history.

“Arkansas’ unemployment rate has fallen, once again, to an all-time low at 3.4 percent,” Governor Asa Hutchinson said. “The state’s labor force participation continues to increase with more jobs being added to the private sector, and the total number of Arkansans employed since January 2015 has risen to 74,500, up from 70,200 from last month.

“These are terrific reminders that our economy is on the right track. As we continue to attract new industry and expand existing employers, we will have a greater need for effective work-force education efforts. I am confident we can meet the ongoing needs of employers. ”

The state’s unemployment rate beat the national rate, which is 4.5 percent.

The unemployment rate in April 2015, the year Governor Hutchinson took office, was 5.5 percent. A year later, it had fallen to 3.9 percent in April 2016.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
06.16.2017

State Now Accepting Applications for Regional Crisis Stabilization Units, Gov. Hutchinson Announces

Interested Governmental Entities Encouraged to Apply

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Hutchinson today announced that the application process for Crisis Stabilization Units is now open. Crisis Stabilization Units (CSU) were a major part of Governor Hutchinson’s 2017 legislative agenda after they were recommended by the Criminal Justice Task Force. 

Act 423, establishing the CSU pilot program, received strong bipartisan support in both houses of the legislature and was signed into law by Governor Hutchinson on March 8, 2017.

CSUs are short term clinical facilities that provide assessment and treatment services for individuals with behavioral health conditions. The goal of these centers is to reduce the number of mentally ill and others with behavioral health conditions who enter jails and emergency rooms; these facilities are not designed or equipped to handle individuals with these conditions. Appropriate care will result in better outcomes for these individuals, and, in addition, it will decrease the strain and cost on our county jails.

Governor Hutchinson encouraged eligible governmental entities who are interested in establishing CSUs to visit the Governor’s website, HERE, to submit an online application. Submissions will be presented to the Criminal Justice Oversight Task Force, which will review all applications and make the selections. Applications must be submitted no later than midnight on June 30, 2017, to be considered. Three applicants will be selected for the pilot program.

Arkansas governmental entities selected to participate will be required to provide an appropriate physical site to operate a CSU with adequate space and proximity to both the county’s criminal-justice institutions and to a partnering behavioral-health facility. The agency also must prove it can cover the cost to maintain the facility.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
06.15.2017

President Grants Gov. Hutchinson’s Request for Federal Disaster Declaration

LITTLE ROCK – President Trump today granted Governor Asa Hutchinson’s request for a major disaster declaration for the state of Arkansas as a result of damages due to severe storms, tornadoes and flooding during the period of April 26 to May 19, 2017. The declaration will allow residents and governmental bodies in the affected areas0who meet certain criteria to apply for assistance.

Individual Assistance (IA) for individuals and households will be available in Benton, Boone, Carroll, Clay, Faulkner, Fulton, Jackson, Lawrence, Pulaski, Randolph, Saline, Washington and Yell counties.  Additional designations may be added to the declaration if requested by the state and warranted by results of further damage assessments. ADEM encourages citizens affected in these counties to apply for assistance by calling 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA) or at www.disasterassistance.gov

“This morning my office received notification from the Trump administration that it has granted my request for a federal disaster declaration for the Arkansas counties ravaged by the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding in April and May,” Governor Hutchinson said.

“This is welcome news for the Arkansas families and businesses who have been waiting patiently for relief from these disasters. These emergency funds will provide much needed relief that will help those coping with the aftermath of these storms to recover, rebuild and get back on their feet. I am especially appreciative of our federal delegation and their support and assistance during this process.” 

A.J. Gary, Director of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, said Thursday: “I received the call from FEMA Region 6 this morning that President Trump approved the declaration. The approved disaster declaration is a direct result of the dedicated and hard work of the ADEM team, FEMA, county judges and emergency managers, and the leadership of Governor Hutchinson.”

Public Assistance (PA) for emergency work and repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities will be available in Baxter, Benton, Boone, Carroll, Clay, Cleburne, Conway, Craighead, Cross, Faulkner, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Mississippi, Montgomery, Newton, Ouachita, Perry, Poinsett, Prairie, Randolph, Saline, Washington, White and Woodruff counties.

Through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, funds will be available for actions taken to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards for all areas of the state.

Arkansas Department of Emergency Management and Federal Emergency Management Agency officials will soon announce plans to open offices throughout the affected areas to accept assistance applications.

CONTACT: J.R. Davis, Governor’s Office: press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612); ADEM Public Affairs: publicaffairs@adem.arkansas.gov or 501.683.6700

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
06.13.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Orders Arkansas Flag to Fly at Half-Staff in Memory of Fallen Newport Police Officer

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has ordered the flag of the state of Arkansas to be lowered to half-staff in tribute to the memory of Lieutenant Patrick Weatherford, a Newport police officer, who was killed in the line of duty on Monday, June 12, 2017. The flag will be flown at half-staff from June 13, 2017, to the day of interment. The full proclamation can be found HERE.

Governor Hutchinson released a statement earlier Tuesday on the death of Lieutenant Weatherford, and that statement can be found HERE.

If you would like to receive updates from the Governor's Office regarding when to fly the Arkansas and the United States flags at half-staff, sign up for Citizens Alerts.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
06.13.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Issues Statement on Newport Police Officer Killed in the Line of Duty

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson issued the following statement on the death of Newport Police Officer, Lieutenant Patrick Weatherford, who was killed in the line of duty on Monday:

"I was saddened to hear that Lt. Patrick Weatherford was shot and killed in the line of duty yesterday afternoon. Lt. Weatherford's 15-year career at the Newport Police Department demonstrates his bravery, selflessness and commitment to serving his community. He will be remembered for his courage and dedication to serve and protect the people in and around the Newport area. We are forever indebted to men and women like Lt. Weatherford, who put their lives on the line every day to keep others safe. Our hearts go out to his family, the law enforcement community and the Newport Police Department during this difficult time.” 

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
06.13.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Issues Statement on Newport Police Officer Killed in the Line of Duty

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson issued the following statement on the death of Newport Police Officer, Lieutenant Patrick Weatherford, who was killed in the line of duty on Monday:

"I was saddened to hear that Lt. Patrick Weatherford was shot and killed in the line of duty yesterday afternoon. Lt. Weatherford's 15-year career at the Newport Police Department demonstrates his bravery, selflessness and commitment to serving his community. He will be remembered for his courage and dedication to serve and protect the people in and around the Newport area. We are forever indebted to men and women like Lt. Weatherford, who put their lives on the line every day to keep others safe. Our hearts go out to his family, the law enforcement community and the Newport Police Department during this difficult time.” 

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
06.09.2017

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

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, June 12, 2017, through Saturday, June 17, 2017: 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
Press Conference
10:30 a.m.
Governor’s Conference Room
500 Woodlane St.
Little Rock, AR

Thursday, June 15, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
83rd Annual Convention AR Municipal League
11:15 a.m.
State House Convention Center – Wally Allen Ballroom
101 E Markham St
Little Rock, AR

Friday, June 16, 2017:

HOT SPRINGS
Arkansas Bar Association 119th Annual Meeting 
10:15 a.m.
Hot Springs Convention Center
134 Convention Blvd.
Hot Springs, 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
06.09.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Appoints Mary Robin Casteel Director of Alcoholic Beverage Control

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has appointed Mary Robin Casteel as Director of the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control. Casteel has served as interim director since the departure of former director, Bud Roberts, in May.  

“The ABC faces a number of challenges in the near future, and continuity of leadership will help ensure the success of the agency,” Governor Hutchinson said. “Mary Robin has proven herself a capable leader and an authority on ABC operations. We’re glad she’s agreed to stay on.”

Casteel, a licensed attorney, had previously submitted her resignation and planned to return to private practice. The former director, Bud Roberts, resigned May 26th, and Casteel agreed to serve as interim director at that time.

Casteel, 38, joined ABC in 2013. The ABC regulates the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages in Arkansas, and currently oversees more than 5,000 permit holders in the state. Under the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, which voters adopted in November, the ABC will also regulate licensed dispensaries and cultivation facilities.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do in the coming months related to medical marijuana, as well as the always busy work of regulating alcohol,” Casteel said. “But we have a good team, and I’m glad to remain a part of it.”

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
06.05.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Submits Formal Federal Disaster Declaration Request for 31 Storm-ravaged Counties

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today submitted his formal request for a federal disaster declaration to the Trump administration for 31 Arkansas counties affected by severe storms, flooding and tornadoes in April and May.

“With the completion of the thorough damage assessment by FEMA and the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, I am now formally requesting that President Trump issue a federal disaster declaration for the the state of Arkansas as a result of the severe storms and flooding that devastated 31 counties and caused more than $13 million in damage. 

“I am hopeful that this request will result in some relief for those still reeling from the damage caused by the storms of the last two months.”  

Governor Hutchinson requested the declaration for Baxter, Benton, Boone, Carroll, Clay, Cleburne, Conway, Craighead, Cross, Faulkner, Fulton, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Mississippi, Montgomery, Newton, Ouachita, Perry, Poinsett, Prairie, Pulaski, Randolph, Saline, Washington, White, Woodruff and Yell counties.

Governor Hutchinson declared the affected counties as state disaster areas earlier in May. Due to the extensive nature of the flooding and the inaccessibility of certain areas, the in-depth damage assessment for the federal declaration of emergency took longer to complete.

Governor Hutchinson’s letter to President Trump can be found HERE.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
06.05.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Intent to Grant Executive Clemency

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced his intent to grant three pardons, one restoration of firearm rights only, and one commutation of a sentence. An additional 53 clemency requests were denied and four 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:

Roger Garner, Jr. (Searcy): Burglary, 2 counts (B Felony), Theft of Property, 1 count (C Felony), and Theft of Property, 1 count (A Misdemeanor).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2000 – 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.

Marcus J. Martin (Morrilton): Possession of Methamphetamine (C Felony).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2002 – 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. 

Rickey W. Owens (Waldron): Possession of a Controlled Substance (C Felony) and Possession of Instruments of Crime (A Misdemeanor).

This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (1998 and 2012 – Scott 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 the restoration of firearms right only to the following person:

Andy W. Hogg (Dierks): Robbery (B Felony).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1995 – Sevier 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 a commutation of sentence to the following person:

Jimmy E. Nelson (ADC #092971): Possession of Drug Paraphernalia with Intent to Manufacture Methamphetamine (Habitual Offender) (B Felony), Possession of Ephedrine (Habitual Offender) (B Felony), Possession of Marijuana (Probation Revocation) (D Felony) and Failure to Appear (C Felony).

The governor has given notice of his intent to commute the sentence of Jimmy E. Nelson, who was convicted in Benton County in 2001 and in Washington County in 2004 for the above offenses, from a total of 636 months to serve in the Arkansas Department of Correction to 360 months in the Arkansas Department of Correction with all counts concurrent. The Washington County Sheriff and Prosecuting Attorney and the Benton County Sheriff and Prosecuting Attorney have raised objections to the application.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
06.02.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: June 5th – June 10th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, June 5, 2017, through Saturday, June 10, 2017: 

Monday, June 5, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
International Economic Development Council (IEDC) 
2017 Economic Future Forum
8:30 a.m.
Little Rock Marriott
3 Statehouse Plaza
Little Rock, AR

LITTLE ROCK
Computer Science Enrollment Competition Press Conference
10 a.m.
Governor’s Conference Room
500 Woodlane St.
Little Rock, AR

Wednesday, June 7, 2017:

MARSHALL
Ozark Highlands Innovative Readiness Training Mission
2:30 p.m.
Marshall High School – Gym
952 Hwy  65
Marshall, AR

Saturday, June 10, 2017:

WARREN
All Tomato Luncheon
12 p.m.
First Baptist Church – Activities Center
310 S. Main Street
Warren, 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 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.31.2017

ICYMI: Gov. Hutchinson Talks Health Care Reform on PBS NewsHour; Says States Need More Flexibility

LITTLE ROCK – Yesterday Governor Asa Hutchinson joined Lisa Desjardins on PBS NewsHour to discuss health care reform—the ongoing debate in Washington and what the country’s governors would like to see. Click HERE to watch to the full interview. See below for the full transcript.
 

May 30, 2017 – 5:30 p.m. CST

LISA DESJARDINS: As part of our ongoing look at what’s at stake in health care for those closest to the problem, we’re now joined by Asa Hutchinson, the Republican governor from Arkansas.

Our viewers will recall that Arkansas was, of course, one of the states to expand Medicaid under Obamacare.

Governor Hutchinson, thank you for joining us.

Now, you’re in an interesting position. You have opposed the Affordable Care Act, but also you and your predecessor, as we just said, supported the expansion. And because of those things, we have seen uninsurance rates in your state get slashed in half under the Affordable Care Act.

What do you think of the Affordable Care Act right now? Does it need full repeal?

GOV. ASA HUTCHINSON: Well, we need to change what we have. It doesn’t work completely.

For example, we wanted to reform the Medicaid expansion in Arkansas with a simple work requirement, just like we have on the SNAP program, but under Obamacare, the previous administration wouldn’t give us that requirement.

We needed to control the cost more. We’re unable to do that whenever it’s mandatory that you cover everybody up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. And so we’re trying to concentrate limited resources in Arkansas. We don’t have the flexibility we need under the current program.

So, yes, I supported a change in it, and I applaud the House for starting the debate with passing a repeal and a replacement. But we need to obviously do more, and I’m looking for the Senate to — they’re starting over. They’re drafting it. I hope they listen to the governors to provide the flexibility that’s needed, and I hope they take some ideas from Arkansas as to some of the good things we have done in terms of reform, controlling costs, but also expanding health care coverage.

DESJARDINS: One of the items of flexibility that House Republicans would give you is the ability to waive out of some things like essential benefits or a cap on the costs for people who have preexisting conditions.

Are those things that you would want to waive out of?

HUTCHINSON: Not necessarily, but we have got to be able to have the flexibility and options for the states.

And, for example, on the health care benefits, I think the state should be able to give more flexibility in terms of coverage. Not everybody wants every essential health benefit. They might want to have different options and a menu of options that suit their particular needs.

Let’s give the states the option to enhance coverage, to make sure there are health care options that are out there, but also the ability to control costs. And so we want to look at a menu of options. We take two options right now in terms of reform.

We want to be able to reduce it from 138 percent of the federal poverty level down to the poverty level, so we can concentrate our limited resources on those that need it the most, shift more to the exchange, where they will have support and coverage, but it will be a cost-saving measure, both for the state and the federal government.

These are types of reforms and flexibility that will make sense. The work requirement is important to encourage people to have the training they need to move up the employment ladder, to make more money, but, at the same time, have some support for health care. These are the reforms we want to put into place.

DESJARDINS: Governor, House Republicans would offer you more flexibility, as you say, but they would also cut some of the Medicaid funding you get from the government, and it seems they are increasing uncertainty.

Insurers need to set their rates for the next year, and they aren’t sure if they are going to get the subsidies that the president and Congress control. What does that uncertainty feel like, and are you worried about funding cuts?

HUTCHINSON: Yes, that’s one of the big faults of the House bill is that it’s a cost shift to the states.

We have to absorb more of the cost to maintain the same level of coverage. We don’t need that cost shift to the states. We need to continue a good federal-state partnership. So, I’m looking to the Senate to rewrite that portion of it, so the flexibility is good, but you cannot accompany that with a massive cost shift to the states that would leave more and more uninsured, because the states cannot absorb that kind of a burden. But the flexibility is an important part of it to be able to manage it.

Two points. Under Obamacare, they underestimated the number that was going to go on Medicaid. Too many went on Medicaid. They overestimated those that would go on the exchange, and there are too few on the exchange. We want to reverse that.

And under Arkansas’ plan, you’re going to restrict those that are on the Medicaid portion of it, shift more to the exchange, and that’s the original design that makes it more cost-effective for the states.

DESJARDINS: I see. Governor Asa Hutchinson, Republican of Arkansas, thank you so much for joining us.

HUTCHINSON: Great to be with you.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.30.2017

Gov. Hutchinson, ADHE Launch ArFuture Grant for 2017-2018 School Year

Application Deadline is July 1st

 

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas Department of Higher Education have announced the official launch of the Arkansas Future (ArFuture) scholarship program. 

Starting today, prospective college students, including any graduate of an Arkansas high school, Arkansas homeschool, GED program, or anyone with a high school diploma who has lived in Arkansas for the past three years, may fill out an application for the ArFuture Grant online at https://www.ark.org/adhe_financialaid/login.aspx

Students must enroll in a high-demand or STEM program and cannot have earned a bachelor’s degree. Students must also complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and apply through ADHE’s online YOUniversal scholarship portal.

“I am pleased that the ArFuture grant application process is now officially open,” Governor Hutchinson said. “Through the ArFuture Grant, we are ensuring that all Arkansans have access to affordable higher education. This will increase our degree and certificate attainment rates by removing the financial hurdles that keep many from enrolling. Increasing access to education and creating a more skilled workforce is the best way to strengthen economic development and increase opportunities for all Arkansans.”

Governor Hutchinson introduced the idea of the ArFuture grant in December 2016, and in the 2017 general session, it was among his priorities that legislators approved.  This program was created to promote higher education, increase the skills and education of Arkansas’ workforce, and attract students to high-demand, high-wage occupations. This scholarship will cover tuition and fees for eligible students in qualifying Associate’s and Certificate programs at public institutions of higher education.

The scholarship program includes requirements for mentoring and community service.  Students who are engaged in their professional fields and communities have a greater chance of success, research shows. 

ArFuture will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. The application period has been extended until July 1. Deadlines for other programs, such as the Arkansas Challenge Scholarship, have been extended until June 15.  

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.26.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule:  May 29th – June 3rd

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, May 29, 2017, through Saturday, June 3, 2017: 

Monday, May 29, 2017:

FAYETTEVILLE
Memorial Day Commemoration Ceremony
9:45 a.m.
Fayetteville National Cemetery
700 S Government Ave, 
Fayetteville, AR

Tuesday, May 30, 2017:

HOPE
Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs District 8 Veteran Service 
Office Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony
1 p.m.
Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs
District 8 Veteran Service Office
205 Smith Road, Suite A
Hope, AR

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

SEARCY
American Legion Auxiliary Arkansas Girls State Inauguration
7 p.m.
Harding University – Benson Auditorium
S. Blakeney
Searcy, AR

Thursday, June 1, 2017:

GLENWOOD
Caddo River Forest Products Grand Opening
3 p.m.
Caddo River Forest Products
229 South Spur 8
Glenwood, AR

CONWAY
American Legion Boys State Governor General Assembly
7 p.m.
University of Central Arkansas – Ida Waldran Auditorium
201 Donaghey Ave. 
Conway, AR

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.26.2017

USDA Designates 23 Arkansas Counties Disasters Following Severe Flooding

Loss Assessment Reports Determine ‘Sufficient Production Losses’

LITTLE ROCK – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared 23 Arkansas counties disasters in the wake of spring flooding, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced Friday. This designation is separate from the Presidential Disaster Declaration, which the Governor has requested. FEMA is still assessing the damage before a Presidential Disaster Declaration can be made.

Governor Hutchinson learned of the Secretarial natural disaster designation in a letter from Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

“The USDA reviewed the Loss Assessment Reports and determined that there were sufficient production losses to warrant a Secretarial natural disaster designation,” Secretary Perdue said. “Therefore, I am designating … 23 counties … as primary natural disaster areas.”

Secretary Perdue visited Arkansas in early May. “I want to thank Secretary Perdue and the U.S. Department of Agriculture for granting my request to declare 23 Arkansas counties as disaster areas,” Governor Hutchinson said. “The secretary saw firsthand the damage our state suffered due to flooding, including the destruction of thousands of acres of cropland. The disaster declaration will give our farmers access to emergency loans that will help them get back on their feet after last month’s devastating storms.”

In addition to the 23 counties declared primary natural disaster areas, Secretary Perdue also designated 23 Arkansas counties as contiguous disaster areas. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of a Secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) considers each emergency loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of production losses on the farm and the security and repayment ability of the operator. 

A Secretarial disaster designation qualifies farm operators in primary counties and in contiguous counties to be considered for certain assistance from FSA provided they meet eligibility requirements. For more information on FSA Disaster Assistance Programs, click HERE, or contact local FSA offices, which can provide affected farmers with further information.

Secretary Perdue’s letter can be found HERE, as well as a map of the affected counties HERE.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.26.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Names Mary Robin Casteel Interim Director of Alcoholic Beverage Control

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson announced Friday that Mary Robin Casteel, an attorney with the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control, has agreed to serve as interim director of the agency. Casteel is currently a staff attorney with ABC but had planned to resign and enter private practice. At the request of the governor, she has agreed to serve as interim director until a permanent director is hired.

“I have a great deal of respect for Mary Robin, and I am confident that her knowledge and leadership will serve the agency well during this time of transition,” said Governor Hutchinson. “The ABC serves an important role for the state, and I am glad she has agreed to help out and lead the organization as interim director.”

Casteel, 38, joined ABC in 2013. The ABC regulates the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages in Arkansas and currently oversees more than 5,000 permit holders in the state.

CONTACT: Governor’s Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov – 501.682.3612) or Jake Bleed, DFA Communications Administrator (jake.bleed@dfa.arkansas.gov – 501.682.5339)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.19.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: May 22nd - May 27th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, May 22, 2017, through Saturday, May 27, 2017:

Monday, May 22, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
Academic Signing Day
1:30 p.m
Governor's Mansion
1800 Center St.
Little Rock, AR

Tuesday, May 23, 2017:

MALVERN
Department of Corrections GED Graduation Ceremony
2 p.m.
Ouachita Regional Unit
100 Walco Ln.
Malvern, AR

Wednesday, May 24, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
Governor's Awards for Excellence in Global Trade
11:30 p.m.
Governor's Mansion
1800 Center St.  
Little Rock, AR

Thursday, May 25, 2017:

HOT SPRINGS
Arkansas Rural Development Conference Luncheon
Noon
Hot Springs Convention Center
134 Convention Blvd.
Hot Springs, AR
 

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.19.2017

Unemployment Rate Falls to Record Low for Fourth Straight Month

'On the Right Track,' Gov. Hutchinson Says 


Labor Force Participation Climbs; State Adds 11,000 Jobs


LITTLE ROCK – For the fourth month in a row, Arkansas' unemployment rate has dropped, setting a record low of 3.5 percent for the state. The rate in March was 3.6 percent. In addition, the state added 11,000 jobs in April, and the labor force participation increased from the previous month. 

“I was pleased to see that Arkansas’ unemployment rate has fallen to an all-time low for the fourth time in as many months.” Governor Hutchinson said after the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services released the figures on Friday. “Our 3.5 percent unemployment tells us that we are on the right track in terms of implementing conservative policies that spur job creation and put Arkansans to work.

“Our unemployment rate is even more impressive when you consider that the number of employees on the government payroll is shrinking, while private sector employment and the labor force participation rate continue to climb. 

“In fact, there are now 70,200 more Arkansans employed than when I first took office in 2015. Arkansans want to work. As Governor, I will continue to pursue policies that increase opportunities for Arkansans to work and raise the quality of life in our state.”

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.18.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Launches ‘MyIdea’ Transformation Project; Requests Public Participation

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson launched the state’s MyIdea project at a news conference on Thursday, a direct line to state agencies that will give Arkansans a chance to contribute ideas for ways to improve services, increase efficiencies and streamline state government. 

Starting today, Arkansans may submit ideas online at www.myidea.arkansas.gov or by phone at (844) 7MY-IDEA or (501) 683-IDEA. The process is quick and easy, and while contact information will be requested for any necessary follow up, MyIdea will accept anonymous suggestions.

Current employees of the Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) will staff the MyIdea telephone line and website. DFA will determine which agency is best equipped to assess an idea, then forward it to the head of that agency. The governor has directed each agency to report back on an idea within 30 days. DFA and the Chief Transformation Officer, housed in the Governor’s Office, will track the responses.

“I am truly excited about the launch of MyIdea,” said Governor Hutchinson. “This is a great opportunity for the customers of state government to be heard. I encourage everyone with an idea, however large or small, to submit suggestions to streamline state government and to maximize the efficient use of their tax dollars. I want to lead the way in reducing the cost of state government, and what better source of ideas than the taxpayers who will benefit. By working together, we can cut costs and improve state government for all Arkansans.”
 

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.16.2017

Governor Hutchinson Requests Rental Aid for Flood-Ravaged Counties

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has requested that the Arkansas Development Finance Authority secure money for residents forced from their homes by the recent floods.

In a letter the governor sent to ADFA President Aaron Burkes on Tuesday, he asked Burkes to secure up to $5 million through the U.S. Housing and Urban Development-administered HOME Investment Partnerships Program.

“A subset of this program provides Tenant-Based Rental Assistance to individuals who meet certain income guidelines,” the governor wrote. “I am requesting that the board of the Arkansas Development Finance Authority approve a resolution to authorize the disbursement of up to $5 million …”

The letter can be found HERE

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

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.12.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: May 15th – May 20th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, May 15, 2017, through Saturday, May 20, 2017: 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017:

NORTH LITTLE ROCK
NF Night with Children’s Tumor Foundation & Arkansas Travelers Ball Team
6:30 p.m.
Dickey-Stephens Park
400 W Broadway
North Little Rock, AR

Thursday, May 18, 2017:

LONOKE
Kick Start Lonoke Strategic Plan Unveiling
10 a.m.
Lonoke Chamber of Commerce
117 Front Street NW
Lonoke, AR

LITTLE ROCK
Transformation Announcement
1:30 p.m.
Governor’s Conference Room
500 Woodlane Street
Little Rock, AR
Friday, May 19, 2017:

PINE BLUFF
Delta Conference
12 p.m.
Pine Bluff Convention Center
1 Convention Center Plz,
Pine Bluff, 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 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.12.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Follows Up with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture in Letter

Regarding Rice Replanting and USDA Assistance


LITTLE ROCK – Today, Governor Asa Hutchinson sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue regarding dates for replanting rice and the state’s need for assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the wake of recent heavy rains and floods. 

In the letter, which can be found HERE, the governor thanks the secretary for his recent visit to the state “to see firsthand the devastating flooding that is taking a significant toll on our producers across the state.”

The governor asks Secretary Perdue’s assistance in loosening new insurance-company rules that require rice farmers to replant their crop by June 9 in order to remain eligible for insurance.

The governor noted that scientists and consultants have said that planting in June reduces the yield by 30 percent or more.

“The problem is compounded by the lack of desirable rice varieties available by the time replanting could start,” Gov. Hutchinson wrote. 

Producers must be free to base their replanting schedule on advice from consultants and experts that is specific to local conditions, not an arbitrary date set by a crop insurance program, he wrote.

“Excessive, additional financial hardship will be placed upon producers already facing significant challenges if this needed flexibility is not provided,” Gov. Hutchinson wrote.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.12.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Orders Arkansas Flag to Fly at Half-Staff in Memory of Lt. Kevin C. Mainhart

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has ordered the flag of the State of Arkansas to be lowered to half-staff in tribute to the memory of Lieutenant Kevin C. Mainhart, a Yell County Sheriff’s Deputy, who was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, May 11, 2017. The flag will be flown at half-staff from May 12, 2017, to the day of interment. The full proclamation can be found HERE.

Governor Hutchinson released a statement Thursday on the passing of Lieutenant Mainhart, and that statement can be found HERE

If you would like to be notified when Governor Hutchinson orders the Arkansas and the United States flags to be flown at half-staff, sign up for Citizens Alerts.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.11.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Issues Statement on Yell County Deputy Killed in the Line of Duty

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson issued the following statement on the death of Yell County Sheriff’s Deputy Lieutenant Kevin C. Mainhart, who was killed in the line of duty earlier today during a traffic stop west of Dardanelle:

“Tonight, we send our deepest sympathies to the family of Lieutenant Kevin Mainhart of the Yell County Sheriff’s Department, who was shot and killed in the line of duty earlier today. Lieutenant Mainhart’s 25-year career in law enforcement in West Memphis and Yell County made Arkansas a safer place. Our thoughts, prayers and gratitude are with the Mainhart family and all those who put their own lives in danger to serve and protect.” 

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.10.2017

Shandong Ruyi Technology Group to create up to 800 new jobs in Forrest City

China-based textile company will invest $410 million in former Sanyo facility


LITTLE ROCK – Chairman Yafu Qiu (pronounced “Chew”) and leaders of Shandong Ruyi Technology Group (Ruyi) today joined Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and local officials at the State Capitol to announce that the company will invest $410 million in the former Sanyo manufacturing facility in Forrest City, Arkansas.

Ruyi, headquartered in Shandong Province, China, will create up to 800 new jobs at the facility, where Arkansas cotton will be spun into yarn for textile use. This is Ruyi’s first facility to locate in North America.

“Ruyi Group, as the largest textile manufacturer in China, has been expanding globally,” said Chairman Qui. “Our manufacturing facility in Arkansas will become the first milestone of Ruyi’s steps into the United States. We are dedicated to provide the product with cutting edge technology and superior quality.”

Ruyi’s renovations on the former Sanyo building are scheduled to begin in late 2017. The Sanyo facility has been vacant since late 2007 when the company shut down production in Forrest City.

“Ruyi’s decision to locate in Forrest City brings with it up to 800 new jobs along with a significant economic impact on Arkansas’ cotton farmers,” said Governor Hutchinson. “Our business missions to China, along with ongoing work to build relationships with the country’s business leaders, have now resulted in three companies from China’s Shandong Province announcing plans to locate operations in Arkansas. From Sun Paper to Pet Won Pet Products to Ruyi, we have established the state as a leader in foreign direct investment from Asia.”

Ruyi plans on processing more than 200,000 tons of Arkansas cotton annually at the Forrest City facility. Arkansas is the fifth largest cotton producer among all states, producing more than 840 thousand bales in 2016. Production should begin at Ruyi’s Forrest City facility by mid-2018.

“When looking to expand into North America, world-class international companies continue to choose Arkansas,” said Mike Preston, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. “The hundreds of jobs to be created by Ruyi will have an economic impact beyond eastern Arkansas into the entire state. Today’s announcement is further proof of Arkansas’ international momentum.”

“This project is tremendously important to Forrest City and St. Francis County not just for the great jobs it brings to our region, but also for the value to the cash crop on which the Arkansas Delta economy has been based for more than 100 years,” said Kay Brockwell, economic development consultant for Forrest City. “Our cotton already goes around the world to clothe people, and now our growers will have the security of a market for their crop right here at home. There is great significance in the fact that the continuing globalization of the Delta will go hand in hand with our rich and proud agricultural history.”

For more information on Ruyi, visit www.srtgcl.en.china.cn.
 

ABOUT RUYI

Shandong Ruyi Technology Group Co. Ltd, founded in 1972, is the world's leading innovative technology textile enterprise. Shandong Ruyi has become the technological pioneer both in China and abroad. The international influence of Shandong Ruyi has been enhanced through the integration of domestic and international effective resources. At present, Shandong Ruyi owns the two largest comprehensive textiles and garment industry chains in the world. Its business has spread throughout France, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and other countries all over the world, also in Shandong, Chongqing, Xinjiang, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Ningxia and other regions in China. Shandong Ruyi, with a total of 30,000 employees, has two publicly listed companies, as well as 20 wholly owned and holding subsidiaries. Shandong Ruyi Group ranks No. 59 among China’s top 100 multinational companies, and No. 1 in comprehensive competitiveness of the top 500 China textile and garment enterprises.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.10.2017

Gov. Hutchinson to Make Significant Job Creation Announcement This Afternoon

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson will join local officials and company leaders for a significant job creation announcement in the Governor’s Conference Room at the State Capitol in Little Rock:

WHAT:           Gov. Hutchinson to Make Significant Job Creation Announcement Today

WHEN:           2:45 p.m., Wednesday, May 10, 2017

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

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.08.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Announces Appointments

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

Pat Johnson, Pocahontas, to the Black History Commission of Arkansas. Appointment expires January 14, 2020. Replaces Joyce Gibson.

Brad Wooley, Little Rock, to the Auctioneer’s Licensing Board. Appointment expires April 15, 2021. Replaces James Bailey.

Doug Melton, Bella Vista, to the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission. Appointment expires March 29, 2021. Replaces Ann Henry.

Ken Griffin, Van Buren, to the Stadium Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2024. Replaces Warren Simpson. 

Randy Woodard, Jonesboro, to the Stadium Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2024. Replaces Charlie Holt.

Gene Pharr, Lincoln, to the Arkansas Beef Council. Appointment expires March 30, 2020. Reappointment. 

Gary Patton, Wooster, to the Arkansas Beef Council. Appointment expires March 30, 2020. Replaces Tommy Lalman.

Dennis Wiederkehr, Altus, to the Arkansas Wine Producers Council. Appointment expires March 1, 2020. Replaces Gary Wiederkehr. 

Michael Neal, Little Rock, to the Arkansas State Board of Athletic Training. Appointment expires January 14, 2020. Replaces Kenneth Cole. 

Breanne Davis, Russellville, to the Arkansas State Board of Athletic Training. Appointment expires January 14, 2020. Replaces Kelly Lasseigne. 

Thomas Anderson, Roland, to the Arkansas Workforce Development Board. Appointment expires May 1, 2021. Reappointment.

Melissa Hanesworth, Fort Smith, to the Arkansas Workforce Development Board. Appointment expires May 1, 2021. Reappointment. 

Holley Little, Benton, to the Arkansas Workforce Development Board. Appointment expires May 1, 2021. Reappointment.

Gary Sams, Morrilton, to the Arkansas Workforce Development Board. Appointment expires May 1, 2021. Reappointment. 

Lindsay Brown, North Little Rock, to the Arkansas Workforce Development Board. Appointment expires May 1, 2021. Reappointment. 

Brian Itzkowitz, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Workforce Development Board. Appointment expires May 1, 2021. Reappointment. 

Kelley Sharp, Farmington, to the Arkansas Workforce Development Board. Appointment expires May 1, 2021. Reappointment. 

Maria Markham, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Workforce Development Board. Appointment expires May 1, 2019. Replaces Brett Powell.

Stephanie Smith, Conway, to the Board of the Division of State Services for the Blind. Appointment expires June 30, 2019. Replaces James Caton. 

Lucas Pointer, Bentonville, to the Northwest Arkansas Community College Board of Trustees. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Steve Broughton.

Brooks Coatney, Fayetteville, to the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2019. Replaces Julie McQuade Heyes. 

Anna Grizzle, Brinkley, to the Mississippi River Parkway Commission of Arkansas. Appointment expires June 8, 2018. Replaces Phyllis Stinson. 

Jimmy Parkerson, Dermott, as a Justice of the Peace for the Chicot County Quorum Court, District 2. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Jerry Melton.

Donnie Davis, Glenwood, as a Justice of the Peace for the Pike County Quorum Court, District 6. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Verl Stovall. 

James “JD” Hayes, Rogers, as a Justice of the Peace for the Benton County Quorum Court, District 3. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Barney Hayes. 

Donald Ragland, Marshall, as a Special Judge in the County Court of Carroll County. CV 2016-02 Michael and Robin Phillips, et al. vs. Ryan Wilson. Replaces Carroll County Judge Sam Barr, who has disqualified himself from the case. 

Bob Estes, Fayetteville, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-17-293 SEECO, Inc. v. Eldridge Snow. Replaces Justice Karen Baker, who has disqualified herself from the case. 

Scott Richardson, Little Rock, as Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-17-293 SEECO Inc. v. Eldridge Snow. Replaces Justice Courtney Hudson Goodson, who has disqualified herself from the case. 

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.07.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Tours Flood Damage in NEA with U.S. Sec. of Ag and AR Congressional Delegation

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson toured flood-ravaged parts of Northeast Arkansas Sunday afternoon with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, Senator John Boozman, Congressman Rick Crawford and Congressman French Hill. The group, including staff from Senator Tom Cotton’s office and Congressman Bruce Westerman’s office, participated in a flyover tour of Randolph and Lawrence Counties—some of the hardest hit areas in the state—to survey damage to crops and farmland. The tour included parts of White and Pulaski Counties, as well. 

This marks Governor Hutchinson’s second trip to Northeast Arkansas in the last week. On Tuesday, he surveyed damage in Sharp and Randolph Counties from the air and toured parts of Ash Flat and Pocahontas from the ground. In addition, Governor Hutchinson has surveyed damage in parts of Benton, Washington, Madison and Carroll Counties in Northwest Arkansas.

A news conference was held after Sunday’s flyover tour at the State Police Hangar at TAC Air in Little Rock. Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement upon his return:

“Northeast Arkansas crops and farmland have been impacted tremendously by the heavy rains and flooding in the region over the last week, and today’s tour with Secretary Perdue and Arkansas’ federal delegation provided a close look at the damage. 

“Secretary Perdue knows the value of agriculture to our state, and he has committed to expediting the federal government’s response to the damage assessment in Arkansas, and I’m pleased to announce that starting Wednesday, FEMA will be in Arkansas working with our regional teams to assess that damage.”

MEDIA NOTE: You can view the entire news conference HERE. Photos from the tour can be found HERE and may be used by media in their reports. 

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.06.2017

Gov. Hutchinson to Host U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and Arkansas Congressional Delegation

On Flyover Tour of NEA Storm Damage; News Conference to Follow

LITTLE ROCK – On Sunday, Governor Asa Hutchinson will host U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, and members of the Arkansas Congressional Delegation, including Senator John Boozman, Congressman Rick Crawford and Congressman French Hill, on a flyover tour of Northeast Arkansas to survey flood damage in the area. Staff from Senator Tom Cotton’s office and Congressman Bruce Westerman’s office will also participate in the tour. A news conference will be held following the tour, details of which are below.
 

WHAT:            News Conference with Gov. Hutchinson, Sec. Perdue, Sen. Boozman, Rep. Crawford and Rep. Hill following flyover tour of NEA flood damage

WHEN:            2:45 p.m., Sunday, May 7, 2017

WHERE:          State Police Hangar (Hangar 8)
                        TAC Air
                        
2401 Crisp Drive
                        
Little Rock, AR

NOTE: Come in on Crisp Drive like you are headed to TAC Air.  Before you get to the old terminal (Central Flying Service), a road will branch off to the right.  State Police will have a marked unit at the intersection, as well as uniformed officers throughout, to guide media to the gate and hangar.  

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

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.06.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Declares 36 Counties, Two Cities Disaster Areas

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has issued disaster declarations for 36 counties and two cities following severe storms that caused heavy flooding and damage throughout much of the state last weekend. Additional counties may be added after damage is assessed. At this time, the 36 counties and two cities can be found HERE.

You can find the latest disaster declaration, DR 17-15, HERE. You can find DR 17-14 HERE, DR 17-13 HERE and DR 17-12, the original, HERE.

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

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.05.2017

​ Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: May 8th – May 13th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, May 8, 2017, through Saturday, May 13, 2017: 

Monday, May 8, 2017:

DANVILLE
Yell County Health Arkansas
10 a.m.
Danville High School
201 E 11th St.
Danville, AR

RUSSELLVILLE
Russellville High School Coding Tour
2 p.m.
Russellville High School, Center for the Arts
2203 South Knoxville Ave.
Russellville, AR

Tuesday, May 9, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
National Association of Career and Technical Education Information
Annual National Conference
8:45 a.m.
Little Rock Marriott
3 Statehouse Plaza
Little Rock, AR

MOUNTAIN HOME
Mountain Home High School Coding Tour
10:45 a.m.
Mountain Home High School
500 Bomber Blvd.
Mountain Home, AR

FLIPPIN
Flippin High School Coding Tour
1 p.m.
Flippin High School
103 Alford St.
Flippin, AR

YELLVILLE
Yellville-Summit High School Coding Tour
2:30 p.m.
Yellville-Summit High School
1124 N Panther Ave.
Yellville, AR

Wednesday, May 10, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
VC FinTech Accelerator 2017 Kickoff
5 p.m.
Little Rock Tech Park
417 Main Street, 6th floor
Little Rock, AR

Thursday, May 11, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
Reward School Program Check Presentation
8:30 a.m.
Forest Park Elementary
1600 North Tyler Street
Little Rock, AR

LITTLE ROCK
Junior Achievement Awards
11:40 a.m.
DoubleTree Hotel
Little Rock, AR

LITTLE ROCK
Investiture Ceremony of UA Little Rock Chancellor Andrew Rogerson
3:00 p.m.
Jack Stephens Center, UA Little Rock Campus
2801 S. University Ave.
Little Rock, AR

Friday, May 12, 2017:

CABOT
Cabot High School Coding Tour
9 a.m.
Cabot High School
401 North Lincoln
Cabot, AR

SHERIDAN
Sheridan High School Coding Tour
11 a.m.
Sheridan High School -- McKenzie Auditorium
800 West Vine
Sheridan, AR

PINE BLUFF
Watson Chapel High School Coding Tour
1:30 p.m.
Watson Chapel High School
4000 Camden Road
Pine Bluff, 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 501.682.3642)  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.05.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Intent to Grant Executive Clemency

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced his intent to grant three pardons. An additional 23 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:

Karen L. Dickinson (Malvern): Criminal Attempt to Manufacture Methamphetamine (A Felony) and Possession of Defaced Firearm (D Felony).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2002 – Hot Spring), 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.

Sheresa D. Foster (Searcy): Shoplifting (A Misdemeanor), Drinking in Public (C Misdemeanor) and Contributing to Delinquency of a Minor/Alcohol (A Misdemeanor).

This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (2001 and 2004 – 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. 

Christopher L. Heard (Pine Bluff): Residential Burglary (B Felony), Theft of Property (C Felony), Residential Burglary (Probation Revocation) (B Felony), and Theft of Property (Probation Revocation) (C Felony).

This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (1994 and 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.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.04.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Announces Winners of the Nation’s First Governor’s All-State Coding Competition

Verizon announces additional funding and commits to year two


LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson on Thursday attended the nation’s first of its kind Governor’s All-State Coding Competition. Gov. Hutchinson, in partnership with Verizon, announced the winners of the competition at EAST Initiative in Little Rock. 

Gov. Hutchinson unveiled the competition in an announcement at Hall High School in Little Rock during his Computer Science Coding Tour in September 2016. Seventy-five teams from across the state participated in eight regional competitions. The top two teams from each region received invitations to compete in the All-State Competition.

Verizon contributed $40,000 to the Arkansas Chamber of Commerce to sponsor the competition, which awarded a 529 college savings scholarship to each member of the top three teams. Carson Cato, Brandon Cox and Jackson Gregory from the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts placed first and each received a $2,000 scholarship.  Martin Boerwinkle, Brock Davis and Joe Sartini from the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts placed second and each received a $1000 scholarship. The third placed team of Mason Brown, Gregory Maddra and Noah Wehn from Springdale Har-Ber High School each received scholarships of $500. The Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts, which produced the competition’s winning team, will also receive an award of $20,000. 

At the event, due to the success of year one, Verizon announced it would contribute $50,000 to sponsor the second year of the competition; a portion of those funds will also be used to train and certify computer-science teachers across the state. 

Gov. Hutchinson issued the following statement: 

“I am pleased to announce the winners of the first Governor’s All-State Coding Competition. These students have worked extremely hard and acquired valuable coding experience during this competition. We are lucky to have a great partner like Verizon to join the state in our efforts to provide Arkansas students with computer science and computer coding skills necessary to prepare them to successfully join the 21st century workforce. 

“I am proud of our computer science students, teachers and all those who made this event a success and continue to strive to make Arkansas a national leader in computer science education.”

Leslie Madere, Director of Business Sales for Verizon, issued the following statement: 

“Through Verizon Innovative Learning, Verizon is giving free technology, free access and immersive hands-on learning to kids in need.  We are helping to bring hands-on learning opportunities to youth, inspiring tomorrow's creators to use technology to build brighter futures for themselves, their families and the world.  We need more kids involved in STEM, not just for their benefit, but because the world needs them - their brains, their creativity and their experiences - to create the amazing solutions that will make our world a better place.

“Under the leadership and commitment of Governor Hutchinson, ARCodeKids and the Arkansas Department of Education, we are proud to recognize the accomplishments of all 75 teams from throughout the state who participated in the inaugural All-State Coding Competition.   We need more kids to see the world of possibilities waiting for them and we are happy to be joining today's celebration.”

Photos can be found HERE.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.01.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Addresses Joint Session of the General Assembly Ahead of the Extraordinary Session

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today addressed a joint session of the Arkansas Legislature to mark the opening of the first Extraordinary Session of the 91st General Assembly. 

Video of his remarks can be found HERE

Documents used during the Governor’s speech can be found HERE and HERE.

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

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.01.2017

Gov. Hutchinson to Survey Storm Damage and Flooding in Northeast Arkansas Tuesday

News Conference to Follow

LITTLE ROCK – On Tuesday, Governor Asa Hutchinson will survey storm damage in Randolph and Sharp Counties following the weekend’s severe storms and heavy flooding. The Governor will hold a news conference in Pocahontas following the tour. 

Details are as follows:

WHAT:           Gov. Hutchinson to Survey Storm Damage and Flooding in Northeast Arkansas Tuesday;
                      News Conference to Follow

WHEN:          11 a.m. | Tuesday, May 2, 2017

WHERE:       Fire Station #4
                      2670 N. Thomasville St.
                      Pocahontas, AR


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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04.30.2017

Governor Declares State of Emergency

NORTH LITTLE ROCK— Governor Hutchinson has declared a State of Emergency for Arkansas in response to the severe storms and flooding throughout the state.  
Arkansas Department of Emergency Management officials are receiving all of the requests from the counties and are responding on order of the Governor.  

“Our prayers go out to the families who lost loved ones in the heavy rain and storms last night.  I also thank our first responders who have worked tirelessly to provide assistance," Governor Hutchinson said. “This afternoon I declared a State of Emergency for Arkansas to ensure that we have in place available resources to assist counties affected by last night’s storms. ADEM continues to coordinate with counties on damage assessments.” 


CONTACT:
Arkansas Department of Emergency Management 
Building 9501 | Camp Joseph T. Robinson | North Little Rock, Arkansas 72199 | (501) 683-6700
Public Affairs: publicaffairs@adem.arkansas.gov
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04.28.2017

Gov. Hutchinson to Join Miss America for Healthy Active Arkansas Announcement

LITTLE ROCK – Gov. Asa Hutchinson will join Miss America 2017 Savvy Shields to make Healthy Active Arkansas announcement Monday. 

Details are as follows:

WHAT:
Gov. Hutchinson to Join Miss America for Healthy Active Arkansas Announcement

WHEN:
9 a.m. | Monday, May 1, 2017

WHERE:
Fulbright Junior High School
5303 SW Bright Road
Bentonville, AR


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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04.28.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule:  May 1st – May 6th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, May 1, 2017, through Saturday, May 6, 2017: 

Monday, May 1, 2017:

BENTONVILLE
Healthy Active Arkansas Press Conference with Miss America 2017 Savvy Shields
9:00 AM
Fulbright Junior High School
5303 SW Bright Rd.
Bentonville, AR

LITTLE ROCK
Governor’s Address for the Extraordinary Session of the 91st General Assembly
2:00 PM
Arkansas State Capitol
500 Woodlane St. 
Little Rock, AR

Thursday, May 4, 2017:

NORTH LITTLE ROCK
Central Arkansas Day of Prayer Breakfast
7:30 AM
Wyndham Hotel
2 Riverfront Pl. 
North Little Rock, AR

LITTLE ROCK
Better Business Bureau of Arkansas Torch Awards for Ethics
11:20 AM
Governor’s Mansion
1800 Center St.
Little Rock, AR

LITTLE ROCK
Governor’s All-State Coding Competition
2:00 PM
EAST Initiative
6215 Ranch Dr.
Little Rock, AR

Friday, May 5, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
ADEQ Environmental Stewardship Award/Technology Award Presentation  
10:00 AM
Governor’s Conference Room
500 Woodland St.
Little Rock, Ark.

Saturday, May 6, 2017:

De QUEEN
UA Cossatot Diversity Fest
11:45 AM
UA Cossatot Amphitheatre
1440 US 70
De Queen, 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 501.682.3642)  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04.27.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Issues Statement on the Execution of Kenneth Williams

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today issued the following statement on the execution of Kenneth Williams:

"The long path of justice ended tonight and Arkansans can reflect on the last two weeks with confidence that our system of laws in this state has worked. Carrying out the penalty of the jury in the Kenneth Williams case was necessary. There has never been a question of guilt.

In 1999, Williams was serving a life sentence for the murder of 19-year-old Nikki Hurd when he escaped and proceeded to kill again: 57-year-old Cecil Boren, a grandfather and husband to Genie, and a Missouri man, 24-year-old Michael Greenwood. Williams would later confess to the unsolved murder of 36-year-old Jerrell Jenkins, a father and stepfather.

In the last seven days, after decades of waiting, the families of Debra Reese, Christine Lewis, Mary Phillips, Lorraine Anne Barrett, Stacy Errickson, Nikki Hurd, Jerrell Jenkins and Cecil Boren were finally provided the justice they were promised and they also saw that our system of laws have meaning.”

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04.27.2017

Gov. Hutchinson to Hold Media Availability Tomorrow

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson will hold a media availability tomorrow in the Governor’s Conference Room to discuss items on the call for the upcoming special session and the state’s recent executions. 

Details are as follows:

WHAT:
Governor Asa Hutchinson to Hold Media Availability

WHEN:
11:00 a.m., Friday, April 28, 2017

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

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04.26.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Issues Statement on Record-Low Unemployment, Reduction in Government Positions

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today issued a response to reports from the National Bureau of Labor Statistics that show the state’s unemployment rate dropping to a record low 3.6 percent in March. In addition, there are 59,500 more Arkansans employed today than when Hutchinson took office in January of 2015.

Despite strong growth in the private sector, government employment in Arkansas has continued to fall. Upon taking office, Governor Hutchinson quickly instituted a state-wide hiring freeze. According to the latest estimates, the hiring freeze has resulted in the elimination of approximately 1,400 positions from state agency budgets for the next biennium. These 1,400 positions, if filled, would have cost the state more than $41 million annually.

Governor Hutchinson released the following statement:

“I am pleased that Arkansas’ unemployment rate has again reached a new record-low, while workforce participation continues to rise. At the same time, we continue to reduce the number of employees on government payroll. Our continued momentum in private-sector growth demonstrates that a conservative approach to government can spur job creation and strengthen economic development, while also reducing the overall size of government.

“As Governor, I will continue to focus on streamlining state government and creating an atmosphere that enables the private sector to thrive.”

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

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)