Press Release

Asa Arkansas's Governor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.25.2018

Governor Hutchinson to Represent Arkansas as Honorary Starter for NASCAR’s

“600 Miles of Remembrance” During Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson will represent Arkansas as the honorary starter for NASCAR’s “600 Miles of Remembrance” during Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The race, one of the country’s largest Memorial Day weekend celebrations, will honor United States Armed Forces heroes and their families, while paying tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. 

“As Arkansans, we will never forget the brave men and women who laid down their lives defending our country and the very freedoms we enjoy today,” said Governor Hutchinson. “Sunday’s race is one of the largest Memorial Day celebrations throughout the country, and I am honored to represent Arkansas in this tribute to our fallen heroes and their families.”

While there are plenty of NASCAR fans in the Natural State, Arkansas also has a special connection with this sport through Batesville, Arkansas, native and NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin. Martin won the Coca-Cola 600 in 2002 and was the last Ford driver to win this marquee event. 

As part of Sunday’s tribute, according to NASCAR.com, “40 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series™ cars will bear the name of a fallen service member on their car windshields during the race.” The race begins at 6 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. CT on FOX.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.25.2018

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule:  May 27th – June 2nd

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Sunday, May 27, 2018, through Saturday, June 2, 2018: 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

ALMYRA
Entergy Stuttgart Solar “Flip the Switch” Event
Speaking
11:00 a.m.
Stuttgart Solar Farm 
380 Goodwin Rd.
Almyra, Arkansas

STUTTGART
Stuttgart Rotary Club
Speaking
12:00 p.m.
Stuttgart Country Club
2103 E 22nd St.
Stuttgart, Arkansas

FAYETTEVILLE
Haas Hall Academy Commencement
Speaking
7:00 p.m.
Fayetteville Town Center
15 W Mountain St.
Fayetteville, Arkansas

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

LITTLE ROCK
Sam M. Walton College of Business Health and Business Symposium
Speaking
8:15 a.m.
Clinton Presidential Center
1200 President Clinton Ave.
Little Rock, Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK
Governor's Awards for Excellence in Global Trade
Speaking
11:30 a.m.
Arkansas Governor’s Mansion
1800 Center Street
Little Rock, Arkansas

SEARCY
American Legion Auxiliary Arkansas Girls State Inauguration
Speaking
7:00 p.m.
Benson Auditorium
Harding University
S Blakeney St.
Searcy, Arkansas

Thursday, May 31, 2018

LITTLE ROCK
LISA Academy STEM Students’ Solar Car Demonstration
11:00 a.m.
State Capitol – Front Steps
500 Woodlane St. 
Little Rock, Arkansas

CONWAY
American Legion Boys State Governor General Assembly
Speaking
7:15 p.m.
University of Central Arkansas
Ida Waldron Auditorium
201 Donaghey Ave. 
Conway, 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 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.21.2018

Governor Hutchinson Issues Statement Following White House Meeting with President Trump

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson met with President Donald Trump and four other governors at the White House tonight. The main topic of conversation focused on border security. Other attendees included Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and former Governor of Texas and current Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.

Governor Hutchinson issued the below statement following the meeting:

“I appreciate President Trump for hosting a handful of governors this evening at the White House to discuss important issues facing our country, including border security, global trade, and the opioid crisis, to name a few.

“Earlier this month, I deployed Arkansas National Guard military transport and personnel to help assist with the president’s enhanced border security efforts. Tonight, he took time to express his thanks to our guard members for their deployment and cooperation.

“As for global trade, I explained the importance of agriculture to Arkansas’s economy and how key global trade is to our state’s bottom-line. Our conversation left me with even more confidence that global trade will not be diminished in this administration and that Arkansas will emerge a stronger partner globally as a result of the president’s negotiations. 

“And finally, I thanked the president for his leadership in the fight against drugs—both at the border and the opioid crisis where he’s inspired greater prevention nationwide. It was a productive and substantive conversation, and I appreciate the president for his time and hospitality.”

'The other governors who attended were Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez and South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.18.2018

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: May 20th – May 26th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Sunday, May 20, 2018, through Saturday, May 26, 2018: 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

LITTLE ROCK
Arkansas Rural Development Conference
Speaking
12:00 p.m.
Statehouse Convention Center
101 E Markham St.
Little Rock, Arkansas

Friday, May 25, 2018

MONTICELLO
Drew Memorial Health System Expansion Ribbon Cutting
Speaking
10:00 a.m.
Drew Memorial Health System
778 Scogin Dr.
Monticello, 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 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.18.2018

U.S. Treasury Department OKs Opportunity Zones For Arkansas, Governor Hutchinson Announces

Federal program encourages long-term investment in low-income areas

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson received word today that the U.S. Treasury Department has approved his nominations for Arkansas’s 85 Opportunity Zones, a program that Congress established in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. 

“Treasury’s approval means that some of our communities that are struggling economically will have the chance to enjoy the new opportunities that come with fresh thinking and new investment,” Governor Hutchinson said. “This money is a down-payment on a better quality of life for many Arkansans.”

Opportunity Zones is an incentive program that allows private investors to defer payment of taxes on capital gains on profits they earn on investments in the certified zones. They must invest the money through a corporation or partnership that was organized for the specific purpose of investing in Opportunity Zones.

The investor’s fund must hold at least 90 percent of its assets in qualifying property. The eligible zones are based on U.S. Census tracts, and governors of each state were allowed to nominate up to 25 percent of eligible tracts.

Arkansas has 337 qualified tracts, and Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) officials said the nominations were based on the potential to attract investment and the likelihood of economic success.

The Arkansas Economic Development Commission will work closely with communities to find the right investment opportunities, AEDC Executive Director Mike Preston said. 

The next step in the process is for the IRS to issue the rules and regulations.

A list of nominated zones can be found HERE, and a map of nominated zones can be found HERE. For more information on Opportunity Zones, visit HERE

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.17.2018

Gov. Hutchinson Announces $26 Million in New Federal Funds to Expand Child Care Assistance Program

To Thousands of Families

Will eliminate the current waitlist for assistance

LITTLE ROCK – With $26 million in new federal child care block-grant funds coming to Arkansas, the Department of Human Services (DHS) can provide child care assistance for up to 3,800 additional children from low-income families – enough to eliminate a waiting list for assistance and still have available funding. 

This increases the number of children served through the DHS Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education by 70 percent. Currently, 2,056 eligible children are waiting for assistance because of past funding constraints. 

“I am grateful that Congress and President Trump saw fit to send more money back to the states,” Governor Asa Hutchinson said. “Success in life depends to a large degree on the quality of education early in life. This additional funding increases the number of children who will benefit from our first-rate early childhood programs and helps parents who are working or going to school.”

About 10 percent of the $26 million must be used for professional development, infant/toddler initiatives, and for the improvement of the quality of child care in the state. 

The other 90 percent will go into the block-grant program, which is commonly called the “child care voucher” program, and directly serves families across the state. More than 5,300 children statewide are currently served through infant/toddler, pre-K, after-school and summer programs.

“Arkansas has strong, high-quality early childhood programs, so it is exciting to know that we will be able to provide more hard-working families access to those services,” said Tonya Williams, director of the Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education. “Research shows that the earlier you get children into high-quality learning programs, the better they will do as they progress through school.”

To be eligible to receive child care assistance, there must be at least one child in the home age 12 or younger, and the household income cannot be above 200 percent of the federal poverty level. At least one parent must work at least 30 hours per week, go to school full time, or be enrolled in a certificate or training program. 

Programs that participate in the child care voucher program must also participate in the state quality improvement and rating system for child care, which ensures children are in high-quality educational settings.

The additional block grant funding is part of the two-year budget deal that increased the Child Care Development Block Grant funding by $5.8 billion. Congress approved the bill, and President Donald Trump signed it in February. 

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.17.2018

Governor Hutchinson Issues Statement About Razorbacks Continuing to Play at War Memorial

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson released the following statement regarding the agreement between the University of Arkansas and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism to continue Razorback football games at War Memorial Stadium through 2024:

“This is great news for Razorback fans and War Memorial Stadium. War Memorial evokes a sense of nostalgia, and many families have great memories of the games they attended there. And for some fans, these games in Little Rock are their only opportunity to see the Hogs play in person, and maybe their only chance to attend a big-time SEC football game. This gives more people the opportunity to experience the excitement of the Razorback traditions. I commend Chancellor Steinmetz and Athletic Director Yurachek for working with the state for a plan that benefits everyone.”

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.16.2018

Gov. Hutchinson Issues Statement Honoring Law Enforcement Community and Remembering Fallen Officers

“Their work is more dangerous now than at any time I can remember”

LITTLE ROCK – Nearly 300 Arkansas law-enforcement officers have died in the line of duty, and Governor Asa Hutchinson heard some of their stories first-hand this week as he attended memorial services for fallen officers during National Police Week.

The Arkansas flag flew half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day as part of the state’s week-long tribute to the service and memory of the 295 Arkansas law-enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.

“The work of law enforcement officers involves more risk than most of us realize,” Governor Hutchinson said. “There is no such thing as a routine traffic stop, and their work is more dangerous now than at any time I can remember. I am grateful for the officers who pin on a badge and risk their lives to stand between us and danger. National Police Week is a time to remember the officers who have died to keep us safe and to remember the loved ones they left behind.

Since the first recorded death of a law enforcement officer in the line of duty in 1791 in the United States, more than 23,000 officers have been killed. In 1962, the U.S. Congress designated May 15 each year as Peace Officers Memorial Day, and the week in which it falls as National Police Week.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.11.2018

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: May 13th – May 19th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Sunday, May 13, 2018, through Saturday, May 19, 2018: 

Monday, May 14, 2018

JACKSONVILLE
Military Affairs Grant Signing
Speaking
10:00 a.m.
Jacksonville High School
2400 Linda Lane
Jacksonville, Arkansas

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

LITTLE ROCK
2018 Prevention Rally 
Speaking
11:00 a.m.
Arkansas State Capitol – Capitol Steps
500 Woodlane St.
Little Rock, Arkansas

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

MOUNTAIN HOME
North Arkansas East West Corridor Association Conference
Speaking
10:00 a.m.
ASU Mountain Home 
1600 South College
Mountain Home, Arkansas

SEARCY
White County Law Enforcement Annual Memorial Service
Speaking
2:00 p.m.
White County Sheriff's Department 
1600 E Booth Rd.
Searcy, Arkansas

Thursday, May 17, 2018

HOT SPRINGS
Restore Hope Garland County Alliance Announcement
Speaking
4:00 p.m.
Roy Rowe Auditorium on The Hot Springs School District Campus 
400 Linwood Ave. 
Hot Springs, Arkansas

Friday, May 18, 2018

ATKINS
Ralston Family Farms Rice Mill Ribbon Cutting
Speaking
10:30 a.m.
Ralston Family Farms, LLC
321 Atkins Bottom Road
Atkins, 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 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.10.2018

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Appointments

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

Judge Mike Smith, Wynne, as State District Court Judge for the Twenty-Fifth District, composed of St. Francis County. Appointment expires December 31, 2020. Replaces Judge Steve Routon. 

Emily White, Malvern, as State District Court Judge for the Thirty-Third District, which includes Grant County and Hot Spring County. Appointment expires December 31, 2020. Replaces Judge Sherry Burnett.

Deidre Luker, Russellville, as District Judge for the District Court of Yell County-Southern Division. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Judge Kristin Clark.

Dr. Rhys Branman, Little Rock, to the Arkansas State Medical Board. Appointment expires December 31, 2022. Replaces Dr. Steven Cathey. 

Dr. Terry DeWitt, Arkadelphia, to the Arkansas State Board of Athletic Training. Appointment expires January 14, 2021. Reappointment. 

Natalie Trotter, Fayetteville, to the Arkansas State Board of Athletic Training. Appointment expires January 14, 2021. Replaces Lacye Vance. 

Matt Cashion, Little Rock, to the Contractors Licensing Board. Appointment expires December 31, 2022. Replaces John Baxter. 

Billy Craig Carney, Rogers, to the Contractors Licensing Board. Appointment expires December 31, 2022. Replaces Cecil Malone.  

Bill DeClerk, Fairfield Bay, to the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Board. Appointment expires January 14, 2020. Replaces Cory Hallmark. 

Sam Cecil, Russellville, to the Arkansas Beef Council. Appointment expires March 30, 2021. Reappointment. 

Bruce Jackson, Lockesburg, to the Arkansas Beef Council. Appointment expires March 30, 2021. Replaces Leo Sutterfield.

Gayther Crank, Lewisville, to the Red River Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2025. Reappointment. 

Bob Mouser, Harrison, to the Arkansas Lifeline Individual Verification Effort Corporation Board of Directors. Appointment expires March 30, 2021. Reappointment.

Greg Ashcraft, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Lifeline Individual Verification Effort Corporation Board of Directors. Appointment expires March 30, 2021. Reappointment. 

Michael Cotten, Benton, to the Arkansas Fire Protection Licensing Board. Appointment expires April 1, 2023. Reappointment. 

April Broderick, Sherwood, to the Arkansas Fire Protection Licensing Board. Appointment expires April 1, 2023. Replaces William Davis.

Justin Yates, Bentonville, to the Arkansas Fire Protection Licensing Board. Appointment expires April 1, 2023. Replaces Lonnie Cagle. 

Mayor Gary Baxter, Mulberry, to the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System. Appointment expires January 1, 2022. Replaces Gary Carnahan.

Marcia Fuller, Fayetteville, to the Arkansas Psychology Board. Appointment expires December 31, 2022. Replaces Dixie Bryson. 

Jon David Bruning, Maumelle, to the Arkansas Spinal Cord Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2023. Replaces John Wyrick.

David Kinkade, Little Rock, to the Amusement Ride Safety Advisory Board. Appointment expires March 1, 2022. Replaces Tiffani Butler.

Jean Campbell, Fort Smith, to the Arkansas Motor Vehicle Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2024. Replaces Clyde Noel. 

Jock Davis, Russellville, to the Arkansas Motor Vehicle Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2025. Reappointment.

Ken Yarbrough, Jonesboro, to the Arkansas Motor Vehicle Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2025. Replaces Bernard Sahene. 

Rick Whitten, Gentry, to the Arkansas Motor Vehicle Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2023. Replaces Sandy Stroope.

Chris Madison, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Orthotics, Prosthetics, and Pedorthics Advisory Board. Appointment expires September 1, 2019. Reappointment.

Brandt Snell, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Orthotics, Prosthetics, and Pedorthics Advisory Board. Appointment expires September 1, 2019. Reappointment. 

Rob Yates, Jonesboro, to the Arkansas Orthotics, Prosthetics, and Pedorthics Advisory Board. Appointment expires September 1, 2019. Reappointment. 

David Beck, White Hall, to the Board of the Information Network of Arkansas. Appointment expires December 31, 2020. Reappointment. 

Ralph Hudson, North Little Rock, to the Board of the Information Network of Arkansas. Appointment expires December 31, 2019. Replaces Amy Reichenbach Mattison.

Shelli Jordan, Little Rock, to the Board of the Information Network of Arkansas. Appointment expires December 31, 2020. Reappointment. 

Ron Pitts, Hensley, to the Board of the Information Network of Arkansas. Appointment expires December 31, 2019. Reappointment. 

Col. Mike Kirby, Little Rock, to the Minority and Women-owned Business Advisory Council. Appointment expires May 2, 2023. Replaces Mia McNeal. 

Ron Fuller, Little Rock, to the Arkansas History Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2022. Replaces Michael Whitmore. 

Dr. Hollis Tarver, Clarksville, to the Arkansas History Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2025. Replaces Elizabeth Robbins.

Denise Carson, Morrilton, to the Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council. Appointment expires July 1, 2021. Reappointment. 

Doug Duerr, Russellville, to the Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council. Appointment expires July 1, 2021. Reappointment. 

Ben Gresham, Hope, to the Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council. Appointment expires July 1, 2021. Reappointment.

Ken Kelley, Magnolia, to the Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council. Appointment expires July 1, 2021. Replaces Sidney Ward. 

Jeff Tabor, Little Rock, to the Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council. Appointment expires July 1, 2022. Reappointment. 

Cathee Terrell, Rogers, to the Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council. Appointment expires July 1, 2021. Reappointment. 

Sue Coon, Melbourne, to the Advisory Council of the Arkansas Arts Council. Appointment expires June 30, 2020. Replaces Steven Holder. 

Dr. Charles Daniels, El Dorado, to the Advisory Council of the Arkansas Arts Council. Appointment expires June 30, 2021. Replaces Gay Bechtelheimer. 

Mildred Franco, Pine Bluff, to the Advisory Council of the Arkansas Arts Council. Appointment expires June 30, 2021. Reappointment. 

Antzee Magruder, West Memphis, to the Advisory Council of the Arkansas Arts Council. Appointment expires June 30, 2021. Reappointment. 

Aldona Standridge, Russellville, to the Advisory Council of the Arkansas Arts Council. Appointment expires June 30, 2020. Replaces Jeannie Stone. 

Meltin Bell, Maumelle, to the Board of Directors of the Division of Science and Technology of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2021. Replaces Dr. Seshadri Mohan. 

Dr. Alesia Ferguson, Little Rock, to the Board of Directors of the Division of Science and Technology of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2019. Replaces Dr. Scott McKay. 

Todd Greer, Little Rock, to the Board of Directors of the Division of Science and Technology of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2022. Replaces Dr. Carl Frederickson. 

Dr. Carol Reeves, Fayetteville, to the Board of the Directors of the Division of Science and Technology of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2022. Replaces Dr. James Rankin. 

Dr. Jeff Standridge, Conway, to the Board of Directors of the Division of Science and Technology of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2021. Replaces Gary Campbell.

Dr. Andrew Sustich, Jonesboro, to the Board of Directors of the Division of Science and Technology of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2021. Reappointment. 

Gary Carnahan, Hot Springs, to the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees’ Retirement System. Appointment expires March 9, 2024. Replaces Carol Bevis.

Max Brister, Hampton, as a Justice of the Peace for the Calhoun County Quorum Court, District 4. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Odell Nash.

Hugh Holden, Cecil, as a Justice of the Peace for the Franklin County Quorum Court, District 7. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Garrett Shepherd. 

Pamela Cockrum, Clarksville, as a Justice of the Peace for the Johnson County Quorum Court, District 9. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Kenneth Medeiros.

Judge Emily White, Malvern, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-18-356 Arkansas Department of Finance & Administration v. Naturalis Health, LLC, et al. Replaces Justice Josephine Linker Hart, who has disqualified herself from the case.

Judge Sandy Huckabee, Lonoke, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-18-114 Miracle Kids Success Academy Inc. v. Marvin Henry Maurras.  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
05.08.2018

Governor to Hold Town Hall Meeting to Discuss Government Transformation in El Dorado Tomorrow

Location has changed as noted below


LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson will host a public town hall meeting in El Dorado on Wednesday to discuss his efforts to transform and reorganize state government. At the meeting, Governor Hutchinson will answer questions and ask for input from the public. The Governor will also moderate a panel of state and local leaders, including Madison Murphy; Rep. Matthew Shepherd, a Transformation Advisory Board member; Ann Purvis, Arkansas Department of Health; and Amy Fecher, state Chief Transformation Officer.

WHAT:           Town Hall Meeting to Discuss Government Transformation

WHEN:          Wednesday, May 9, 2018  | Noon-1 p.m.

WHERE:         El Dorado Conference Center
                      Murphy Hall 3
                      311 South West Avenue
                      El Dorado, Arkansas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.07.2018

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Intent to Grant Executive Clemency

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced his intent to grant 6 pardons and 1 commutation. An additional 29 clemency requests were denied and 5 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:

Darrell Beck (Lonoke): Burglary (B Felony) and Theft Of Property (B Felony) (CR 90-02117).

This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (1991 – 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.

Edward S. Rodgers (Benton): Theft of Property (Felony) (CR-92-2160A).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1992 – 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.

Eric Ryan (Van Buren): Failure to Appear on Battery 3rd Degree (A Misdemeanor) (case 02-2185).

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

Robert Higgs (North Little Rock): Possession of a Controlled Substance (C Felony) (CR 00-117).

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

Sheila R. Posey (Fort Smith): Hot Check Violation (Overdraft) (C Felony) (CR-94-941); Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony) (CR-94-962); Hot Check Violation (Revocation) (C Felony) (CR-94-941) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (Revocation) (C Felony) (CR-94-662).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1995, 1995 and 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.

Janice E. Smith (Newport): Theft of Property (C Felony) (CR 88-236); Violation of the Arkansas Hot Check Law (U Misdemeanor) (CR 2001-14).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1989 – Craighead County; 2001 – 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.

Governor Hutchinson intends to grant a commutation of sentence to the following person:

Amanda G. Holt (­­­­#709644): Maintaining Drug Premises (D Felony), Expose Child to Chem Substance, 3 counts (C Felony), Man Cont Subs Meth (Y Felony) and Poss Drug Paraphernalia w/Intent to Man Meth (B Felony) (2007-0086) (Jury Trial); Man.Cont Subs Meth (Habitual Offender) (Y Felony), Poss Cont Subs w/Intent Meth (Habitual Offender) (Y Felony), Poss Drug Paraphernalia w/Intent to Man (Habitual Offender) (B Felony) and Use Another's Property to Facilitate a Crime (Habitual Offender) (B Felony) (2007-1208) (Guilty Plea).

The governor has given notice of his intent to commute the sentence of Amanda G. Holt, who was convicted in Pulaski County in 2007 for the above offenses, from a total of 612 months to serve in the Arkansas Department of Correction to making her 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
05.05.2018

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule:  May 6th – May 12th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Sunday, May 6, 2018, through Saturday, May 12, 2018: 

Sunday, May 6, 2018

BENTONVILLE
Bentonville Film Festival Closing Events
Speaking 
2:00 p.m.
200 NE A St.
Bentonville, Arkansas

Monday, May 7, 2018

ALMA
Kick Start Alma Strategic Plan Unveiling
Speaking
10:00 a.m.
Alma High School
101 E Main St.
Alma, Arkansas

VAN BUREN
First Assembly of God Van Buren
District Council Opening Night
Speaking
6:30 p.m.
First Assembly of God Van Buren
1014 Fayetteville Road
Van Buren, Arkansas

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

SPRINGDALE
Governor’s Town Hall
on Government Transformation
12:00 p.m.
Don Tyson School of Innovation
2667 Hylton Road
Springdale, Arkansas

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

EL DORADO
Governor’s Town Hall
on Government Transformation
12:00 p.m.
South Arkansas Community College
Auditorium
300 S. West Avenue
El Dorado, Arkansas

Thursday, May 10, 2018

MELBOURNE
Ozarka College Graduation
Commencement Speaker
6:00 p.m.
Ozarka College
John E. Miller Building Auditorium
218 College Drive
Melbourne, Arkansas

Friday, May 11, 2018

LITTLE ROCK
YouthSpark Live Event
Speaking
9:30 a.m.
Old State House Museum
300 W. Markham St.
Little Rock, Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK
Peace Officers Memorial Service
Speaking
12:00 p.m.
Arkansas State Capitol
Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall (South Side)
Little Rock, 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 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05.03.2018

Governor to Host Additional Town Hall Meeting to Discuss His Efforts to Transform State Government

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson will host a public town hall meeting in Springdale in addition to his previously announced town hall meeting in El Dorado. The Governor will also moderate a panel of state and local leaders in each community. 

In each of these town hall meetings, the Governor will answer questions and discuss his continuing efforts to streamline state government, including his plan to reduce the number of cabinet-level agencies that report to him by half, an announcement he made earlier this year. 

WHAT:         Town Hall Meeting to Discuss Government Transformation

WHEN:         Noon-1 p.m., Tuesday, May 8, 2018

WHERE:       Don Tyson School of Innovation
                    2667 Hylton Road
                    Springdale, Arkansas

WHAT:         Town Hall Meeting to Discuss Government Transformation

WHEN:         Noon-1 p.m., Wednesday, May 9, 2018

WHERE:       South Arkansas Community College Auditorium
                    300 S. West Avenue
                    El Dorado, Arkansas

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04.30.2018

Governor Hutchinson Launches Educational Web Portal To Aid In Fight Against Opioid Abuse

LITTLE ROCK – In the ongoing fight against the abuse of opioids, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences has launched a free weekly education and consultation service for Arkansas health-care providers, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced at a press conference today.

The AR-IMPACT (Arkansas Improving Multidisciplinary Pain Care Treatment) partnership includes the UAMS, the Office of the State Drug Director, the Arkansas Department of Health, the Arkansas Department of Human Services, the Arkansas State Medical Board, Blue Cross-Blue Shield, the Arkansas Medical Society and the Arkansas Academy of Family Physicians.

“This education portal for doctors is an important new weapon in the fight against this terrible epidemic that is killing hundreds of Arkansans every year,” Governor Hutchinson said. “It is not an exaggeration to call this epidemic one of our state’s greatest challenges. Today we understand more about opioid drugs than we did a decade ago. With that advanced knowledge, we must utilize every tool possible to pass along this information to doctors so that we can save lives and spare more patients the tragedy of addiction.”

AR-IMPACT will provide weekly seminars at noon on Wednesdays that feature specialists in the treatment of pain and addiction, a physical therapist, a psychologist, and pharmacists who are trained in opioid-related issues. After the presentation, doctors may join via teleconference to discuss cases for individualized feedback about approaches to treatment. 

The 16 professionals in the opioid-epidemic crisis who joined the governor at the press conference at the state capitol included UAMS Interim Chancellor Stephanie Gardner, who accepted a $104,000 check from Blue-Cross-Blue Shield.

“We are thankful to Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield for their partnership as we work to improve pain management in Arkansas through UAMS AR-IMPACT,” Chancellor Gardner said. “As the state’s only health sciences university, UAMS is uniquely positioned to address this issue head on for the betterment of all Arkansans.”

Curtis Barnett, president and CEO of Arkansas Blue Cross, presented the check.

“Arkansas Blue Cross recognizes that the opioid epidemic threatens the health of the people of Arkansas in many ways,” President Barnett said. “For those in chronic pain and for those treating them, there is no easy solution. We already have been working with health-care providers to help get a better understanding of opioid prescribing patterns in Arkansas. We believe the new AR-IMPACT education program with UAMS will help doctors learn about resources and alternatives to managing pain. It will take everyone working together to truly impact this crisis.” 

Kirk Lane, Director of the State Drug Office, said the epidemic is a priority. 

“As drug director, I’ve talked with so many families who have been impacted, and it is clear that this crisis respects no class, race or income boundaries,” Director Lane said. “It is evident that a collaborative approach is necessary to change the direction of this epidemic. We will make that difference with education and the willingness to change.”

Those who wish to utilize the AR-IMPACT portal must register at www.arimpact.uams.edu.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04.27.2018

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule:  April 30th – May 5th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, April 30, 2018, through Saturday, May 5, 2018: 

Monday, April 30, 2018

LITTLE ROCK
Press Conference
10:00 a.m.
Governor’s Conference Room
Arkansas State Capitol
Little Rock, Arkansas

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

JONESBORO
Governor’s Town Hall Meeting on Government Transformation
Hosting
5:00 p.m.
Arkansas State University
NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine
Wilson Hall Auditorium
2405 Aggie Road
Jonesboro, Arkansas

JONESBORO
Law Enforcement Appreciation Dinner
Speaking
6:30 p.m.
First National Bank Arena
Campus of Arkansas State University
217 Olympic Drive
Jonesboro, Arkansas

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

ROLAND
Rattlesnake Ridge Dedication
Speaking
2:00 p.m.
Rattlesnake Ridge Natural Area
9515 Barrett Road
Roland, Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK
Venture Center FinTech Accelerator Kickoff Reception
4:30 p.m.
Venture Center
417 Main Street
Little Rock, Arkansas

Thursday, May 3, 2018

ROGERS
Rogers Prayer Breakfast
Speaking
6:30 a.m.
Cross Church, Pinnacle Hills
2448 S Pinnacle Hills Pkwy
Rogers, Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK
Better Business Bureau of Arkansas Torch Awards for Ethics Luncheon
Speaking
11:30 a.m.
Arkansas Governor’s Mansion
1800 Center Street
Little Rock, Arkansas

Friday, May 4, 2018

HOPE
Hempstead County Land Transfer Ceremony
Speaking
2:00 p.m.
Migrant Farm Labor Center
700 S Elm Street
Hope, Arkansas

Saturday, May 5, 2018

JONESBORO
Governor’s All-State Coding Competition
Speaking
1:30 p.m.
Arkansas State University
Centennial Hall
102 N. Caraway Road
Jonesboro, 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 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04.26.2018

Governor Hutchinson Appoints Veteran Agriculture Leaders to State Plant Board

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has appointed the president of a cotton-oil mill and a lifelong farmer to Arkansas’s State Plant Board. 

John Fricke of Bryant will represent fertilizer and cotton oil mills. His term expires on March 17, 2020. Mr. Fricke replaces Larry Jayroe.

Sam Stuckey of Clarkedale will represent cotton growers. His term expires on March 17, 2020. Mr. Stuckey replaces Danny Finch.

“With their decades of experience in agriculture, John Fricke and Sam Stuckey will bring a fresh perspective that will help guide the Plant Board in its significant role in our state’s No. 1 industry,” Governor Hutchinson said. “I was fortunate that Arkansas has a deep bench of leaders to choose from, and I was pleased that John and Sam agreed to step up for the state’s agriculture.”

Mr. Fricke is president and CEO of Planters Cotton Oil Mill in Pine Bluff. He went to work for Planters in 1998 as a commodity merchandiser and became president and CEO in 2007. Planters’ 65 employees crush 250,000 tons of cottonseed annually to produce cottonseed oil, cottonseed hulls, cottonseed meal and cotton linters. 

Mr. Stuckey has been mayor of Clarkedale since 2001. Mr. Stuckey graduated from Lepanto High School in 1973 and from the University of Arkansas in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in agronomy and a minor in agriculture business. In the years since graduation, he has worked on his family’s farm raising cotton, rice, soybeans, corn, wheat, and grain sorghum. 
He is a director on the Crittenden Gin board.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04.24.2018

Governor Hutchinson to Host Public Town Hall Meetings to Discuss Government Transformation

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson will host public town hall meetings in Jonesboro and El Dorado to discuss his efforts to transform and reorganize state government. The Governor will be joined by state and local leaders in each community. 

Since 2015, Governor Hutchinson has consolidated a number of state agencies, removed more than 1,100 employees from the state payroll through attrition, and established the Transformation Advisory Board, a volunteer group of citizens from both the public and private sectors who work to identify cost-savings within state government. 

In each of these town hall meetings, the Governor will discuss his continued efforts to streamline state government, including his plan to reduce the number of cabinet-level agencies that report to him by half, an announcement he made earlier this year. 

WHAT:        Town Hall Meeting to Discuss Government Transformation

WHEN:        5-6 p.m., Tuesday, May 1, 2018

WHERE:      Arkansas State University
                   NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine
                   Wilson Hall Auditorium
                   2405 Aggie Road

WHAT:        Town Hall Meeting to Discuss Government Transformation

WHEN:        Noon-1 p.m., Wednesday, May 9, 2018

WHERE:      South Arkansas Community College Auditorium
                   300 S. West Avenue
                   El Dorado, Arkansas

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04.23.2018

Governor Hutchinson names 85 Opportunity Zones

Federal program encourages long-term investment in low-income areas

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has nominated 85 Opportunity Zones in Arkansas to the U.S. Treasury Department, which will provide final approval. Established by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zones provide tax incentives for private investment in low-income communities nationwide. 

A list of nominated zones can be found HERE, and a map of nominated zones can be found HERE.

A qualified Opportunity Fund is any investment vehicle organized as a corporation or partnership with the specific purpose of investing in Opportunity Zone assets. The fund must hold at least 90 percent of its assets in qualifying property. The U.S. Treasury must certify new Opportunity Funds and is responsible for prescribing regulations regarding certification.

“I’m excited about the potential investment that will be encouraged in low-economic areas of our state,” Governor Hutchinson said. “One of my goals as governor from day one has been to increase economic opportunities for all Arkansans. By investing in these high-potential areas, we will be able to breathe new life into communities and ensure our state remains economically diverse and healthy.”

Eligible zones are based on U.S. Census tracts, and governors of each state may nominate up to 25 percent of eligible tracts for approval. Benefits for investors include a temporary tax deferral for capital gains, a step-up basis for capital gains invested, and a permanent exclusion from taxable income of capital gains from the sale or exchange of an investment in a qualified opportunity zone fund if the investment is held for at least 10 years.

Arkansas has 337 qualified tracts, and Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) officials said those nominated were chosen based on their potential for economic success and ability to attract investment.

“We will work closely with communities to find the right investment opportunities,” said AEDC Executive Director Mike Preston, “that will create jobs to suit their workforce and local economic development efforts.”

In the next few months, the Treasury Department will approve a total of approximately 8,700 Opportunity Zones nationwide. It is estimated that potential capital eligible for reinvestment in the zones will total $6.1 trillion.

For more information on Opportunity Zones, including a nationwide map, visit HERE. For an overview of Opportunity Zones, visit HERE.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04.22.2018

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule:  April 23rd – April 28th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, April 23, 2018, through Saturday, April 28, 2018: 

Monday, April 23, 2018

LITTLE ROCK
Mosaic Templars State Temple Preservation Announcement 
Speaking 
11:00 a.m.
State Temple Building
906 S. Broadway
Little Rock, Arkansas

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

LITTLE ROCK
ADEQ Environmental Awards
Speaking 
10:00 a.m.
Governor’s Conference Room
Arkansas State Capitol
Little Rock, Arkansas

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

WALDRON
Meet and Greet With Waldron Mayor & City Locals
3:00 p.m.
Dalton's Place Assisted Living
520 W 2nd Street
Waldron, Arkansas

Thursday, April 26, 2018

MORRILTON
UACCM Workforce Training Center
Ribbon Cutting
Speaking
11:30 a.m.
1537 University Boulevard
Morrilton, Arkansas

FAIRFIELD BAY
Fairfield Bay Hotel Groundbreaking
Speaking
3:30 p.m.
100 Lost Creek Parkway
Fairfield Bay, Arkansas

Friday, April 27, 2018

CONWAY
Arkansas Mission of Mercy
10:30 a.m.
Conway Event and Expo Center
2505 East Oak
Conway, Arkansas

CONWAY
The CALL Ministry Support Center
Dedication and Ribbon Cutting
Speaking
11:30 a.m.
CALL House
745 Factory Street
Conway, Arkansas

CROSSETT
Ashley County Health Foundation Annual Banquet
Speaking
6:30 p.m.
Ashley County Medical Center
1015 Unity Road
Crossett, 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 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04.17.2018

Governor Hutchinson Issues Statement on the Passing of Former First Lady Barbara Bush

"…demonstrated dignity, compassion and love of family in every way."

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson issued the following statement on the passing of former First Lady Barbara Bush: 

"Barbara Bush was a First Lady who demonstrated dignity, compassion and love of family in every way. She was plain spoken and wise in all her words. She was a great role model, and she was deeply loved. She will be missed."

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04.16.2018

Governor Hutchinson Announces Support For Increase in Homestead Tax Credit

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson announced Monday he will support legislation in 2019 to increase the state’s Homestead Property Tax Credit to $375, providing additional tax relief for Arkansas homeowners. 

“Our state property owners deserve a break, and with our state’s strong financial performance, we can afford to give them one,” Governor Hutchinson said. 

The proposal would increase the tax credit from $350 to $375. The state reimburses counties for the costs of these credits, using funds deposited in the Property Tax Relief Trust Fund. Money deposited in this fund can be used only for tax relief. The balance in this fund was $78 million at the conclusion of the 2017 fiscal year. Combined, the increased tax credit will save Arkansas homeowners an estimated $18 million annually.

“Any idea that allows us to put money back in the hands of Arkansas taxpayers is a good idea,” Governor Hutchinson said. “The DFA analysis demonstrates this is a sustainable plan. I am pleased that we have found yet another way to make life easier for Arkansans. I am confident the General Assembly will approve this idea so that we can quickly move forward in 2019.”

At a meeting in February, the Association of Arkansas Counties asked the governor to consider the increase. A Department of Finance and Administration analysis done at the governor’s request determined that the Property Tax Relief Trust Fund could accommodate the increased tax credit.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04.13.2018

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: April 16th – April 21st

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, April 16, 2018, through Saturday, April 21, 2018: 

Monday, April 16, 2018

HOT SPRINGS VILLAGE
Metroplan Board Retreat Lunch
Speaking 
11:30 a.m.
Grenada Golf Course
250 Maderas Drive
Hot Springs Village, AR

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

HIGHLAND
Highland High School Computer Science Tour
8:30 a.m.
Highland High School
1 Rebel Cir.
Highland, AR

BATESVILLE
Batesville High School Coding Tour
10:30 a.m.
1 Pioneer Dr.
Batesville, AR

Thursday, April 19, 2018

OZARK
AEDC Announcement
1:00 p.m.
More Details to Come
Ozark, AR

Friday, April 20, 2018

SPRINGDALE
ALETA Graduation Ceremony
Speaking
10:00 a.m.
Springdale High School
Pat Walker Performing Arts Center
101 S. Pleasant St.
Springdale, AR

OZARK
Friends of the Mulberry River Society Event
Speaking
3:00 p.m.
Byrd’s Adventure Center
7037 Cass Oark Rd.
Ozark, AR

LITTLE ROCK
Arkansas Community Service Awards
Speaking
6:00 p.m.
Embassy Suites
Little Rock, AR

Saturday, April 21, 2018

MOUNTAIN VIEW
Mountain View Parade
9:30 a.m.
Main Street
Mountain View, AR

MOUNTAIN VIEW
Mountain View Folk Festival Luncheon
11:00 a.m.
Ozark Folk Center
1032 Park Ave
Mountain View, 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
04.06.2018

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

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, April 9, 2018, through Saturday, April 14, 2018: 

Monday, April 9, 2018

LITTLE ROCK
ACT Work Ready Community Announcement
Speaking 
10:30 a.m.
Arkansas State Capitol
Rotunda
Little Rock, Arkansas

PARAGOULD
Paragould Annual Chamber of Commerce Banquet
6:15 p.m.
Paragould Community Center
3404 Linwood Dr.
Paragould, Arkansas

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

CHARLESTON
Charleston High School Computer Science Tour
10:30 a.m.
125 West Main
Charleston, Arkansas

MENA
Mena High School Computer Science Tour
2:00 p.m.
1200 Dallas Ave.
Mena, Arkansas

HELENA
ADTEC Industrial Manufacturing Lab
Ribbon Cutting
Speaking
5:15 p.m.
Phillips Community College
Room 103
1000 Campus Drive
Helena, Arkansas

HELENA
Phillips County Chamber of Commerce Banquet
Speaking
6:00 p.m.
Phillips Community College
1000 Campus Drive
Helena, Arkansas

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

LITTLE ROCK
Child Abuse Prevention Month Rally
Speaking
10:00 a.m.
Arkansas State Capitol Steps
Little Rock, Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK
Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) Reception
4:30 p.m.
Governor’s Mansion
Little Rock, Arkansas

Thursday, April 12, 2018

BLYTHEVILLE
Nucor Steel Arkansas
Cold Mill Ribbon Cutting
Speaking
1:30 p.m.
7301 East County Road 142
Blytheville, Arkansas

Friday, April 13, 2018

EAST CAMDEN
ALETA Graduation Ceremony
10:00 a.m.
Speaking
Southern Arkansas University Tech
Student Center
14411 Carr Road
East Camden, Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK
Americans for Prosperity Tax Rally
Speaking
1:30 p.m.
Arkansas State Capitol
TBD
Little Rock, 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 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04.06.2018

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Intent to Grant Executive Clemency

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced his intent to grant 11 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:

George (Lewondowski) Alexander (Jessieville): Theft of Property (C Felony) (CR 81-15).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1981 – Nevada 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. 

Kenneth Bridgewater (Clarksville): Delivery of a Controlled Substance (C Felony) (CR-82-51).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1983 – Johnson 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. 

Randy Croney (Oakland): Fleeing (D Felony) and Battery in the 3rd Degree (A Misdemeanor) (CR-2001-12).

This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (2001 – Baxter County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. The Judge has raised objections to the applicant’s request.

Leslie M. Daniels (De Queen): Theft Of Property (B Felony) (CR 2005-72-2).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2006 – Sevier 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.

Matt Ellis (Sherwood): Battery 3rd Degree (Misdemeanor) (CR-90-255A).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1990 – 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.

Tonia Myrick Holland Hamby (Little Rock): Theft by Receiving (C Felony) (CR-97-000043).

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

Kevin Hardin (Piggott): Possession of Marijuana (A Misdemeanor) (Docket no. 96-343); Possession of Marijuana (A Misdemeanor) (Docket no. S-9890212); Possession of Drug Paraphernalia with Intent to Use (C Felony) (CR-98-83); Possession of a Controlled Substance-Methamphetamine (C Felony) (CR-99-26); Possession of Drug Paraphernalia with Intent to Use (C Felony) (CR-99-76).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1996, 1998, 1999, 1999 and 1999 – Clay 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. Hardin was granted restoration of his firearm rights only by Governor Mike Beebe on May 4, 2014.

Gregory J. Henry (Little Rock): Possession of Marijuana (A Misdemeanor) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony) (CR-98-707).

This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (1999 – 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 J. Herman (Mansfield): Theft of Property (C Felony) (CR-95-30).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1995 – Logan 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.

Seth J. Payne (Ash Flat): Battery II (D Felony) (CR E2003-0012).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2003 – 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.

Dawn Cooper Wood (Cave Springs): Violation of Arkansas Hot Check Law (C Felony) (CR 95-314-1).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1995 – 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.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04.04.2018

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Appointments

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

Jeremy Sparks, Fayetteville, to the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2024. Replaces Sarah Martin. 

Christina Shutt, Conway, to the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemoration Committee. Appointment expires December 31, 2020. 

James Mardis, Rogers, to the Arkansas-Oklahoma Arkansas River Compact Commission. Appointment expires February 1, 2022. Reappointment. 

Donna Nelson-Lowe, Paragould, to the Health Services Permit Commission. Appointment expires April 9, 2020. Replaces Paula Hartz.

Dr. Norette Underwood, Harrisburg, to the Veterinary Medical Examining Board. Appointment expires March 1, 2023. Replaces Dr. Duane Thomas. 

Jeff Teague, El Dorado, to the Arkansas State Police Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2025. Replaces Dr. Lewis Shepherd. 

John Baxter, Fort Smith, to the Contractors Licensing Board. Appointment expires December 31, 2022. Replaces Steve Russell. 

Ron Mobley, Morrilton, to the State Banking Board. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Gary Smith.

Richard Bearden, Little Rock, to the Old State House Commission. Appointment expires March 19, 2027. Reappointment. 

Rusty Guinn, Jonesboro, to the State Board of Collection Agencies. Appointment expires January 1, 2021. Reappointment.

Craig Mobley, El Dorado, to the Arkansas Waterways Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2020. Replaces Judge Michael Loftin. 

Marty Shell, Fort Smith, to the Arkansas Waterways Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2025. Replaces Paul Latture. 

Al Eckert, Little Rock, to the Advisory Committee on Petroleum Storage Tanks. Appointment expires December 31, 2021. Replaces Charles Clark. 

Murray Benton, Sr., Jonesboro, to the Advisory Committee on Petroleum Storage Tanks. Appointment expires December 31, 2021. Replaces Daniel Murdaugh. 

Lance Spicer, Hot Springs, to the Arkansas Fire and Police Pension Review Board. Appointment expires January 1, 2022. Reappointment. 

Farris Hensley, Alexander, to the Arkansas Fire and Police Pension Review Board. Appointment expires January 1, 2022. Reappointment. 

Bill Lundy, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Fire and Police Pension Review Board. Appointment expires January 1, 2022. Reappointment. 

Marliese Kerr, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Home Inspector Registration Board. Appointment expires January 26, 2020. Reappointment. 

Wayne Pace, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Home Inspector Registration Board. Appointment expires January 26, 2020. Reappointment. 

Allen Trammell, Alexander, to the Arkansas Home Inspector Registration Board. Appointment expires January 26, 2020. Reappointment. 

W.C. McBride, Benton, to the Arkansas Home Inspector Registration Board. Appointment expires January 26, 2020. Replaces Joseph Kanopsic.

Joshua Barkhimer, Camden, to the Arkansas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board. Appointment expires January 15, 2021. Replaces Peter Prutzman. 

Scott McKennon, Morrilton, to the Arkansas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board. Appointment expires January 15, 2021. Reappointment. 

Brian Hester, Farmington, to the Arkansas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board. Appointment expires January 15, 2021. Reappointment. 

Tom Ferstl, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board. Appointment expires January 15, 2021. Reappointment. 

Cary Matthews, Jonesboro, to the Arkansas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board. Appointment expires January 15, 2021. Reappointment. 

Lt. J. Scott Baxter, Jonesboro, to the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System. Appointment expires January 1, 2022. Reappointment.

Gary Carnahan, Hot Springs, to the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System. Appointment expires January 1, 2022. Replaces Catherine Cook. 

Russell Meeks, Little Rock, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CR-17-889 Brad Hunter Smith v. State of Arkansas. Replaces Justice Robin F. Wynne, who has disqualified himself from the case. 

Lee Watson, Fort Smith, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CR-17-684 Elizabeth Robert Force v. State of Arkansas. Replaces Chief Justice John Dan Kemp, who has disqualified himself from the case. 

Josh Newton, Bryant, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-17-723 The Park Apartments at Fayetteville, LP, et al. v. Shilah Plants. Replaces Justice Josephine Linker Hart, who has disqualified herself from the case.

Grant Fortson, Little Rock, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-17-500 Arkansas Department of Human Services v. Tegan Dowdy. Replaces Justice Robin F. Wynne, who has disqualified himself from the case. 

Louis Bastin, Fort Smith, as a Justice of the Peace for the Sebastian County Quorum Court, District 8. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Donald Carter, Sr.

Rose Mary Fite, Sparkman, as a Justice of the Peace for the Dallas County Quorum Court, District 7. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Alfred Fite. 

Jackie Sikes, Clinton, as a Justice of the Peace for the Van Buren County Quorum Court, District 9. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Richard Sundelin.

Wesley Howard, Dierks, as a Justice of the Peace for the Howard County Quorum Court, District 2. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Gary Welch.  

Baxter County Judge Mickey Pendergrass, Mountain Home, as a Special County Judge in the County Court of Marion County, Arkansas. Marion County Court Case Numbers 2016-001 and 2017-001. Replaces Marion County Judge Terry Ott, who has disqualified himself from both cases. 

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.30.2018

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: April 2nd – April 7th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, April 2, 2018, through Saturday, April 7, 2018: 

Monday, April 2, 2018

LITTLE ROCK
Distracted Driving Month
Press Conference 
1:30 p.m.
Arkansas State Capitol Steps 
(Weather Permitting)
Little Rock, Arkansas

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

DES MOINES, IOWA
Future Ready Iowa Summit
“Computer Science from Kindergarten to College and Beyond”
Governor Hutchinson will Talk About Arkansas’s Computer Science Initiative
1:25 p.m.
Iowa Events Center
Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center
730 Third Street
Des Moines, Iowa

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

LITTLE ROCK
2018 Fair Housing Conference
Speaking
9:00 a.m.
Marriott Hotel
3 Statehouse Plaza
Little Rock, Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK
2018 Commemorative Vigil for 50th Anniversary
of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Passing
Speaking
10:00 a.m.
Arkansas State Capitol Steps 
Little Rock, Arkansas

Thursday, April 5, 2018

HAMBURG
Hamburg High School Computer Science Tour
9:00 a.m.
1119 S Main St
Hamburg, Arkansas

EL DORADO
El Dorado High School Computer Science Tour
12:30 p.m.
2000 Wildcat Dr
El Dorado, Arkansas

CAMDEN
Camden High School Computer Science Tour
2:30 p.m.
Coding Lab Room 304 and CFHS Gym
1750 Cash Road
Camden, Arkansas

Friday, April 6, 2018

POYEN
Poyen High School Computer Science Tour
9:30 a.m.
114296 US-270
Poyen, Arkansas

MALVERN
Malvern High School Computer Science Tour
11:00 a.m.
525 E Highland Ave
Malvern, Arkansas

HOT SPRINGS
New Building Groundbreaking National Park College
1:30 p.m.
101 College Drive
Hot Springs, Arkansas

Saturday, April 7, 2018

LITTLE ROCK
Central Arkansas Sphinx Foundation MLK Breakfast
Speaking 
9:00 a.m.
UALR
2801 S University
Little Rock, Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK
Miracle League Opening Game
Throwing Out First Pitch 
10:30 a.m.
Jr. Deputy Baseball Park
2500 Water Works Rd
Little Rock, 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 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.30.2018

Governor Hutchinson announces Arkansans may now register vehicles online

Arkansas among first states to make this service available
 

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced a significant change to the way Arkansans may register vehicles with the State of Arkansas. While registration previously required a trip to the Revenue Office, Governor Hutchinson announced vehicles may now be registered online at http://mydmv.arkansas.gov. The website walks Arkansans through the following steps: 

  • Registering the vehicle
  • Paying sales tax on the vehicle purchase
  • Purchasing a new plate or transferring an existing plate to the vehicle

Through this website, Arkansans may now avoid the Revenue Office altogether following the purchase of a passenger car or truck.

More than 643,000 vehicles were registered at Revenue Offices throughout the state in 2017. 

“We are proud to be among the first states to offer online vehicle registration,” said Governor Hutchinson. “Through this new service, Arkansans purchasing a new or used vehicle may conduct all follow-up business from the comfort of their own home. Today’s announcement is a strong example of our transformation efforts in action, improving the day-to-day lives of citizens.”

In addition, the Governor also announced Arkansans may now order a duplicate driver’s license at mydmv.arkansas.gov. This website was launched in January 2018, initially offering several new online services that previously required a trip to the Revenue Office, including the following:

  • Check Title Status Online – This service helps taxpayers check the status of their application for title.
  • Transfer Ownership – This service allows taxpayers to notify the Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) if they have sold their vehicle to another individual or to a dealer.
  • Print Duplicate Registration – This service allows taxpayers to print a duplicate registration online.
  • Estimated Sales Tax Calculator – This service allows taxpayers to calculate how much state tax they will owe for a vehicle before registration.
  • Pre-Registration for First-Time License or ID card – This will allow those obtaining a first-time license or ID card the opportunity to pre-register online, reducing time spent in the Revenue Office.
  • Enter Medical Information – This allows Commercial Drivers the opportunity to enter required medical information online
  • International Registration Plan – This allows a first-time IRP registrant to apply online.
  • Change of Address Notification – Arkansans may now update any change of address online. State law requires notification within 10 days of a change of address
  • Request Records – Allows for online request for records including a driver’s license status/clearance letter and a license reinstatement requirements letter

“Under the leadership of Governor Hutchinson, the Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) is continually working to improve customer experience through enhancements to services,” said Larry Walther, DFA Director. “From today’s announcement to offering Arkansans a confirmation text when a tax refund is processed, we are implementing new tools that save our fellow Arkansans valuable time and effort.”

You can view the video of the today's press conference HERE

More information on DFA can be found at www.dfa.arkansas.gov.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.28.2018

Governor Hutchinson Allocates Additional $300,000 For Stipends for K-8 Teachers to Learn to Teach CS

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has added $300,000 to the initial $500,000 he allocated last year to train K-8 teachers to teach computer science, he announced on Wednesday.

The money for the K-8 Computer Science Lead Teacher Stipend and Training Program comes from the budget of the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) Office of Computer Science.

The Governor announced creation of the K-8 stipend program during Computer Science Education Week in December of last year and authorized the initial $500,000 for training elementary and middle school teachers to become Computer Science Lead teachers.

Governor Hutchinson allocated the additional $300,000 for stipends because of the high level of interest and the high demand for computer science teachers in Arkansas’s elementary and middle schools.

“Every educator who takes up the challenge to teach computer science to our youngest students not only enhances the life of the student but is building on Arkansas’s reputation as a high-tech leader,” Governor Hutchinson said. “This is the way to an even stronger workforce and economy that will improve the quality of life for all Arkansans. I am grateful to lead a state whose educators and lawmakers understand this and are willing to fund it.”

The additional money will support 150 more teachers to join the 250 who already have signed up for the training, said Anthony Owen, state director of Computer Science Education.

“When the ADE Computer Science team started planning the K-8 Lead Teacher program, we knew it would be successful,” Director Owen said. “However, the interest locally and nationally has grown well beyond our expectations. Almost every spot that was originally allocated for the program was taken within a week of Governor Hutchinson’s announcement in December. This additional funding is important for the #CSforAR / #ARKidsCanCode initiative. The governor recognizes that in order for Arkansas to continue to lead the nation in the Computer Science Education, we need teachers.”

To be eligible for the full $2,000 stipend, a computer science lead teacher must be a licensed educator at an Arkansas public elementary or middle school; attend a five-day professional development session provided at no cost by the Arkansas Department of Education Office of Computer Science; obtain the 528 Computer Science Endorsement; and provide a requisite number of one-on-one support and school-wide professional development hours to other educators. 

Additional information of the K-8 Computer Science Lead Teacher Program can be accessed at http://adecm.arkansas.gov/ViewApprovedMemo.aspx?Id=3443.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.27.2018

Governor Hutchinson Announces Spring 2018 Computer Science Tour of Arkansas Schools

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced his Spring 2018 Computer Science Tour, the sixth tour of Arkansas schools since he took office in 2015. So far, Governor Hutchinson has visited more than 50 schools throughout the state to highlight the importance of computer science education and to emphasize his commitment to providing opportunities for learning.

“In my visits to schools across Arkansas – large and small, rural and urban, elementary and high school – I have met hundreds of students and teachers whose creativity and enthusiasm have made our state a national leader in computer science education,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson.  “I believe computer-science education can provide unlimited opportunities, which is why I have committed to equipping our students with the right tools that will empower them to become the next leaders in STEM. I look forward to continuing to share that message on my Spring 2018 Computer Science Tour.”

The Spring 2018 Computer Science Tour includes the followings stops:

Friday, March 30

Heber Springs High School
1:00 p.m.
900 W Pine St.
Heber Springs, Arkansas

Thursday, April 5

Hamburg High School
9:00 a.m.
1119 S Main St.
Hamburg, Arkansas

El Dorado High School
12:30 p.m.
2000 Wildcat Dr. 
El Dorado, Arkansas

Camden High School
2:30 p.m.
625 Clifton St. NW
Camden, Arkansas

Friday, April 6

Poyen High School
9:30 a.m.
114296 US-270
Poyen, Arkansas

Malvern High School
11:00 a.m.
525 E Highland Ave.
Malvern, Arkansas

Tuesday, April 10

Charleston High School
10:30 a.m.
305 Dale Bumpers Dr. 
Charleston, Arkansas

Mena High School
2:00 p.m.
1200 Dallas Ave. 
Mena, Arkansas

Tuesday, April 17

Highland High School
8:30 a.m.
1 Rebel Cir.
Highland, Arkansas

Batesville High School
10:30 a.m.
1 Pioneer Dr.
Batesville, Arkansas

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.26.2018

Cost of workers’ comp falls by 15.4 percent

Arkansas’s Workplaces Safer; Drop in Work-Related Accidents Will Lead to Premium Reduction 

LITTLE ROCK – A dramatic decrease in the number of work-related injuries in the past two years will lead to a decrease in the cost that a majority of Arkansas employers will pay for workers' compensation insurance, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced today.

The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), an insurance-rating and data-collection bureau that specializes in workers' compensation, recommended reductions of 15.4 percent for the voluntary market and 14.9 for the assigned-risk pool. Earlier today, Insurance Commissioner Allen Kerr adopted NCCI’s recommendation.

“Arkansas companies already pay the lowest premium for workers' compensation insurance of any state in the country,” Governor Hutchinson said. “This cut in costs leaves more money in employers’ pockets, which means it is now less expensive to do business in Arkansas. This is more good news for our state’s economy. 

"But the best news about this decrease is that Arkansas’s workplaces are safer than ever. The number of accidents at work has declined dramatically, and there were fewer work-related fatalities in 2017 than in at least the past 20 years."

Governor Hutchinson was joined at today's announcement by Dale Douthit, Chairman of the Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission, and Rajesh Chokhani, CEO of Welspun in Little Rock.

"The staff of the Workers’ Compensation Commission and the Health and Safety Division have done a remarkable job to help reduce the number of workplace injuries, to create a safer workforce and to save money in the overall cost of workers’ comp," Chairman Douthit said. "But the governor’s done a lot of the heavy lifting for this historic 15.4 percent reduction. Under his leadership, our economy has soared. We've witnessed record low unemployment and more people working in Arkansas than ever before. So many things worked together to produce this savings, and I'm proud of the outcome."

A reduction in the cost of insurance and improved safety in the workplace are significant incentives for business leaders who are considering expanding in Arkansas or moving here.

"People are an invaluable asset," Mr. Chokhani said at today's announcement. "We don’t consider that we support a thousand employees. We consider that we support a thousand families. We know what it means for a family to see their family member come home safely from work. This reduction will give us more dollars to invest in safety. The governor has done so many right things in his tenure, and this news sends a message that safety is a priority in Arkansas and will attract more talent to our state."

This is the eighth consecutive year that the costs have decreased, and it is the  largest reduction in 20 years. Coupled with the 8.3 percent decrease in 2017, Arkansas’s rates have fallen nearly 25 percent in two years. 

Word of the premium reduction comes just days after the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) announced the growth of personal income in Arkansas had increased by 3.2 percent, which put the state’s rate of growth at No. 16 nationally. 

"This news from the BEA and the cost reduction for workers' comp are more evidence that we have an economic wind at our back," Governor Hutchinson said. "Life in Arkansas is improving at a dramatic pace, and all signs point to continued success."

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.23.2018

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: March 25th – March 31st

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Sunday, March 25, 2018, through Saturday, March 31, 2018: 

Monday, March 26, 2018:

LITTLE ROCK
Governor Hutchinson to Make Announcement Regarding Arkansas Business Environment
12:15 p.m.
Little Rock Regional Chamber Auditorium
1 Chamber Plaza
Little Rock, Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK
Competitive Communities Initiative Launch
1:00 p.m.
Mosaic Templars Cultural Center
501 W 9th St.
Little Rock, Arkansas

Wednesday, March 28, 2018:

LITTLE ROCK
Vietnam War Memorial Wreath Laying Ceremony
7:50 a.m.
Arkansas State Capitol
500 Woodlane St.
Little Rock, Arkansas

Thursday, March 29, 2018:

LITTLE ROCK
Vietnam Veterans Commemoration Ceremony
10:00 a.m.
Jack Stephens Center - University of Arkansas at Little Rock
2801 South University St.
Little Rock, Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK
Governor's Arts Awards Luncheon and Ceremony
12:15 p.m.
Arkansas Governor’s Mansion
1800 Center St.
Little Rock, Arkansas

Friday, March 30, 2018:

HEBER SPRINGS
Heber Springs Senior Citizen Center Fundraiser
6:00 p.m.
Heber Springs Community Center
201 Bobbie Jean,
Heber Springs, 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 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.23.2018

Arkansas 16th in Nation for Increase in Personal Income Growth

State Ties With Tennessee for Most Growth Among Surrounding States

LITTLE ROCK – The growth of personal income in Arkansas increased by 3.2 percent in 2017, which put the state at No. 16 nationally and tied with Tennessee for the largest increase among neighboring states, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

“This great news from the BEA confirms what we already knew – that our economy is booming,” Governor Asa Hutchinson said today. “In 2017, we enjoyed a historically low unemployment rate, and more Arkansans were employed than ever before. Arkansans are benefiting from the record $150 million in tax cuts we’ve passed over the past three years. We have built an environment that has attracted new industry, encouraged expansion, and created new jobs.” 

Arkansas’s 3.2 percent growth rate beat the national average of 3.1 percent, BEA reports. Arkansas’s growth rate, along with Tennessee’s (3.2 percent), leads all neighboring states, including: Texas (3.1 percent), Louisiana (2.9 percent), Mississippi (2.3 percent), Missouri (2.1 percent), and Oklahoma (2 percent). 

Arkansas’s earnings increased from $119 billion to $123 billion for an average of $40,791 per Arkansan.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.16.2018

Governor Hutchinson Appoints Steve Cox To University of Arkansas Board of Trustees

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has appointed Steve Cox of Jonesboro to the Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas. His term expires March 1, 2028. Cox replaces Ben Hyneman.

“Steve has been a testament to the excellence of the University of Arkansas for years,” Governor Hutchinson said. “Throughout his athletic career with the university and in the NFL, Cox has demonstrated the kind of hard work and skill that hearken to Arkansas’ roots. His love for the Hogs goes without saying, and I am confident that with his professional background, knowledge and experience, he will be a tremendous asset to the board of trustees.” 

Steve Cox is a native of Charleston, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He played football for the Razorbacks, where he led the nation in punting with an average of 46.5 yards per punt. He was named All Southwest Conference in 1979 and 1980 and All American in 1980 by United Press International, Sporting News, Pro College & Football News Weekly and Football News.

Cox had an eight-year career in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns and the Washington Redskins. He earned a Super Bowl ring with Washington in Super Bowl XXII. He has also been inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, named to the Razorback All Century Team, and inducted into the University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor. 

Since his retirement from the NFL, Cox has been involved in banking, conservation and economic development in Northeast Arkansas. He is currently a managing partner of Rainwater & Cox, LLC, a limited liability company that owns and manages agricultural and commercial real estate. Cox also serves on the St. Bernards Hospital Board and is a member of the Jonesboro City Water & Light Board of Directors.

He lives in Jonesboro with his wife Virginia Rainwater Cox. They have two sons: Weston Cox and Stephen Cox, who is married to Madeline Gill Cox.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.16.2018

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: March 17th – March 24th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Saturday, March 17, 2018, through Saturday, March 24, 2018: 

Saturday, March 17, 2018:

NORTH LITTLE ROCK
John 3:16 Ministries Wild Game Supper
8:30 p.m.
Verizon Arena
1 Verizon Arena Way
North Little Rock, AR

Sunday, March 18, 2018:

LITTLE ROCK
Arkansas Run for the Fallen Closing Ceremony
2:30 p.m.
Arkansas State Capitol – East Steps
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 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.15.2018

Governor Announces Transformation Plan To Reduce Cabinet-Level Agencies By 50 percent

Largest Government Reorganization in 47 Years 

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson intends to present a transformation plan to the 2019 General Assembly that will reduce by 50 percent the number of cabinet-level agencies in state government, the governor announced today.

Currently, 42 cabinet-level agencies report directly to the Governor.  The plan is to reduce that number to fewer than 20 to better serve the people of Arkansas and to more efficiently deliver services.  In addition, we will review the more than 200 boards and commissions as part of the reform effort.

“This will be the first major reform in 47 years,” Governor Hutchinson said. “In 1972, then-Governor Dale Bumpers led an effort to reduce the number of state agencies from 60 to 13 major departments.  In the nearly 50 years since, our state government has reversed course, and now there are more than 40 state agencies that have cabinet-level status.  By contrast, the federal government has only 15. To lead responsibly, we must take conservative measures such as this to transform state government.”

This new initiative began with Senate Bill 1202 that former Senator Eddie Joe Williams sponsored in 2015. The bill directed the executive branch to consider this type of reform in the organization of state agencies.  In addition to the action called for in the bill, the Transformation Advisory Board (TAB), which the governor created in 2017 and is chaired by Michael Carroll, has recommended a restructuring of state government agencies in order to deliver services in a more effective way and to reduce costs.  Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin serves as vice chair, and Amy Fecher is the state Chief Transformation Officer. 

The next step in this historic transformation project is for the Transformation Advisory Board to solicit ideas from state employees, agency directors, and legislators.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.12.2018

Governor Hutchinson Issues Call for Special Legislative Session of the 91st General Assembly

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today issued the official call to legislators for an Extraordinary Session of the 91st General Assembly to convene Tuesday, March 13, 2018, at 9:00 a.m. A list of call items can be found below, and the official proclamation can be found HERE.

“Prior to the fiscal session, a number of matters that warranted immediate action by the legislature were brought to my attention, including issues such as highway funding and pharmacy benefit manager oversight legislation,” said Governor Hutchinson. “I made a commitment then to hold a special session following the Fiscal Session to address these items, as well as other issues deemed unique in circumstance, if legislators could reach a two-thirds consensus in both chambers. The items on the call reflect that commitment, and I look forward to working with the legislature to address these issues in a quick and efficient manner over the next three days.” 

Call items are as follows:

  1. To provide for the payment of expenses and per diem of the House of Representatives and the Senate for this Extraordinary Session.
     
  2. To make technical corrections to Ark. Code Ann. § 5-71-101 for the purpose of aligning state law with federal law to avoid federal highway penalties, by adding changes to the definitions of alcoholic beverages, motor vehicle, and open alcoholic beverage container, also by making changes to Ark. Code Ann. § 5-71-218 regarding areas within a motor vehicle where it is illegal for a person to possess an alcoholic beverage in an open beverage container.
     
  3. To make technical corrections to Ark. Code Ann. § 23-114-102 concerning the definition of equipment to be used by charitable organizations in licensed games under Ark. Code Ann. § 23-114-101, et seq., for visually impaired participants to include electronic devices used to mark a bingo face or an electronic facsimile of a paper bingo sheet, within certain limitations and conditions approved by the Director of the Department of Finance and Administration.
     
  4. To alter Arkansas code title 16, Chapter 30, by adding a new section concerning a contractual waiver of the right to a jury trial pursuant to Article 2 § 7 of the Arkansas Constitution by creating an enforceable agreement whereby the parties agree to waive their respective rights to a jury trial before or after a lawsuit is filed.
     
  5. To alter Arkansas code concerning the licensure of pharmacy benefit managers providing services for health benefit plans under the Arkansas Insurance Department; amend applicable definitions; require a reasonably adequate and accessible pharmacy benefits manager network; regulate the conduct of pharmacy benefit managers; authorize the Arkansas Insurance Department to examine and audit pharmacy benefit manager records; establish reporting requirements for pharmacy benefits managers; prohibit deceptive and unconscionable trade practices pursuant to the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, Ark. Code Ann. § 4-88-101 et seq., the Arkansas Pharmacy Benefits Manager Licensure Act, Ark. Code Ann. § 23-92-501 et seq., and the  Trade Practices Act, Ark. Code Ann. § 23-66-201 et seq.; and authorize the Arkansas Insurance Department to establish rules concerning the licensing, application fees, financial solvency requirements, network adequacy, prohibited practices, reporting requirements, compliance, enforcement requirements, rebates, compensation, and the listing of plans, by pharmacy benefits managers in the State of Arkansas.
     
  6. To amend Arkansas code to provide that only those permit conditions subject to the modification are open for review when an application for modification of an existing state permit for a liquid animal waste management system is filed with the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and an existing state permit for a liquid animal waste management system that is in good standing is not subject to review or third-party appeal for siting or location issues that were not raised during the applicable review or appeal period at the time of the permit issuance.
     
  7. To amend Ark. Code Ann. § 27-21-109 in order to provide a defense to the prosecution of operation of an all-terrain vehicle on a public street or highway: if it is the most reasonable route from an off-road trail to another or to their private property, the operator’s purpose was to get from one off-road trail to another or to his or her own private property and removing the limitation of driving more than three miles on the public street or highway as well as removing the requirement of providing proof of their property interest.
     
  8. To amend the Arkansas code concerning the design and construction of certain trail projects that are donated to and managed by the State Parks, Recreation and Travel Commission rather than the Building Authority Division of the Department of Finance and Administration, these projects must still adhere to the minimum standards and criteria established by the Building Authority Division of the Department of Finance and Administration.
     
  9. There is a need to amend the Arkansas code concerning tax deferred tuition savings programs established under 26 U.S.C. § 529 as it existed on January 1, 2018 that may be deducted from the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income for the purpose of calculating Arkansas income tax. The aforementioned deductible contributions cannot exceed $5,000 per taxpayer in any tax year, and if established by another state the deductible contribution cannot exceed $3,000 per taxpayer in any tax year. Further, the deductible contributions that are rolled over into a tuition savings account shall not exceed $7,500 per taxpayer in the tax year in which they were rolled over. The aforementioned deductions are to be made available to tuition being paid to both institutions of higher education as well as primary and secondary educational institutions.
     
  10. There is a need to amend the Arkansas code concerning how siblings are to be treated in the counting of transfer students pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. § 6-18-1906(b)(1)(B) by allowing siblings to meet or exceed the 3% cap found in Ark. Code Ann. § 6-18-1906(b)(1)(A).
     
  11. To confirm gubernatorial appointees.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.12.2018

Governor Hutchinson Announces Final Appointments to School Safety Commission

New commission to meet for the first time on Tuesday

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced his final appointments to the Arkansas School Safety Commission, which will hold its first meeting on Tuesday.

Governor Hutchinson issued an executive order creating the commission on March 1, 2018, and tasked the commission with assessing the security of Arkansas’s schools and making recommendations accordingly. The Governor also committed $300,000 to the Criminal Justice Institute (CJI) for additional training for school resource officers and security assessments for schools.

“It is a top priority for me, as Governor, to ensure that our schools are a safe environment for our students to learn and for our teachers to teach,” Governor Hutchinson said. “I’ve appointed first-rate members of this commission who will travel to schools all across the state to listen and to assess what all is being done to secure our schools—as well as what more needs to be done. I am grateful for their willingness to serve our state.”

The School Safety Commission will meet for the first time on Tuesday, March 13, 2018, at 10 a.m. The task force’s initial report is due to the Governor on July 1, 2018.

Members of the commission are as follows:

Dr. Cheryl May – Chair
Director, Criminal Justice Institute (CJI)
University of Arkansas System

Bill Temple – Vice Chair
Retired Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

John “Don” Kaminar
Special Projects and School Safety Manager
Arkansas Department of Education (ADE)

Brad Montgomery
Director of Public School Academic Facilities
Arkansas Department of Education (ADE)

A.J. Gary
Director, Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM)

Sheriff Tim Helder
Washington County Sheriff

Jami Cook
Director, Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy (ALETA)

Will Jones
Deputy Attorney General, Special Investigations Unit
Office of the Attorney General

Dr .David Hopkins
Superintendent, Clarksville School District

Dawn Anderson
High School Counselor, Hot Springs High School

John Allison
Teacher, Vilonia High School

*Tom Jenkins
Chief of the Rogers Fire Department

*Marvin L. Burton
Deputy Superintendent for the Little Rock School District

*Lori Poston
Child and Adolescent Therapist from Jonesboro

*Dr. Margaret Weiss 
MD, PHD, UAMS Professor Department of Psychiatry, and the Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

*Ricky Hopkins
Parent of student in Prescott School District

*Dr. Sterling Claypoole
Professor in Psychology at South Arkansas Community College and Parent of students in El Dorado School District

*Dr. Joyce Cottoms
Superintendent for the Marvell-Elaine School District

* – denotes newest appointees

More information about the Arkansas School Safety Commission can be found HERE, and additional details about Tuesday’s School Safety Commission Meeting can be found HERE.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.09.2018

Governor Hutchinson Declares 14 Counties Disaster Areas

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has issued disaster declarations for 14 counties following severe storms, flooding, and tornadoes that began February 20, 2018, causing great damage to private property and public facilities. 

“Today, I have issued a disaster declaration for several counties across Arkansas that were impacted by last month’s severe weather causing significant damage to both private property and public facilities,” said Governor Hutchinson. “In order to provide assistance as quickly as possible to these affected areas, I have directed my agencies to render maximum assistance to the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management for those impacted counties.” 

Those counties include:

Arkansas
Bradley
Chicot
Clark
Clay
Cleveland
Desha
Faulkner
Lee
Lonoke
Mississippi
Ouachita
Randolph
White

You can find the amended disaster declaration, DR 18-03, HERE and the original disaster declaration, DR 18-02, HERE. Additional counties may be added after damage is assessed.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.09.2018

Governor Hutchinson Announces Intent to Call Special Legislative Session Beginning Tuesday

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced his intent to issue the official call to legislators for a Special Session of the 91st General Assembly, which will convene on Tuesday, March 13, 2018, at 9 a.m., for the purpose of addressing a number of matters including highway funding and pharmacy reimbursement legislation. Each item listed on the call is considered a unique circumstance that warrants immediate action by the legislature. 

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“I appreciate the General Assembly’s quick action on all appropriation bills in the fiscal session. I’ve previously indicated that a special session would follow the fiscal session, assuming that the appropriation bills were passed in regular order.

“With the General Assembly’s timely completion of the fiscal session, today I’m announcing that I will call a special session of the General Assembly to begin next Tuesday at 9 a.m. This special session is necessary to address a number of matters that include highway funding and pharmacy reimbursement legislation.

“I anticipate formally issuing the call on Monday. I appreciate the work of the legislature and look forward to a swift and productive special session.”

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.09.2018

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: March 11th – March 17th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Sunday, March 11, 2018, through Saturday, March 17, 2018: 

Monday, March 12, 2018:

WEST MEMPHIS
44th Annual Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism
12:00 p.m.
Southland Park Gaming & Racing
1550 Ingram Blvd.
West Memphis, Arkansas

Tuesday, March 13, 2018:

LITTLE ROCK
Hoops for Kids' Sake Basketball Game
6:00 p.m.
UA-Little Rock Jack Stephens Center
2801 S. University Ave.
Little Rock, Arkansas

Wednesday, March 14, 2018:

MENA
UA Rich Mountain Dedication of Workforce Training Center 
3:00 p.m.
University of Arkansas Rich Mountain
1100 College Dr.
Mena, Arkansas

Thursday, March 15, 2018:

CONWAY
Conway Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting
5:30 p.m.
UCA HPER Center--UCA Campus
201 Donaghey Ave.
Conway, 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 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.07.2018

Governor Applauds Senate, House Approval Of DHS Appropriation, Arkansas Works on First Vote

LITTLE ROCK – In a statement he issued today, Governor Asa Hutchinson applauded the Senate and House approval of the DHS appropriation and Arkansas Works:

"The early prediction was that the general assembly would not pass the DHS appropriation and Arkansas Works. I am pleased that the Senate and the House disproved the popular opinion and passed the bill. The fact that we passed it on the first vote in both houses shows a spirit of cooperation between the branches. The approval demonstrates that in Arkansas, people still listen to each other and work together for solutions. Passage of the appropriation and the reforms ensures that these vital services will still be available to the thousands of Arkansans who depend upon them."

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.07.2018

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Intent to Grant Executive Clemency

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced his intent to grant 9 pardons, and 1 firearm rights only. An additional 49 clemency requests were denied and 2 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:

Michael W. Bailey (Fayetteville): Possession of Marijuana less than 10 lbs. (C Felony) (CR-2002-1680); Possession of Firearm by Certain Persons (D Felony) (CR-2004-2384) and Possession of Marijuana less than 10 lbs. (Probation Revocation) (C Felony) (CR-2002-1680).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (2003 and 2004 – Faulkner County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. The Sherriff has raised objections to the applicant’s request.

Branden Brewer (Quitman): Attempt to Manufacture a Controlled Substance (A Felony) and Possession of a Controlled Substance (C Felony) (CR 98-95).

This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (1999 – Sevier 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 E. Danner (Bauxite): Theft of Property (B Felony) (CR-00-556-2).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2001 – Saline 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. 

Arthur Edwards (North Little Rock): Possession of a Controlled Substance (C Felony) (CR 95-2980A); Hot Checks (C Felony) (CR 95-2749); Possession of a Controlled Substance (Probation Revocation) (C Felony) (CR 95-2980A); Hot Checks (Probation Revocation) (C Felony) (CR 95-2749).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1996, 1996, 1999 and 1999 – 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.

Buddy Ivy (Brookland): Possession of a Controlled Substance-Methamphetamine (C Felony) (CR 2002-92).

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

Jim Mark Davis (Arkadelphia): Domestic Battery 3rd Degree (A Misdemeanor) (CR-05-460).

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

Terry Tidwell (Alexander): Theft of Property (C Felony) (CR-79-18); Sale of a Scheduled VI Controlled Substance, Marijuana (C Felony) (CR-82-15); Sale of a Scheduled VI Controlled Substance (C Felony) (CR-82-21).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1979 and 1982 – White County; 1982 – 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. 

Bobby Toddy (Searcy): Violation of Arkansas Hot Check Law (C Felony) (CR 95-96); Violation of Arkansas Hot Check Law (C Felony) (CR 95-19).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1995 – Jackson County; 1995 – 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.

Lesley F. Walker (Blytheville): Criminal Use of a Weapon (B Felony) (CR-99-129) and Possession of Methamphetamine (C Felony) (CR-2000-17); Possession of a Controlled Substance, Methamphetamine (C Felony) and Simultaneous Possession of Drugs/Firearm (Y Felony) (CR-2001-70). 

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (2000 and 2001 – Mississippi 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.

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

Bobby N. Grady (Lambrook): Theft by Receiving (C Felony) (CR 87-1).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1987 – Phillips 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 Phillips County has signed the Recommendation of the Chief Law Enforcement Officer as required by law. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.07.2018

Governor Releases $600,000 in Rainy Day Funds To Support Arkansas’ Drug Task Forces

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today released $600,000 in Rainy Day funding for the state’s drug task forces, with approval of the Joint Budget Committee of the Arkansas General Assembly, providing additional resources to key law-enforcement agencies while federal funds are delayed.

Funding for the task forces is provided through the federal Department of Justice’s Edward R. Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program. However, funding for JAG grants has been held up in litigation over the enforcement of federal immigration policies, and funding for state’s law enforcement programs has been blocked.  

“Our drug task forces are on the front lines of our fight against drugs in Arkansas,” Governor Hutchinson said. “As a former federal prosecutor, I saw firsthand the impact of the task forces on improved law-enforcement coordination and in reducing illegal drugs on our streets. This funding will provide a needed lifeline to law enforcement until federal funding issues can be fixed.”

Funding for the task forces was provided through the Governor’s Rainy Day Fund. These funds were released at the order of the Governor and with approval of the legislature. Governor Hutchinson said Wednesday that he will continue to work with legislative leaders and Arkansas’ congressional delegation to find a long-term solution to supporting the state’s drug task forces. 

Arkansas Drug Task Forces allow local police, sheriffs and prosecutors to cooperate and coordinate in combating the sale of illegal drugs. Funding provided through JAG grants pays for equipment, salaries and operational expenses for 20 different task forces across Arkansas. 

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.06.2018

Governor Hutchinson Issues Statement in Response to Passage of Senate Bill 30,

The Division of Medical Services Appropriation

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today issued the following statement upon the Senate’s passage of the Department of Human Services' Division of Medical Services appropriation:

“I’m very grateful for the senators that were able to support Arkansas Works and the DHS appropriation. Obviously the work requirement was a significant factor in showing the reform that we’re accomplishing, and I appreciate the Senate’s leadership in passing this on the first vote.”

The final vote in the Senate was 27-2.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.05.2018

Governor Hutchinson Announces that CMS Approves Work Requirement for Arkansas Works Enrollees

Change designed to help struggling Arkansans gain new skills, jobs so they can move up economic ladder


LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson announced Monday that the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved the State’s request to implement a work requirement for Arkansas Works enrollees. With this approval, Arkansas becomes one of only three states that currently mandates work for people who want to keep health benefits funded by Medicaid expansion dollars. Governor Hutchinson said the change promotes personal responsibility and will help low-income Arkansans move up the economic ladder.

“I have often said that Arkansans understand the dignity of work,” Governor Hutchinson said. “The approval of this work requirement will go a long way to create opportunities for able-bodied working-age Arkansans to enter into training or employment and ultimately climb the economic ladder.

“With federal approval of this requirement, Arkansas has become a national leader in rethinking the delivery of public assistance. Although Arkansas’ work requirement is one of the most stringent in the nation, it is not designed to be punitive, but to better serve the needs of Arkansans by creating pathways for individuals to take steps toward financial independence. CMS, under the leadership of Administrator Verma, understands this and has been a great partner in these efforts. I appreciate the work of all those who have put in long hours designing a program that is better tailored to serve and improve the lives of Arkansans.”

CMS Administrator Seema Verma was in Arkansas on Monday for the Governor’s announcement.

“The Trump administration is dedicated to advancing policies that make Medicaid a pathway out of poverty by empowering states like Arkansas to design programs that meet the unique needs of their citizens,” Administrator Verma said. “We owe it to Americans all across this country to support new ideas and innovative solutions to improve health outcomes that can promote upward mobility and an improved quality of life.” 

Arkansas Works is a unique program that uses Medicaid expansion dollars to buy private health insurance for eligible individuals. Last summer, the Arkansas Department of Human Services submitted to CMS an 1115 waiver request to implement a work requirement, and the two agencies have spent the last several months finalizing terms and conditions for the new requirement. Arkansas has had a “work referral” process in place over the last year, tracking the outcomes for people who are referred to Department of Workforce Services for assistance in job search and training.  The results of the referral showed that individuals who take advantage of these services are more likely to find a job than those who do not. Shifting from a voluntary “referral” to a mandatory requirement that individuals work in order to receive their health insurance is expected to increase the number of enrollees who take advantage of state programs to assist in developing skills and obtaining jobs.

“DHS is moving to immediately implement the work requirement for Arkansas Works,” Arkansas Department of Human Services Director Cindy Gillespie said. “We’ll notify enrollees this month that their health benefit is now subject to a work requirement and the first group of enrollees will begin reporting on their work activities in June. We’re working with the health insurance carriers, the Department of Workforce Services, Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care, the education community and many others to have a robust program that connects people with resources that can help them meet the work requirement. Work and community engagement is a positive factor for a healthy life and we’re excited to help our fellow Arkansans improve their skills and get new or better jobs because we know that can change their lives for the better.”

Arkansas Works enrollees who are 19 to 49 years old will be subject to the work requirement.  The requirement will be phased in on the 30-49 year-olds first over a four-month period between June and September of 2018.  Individuals subject to the work or community engagement requirement must report 80 hours of work activity every month or show that they are exempt from reporting work activities. A work activity can include a job, job training, job searching, school, health education classes, or volunteering/community engagement (or a combination of any of these for a total of 80 hours). Activity must be reported online at www.access.arkansas.gov.  If an enrollee fails to meet the work or community engagement requirement for any three months in a calendar year, he or she will lose Arkansas Works coverage for the remainder of that calendar year.

An enrollee is considered exempt if he or she is medically frail, exempt from SNAP work requirement, receives TEA assistance, pregnant, caring for an incapacitated person, short-term incapacitated, in substance abuse treatment or full-time education, has a minor child in his/her home or already works at least 80 hours a month.

You can view the approval letter HERE.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.02.2018

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: March 4th – March 10th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Sunday, March 4, 2018, through Saturday, March 10, 2018: 

Monday, March 5, 2018:

LITTLE ROCK
Announcement and Media Availability with CMS Administrator Seema Verma
11:00 a.m.
Governor's Conference Room
Arkansas State Capitol
Little Rock, Arkansas

SILOAM SPRINGS
Siloam Springs High School Conversion Charter School – Visit Career Education Program
2:00 p.m.
Siloam Springs High School
700 N Progress Ave. 
Siloam Springs, Arkansas

Tuesday, March 6, 2018:

WALNUT RIDGE
Dedication of New Lawrence County Sherriff’s Office & County Jail
3:30 p.m.
County Jail,
501 W Elm St. 
Walnut Ridge, Arkansas

Thursday, March 8, 2018:

LITTLE ROCK
Baptist Health Be Healthy Good 2 Go School Breakfast Kickoff
8:00 a.m.
Hall High School
6700 H St.
Little Rock, Arkansas

Friday, March 9, 2018:

BRYANT
R.I.S.E. Readers School Visit
9:00 a.m.
Hill Farm Elementary
500 Hill Farm Rd.
Bryant, 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 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.01.2018

Governor Hutchinson Announces Creation of Arkansas School Safety Commission

Commits $300,000 to school safety initiative

LITTLE ROCK – With the increased concern about school safety in the wake of recent events around the nation, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced today that he has issued an executive order that creates the Arkansas School Safety Commission. The Governor has also committed $300,000 to the Criminal Justice Institute (CJI) for additional training for school resource officers and security assessments for schools. 

“The physical safety of our students is a nonnegotiable responsibility and demands the immediate attention of professionals in education, law enforcement, security, and mental health,” Governor Hutchinson said. “This commission will report back to me with a comprehensive assessment of school security and recommendations for shoring up any gaps in security.

“Through research, interviews and school visits, the members of this commission will lead a statewide review and study that will guide us to establish and implement additional safeguards to protect Arkansas students from violence.”

The commissioners will evaluate school designs, safety and security policies, emergency plans and policies, school counseling, and mental health issues. They will evaluate school-security data, including issues such as single-point entry, electronic access badges, and school resource officers.

The School Safety Commission’s initial report is due to Governor Hutchinson on July 1, 2018.

The commission will include a representative from the Arkansas Attorney General’s office, the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM), the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), and the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy (ALETA). 

The commission also will include the director of the CJI, a county sheriff, a public school superintendent, a public school teacher, a public school counselor, a retired federal employ with law-enforcement experience, and a mental-health professional.

Members of the commission are as follows:

Dr. Cheryl May – Chair
Director, Criminal Justice Institute (CJI)
University of Arkansas System

Bill Temple – Vice Chair
Retired Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

John “Don” Kaminar
Special Projects and School Safety Manager
Arkansas Department of Education (ADE)

Brad Montgomery
Director of Public School Academic Facilities
Arkansas Department of Education (ADE)

A.J. Gary
Director, Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM)

Sheriff Tim Helder
Washington County Sheriff

Jami Cook
Director, Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy (ALETA)

Will Jones
Deputy Attorney General, Special Investigations Unit
Office of the Attorney General

David Hopkins
Superintendent, Clarksville School District

Dawn Anderson
High School Counselor, Hot Springs High School

John Allison
Teacher, Vilonia High School

Governor Hutchinson will appoint a mental health professional in the coming days, prior to the start of the commission’s work. Additional appointees from the different geographic regions of Arkansas may be appointed to the commission as Governor Hutchinson deems appropriate. 

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03.01.2018

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Appointments

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

Miles Goggans, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission. Appointment expires March 29, 2022. Reappointment. 

Rusty Moss, Dermott, to the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission. Appointment expires March 29, 2022. Reappointment. 

Dr. Samuel Atcherson, Little Rock, to the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas School for the Blind and the Arkansas School for the Deaf. Appointment expires January 14, 2023. Replaces Dr. Douglas Watson.

Timothy Barnes, Clinton, to the Board of Visitors for the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts. Appointment expires January 14, 2025. Reappointment.

Dr. Zachary Ward, North Little Rock, to the Board of Examiners in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. Appointment expires June 30, 2018. Replaces Dr. Jayme Pultro. 

Quincy McKinney, Conway, to the Arkansas Public Defender Commission. Appointment expires July 1, 2022. Replaces Jerry Larkowski.

Blake Montgomery, Hope, to the Arkansas Public Defender Commission. Appointment expires July 1, 2022. Replaces Eugene Bramblett.

Chief Hayes Minor, Bentonville, to the Arkansas Alcohol and Drug Abuse Coordinating Council. Appointment expires July 1, 2019. Replaces Chief Kirk Lane.

Teresa Belew, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Alcohol and Drug Abuse Coordinating Council. Appointment expires July 1, 2019. Replaces Dr. Rob Covington.

Dr. Sara Jones, Sherwood, to the Arkansas Alcohol and Drug Abuse Coordinating Council. Appointment expires July 1, 2019. Replaces Dr. Marvin Covey. 

John Davis, Monticello, to the Arkansas Rural Development Commission. Appointment expires December 31, 2022. Replaces Jamie Pafford-Gresham.

Martha McCaskill, Carlisle, to the Arkansas Rural Development Commission. Appointment expires December 31, 2022. Replaces Phyllis Gordon. 

Brent Keener, Waldron, to the Arkansas Rural Development Commission. Appointment expires December 31, 2022. Replaces Lonnie Turner. 

Butch Prunty, Blytheville, to the Arkansas Rural Development Commission. Appointment expires December 31, 2022. Replaces Glenn Priebe. 

Thomas Marsh, Fort Smith, to the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training. Appointment expires January 14, 2025. Reappointment. 

Chief Ricky Wingard, White Hall, to the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training. Appointment expires January 14, 2025.

Barry Phillips, Jonesboro, to the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training. Appointment expires January 14, 2025. Reappointment. 

Chief Bob Harrison, Texarkana, to the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training. Appointment expires January 14, 2025. Reappointment. 

Steve Cranford, Sims, to the Contractors Licensing Board. Appointment expires December 31, 2022. Reappointment. 

Reverend Tyrone Broomfield, Jacksonville, to the Board of Corrections. Appointment expires December 31, 2024. Reappointment. 

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Wood, Maumelle, as the State Judge Advocate for the Arkansas National Guard. Appointment expires at the Will of the Governor. Replaces Col. C. Jason Carter. 

William Brewer, III, Paragould, to the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2025. Replaces Don Richardson. 

Randy Fore, Mountain Home, to the Arkansas Board of Hearing Instrument Dispensers. Appointment expires July 31, 2020. Reappointment. 

Dillard Martin, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Board of Hearing Instrument Dispensers. Appointment expires July 31, 2020. Reappointment. 

Mark Oyler, Rogers, to the Arkansas Board of Hearing Instrument Dispensers. Appointment expires July 31, 2020. Reappointment. 

Christopher Lowry, El Dorado, to the Arkansas Board of Hearing Instrument Dispensers. Appointment expires July 31, 2020. Replaces Dr. Matthew Taylor. 

Dr. Lee Lane, Paris, to the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Development Finance Authority. Appointment expires January 14, 2022. Replaces Dr. Richard Burnett.

Denise Sweat, McCaskill, to the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Development Finance Authority. Appointment expires January 14, 2022. Reappointment. 

Adam Davis, Marianna, to the Arkansas Board of Podiatric Medicine. Appointment expires August 31, 2019. Reappointment. 

Dr. John Robinette, Sheridan, to the Arkansas Board of Podiatric Medicine. Appointment expires August 31, 2020. Reappointment. 

Dr. Laurel Tait, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Board of Podiatric Medicine. Appointment expires August 31, 2019. Replaces Dr. Alex Dellinger. 

Staci Croom-Raley, Little Rock, to the Commission for Parent Counsel. Appointment expires December 31, 2023. 

Alex Gray, Little Rock, to the Commission for Parent Counsel. Appointment expires December 31, 2021. 

Kelly Browe Olson, Little Rock, to the Commission for Parent Counsel. Appointment expires December 31, 2022.

Jonathan Askins, Sherwood, to the Data and Transparency Panel. Appointment expires at the Will of the Governor. 

Dennis Massey, Mount Ida, as a Justice of the Peace for the Montgomery County Quorum Court, District 3. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Lydon “Barry” Spivey. 

Jazzmine Allen, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice Board. Appointment expires August 1, 2020. Reappointment. 

Judge Wiley Branton, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice Board. Appointment expires August 1, 2019. Reappointment. 

Haley Burks, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice Board. Appointment expires August 1, 2020. Reappointment. 

Megon Bush, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice Board. Appointment expires August 1, 2020. 

Capt. Belinda Cosgrove, Hot Springs, to the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice Board. Appointment expires August 1, 2018. 

Stephen Cuffman, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice Board. Appointment expires August 1, 2020. 

Luke Flesher, North Little Rock, to the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice Board. Appointment expires August 1, 2019. Reappointment. 

Lloyd Franklin, Pine Bluff, to the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice Board. Appointment expires August 1, 2019. Reappointment. 

Donnell Hegler, El Dorado, to the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice Board. Appointment expires August 1, 2019. Reappointment. 

Kevin Hunt, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice Board. Appointment expires August 1, 2018. 

Edward Holcomb, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice Board. Appointment expires August 1, 2019. Reappointment. 

Regina Taylor, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice Board. Appointment expires August 1, 2020. Reappointment. 

David Tanner, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice Board. Appointment expires August 1, 2019. Reappointment. 

Sharon Smith, Hot Springs, to the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice Board. Appointment expires August 1, 2019. Reappointment. 

Victor Pulido-Rojas, De Queen, to the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice Board. Appointment expires August 1, 2019. Reappointment. 

Linda Walker, Ashdown, to the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice Board. Appointment expires August 1, 2018. 

Reginald Watson, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice Board. Appointment expires August 1, 2018. 

Lonnie Watts, Fort Smith, to the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice Board. Appointment expires August 1, 2018. 

LaTasha Woods, Pine Bluff, to the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice Board. Appointment expires August 1, 2020. 

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.28.2018

Governor Hutchinson Applauds Entergy Arkansas’s Plan to Pass Tax Savings on to Customers

$466 million in benefits as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

LITTLE ROCK – In January, Governor Hutchinson sent a letter to Ted Thomas, chairman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC), directing the commission to work with utilities to “as expeditiously as possible” take the necessary steps to pass on the benefits of the recently passed corporate tax cut to Arkansas ratepayers.

On Tuesday, Entergy Arkansas, Inc. filed a plan with the APSC that would pass on approximately $466 million in benefits to customers as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Reductions in customers’ bills could be realized as early as April of 2018. 

Governor Asa Hutchinson issued the following statement applauding Entergy Arkansas’s plan:

“As you know, last December Congress passed and President Trump signed into law a comprehensive tax reform package. I am pleased to note that Entergy has filed for regulatory approval of a plan to pass through to Arkansas consumers $466 million in reduced tax as a result of the tax reform act. This will result in substantive savings for residential customers each month upon regulatory approval. I applaud Entergy Arkansas’s leadership for their decision, and I look forward to swift regulatory approval of this proposal.”

Entergy Arkansas, Inc. provides electricity to approximately 700,000 customers in 63 counties. 

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.28.2018

Governor, Sebastian County Officials Cut Ribbon for State’s First Crisis Stabilization Unit

Nation’s First Integrated System
 

FORT SMITH – The opening of Arkansas’s first Crisis Stabilization Unit in Sebastian County opens an entirely new and more humane approach for law-enforcement officers who encounter a person in a mental-health crisis, Governor Asa Hutchinson said Wednesday morning at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“The CSU provides an alternative to jail when someone appears to be in a mental-health crisis,” Governor Hutchinson said. “Before today, law enforcement officers generally had only one option when dealing with a person who was a threat to others or to himself. But an arrest isn’t always the best option. Now officers have a place to take someone where people are trained to recognize and treat behavioral-health issues.”

With today’s ribbon cutting, Arkansas has set a national standard for how counties and states can work together to create a comprehensive program that will divert people who are experiencing a mental health crisis from jail to get the treatment they need while also decreasing recidivism, strengthening communities, and relieving pressure on crowded local jails. 

In fact, Arkansas is the only state to have established a network of state-funded crisis centers, integrated with law enforcement, with the goal of reducing the number of people with mental illness being incarcerated in county jails and providing these individuals the behavioral health services they need to stabilize their conditions.

“I commend Sebastian County officials for their the extraordinary leadership on this important issue, as well as the tremendous support from the Fort Smith community,” said Governor Hutchinson. “County Judge David Hudson and Sherriff Bill Hollenbeck were instrumental throughout this whole process, and their efforts will no doubt make a positive difference for many Arkansas families.”

The CSU in Fort Smith is the first of four to open after Governor Hutchinson allotted $6.4 million to help cover the initial costs of finding and equipping a facility and for training officers and CSU staff. The other three, which include Pulaski, Craighead and Washington Counties, are scheduled to open later this year.

“Today’s ceremony was more than cutting the ribbon for a new building,” Governor Hutchinson said. “In a sense, we were cutting the ribbon on a promise to our state. We are cutting the ribbon on a new approach to law enforcement and the treatment of those in mental-health crisis. This is the grand opening of a second chance and a new life for the many people who will benefit from the care they will receive.”

The crisis stabilization units were established as part of a more comprehensive statewide approach to reduce the prevalence of mental illness in county jails under The Criminal Justice Efficiency and Safety Act of 2017 (Act 423). Act 423 also includes: 

  • Equipping law enforcement officers with training in crisis intervention and de-escalation. Crisis Intervention Team training is a nationally recognized program that teaches law enforcement officers how to effectively manage encounters with people experiencing a mental health crisis, keeping both the officer and the individual safe, and redirect the individual away from the criminal justice system toward treatment and services; and  
  • Implementing screening tools at jail intake so that we can measure the prevalence of behavioral health needs in our jails, develop additional solutions, and improve connection to treatment.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.27.2018

Governor Hutchinson to Attend Grand Opening of State’s First Crisis Stabilization Unit

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson will attend the grand opening of the state’s first Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) in Fort Smith on Wednesday. Sebastian County is one of four counties, including Pulaski, Craighead and Washington counties, to receive funding to operate a CSU facility. 

With the opening of the Sebastian County Crisis Stabilization Unit, Arkansas sets a national standard for how counties and states can work together to create a comprehensive program that will divert people who are experiencing a mental health crisis from jail to get the treatment they need while also decreasing recidivism, strengthening communities, and relieving pressure on crowded local jails. 

WHAT:         Gov. to Attend Grand Opening of the State’s First Crisis Stabilization Unit
WHEN:        10-11 a.m. Wednesday, February 28, 2018.
WHERE:      Horizon, 3113 South 70th Street, Fort Smith, Arkansas
WATCH:      Livestream Link: https://www.youtube.com/c/GovernorAsaHutchinson/live 

Arkansas is one of only a few states that has committed state funding to operate a system of crisis stabilization units and to establish a system with the specific purpose of relieving pressure on crowded county jails by diverting more people with behavioral health needs into facilities that are designed to provide treatment.

What further sets Arkansas apart is that the crisis stabilization units are part of a comprehensive statewide approach to reduce the prevalence of mental illness in county jails that was established in Act 423—The Criminal Justice Efficiency and Safety Act.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.23.2018

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: February 25th – March 3rd

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Sunday, February 25, 2018, through Saturday, March 3, 2018: 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018:

FORT SMITH
Sebastian County Crisis Stabilization Unit Ribbon Cutting
Speaking
10:00 AM
3113 South 70th St.
Fort Smith, Arkansas

Friday, March 2, 2018:

LITTLE ROCK
Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame
Speaking
11:30 AM
Embassy Suites Little Rock
11301 Financial Center Pkwy.
Little Rock, Arkansas

Saturday, March 3, 2018:

NORTH LITTLE ROCK
Ben E. Keith Mid-South Grand Opening
Speaking
11:50 AM
1 Ben E. Keith Way
North Little Rock, 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 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.22.2018

Governor Hutchinson Issues Statement in Response to Major Gang Arrests, Federal Indictments

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today issued the following statement in response to the news conference at the U.S. Attorney’s Office announcing numerous arrests and indictments, including multiple members of Little Rock’s two dominant gangs:

“In July, after the nightclub shooting in Little Rock, I convened federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in my conference room to announce the creation of an interagency task force, including federal partners. I am gratified today that 21 arrests have been made and multiple federal indictments have been announced by U.S. Attorney Cody Hiland. The success of this operation demonstrates what cooperation, intelligence information and courageous law enforcement work can do to make our streets safer. I commend the stellar work of all of those involved in this morning’s efforts, and I know this is just the beginning — there’s plenty of work left to do.”

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.21.2018

Governor Hutchinson Appoints Mike Freeze to Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has appointed Mike Freeze of Little Rock to the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission. His term expires March 29, 2021. Freeze replaces John Chamberlin.

“Mike Freeze has proven his dedication to the state as a businessman and through service on two state boards,” Governor Hutchinson said. “Through Mike’s love of the outdoors, he was an excellent member of the Game and Fish Commission. As a successful businessman, he brought wisdom and compassion to the Board of Directors of the Development Finance Authority. I am pleased that Mike has agreed to lend his wealth of experience in service to the state once again.”

Mike Freeze has served as vice president and co-owner of Keo Fish Farms Inc. for 32 years. Freeze earned his bachelor’s degree in Fisheries and Wildlife from Arkansas Tech University and his master’s in biology from Murray State University. He is an American Fisheries Society Certified Fisheries Professional. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Development Finance Authority and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. He and his wife, Betty Louise, live in Little Rock.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.21.2018

Billy Graham ‘giant among leaders,’ Governor Hutchinson says

LITTLE ROCK – In response to news of the death of Billy Graham, Governor Asa Hutchinson offered these thoughts:

“It is not an exaggeration to say that Billy Graham was a giant among leaders. But even as Dr. Graham counseled presidents and prime ministers, he resisted the overtures to engage in politics. Dr. Graham’s devotion was to the Gospel, and his ministry to people regardless of their station in life.

“I remember as a young boy, my entire family watching the Billy Graham televised crusades. They impacted me as a child, and as an adult, it was an honor to participate in his crusade in Little Rock in 1989. Dr. Graham modeled integrity. His ministry was without moral taint. The United States is richer for his ministry. Even as I am saddened at his passing, I am grateful for his energy and passion for the Gospel.”

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.16.2018

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: February 18th – February 24th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Sunday, February 18, 2018, through Saturday, February 24, 2018: 

Monday, February 19, 2018:

JONESBORO
Arkansas Rice Annual Meeting
9:00 AM
Arkansas State University Convocation Center,
217 Olympic Dr.
Jonesboro, Arkansas

Tuesday, February 20, 2018:

LITTLE ROCK
Family Council’s Longest Married Couple Reception
1:30 PM
Arkansas Governor's Mansion
1800 Center Street
Little Rock, Arkansas

ROGERS
Rogers Public Schools 4th Annual Career Connections Meeting
6:00 PM
Rogers Heritage High School
1114 S 5th St.
Rogers, Arkansas

Wednesday, February 21, 2018:

FORREST CITY
Forrest City Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet 
6:00 PM
EACC Fine Arts Center
1700 Newcastle Rd.
Forrest City, Arkansas

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.16.2018

Governor Hutchinson Names Working Group to Study State’s Occupational Licensing Regulations

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has appointed a working group to study the state’s occupational licensing requirements with a goal of identifying any regulations that may be an unnecessary barrier to those who want to enter a trade.

The Red Tape Reduction Working Group will examine occupations and trades that require a license and identify the occupations the state could eliminate from licensing requirements without compromising the safety of consumers.

The working group will include five members each from the Senate and House and five people the governor has appointed. The panel follows months of work by representatives from the executive and legislative branches to set the stage for this deregulation reform.

“I want to do everything reasonable to help all Arkansans have the opportunity to pursue an occupation or start a business,” Governor Hutchinson said. “Where possible, I want to cut the red tape and costs of entering a new occupation. In some occupations, testing and a license are necessary for the safety of consumers. But the cost of a license or certificate for some trades may be an unnecessary financial barrier for someone who wants to pursue that occupation.”

The members of the working group are state senators John Cooper (co-chair), Missy Irvin, Jane English, Trent Garner, and Bart Hester; state representatives LeAnne Burch, Bruce Cozart (co-chair), Milton Nicks, Jeff Williams, and Richard Womack; governor’s appointees Bill Gossage, the governor’s deputy chief of staff for external affairs; Dr. Charisse Childers, director of Arkansas Career Education; Leon Jones Jr., director of Arkansas Department of Labor; and consumer representatives Lula Dixon and Bob Kucheravy.     

The task force will present its recommendations to the governor in the fall.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.16.2018

Siloam Springs Competes To Be Featured on National Show Promoting Small Business and Win $500,000

Governor Hutchinson Encourages Arkansans to Vote

LITTLE ROCK – Siloam Springs has been selected as one of five finalists that have a chance to be featured on Small Business Revolution – Main Street, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced Friday. In addition to being featured on Season 3 of the show, the winning town will also receive $500,000, which will go toward small business development in the community. The town must secure the most votes in a national online competition to win.

“Siloam Springs is an Arkansas gem,” Governor Hutchinson said. “Its charm and entrepreneurial spirit make it a natural fit for this show. Hard-working small business owners drive Arkansas’s economy. If Siloam Springs wins the competition, this opportunity will only further create an environment where local business can succeed. I encourage Arkansans to support Siloam Springs and its small businesses by casting their votes online.”

“This is a great opportunity for Siloam Springs and for Arkansas to be featured on a national stage,” Rep. Robin Lundstrum said. “A large investment like this into local businesses can help continue the revitalization process that small business owners, the City of Siloam, Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Siloam have worked so hard to invest over the years. We need everyone to vote to help make this a reality.”

In addition to Siloam Springs, the other finalists competing to be featured on the show are Alton, Illinois, Amesbury, Massachusetts, Bastrop, Texas, and Martinez, California. Participants may vote once per day through Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, at www.smallbusinessrevolution.org.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.14.2018

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Appointments

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

Dr. Don Phillips, Fort Smith, to the Arkansas State Medical Board. Appointment expires December 31, 2023. Replaces Dr. William Dudding. 

Daryl Coker, Little Rock, to the War Memorial Stadium Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2025. Replaces Wayne Callahan.

Mayor Jerry Boen, Lamar, to the State Aid Street Committee. Appointment expires December 31, 2021. Reappointment. 

Lang Zimmerman, Mountain Home, to the Arkansas Economic Development Council. Appointment expires January 14, 2022. Reappointment.

Wayne Callahan, Sr., Rogers, to the Arkansas Economic Development Council. Appointment expires January 14, 2022. Replaces Chester Koprovic.

Jay Bunyard, De Queen, to the Arkansas Economic Development Council. Appointment expires January 14, 2022. Replaces Thomas Hill.

Jim Smith, Rogers, to the Arkansas Economic Development Council. Appointment expires January 14, 2022. Replaces Leslie Webb.

Jim Andrews, Jr., El Dorado, to the Arkansas Economic Development Council. Appointment expires January 14, 2022. Replaces Doug Falls.

Austin Albers, Ponca, to the State Parks, Recreation, and Travel Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2024. Replaces Mike Mills.

Shash Goyal, Stuttgart, to the State Parks, Recreation, and Travel Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2024. Reappointment. 

Ronnie Gossage, Alma, to the State Parks, Recreation, and Travel Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2024. Replaces Jim Dailey.

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

Paul Cash, Warren, to the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Board. Appointment expires January 14, 2022. Replaces David Hendrix. 

Neal Anderson, Lonoke, to the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2025. Reappointment. 

Doyle Yates, Springdale, to the Arkansas Real Estate Commission. Appointment expires December 31, 2020. Reappointment. 

Phillip Gilmore, Crossett, to the State Board of Health. Appointment expires December 31, 2019. Replaces James Lambert. 

Doug Harton, Monticello, to the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2027. Reappointment.

Marcus Creasy, Drasco, to the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2025. Reappointment.

Pamela DePriest, Morrilton, to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Appointment expires January 14, 2024. Replaces Billie Jean Hervey.

Matthew Stone, Camden, to the Arkansas Forestry Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2027. Replaces Aubra Anthony. 

Andy Shock, Conway, to the Parole Board. Appointment expires January 14, 2025. Reappointment.

Steve Landers, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Racing Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2023. Reappointment. 

Bill Michel, Harrison, as a Justice of the Peace for the Boone County Quorum Court, District 7. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Robert Meek.

Greg Holland, Heber Springs, as a Justice of the Peace for the Cleburne County Quorum Court, District 4. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Willie Stone. 

Mark D. Wankum, Little Rock, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CR-17-76 Sammy Dortch v. State of Arkansas. Replaces Chief Justice John Dan Kemp, who has disqualified himself from the case. 

Robert Hudgins, Searcy, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. D-11-1259 Stark Ligon, as Executive Director of the Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct v. Bruce Jamison Bennet. Replaces Justice Karen R. Baker, who has disqualified herself from the case.

James E. Crouch, Springdale, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-16-596 Robert Steinbuch v. University of Arkansas. Replaces Justice Courtney Hudson Goodson, who has disqualified herself from the case. 

Roger D. Rowe, Little Rock, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-16-596 Robert Steinbuch v. University of Arkansas. Replaces Justice Rhonda K. Wood, who has disqualified herself from the case. 

Judge Doug Schrantz, Bentonville, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-16-596 Robert Steinbuch v. University of Arkansas. Replaces Justice Robin F. Wynne, who has disqualified himself from the case.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.12.2018

Governor Hutchinson Addresses 91st General Assembly

Proposes Reduction of Top Tax Rate from 6.9% to 6% in 2019 Session

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today delivered his State of the State address to the 91st General Assembly ahead of the fiscal session at the Arkansas State Capitol. In his speech, the Governor outlined the state’s successes since 2015 and laid out his proposed budget for the fiscal year 2019. In addition, he announced his intent to propose a reduction of Arkansas's top marginal tax rate from 6.9 percent to 6.0 percent in the 2019 General Session. This announcement is a continuation of his commitment to reduce the tax burden on Arkansans, transform state government and spur economic development. 

You can view the video of the Governor’s address HERE, and the manuscript of his speech HERE

Photos from today can be downloaded HERE. If you are a member of the media, you are welcome to use these photos for publication, but please attribute all photos to the Governor’s Office.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.12.2018

Governor Hutchinson Appoints Dr. Matthew McDonough to Arkansas State Board of Dental Examiners

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has appointed Dr. Matthew McDonough of Jonesboro to the Arkansas State Board of Dental Examiners. His term expires September 1, 2022. Dr. McDonough replaces Dr. Richard L. Smith.

“I am delighted to appoint Dr. Matthew McDonough to the Arkansas State Board of Dental Examiners,” Governor Hutchinson said. “I have no doubt he will be a great addition to the to board. Dr. McDonough’s background, experience, and passion for the dental profession will provide insight and perspective to the board in the coming years.” 

Matthew McDonough, D.D.S., is a native of Jonesboro and a graduate of Arkansas State University. He graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry in Memphis in 2007. He completed residency training and received his certificate in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery from Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 2013. Dr. McDonough is also a member of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. He currently practices in Jonesboro. 

The State Board of Dental Examiners regulates the practice of dentistry, dental hygiene, and dental assisting, by examining applicants for competency and issuing licenses to candidates meeting the requirements of the State and the Board. More than 5,000 individuals hold a current license or permit issued by the Board of Dental Examiners.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.09.2018

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: February 11th – February 17th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Sunday, February 11, 2018, through Saturday, February 17, 2018: 

Monday, February 12, 2018:

LITTLE ROCK
Gov. Hutchinson Addresses the 91st General Assembly
12:30 PM
Arkansas House Chambers
500 Woodlane St.
Little Rock, AR

Tuesday, February 13, 2018:

JACKSONVILLE
Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce 70th Annual Banquet
Speaking
6:00 PM
Jacksonville Community Center
5 Municipal Dr.
Jacksonville, AR

Thursday, February 15, 2018:

BRYANT
Rotary Club of Bryant and Greater Bryant Chamber of Commerce "Highlight Bryant" 
Speaking
12:00 PM
The Center of Bishop
6401 Boone Park
Bryant, 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
02.05.2018

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Intent to Grant Executive Clemency

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced his intent to grant 11 pardons and 1 commutation. An additional 46 clemency requests were denied and 1 had no action taken upon it. 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 Arnold (Yellville): Theft of Property by Receiving (Felony) (CR 81-38). 

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1981 – Boone County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. The Sherriff has raised objections to the applicant’s request.

Lasonjia Blackmon-Pierce (Little Rock): Theft Of Property (B Felony) (CR 92-2315).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1992– Pulaski County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further felony convictions. There are no law enforcement objections to the application. 

Angela L. Johnson (Western Grove): Possession of a Controlled Substance, Methamphetamine (C Felony) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony) (CR 2006-10-4).

This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (2006 – Boone County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. The Sherriff has raised objections to the applicant’s request.

Kimberly E. Jones (Little Rock): Possession of a Controlled Substance w/intent to Deliver (C Felony) and Delivery, Possession, Manufacture, Etc, Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony) (CR 97-000954).

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

Archie McCoy (Poyen): Theft of Property (C Felony) (CR91-97).

This notice is issued based on the dates of conviction (1992 – 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 Judge has raised objections to the applicant's request.

Vernon Moore (Salem): Attempted Manufacture of Methamphetamine (A Felony) (CR 2002-17); Attempted Manufacture of Methamphetamine (Probation Revocation) (A Felony) (CR 2002-17); Attempted Manufacture of Methamphetamine (A Felony); Possession of Methamphetamine (C Felony); Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony) (CR 2003-64); and Possession of Firearm by Certain Person (D Felony) (CR 2003-81).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (2003 – Izard 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. 

Roger L. Shaddix, Jr. (Little Rock): No Vehicle Tags (Misdemeanor) (H383696A); and Failure to Appear/Contempt of Court (Misdemeanor) (Ticket no 68719) on No Vehicle Tags.

This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (2000 and 2001 – 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. 

Amanda L. Smith (Center Ridge): Theft of Property (C Felony) (CR-05-223).

This notice is issued based on the dates of conviction (2006 – Conway 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.

Charles Smith (Springfield): Uniform Controlled Substances Act (Delivery) (C Felony) (CR-91-40); Possession of Methamphetamine (C Felony) and Felon in Possession of Firearm (D Felony) (CR-99-172); and Possession of Schedule IV Controlled Substance (C Felony) (CR-2001-164).

This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (1992, 2001, and 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. 

Wayne Tyson (Shreveport, LA): Hot Check Violation (C Felony) (CR-2006-378).
 
This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2006 – 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 Prosecuting Attorney has raised objections to applicant's request.

Boris Washington (North Little Rock): Domestic Abuse (A Misdemeanor) (CR-92006018); Battery 3rd Degree (A Misdemeanor) (CR-0205451).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1992 and 2002 – Pulaski County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further felony convictions. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Governor Hutchinson intends to grant a commutation of sentence to the following person:

Jason A. VanBeber (­­­­ADC #128572): Possession Controlled Substance w/Intent Meth (Y Felony) (2003-335), Commercial Burglary (Probation Revocation) (C Felony) and Theft Of Property (Probation Revocation) (C Felony) (1999-2507), Possession Controlled Substance (C Felony) and Possession Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony) (2003-276), Possession Controlled Substance w/Intent Meth (Y Felony), Criminal Attempt to Manufacture Controlled Substance (A Felony) and Possession Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony) (2003-947).
 
The governor has given notice of his intent to commute the sentence of Jason A. VanBeber, who was convicted in Pulaski County in 2003 for the above offenses, from a total of ­­240 months to serve in the Arkansas Department of Correction to time served. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02.02.2018

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: February 4th – February 10th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Sunday, February 4, 2018, through Saturday, February 10, 2018: 

Thursday, February 8, 2018:

CAMDEN
Camden Chamber Banquet
Speaking
6:30 PM
SAU Tech Student Center 
6415 Spellman Road
Camden, AR

Friday, February 9, 2018:

LITTLE ROCK
Arkansas Business Hall of Fame
Speaking
6:30 PM
Statehouse Convention Center - Wally Allen Ballroom
101 E. Markham Street
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 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01.30.2018

Governor Hutchinson Responds To President’s State of the Union Address

LITTLE ROCK — Governor Asa Hutchinson today issued the following response to President Trump’s State of the Union Address. 

“President Trump's State of the Union speech was good news for Arkansas on many fronts. We have seen conservative policy changes in D.C. lead to tax cuts, increased wages, bonuses, deregulation, American companies returning to the U.S. and a year-long stock-market streak. On immigration, the President understands that securing our borders requires technology as well as boots on the ground. President Trump is a pro-growth president whose actions have eliminated regulatory barriers on business and cut taxes for the hard-working American families. These type of reforms will no doubt continue to fuel Arkansas’s booming economy as we head further into 2018.” 

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01.26.2018

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule:  January 28th – February 3rd

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Sunday, January 28, 2018, through Saturday, February 3, 2018: 

Monday, January 29, 2018:

LITTLE ROCK
EAST Initiative Cyber Security Training
Speaking
9:00 AM
EAST Initiative
6215 Ranch Dr.
Little Rock, AR

Wednesday, January 31, 2018:

BLYTHEVILLE
Mississippi County Inaugural Work Ready County Celebration
Speaking
12:00 PM
Arkansas Northeastern College
2501 South Division,
Blytheville, AR

Friday, February 2, 2018:

LITTLE ROCK
Arkansas School For the Deaf - “Stop Bullying” Kick off Assembly
Speaking
10:15 AM
Arkansas School for the Deaf
2400 W. Markham, 
Little Rock, AR

LITTLE ROCK
Arkansas Legislative Black Caucus First Black History Month Kick-off 
Speaking
11:30 AM
Arkansas State Capitol - Second Floor Rotunda
500 Woodlane Street
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 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01.19.2018

Accomplishments of the Hutchinson Administration and the General Assembly Since 2015

Accomplishments of the Hutchinson Administration and the General Assembly Since 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01.19.2018

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: January 21st – January 27th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Sunday, January 21, 2018, through Saturday, January 27, 2018: 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

CHARLOTTE
John 3:16 Graduation of 1,000th Man
Speaking 
11:00 a.m.
John 3:16 Ministries
75 Holmes Road
Charlotte, AR

LITTLE ROCK
40th Annual March for Life
Speaking 
2:00 p.m.
Arkansas State Capitol
Little Rock, AR

Monday, January 22, 2018

PARIS
Grand Opening of the Tyson Foods
Logan County Career Center
Speaking 
10:00 a.m.
Tyson Foods-Logan County Career Center
2008 E. Wood St
Paris, AR

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

LITTLE ROCK
AR Adult Education Employer Appreciation Celebration
Speaking
10:00 a.m.
Arkansas State Capitol Rotunda
Little Rock, AR

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

LITTLE ROCK
National School Choice Week Rally
Speaking at 11:35 a.m.
(event starts at 11:30 a.m.)
Arkansas State Capitol Rotunda
Little Rock, AR

Friday, January 26, 2018

LITTLE ROCK
Ind. Living 2nd Annual "Circle of Service" Awards
Speaking 
11:30 a.m.
Arkansas Governor's Mansion
Grand Hall
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 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01.19.2018

Governor Hutchinson Hosts Roundtable with USDA Secretary Perdue and Arkansas Agricultural Leaders

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson hosted a roundtable discussion with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and agricultural leaders from across the state today. Attendees also participated in a Q&A session with Governor Hutchinson and Secretary Perdue. Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement after the event:

"The first time Sonny Perdue visited Arkansas as the secretary of agriculture, he was here to fly over the thousands of acres of farmland that were under water after the devastating storms last spring. Today, I’m thankful that Secretary Perdue was able to visit on a more pleasant mission as he met with some of our leaders in agriculture. Secretary Perdue understands that farming isn’t just a pastime for Arkansans but rather a vital part of who we are as a state.

“We discussed a series of substantive issues with the Secretary today, including the future of NAFTA and the importance of Arkansas’s ability to access North American markets unimpeded by unfair trade barriers. We, as a nation, must be careful not to impair global trade, otherwise there will be tremendous harm to Arkansas agriculture. The Secretary understands those concerns, and I greatly appreciate his commitment to our farmers—here in Arkansas and across the country. Secretary Perdue and his team are always welcome in the Natural State.”

To view the photo album of today’s roundtable discussion with Secretary Perdue, go HERE. Media outlets are welcome to use photos. Please attribute credit to the Governor's Office. 

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01.16.2018

Arkansas State Offices will be on a Two-Hour Delay Wednesday

LITTLE ROCK – Due to icy road conditions, Governor Asa Hutchinson will implement a two-hour delay for state offices in affected areas tomorrow, Wednesday, January 17, 2018, for non-essential personnel. Agency directors may implement liberal leave policies for their employees.

If you are a state employee outside the affected areas, please contact your supervisor for further instruction.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01.16.2018

Governor Discusses NAFTA, Effects on Arkansas Agriculture and Need for Modernization

Agriculture is Arkansas's largest industry

ROGERS, AR – Governor Asa Hutchinson joined local farmers, elected officials and business leaders at the World Trade Center Arkansas today in support of continued access to the markets of Canada and Mexico, free of unfair trade barriers.

Agriculture is Arkansas’s largest industry, and farmers are the backbone, exporting billions of dollars worth of food and consumer products to Canada and Mexico, creating and supporting thousands of local jobs across the state. Canada and Mexico are also Arkansas’s first and second largest customers. 

Additionally, a free North American marketplace allows Arkansans to enjoy a wide variety of healthy fresh fruit and vegetables from Mexico year round, such as berries and avocados. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans consume twice as much fruit and three times as many vegetables from Mexico and Canada, today as they did two decades ago. 

“As the United States considers the future of NAFTA, the nation must be careful that it does not harm global trade,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson. “Arkansas must be able to continue its access to North American markets unimpeded by unfair trade barriers. Otherwise, there will be serious harm to Arkansas’s agriculture and retail and manufacturing sectors.”

Jeff Lindsey, an Elkins, Ark., turkey grower whose Double L Farms supplies turkeys to Cargill, voiced his concern at today’s event.

“Farming requires a lot of hard work every single day, but I love what I do,” Lindsey said. “Thanks to NAFTA, Mexico has become the No. 1 export market for U.S. turkey products, taking delivery of more than half of all our turkey exports. If the U.S. were to walk away from NAFTA, the price of those products would take a serious hit, and my family’s farming operation would be hard-pressed to absorb the economic consequences that would bring.”

Continued cross-border trade has proven to be very important to local farmers and businesses.  As President Trump considers trade agreements and works toward fairness and modernization of the pact, the administration must be mindful of the basic principle that we do no harm to our global trading relationships. It is clear that there is great potential for harm in Arkansas, especially to our farmers, if the United States reverses course regarding cross-border trade.

Doug Ramsey, group president of poultry for Tyson Foods, Inc., joined the Governor in support.

“Good trading relationships start with our neighbors and NAFTA is a key to our export success,” Ramsey said. “A healthy export industry benefits independent farmers like those who grow chicken, cattle and hogs for our company, as well as the communities where they live.”

Prices will inevitably rise in all three countries as local businesses work to reorganize their supply chains. Significant price impacts on staples such as apparel, fruit and vegetables and electronics are anticipated.  

“We believe free and open trade is good for our suppliers and our customers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico – the demand for U.S. products and produce is strong in our North American corridor markets,” said Arjan Both, Vice President of Global Sourcing for Walmart. “Our stores offer a significant export platform for U.S. farmers and manufacturers and NAFTA has helped to lower costs of essential products, like food for our customers, and helped to create U.S. jobs through exports.” 

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01.16.2018

Arkansas State Offices will be Closed Tuesday in Weather-Affected Areas

LITTLE ROCK – Due to inclement weather, Governor Asa Hutchinson has closed state offices in the weather-affected areas for non-essential personnel today, Tuesday, January 16, 2018. Agency directors may implement liberal leave policies for their employees.

If you are a state employee outside the affected areas, please contact your supervisor for further instruction.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01.15.2018

Governor Hutchinson Issues Statement on Historic Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

LITTLE ROCK – In March of 2017, Governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law Senate Bill 519, which eliminated the dual holiday status and concurrent commemoration of General Robert E. Lee and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Today marks the first Dr. King holiday since that historic separation. 

Governor Hutchinson issued the statement below in honor of Dr. King and this historic day in our state.

“I’m proud to be able to say that today, for the first time, Arkansas is celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on his own day. Join me as we reflect on the courage of a man who marched for equality; the vision of a man who, in the face of hate and hostility, saw what could be; and the legacy of a man who brought a nation together.”

Senate Bill 519 received wide, bipartisan support in both chambers of the legislature.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01.12.2018

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Appointments

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

Christy Clark, Little Rock, to the Board of Trustees of Arkansas State University. Appointment expires January 14, 2023. Replaces Ron Rhodes.

Christy Clark graduated from Arkansas State University in 1992 with a bachelor's degree in accounting. She has been with Clark Contractors, LLC, since 2009. Clark resides in Little Rock with her husband, William. 

Stephanie Duffield, Russellville, to the Board of Trustees of Arkansas Tech University. Appointment expires January 14, 2023. Replaces Leigh Whiteside. 

Stephanie Duffield graduated from Arkansas Tech University in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in international studies. Duffield serves as Special Projects Coordinator for Blackstone Construction, LLC. She lives in Russellville with her husband, Luke. 

James Barnes, Little Rock, to the Board of Trustees of Henderson State University. Appointment expires January 14, 2025. Replaces Mike Myers. 

James Barnes graduated from Henderson State University in 1992 with a bachelor's degree in business management. Barnes is the CEO of BBA Solutions, which he founded in 1996; BBA Solutions is one of the largest textbook companies in the United States. Barnes resides in Little Rock. 

Monty Harrington, Magnolia, to the Board of Trustees of Southern Arkansas University. Appointment expires January 14, 2023. Replaces W. Steve Keith.

Monty Harrington graduated from Southern Arkansas University at Magnolia in 1993 with a bachelor's degree in business administration. Harrington has been with Farmers Bank and Trust since 2000 and currently serves as Magnolia Market President. He resides in Magnolia with his wife, Janet. 

Kay Hinkle, Mountain View, to the Board of Trustees of the University of Central Arkansas. Appointment expires January 14, 2025. Reappointment. 

Kay Hinkle graduated from State College of Arkansas, now the University of Central Arkansas, in 1970 with a bachelor's degree in business. She has served on the University of Central Arkansas Board of Trustees since 2004. Hinkle resides in Mountain Home with her husband, James. 

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement: 

“It is a pleasure to appoint this slate of trustees to serve on the boards of our universities. I am confident that the background and experience of each will serve them well on their respective board and lead to even better days in Arkansas’s higher education.”

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01.11.2018

Governor Requests Public Service Commission to Pass Benefits of Corporate Tax Cuts on to AR Families

Also Praises Walmart for Forwarding Savings on to Associates

LITTLE ROCK – The Arkansas Public Service Commission (PSC) should “as expeditiously as possible,” take the necessary steps to pass on the benefits of the recently passed corporate tax cut to Arkansas ratepayers, Governor Asa Hutchinson said today in a letter to PSC Chairman Ted Thomas.

In December, Congress passed and President Trump signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, and energy providers will benefit from the corporate tax cut included in that legislation.

“The purpose of this letter is to request that the Arkansas Public Service Commission, as expeditiously as possible, take whatever steps are necessary to pass the benefit of the corporate tax cut to Arkansas families and businesses in the form of lower utility rates,” wrote Governor Hutchinson.

“Investor-owned utilities have a monopoly, regulated by the Public Service Commission, on providing electricity and natural gas services to Arkansas’s families and businesses. Arkansas law allows utility providers to charge rates that recover the cost of providing utility service plus a rate of return on investment. Federal income taxes paid by the utility are one such cost.”

Governor Hutchinson’s letter to the PSC can be found HERE.

In addition to the letter, Governor Hutchinson released the following statement praising Walmart for its plans to raise its starting wage, offer new employee benefits, and pay bonuses to employees:

“Walmart’s quick reaction to the new law is exactly the response we expected under the tax cut,” the Governor said.  “I am proud that Arkansas’s largest corporate citizen is leading the way in putting more money in the pockets of its hard-working employees.”

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01.09.2018

Governor Asks Universities to Freeze Tuition at Current Level

LITTLE ROCK – In a letter that went out to the presidents and chancellors of Arkansas’ four-year universities today, Governor Asa Hutchinson challenged them to freeze in-state tuition at its current levels for the 2018-2019 academic year.

You can read the entire letter HERE.

Governor Hutchinson announced his request today in his address to state legislators who were meeting in a joint budget session in preparation for the 2018 fiscal session, which opens February 12.

“It’s time to give our students a break,” the Governor said in his remarks to legislators.

In his letter, the Governor acknowledged the efforts of universities to reduce “the cost burden on our students.”

“Our mutual goal is to serve students to increase the number of credentials earned and in a more efficient and affordable manner,” the Governor wrote. 

“Controlling costs for students sends a strong message to students, taxpayers, and legislators that we are serious about making a college education obtainable for everyone and that our institutions of higher education can be trusted with their investment.”

He also is requesting that two-year colleges limit their increases to the Consumer Price Index or below.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01.09.2018

Governor Hutchinson Announces $100 Million Cut In Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2019

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has cut $100 million from his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2019 and projects a surplus of $64 million. 

The Governor reported the reduction and projected surplus to legislators today at a joint budget committee hearing as they prepare for the 2018 Fiscal Session, which begins February 12.

“This budget reflects real spending cuts in a number of agencies that we achieved through efficiencies without cutting services,” Governor Hutchinson said. “This budget shows a slower growth in Medicaid spending. It meets the requirements of education adequacy. It increases funding for public safety. And of great significance, the budget reduces our historic reliance on surpluses to fund ongoing budget needs.”

The Governor cited a few areas in which the state has improved as a result of the state’s growing economy: 

  • The lowest level of unemployment in Arkansas history. 
  • A record number of Arkansans in the workforce.
  • Increased wages.
  • Decreased Medicaid enrollment.

“The $100 million tax cut we enacted in 2015 – which is fully in place now – has put more money in consumers’ pockets.  And because consumer confidence is high, the extra money is in the stream of commerce,” the Governor said. 

The Governor listed other highlights:

  • The Education Adequacy Fund is sufficient to meet the legislative mandate for education spending in order to achieve adequacy without relying on general-revenue transfers.  This eliminates the need for the transfer of $50 million from General Revenue.
  • Transformation efforts in the Department of Humans Services has reduced the number of Arkansans on Medicaid by more than 117,000 in the past year.

In a break with tradition, the Governor has not incorporated any of the surplus into the budget. Instead, the surplus will help safeguard state operations against an unexpected economic downturn and could set the foundation for potential cuts to the state’s income tax. In addition, a portion of state surplus funds will be earmarked to help fund future highway construction in the state.

The Governor used two graphics in his presentation today. You can find these graphics HERE and HERE.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01.05.2018

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

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, January 8, 2018, through Saturday, January 13, 2018: 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018:

LITTLE ROCK
Governor Hutchinson Addresses Joint Budget Committee 
at Pre-Fiscal Session Budget Hearings 
9:00 a.m.
Big Mac Building – Room A
1 Capitol Mall
Little Rock, AR

Friday, January 12, 2018:

FORT SMITH
Arkansas Municipal League Winter Conference
11:45 a.m.
Fort Smith Convention Center Theater
55 S. 7th Street,
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
01.05.2018

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Intent to Grant Executive Clemency

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced his intent to grant 12 pardons, 2 firearm rights only and 1 commutation. An additional 62 clemency requests were denied and 0 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:

Jessie G. Allbright (Grapevine): Possession w/Intent to Deliver Controlled Substance (C Felony) (CR-2003-8-2).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2003 – Grant 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.

Lee Collins (Pine Bluff): Delivery of a Controlled Substance (C Felony) and Possession of a Controlled Substance w/Intent to Deliver, 2 Counts (C Felony) (CR 84-31-1).

This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (1984– 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. 

Brenda Allen Dean (Fulton): Burglary, 4 counts (B Felony) and Theft under $100, 4 counts (A Misdemeanor) (CR-80-55, CR-80-58, CR-80-59 and CR-80-60).

This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (1980 – Hempstead County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. The Sherriff has raised objections to the applicant’s request.

James C. Dean, Jr. (Fulton): Burglary (B Felony) and Theft of Property (C Felony) (CR-83-148).

This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (1984 – Hempstead County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. The Sherriff has raised objections to the applicant’s request.

Bobby J. Fairrow, Jr. (Carlisle): Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card (C Felony) (CR 99-2670); Theft by Receiving, 2 Counts (B Felony) and Felon in Possession of a Firearm (D Felony) (CR 2000-12).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1999 – Pulaski County; 2000 – Prairie 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.

William Garrison (Star City): Burglary, 2 counts (B Felony) and Theft of Property, 2 counts (B Felony) (CR87-541-1) and Burglary, 2 counts (B Felony) and Theft of Property, 2 counts (C Felony) (CR87-537-1); Burglary, 2 counts (Probation Revocation) (B Felony) and Theft of Property, 2 counts (Probation Revocation) (B Felony) (CR87-541-1) and Burglary, 2 counts (Probation Revocation) (B Felony) and Theft of Property, 2 counts (Probation Revocation) (C Felony) (CR87-537-1).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1988 and 1989– Jefferson 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. 

Johnathon D. Griffin (Roland): Hot Check Violation (C Felony) (CR 2004-151-3).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2006 – Marion 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. 

Kimberly Davis Schneider (Malvern): Criminal Attempt to Manufacture Methamphetamine (A Felony) (CR-2002-094-1); Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony) (CR-2002-57IV); Criminal Attempt to Manufacture Methamphetamine (Probation Revocation) (A Felony) (CR-2002-094-1); Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony) (CR-2003-163-2).

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

Charles Srader (Elkins): Burglary and Grand Larceny (Felony) (CR 74-29); Burglary (C Felony) and Grand Larceny (D Felony) (CR 74-5).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1974 – Washington County; 1974 – Madison 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. 

Antonio Steele, Sr. (Jonesboro): Delivery of Cocaine (Y Felony) (CR 1994-292).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1995 – 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. 

Dickie D. Vosburg, Jr. (Mabelvale): Armed Robbery (Felony) (CR-76-65); Robbery (Felony) (CR-76-890).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1976 – Faulkner County; 1976 – Pulaski County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further felony convictions. The Faulkner County Prosecuting Attorney, the Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney, and the Faulkner County Sheriff have raised objections to applicant's request. 

Robert A. Stout (Monticello): Aggravated Assault (D Felony) (CR 1992-39).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1992 – Lonoke County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further felony convictions. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Governor Hutchinson intends to grant the restoration of firearm rights only to the following people:

Ray Bogard (Carlisle): Manufacturing a Controlled Substance (C Felony), Possession of a Controlled Substance (C Felony), and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony) (CR-96-167).

This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (1997 – Lonoke 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 Lonoke County has signed the Recommendation of the Chief Law Enforcement Officer as required by law. The Judge has raised objections to applicant's request.

Rodney G. Vaile (Oxford): Possession of a Controlled Substance-Methamphetamine (C Felony) (CR-2004-41).

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

Leon Hardin, III (ADC #136011): Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Deliver (Y Felony) (2005-102).

The governor has given notice of his intent to commute the sentence of Leon Hardin, III, who was convicted in Drew County in 2006 for the above offense, from a total of 660 months to serve in the Arkansas Department of Correction to 240 months in the Arkansas Department of Correction with all counts concurrent. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01.04.2018

Program Integrity Efforts and Strong Economy Help Shrink Medicaid Rolls by 117,000 Over Last Year

DHS will ask for $477 million less for its Medicaid budget than it originally expected for SFY’19

LITTLE ROCK – Efforts to improve the accuracy of the Arkansas Medicaid rolls and transform its programs have helped create a drastically different program than the state saw a year ago with 117,260 fewer enrollees and a need to spend nearly a half billion dollars less than anticipated in State Fiscal Year 2019.

“This Medicaid news from the Department of Human Services is exactly the kind of cut in government spending I knew was possible when I took office in 2015,” Governor Asa Hutchinson said. “Director Cindy Gillsepie and her team have been diligent in ensuring the integrity of the Medicaid rolls. They have implemented changes that the Health Care Task Force recommended. As a result, DHS has cut its budget needs substantially even as it improved services. 

“The department has trimmed its needs by half-a-billion dollars. This is the sort of work that will keep Arkansas on track for an even better future. I am grateful for Director Gillespie’s leadership.” 

On January 1, 2018, there were 931,006 people enrolled in Medicaid programs in Arkansas, including 285,564 in the Arkansas Works program. That compares to 1,048,266 enrolled overall on January 1, 2017. That includes the 344,289 people enrolled in Arkansas Works at that time. 

Over the past year, the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) pushed efforts to improve the accuracy of the Medicaid rolls, to improve program integrity and to begin efforts to transform many of the underlying programs and services of the Arkansas Medicaid program. 

That work included implementing recommendations made by the Health Care Task Force. The net savings for those changes through SFY’17 was $77 million, and DHS expects to meet its 5-year, $835 million saving targets resulting from those efforts. 

Due to that and other work by DHS as well as the reduction of the number of people on Medicaid, DHS is now projecting that it will spend $477.9 million LESS on Medicaid in SFY’19 than was anticipated at this time last year in the biennium Medicaid budget appropriations bill.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.29.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Appointments

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

Michael Willhite, Hamburg, to the Arkansas Fire Protection Services Board. Appointment expires October 14, 2020. Replaces Shane Dallas.

Gary Lawrence, Huntington, to the Arkansas Fire Protection Services Board. Appointment expires October 14, 2020. Replaces James Sullivent, Jr.

David Dayringer, Prairie Grove, to the Arkansas Fire Protection Services Board. Appointment expires October 14, 2020. Reappointment.

Duane Logsdon, Huntington, to the Arkansas Fire Protection Services Board. Appointment expires October 14, 2020. Replaces Shelia Magness. 

Dr. Terry Fiddler, Conway, to the State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Board. Appointment expires December 1, 2021. Replaces Dr. Andrew Kumpuris.

Cindy Gillespie, Little Rock, to the State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Board. Appointment expires December 1, 2021. Replaces Dr. Joe Thompson.

Dori Gutierrez, De Queen, to the State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Board. Appointment expires December 1, 2021.

Rett Hatcher, Little Rock, to the State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Board. Appointment expires December 1, 2021. Replaces Katrina Burnett.

Melissa Moore, Charleston, to the State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Board. Appointment expires December 1, 2021. Replaces Dr. Tony Thurman. 

Herb Scott, Little Rock, to the State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Board. Appointment expires December 1, 2021. Replaces Janis Harrison. 

Lisa Sherrill, Harrison, to the State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Board. Appointment expires December 1, 2021. 

Dr. Lanita White, Little Rock, to the State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Board. Appointment expires December 1, 2021.

Carrie Hollis-Anthony, Royal, to the Arkansas Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. Appointment expires December 1, 2022. Reappointment. 

Kimberly Horton, Malvern, to the Arkansas Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. Appointment expires December 1, 2022. Reappointment. 

Annette Mencer, Benton, to the Arkansas Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. Appointment expires December 1, 2022. Reappointment. 

Christopher Tebbetts, Mountain View, to the Arkansas Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. Appointment expires December 1, 2022. Reappointment. 

George Ellis, Benton, to the State Library Board. Appointment expires October 18, 2022. Reappointment. 

Donna McDonald, Charleston, to the State Library Board. Appointment expires October 18, 2023. Replaces Martine Ferguson.

Donnette Smith, Harrison, to the State Library Board. Appointment expires October 18, 2024. Replaces Dr. Josephine Bell. 

Dr. Joey Odum, Little Rock, to the Arkansas State Respiratory Care Examining Committee. Appointment expires August 7, 2020. Replaces Dr. Robert Dalby. 

Dr. Nancy Rector, to the Arkansas State Respiratory Care Examining Committee. Appointment expires August 7, 2020. Reappointment. 

Angela Sanders, Benton, to the Arkansas State Respiratory Care Examining Committee. Appointment expires August 7, 2020. Reappointment. 

Neldia Dycus, Cabot, to the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. Appointment expires October 1, 2021. Replaces Karen Holcomb. 

Dr. Marsha Boss, Little Rock, to the State Board of Health. Appointment expires December 31, 2021. Replaces Dr. Gary Bass. 

Vanessa Falwell, Newport, to the State Board of Health. Appointment expires December 31, 2020. Replaces Peggy Walker. 

Dr. Antony Hui, Fayetteville, to the State Board of Health. Appointment expires December 31, 2020. Reappointment. 

Thomas Jones, Little Rock, to the State Board of Health. Appointment expires December 31, 2020. Reappointment. 

Dr. David Kiessling, Bigelow, to the State Board of Health. Appointment expires December 31, 2020. Replaces Dr. Anika Whitfield.

Dr. Mike Riddell, Russellville, to the State Board of Health. Appointment expires December 31, 2020. Replaces Dr. Clark Fincher. 

Catherine Tapp, Little Rock, to the State Board of Health. Appointment expires December 31, 2020. Reappointment. 

Dr. James Zini, Mountain View, to the State Board of Health. Appointment expires December 31, 2020. Reappointment.  

Anthony Martin, Jonesboro, as a Justice of the Peace for the Craighead County Quorum Court, District 3. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces J.P. Bryant.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.28.2017

Arkansas Military Retirement Income Tax Cut To Go Into Effect in January

LITTLE ROCK – The Military Retirement Income Tax Cut, which Governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law in February, will go into effect January 1, 2018. The tax cut, which eliminates state income tax on military retirement pay, was one of Governor Hutchinson’s priorities for the 2017 legislative session. The bill passed through the General Assembly with wide bi-partisan support in both chambers.

Arkansas has now has joined the majority of southern states in exempting state income tax on military retirement pay. Governor Hutchinson prioritized this initiative in an effort to recruit more military retirees to the state.  

“The average new military retiree is 38-44 years old with another 20-plus years in the workforce,” Governor Hutchinson said. “The skills and experience our military retirees offer are invaluable resources for our state. This tax cut creates tax relief for Arkansas’ 22,000 military retirees, and will encourage veterans to start their second careers in Arkansas.”

Representative Charlene Fite of Van Buren, author of the bill: “I am really proud of this legislation. I have received more than a hundred emails, notes and private messages from people thanking me and saying they were not considering staying in Arkansas but now they are. It is also important to note that many of these retirees are in their late 30s and early 40s. They will be starting second careers, opening businesses, buying homes and investing in Arkansas in other ways.”

Senate President Pro Tem Jonathan Dismang of Searcy: “These are exactly the type of individuals we want in the state of Arkansas, and this tax cut gives veterans one more reason to live here.”

Frequently asked questions regarding the Arkansas Military Retirement Income Tax Cut:

1.  Who gets the tax break? 
Veterans who are receiving military retirement income qualify for the tax break.

2.  Do survivors qualify?
Yes. Surviving spouses and/or minor children who are receiving Survivor Benefit Pay qualify

3.  When does the tax break become effective?
The tax break goes into effect on January 1st, 2018.

4. Will I see more money on my January check?
No. The first adjustment will appear on the February checks of those who have adjusted their state income tax withholding in January.

5.  Will Defense Finance and Accounting automatically adjust my deductions?
No. To adjust your state income tax withholding, call DFAS at (800) 321-1080 or go to https://mypay.dfas.mil.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.28.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Applauds Veterans Affairs for Increasing Veteran Resources and Services

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today applauded the significant increase in services that have become available for Arkansas veterans since 2015. 

Since the launch of its five-year strategic plan in 2015, the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs (ADVA) has opened eight additional District Veteran Services Offices, completing its goal three years ahead of schedule. Until recently, Arkansas’ nearly 250,000 veterans had to travel from across the state to North Little Rock to receive VA assistance. With the opening of the new Veteran Services Offices in Fayetteville, Jonesboro, Mountain Home, Fort Smith, Forrest City, Monticello, Russellville and Hope, Arkansas’ veterans now have regional access to these services. In addition, this year, ADVA offered eight Saturday events in various locations across the state, assisting nearly 400 veterans with claims, healthcare and other needs.

Last year, Governor Hutchinson also announced the grand opening of the Arkansas State Veterans Home in North Little Rock, which accepted its first veteran residents in January of this year. The 31-acre site includes a community building and eight cottages, which can house up to 12 residents each. The home received its VA accreditation, and other long-term care accreditations, and is now more than 50 percent occupied. 

The Fayetteville Veterans Home has likewise provided essential services to veterans in northwest Arkansas. In Fiscal Year 2017, the average occupancy rate was 95 percent, significantly higher than state and national averages. The facility earned a Five-Star quality rating award from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as well as other awards in Fiscal Year 2017.

“In Arkansas, we want to do everything we can to support our veterans,” Governor Hutchinson said. “We owe them a great deal. They are an important part of our state, and they provide essential contributions to Arkansas’ workforce. I am pleased by the efforts of the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs under the leadership of Col. Nate Todd. ADVA has done a remarkable job ensuring that our veterans receive the services they deserve.”

"With every passing year, Arkansas has become more and more friendly to veterans," ADVA Director Col. Nate Todd said. "Governor Hutchinson is grateful for the contribution veterans have made in serving our nation. He continues to express his gratitude through his leadership in making Arkansas a great state for veterans. Our governor also recognizes the value that veterans add to Arkansas.

"As a veteran myself, I am grateful to God for the opportunity to work with the governor to make Arkansas a veteran-friendly state. So many others are diligent in working for veterans as well, including the Arkansas Veterans Commission; our federal partners in the Veterans Health Administration, the Veterans Benefits Administration and the National Cemetery Administration; our congressional delegation, their staff; and the veterans service organizations.​"

In an effort to recruit more military retirees to Arkansas, Governor Hutchinson also signed the Military Retired Pay Tax Cut into law in February of this year. This tax cut, which eliminates state income tax on military retirement pay, was one of his priorities for the 2017 legislative session. 

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.27.2017

Governor Hutchinson Issues Statement on Pre-payment of Arkansas Property Taxes

LITTLE ROCK — In response to inquiries into the possible pre-payment of 2018 property taxes, Governor Asa Hutchinson released the following statement:

“Recently, a number of states have allowed property owners to pre-pay their property taxes for 2018. Here in Arkansas, responsibility for the payment of taxes is handled at the county level,” Governor Hutchinson said. “Property owners wishing to pay in advance are advised to contact the county officials where the property is located.”

“Under the constitution of our state, property taxes are purely local in nature and the decision on when and how to accept pre-payment of property taxes must be posed to local officials, who can best judge whether they have the authority necessary to accept early payment,” the governor said.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.27.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Announces Completion of Statewide Mapping Project,

Hands Off Last of Updated Aerial Maps to Madison County

HUNTSVILLE – County officials now have the most up-to-date aerial maps of Arkansas, which will, among other things, better prepare counties for future infrastructure and economic development projects, as well as provide for faster response times from local law enforcement and emergency personnel.

At a news conference Wednesday morning in Madison County, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced the completion of a project initiated by the Arkansas Geographic Information Systems (GIS) earlier this year. 

The project, a new digital map of the state detailing each of the 75 counties, will provide updated and important information for each county—including roads, new developments, and other infrastructure projects—through aerial images.

Following the announcement, Governor Hutchinson handed over the last set of county maps in a ceremony at the Madison County Courthouse in Huntsville. Shelby Johnson, director of the GIS Office, joined the governor as he delivered the thumb drive with the digitial aerial images.

“The face of Arkansas is changing rapidly,” Governor Hutchinson said. “Counties all over the state are building new roads, widening existing highways, adding businesses, homes and developing entirely new neighborhoods. Having an up-to-date detailed map of our state is a key tool for economic development and expanding infrastructure as our state continues to grow.

“Additionally, these updated maps will greatly assist first responders in emergency situations when a speedy response by law-enforcement agencies and rescue crews can mean the difference between life and death. This is a much-needed upgrade to our system of state maps, and I applaud Shelby and his team for completing the project in such a timely and efficient manner.”

The images, taken from the air, were captured with digital orthophotography, which encodes latitude and longitude coordinates into images for use in geographic imaging.

In addition to showing roads and buildings, the images are the foundation for maps that pinpoint the location of water, power and gas lines, and administrative boundaries such as school districts or city boundaries.

“I’m proud this project came together so smoothly,” Director Johnson said. “We know our partners in local and state government needed new imagery for their mapping purposes, and as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.  It is especially rewarding for me to know this imagery will be put to work in 9-1-1 systems all over the state and save lives.”

The new mapping can now be viewed online at http://gis.arkansas.gov/. Once you’ve reached the homepage, click “Maps” then “Map Viewer.” Once the map loads, you will find a list of the different layers. Scroll to the bottom of that list to find "2017 Aerial Imagery." Simply check the box and the imagery will activate for the user to explore.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.20.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Appointments

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

Timothy Watson, Newport, as Circuit Judge of the Third Judicial Circuit, Division 2. Appointment begins January 1, 2018. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces the Honorable Philip Smith.

Dana Stone, Murfreesboro, as District Judge of the Pike County District Court. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces the Honorable LeAnne Daniel. 

Lee Watson, Fort Smith, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-17-240 Larry Walther, Director, Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration v. FLIS Enterprises, Inc. Replaces Chief Justice John Dan Kemp, who has disqualified himself from the case. 

Dr. Curtis Cunningham, Siloam Springs, to the Advisory Council for the Education of Gifted and Talented Children. Appointment expires July 20, 2020. Replaces Dustin Seaton. 

Steve Groves, Garland City, to the Garland Levee District Board of Directors. Appointment expires October 1, 2023. Reappointment. 

James Smith, Maumelle, to the Capitol Zoning District Commission. Appointment expires August 13, 2020. Replaces Michael Hutchinson. 

Beverly Jones, Little Rock, to the Capitol Zoning District Commission. Appointment expires August 13, 2020. Reappointment. 

Freddie Black, Lake Village, to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Appointment expires January 14, 2023. Replaces Daniel Greenberg.

Jake Arey, Bryant, to the Residential Contractors Committee. Appointment expires October 1, 2020. Replaces David Hargrave. 

Dan Gamble, Manila, to the Residential Contractors Committee. Appointment expires October 1, 2020. Reappointment.

Michael Hutchins, De Valls Bluff, to the Arkansas Department of Aeronautics. Appointment expires November 9, 2022. Replaces James Blansett. 

Ed Sanders, Hot Springs, to the Arkansas Department of Aeronautics. Appointment expires November 9, 2022. Replaces David Glover. 

Edgar Mersiovsky, Conway, to the Arkansas State Board of Registration for Professional Soil Classifiers. Appointment expires November 1, 2022. Reappointment. 

Tracie Rushing, Cabot, to the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemoration Committee. Appointment expires December 31, 2020.

Lori Klein, Searcy, to the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemoration Committee. Appointment expires December 31, 2020.

Ann Clemmer, Benton, to the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemoration Committee. Appointment expires December 31, 2020. 

David Harris, Huntsville, to the Arkansas Manufactured Home Commission. Appointment expires September 1, 2018. Replaces Shirley Montgomery.

Wesley Walls, Little Rock, to the State Board of Architects, Landscape Architects, and Interior Designers. Appointment expires April 26, 2020. Replaces Lowell Wetherbee. 

Judge Roger Hooper, Clinton, as a Special County Judge in the County Court of Conway County, Arkansas. Conway County Court Case: CCR 2017-1. Replaces Conway County Judge Jimmy Hart, who has disqualified himself from the case.

Lucas Childress, De Valls Bluff, as a Justice of the Peace for the Prairie County Quorum Court, District 7. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Matt Sterling. 

Russell McAllister, Paragould, as a Justice of the Peace for the Greene County Quorum Court, District 7. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Shawntae Thompson.

Aaron Camp, Paragould, as a Justice of the Peace for the Greene County Quorum Court, District 2. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Barry Bateman. 

Thomas Voegele, Conway, as a Justice of the Peace for the Faulkner County Quorum Court, District 5. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Barry Williams. 

Nicholas Nugent, Bull Shoals, as a Justice of the Peace for the Marion County Quorum Court, District 2. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces David Nixon. 

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.20.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Issues Statement on Passage of Historic Tax-Reform Bill

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today issued the following statement in response to the House and Senate’s passage of the tax-reform bill in Washington: 

“I applaud Congress and the President for successfully taking on substantive tax reform for the first time in 31 years. With the bill’s final passage, millions of American families – including our families right here in Arkansas – will be able to keep more of what they work so hard for every day.

“Additionally, from an Arkansas perspective, I’m delighted that the conference report included the historic tax credit that will help our downtown areas, which we pushed for and supported throughout this debate. So, whether you’re at home or own a business on Main Street, it looks like the end result is going to be a boost for Arkansas taxpayers and our state’s economy – and that’s good news for all.”

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.19.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Lauds Statewide Economic Growth, Announces Launch of Interactive Job Creation Map

LITTLE ROCK – An interactive map that illustrates the rapid growth of jobs in Arkansas over the past three years will be an indispensable tool for recruiting industry to Arkansas, Governor Asa Hutchinson said today in announcing its launch.

The Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) created the map to graphically communicate the state’s economic growth to business leaders who are considering expanding existing operations or moving to Arkansas.

“This map tells the story that Arkansas has been writing over the past three years,” said Governor Hutchinson. “It will be an excellent resource for Arkansans and prospective investors, alike, clearly demonstrating the rapid amount of economic growth Arkansas has seen since 2015. This is an indicator of Arkansas’ recent economic success and speaks to the momentum our state has worked to build and hopes to continue.”

AEDC’s map shows where the 15,834 new jobs are located and uses a time-lapse time line to track the growth since 2015. A mouse-click on the highlighted locations produces specific information including company name, the announcement date, the number of new jobs created and the amount of capital investment.

Businesses have created nearly 16,000 competitive jobs in the last three years through signed incentive agreements between the AEDC and 322 new or expanding companies. These companies will invest almost $7 billion in the state and pay an average hourly wage of $20.84.

“Arkansas has a great story to tell,” said AEDC Executive Director Mike Preston, “and this online map paints a vivid picture, allowing users to see the growth in a matter of seconds. This is a useful tool not only for site location consultants but also the public, state legislators and existing businesses.”

The Arkansas Job Creation Map can be found in the “Map Room” of the AEDC website – www.ArkansasEDC.com – along with several other maps depicting population, incentives, foreign investment, and various vital industries in the state. The job creation map and others are also available in a PDF version. To visit the map directly, click HERE

To view and download a video of the interactive Arkansas Job Creation Map, click HERE or see below.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.14.2017

Governor Discusses North American Trade in White House Meeting With Vice President,

Other Administration Officials

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the United States considers the future of NAFTA, the nation must be careful that it does not harm global trade, Governor Asa Hutchinson told Vice President Mike Pence, Trade Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Secretary of Commerce Wilber Ross.

“I appreciate Vice President Pence for allowing governors to share our thoughts and concerns as our nation considers the future of NAFTA. The administration was clear that it wants to be able to negotiate a better NAFTA deal for American manufacturers and workers,” Governor Hutchinson said. “The administration recognizes the importance of North American trade and prefers to modernize NAFTA under more fair terms that acknowledge the economic changes in the past 20 years.

“I respect that negotiating position, but my message is that Arkansas must be able to continue its access to North American markets unimpeded by trade barriers. Otherwise, there will be serious harm to Arkansas agriculture, and retail and manufacturing sectors.

“Continued cross-border trade with our North American partners is very important to our farmers and businesses. But as we consider trade agreements, and work toward fairness and modernization, we must remember the basic principle that we do no harm to our global trading relationships. It is clear that there is great potential for harm in Arkansas, especially to our farmers, if the United States reverses course regarding cross-border trade.”
Canada is Arkansas’ number one customer and Mexico is our second largest customer. 

In addition to Governor Hutchinson, the governors who attended the meeting with Vice President Pence were Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Rick Snyder of Michigan and Bill Haslam of Tennessee.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.12.2017

Reduction of Disability Waiting List a Promise Kept That is Improving Lives, Governor Says

LITTLE ROCK – Money channeled from the state’s Tobacco Settlement Fund to pay for services for developmentally disabled Arkansans is a promise kept that is dramatically improving lives, Governor Asa Hutchinson told members of the state’s Tobacco Settlement Commission at their quarterly meeting on Tuesday.

In September 2016, the governor asked the commissioners to support his efforts to redirect some of the unused tobacco settlement money to help reduce the number of people on the waiting list for the state’s Community and Employment Supports waiver for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

Act 50, which the governor supported and the legislature passed this year, diverted $8.5 million from the settlement fund, which triggered the release of $20 million from the federal government to supplement the initiative.

The governor thanked the commissioners for their support. “You embraced the idea. That allowed us to receive $20 million in federal funds. That has allowed us to reduce the wait list by this initial 500 people. This is a great success story.

“Of course, we can’t stop with the 500 families. My goal today is to eliminate that waiting list, and you all started that process.”

Regan Reaves, a 19-year-old who began receiving assistance at home in October because of the program, joined the governor at the commission meeting. Wendie Reaves, Regan's mother, told commissioners that the aid has changed their lives. They were on the list for eight years.

Rep. Andy Mayberry, who sponsored the original legislation in the House of Representatives, expressed gratitude that families are seeing the benefits of Act 50. 

“This is a great first step toward eliminating the waiting list,” Representative Mayberry said. “I’m pleased that many families with special challenges in their lives are now able to receive specialized assistance. This is about independence, opportunities and relief for those individuals. Some of these families have been on the waiting list 10 years. I’m thankful Governor Hutchinson has made this a priority in his administration. 

“These families work hard at their jobs and are trying to raise their special-needs child all at the same time. I hope the waiver will allow these parents to provide as many opportunities as possible for their children, so the whole family can experience more independent and balanced lives.”

Senator Jason Rapert, who sponsored the bill in the Senate, added his thanks. "This morning’s announcement is a reflection of the significant progress our state is making in reducing the number of developmentally disabled Arkansans waiting for in-home care to help them gain independence," Senator Rapert said. "This has been a focus that both the governor and I have had for the past several months. I am grateful to Governor Hutchinson for making it a priority to provide care for the most vulnerable in our state, and I am proud to have carried legislation to help make this happen. This is an important step in providing relief for these families who have been waiting for far too long."

The Arkansas Department of Human Services tells more of Regan Reaves' story in this video

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.11.2017

Gov. Hires Senate President’s Legislative Chief To Lead Policy Coordination, Legislative Outreach

LITTLE ROCK – Andy Goodman, who is chief legislative aide to the president of the Arkansas Senate, will join Governor Asa Hutchinson’s staff as Director of Policy Coordination and Legislative Outreach on January 2, 2018.

“During his years with the Arkansas Senate, Andy Goodman proved to be a consummate consensus builder who quickly understands issues and offers workable solutions,” Governor Hutchinson said. “I am pleased that he has agreed to join my staff. His experience and sound judgment will be an enormous asset to Arkansas as we draw up the blueprint to further streamline state government on behalf of all Arkansans.”

Mr. Goodman is a graduate of Conway High School and earned a Bachelors of Business Administration, Marketing, from Harding University in 2004. In his role with Senator Jonathan Dismang, he advised legislators about pending legislation and tracked it through the Senate.

Before he joined Senator Dismang’s staff, Mr. Goodman was director of real estate for the State Lands Commission. His upgrade of the agency’s systems led to a more efficient collection of delinquent real estate taxes. He assumed the position with Senator Dismang in December 2015.

"I am honored and excited to work for Governor Hutchinson,” Mr. Goodman said. “I am grateful to Senator Dismang for the experience I have gained while working with the General Assembly. I hope to use that experience to help facilitate clear communication between legislators and the governor's office, and to continue to help promote good policy."

Mr. Goodman and his wife, Chelsea, and their four children live in Cabot. 

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.08.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: December 11th – December 16th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, December 11, 2017, through Saturday, December 16, 2017: 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

LITTLE ROCK
Christmas in the Capitol
2:30 p.m.
Old Supreme Court Room
500 Woodlane St,
Little Rock, AR

LITTLE ROCK
Chabad Annual Public Menorah Lighting
5:30 p.m.
520 Bowman Rd,
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 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.06.2017

Governor Hutchinson Issues Statement on the Passing of Charles Cella

“One of the great American Sportsmen”

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson issued the following statement on the passing of Charles Cella:

“With the news of the passing of Charles Cella, horse racing fans everywhere are no doubt mourning the loss of one of the great American sportsmen. Upon becoming Oaklawn’s President in 1968, Cella became the third generation of his family to lead the organization, and during his tenure, he built the track into a world-class destination for thoroughbred racing. Through his unique combination of vision for the future and respect for the sport’s traditions, Cella transformed the facility and left an indelible mark on the industry as a whole. He will be missed.”

Oaklawn is the longest, continuously-owned sports franchise in the country of all sports genres.

Contact: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.6439)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.06.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Intent to Grant Executive Clemency

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced his intent to grant 12 pardons. An additional 24 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:

Chris L. Bias (Hot Springs): Failure to Appear on No Seat Belt Violation (A Misdemeanor) (case HTS-00-25327).

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

Demond Eggerson (Bryant): Theft of Property (C Felony) (CR-2001-001546).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2001– 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.

DeShay Hollis Murray (Forrest City): Forgery 2nd Degree (C Felony) (CR-96-295).

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

Robert Irby (Little Rock): Battery-2nd Degree (D Felony) (CR-2003-000675).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2003 – 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. 

David S. Kendrick, Sr. (Sweet Home): Possession of a Controlled Substance without Prescription 3rd (C Felony) (CR-87-00638).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1987 – 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.

Angela Anderson Landers (Fort Smith): Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony), Possession of Methamphetamine (Reduced) (C Felony), and Possession of Marijuana (A Misdemeanor) (CR-2000-1067); Possession of Methamphetamine (C Felony) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony) (CR-2000-351-B).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (2001 – Sebastian County; 2001 – Crawford 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. 

Terry W. Ryder (Pineville, LA): Commercial Burglary (C Felony) (CR-96-88) and Breaking or Entering, 3 Counts (D Felony) (CR-96-89).

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

David G. Sauls (Valdese, NC): Carry Concealed (A Misdemeanor) and Possession of Marijuana (A Misdemeanor) (case no 82-557).

This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (1982 – Sebastian 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.

Duane Stutzman (Scranton): Violation of the Arkansas Hot Check Law (C Felony) (CR-97-583).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1998 – Pope County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further Arkansas felony nor misdemeanor convictions. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Paul A. Tarlton (Magnolia): Aggravated Assault (D Felony) (CR-93-130).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1993 – Columbia 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. 

Sylvia Tucker (Greenwood): Overdraft-under $200 (Misdemeanor) (case no 98-4-02249); Overdraft-under $200 (Misdemeanor) (case no 04-5004269).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1998 and 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. 

Erik Tyler (Dermott): Possession with Intent to Deliver Marijuana (C Felony) (CR-97-66-2).

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

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.06.2017

Coding Academy Scholarships Expand to Include Adults, Gov. Hutchinson, ARCodeKids Announce

Also: Enrollment in computer-science classes up 12 percent

LITTLE ROCK – ARCodeKids is creating a program to include 12 adults who each will receive a $6,000 scholarship to attend the 12-week Arkansas Coding Academy, Governor Asa Hutchinson and ARCodeKids representatives announced at the capitol today.

These scholarships will provide adult Arkansans who already are in the workforce with new skills in a high-need area. Four of the 12 scholarships have been designated for employees of Arkansas state government—one from each of the state’s four congressional districts. The four state employees selected will receive paid leave from the state during the academy.

Governor Hutchinson also announced that enrollment in state high school computer science classes has increased by 12 percent over the 2016-2017 school year. More than 6,000 students are enrolled this school year compared to 5,500 in 2016-2017. Since 2015, there has been a 460 percent increase in computer science course enrollment, from 1,104 students in 2014-15 to 6,184 students in 2017-18. 

In his first month in office, Governor Hutchinson helped guide legislation that made Arkansas the first state in the nation to require all public high schools to provide classes in computer coding. The governor also provided $2.5 million a year for four years to train teachers and support K-12 computer-science education. Several national publications have cited Arkansas as a leader in computer-science education.

“Our educators continually amaze me with their ideas for increasing computer literacy in Arkansas,” Governor Hutchinson said. “This innovative plan to offer adults in the workforce the opportunity to learn computer coding is more evidence that Arkansans have embraced our initiative with an enthusiasm that attracts young people and teachers. The proof is in our numbers. Enrollment in coding classes has increased by nearly 500 percent over three years.”

ARCodeKids will work with the governor’s office and the Arkansas Department of Education Office of Computer Science to select applicants, who will be evaluated by an impartial committee. Information about applying for a scholarship will be provided by the end of the year.

Mary Condit, director of the Arkansas Coding Academy, expressed her appreciation for Governor Hutchinson’s support.  

“The Arkansas Coding Academy is excited to partner with ARCodeKids and Governor Hutchinson to train talented individuals in order to succeed in the IT industry in Arkansas. We are elated that Governor Hutchinson has graciously allowed Arkansas state employees paid leave during the course in an effort to grow our skilled workforce, allowing Arkansans access to a better future. We applaud Governor Hutchinson's commitment to Arkansas's workforce and are so thankful for the support from ARCodeKids.”  

The number of openings for technology jobs validates the value of the adult scholarship program, said Dave Wengel, founder of ARCodeKids.

“Our mission is to help create new career pathways for talented Arkansans who want to pursue a technology-focused career here in our great state,” Wengel said. “This program is a natural fit given how many tech job openings we have identified with our www.ARTechJobs.comwebsite. We look forward to supporting the efforts of the leaders of the Arkansas Coding Academy so they can help teach our scholarship recipients the skills needed to make them job ready.”

The excitement for computer-science education continues to grow across the state, and not just in the halls of our schools, said Anthony Owen, state Director of Computer Science Education.

“My office has been extremely excited about bringing this scholarship program to the state since it was first discussed. Not only should Arkansas focus on providing K-12 and post-secondary students with a quality computer-science education, but we also must begin seriously looking at retraining our existing workforce. This scholarship program is a great early step. I commend Governor Hutchinson’s leadership as Arkansas continues to lead the nation in computer-science education.”

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.04.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Announces Intent to Appoint Barbara Womack Webb

as Circuit Judge for the 22nd Judicial Circuit

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced his intent to appoint Barbara Womack Webb of Benton as Circuit Judge for the 22nd Judicial Circuit. She will be the first woman appointed as circuit judge in Saline County. Her term will begin on December 18, 2017, and expire on December 31, 2018. Webb will replace Judge Bobby D. McCallister.
Governor Hutchinson released the following statement:

"I have known Barbara Womack Webb for many years and observed her commitment to public service, her experience as prosecuting attorney and her knowledge of Saline County. I am confident that her extensive courtroom experience has well equipped her to serve as Circuit Judge for the 22nd Judicial Circuit. She will do an outstanding job in this new role."

Barbara Womack Webb is the chief executive officer of the Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission. She is a graduate of the University of Arkansas School of Law in Little Rock, Arkansas, and has been a licensed attorney since 1982. 

She has served as the prosecuting attorney for the 7th and 22nd Judicial Districts, and in 2005, she was appointed as an administrative law judge for the Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission.

She has served as a special associate justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court. She also has served with the Arkansas Ethics Commission, Arkansas State Crime Lab Board, Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice, and the U.S. Department of Justice Anti-Terrorism Task Force.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.01.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule:  December 4th – December 9th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, December 4, 2017, through Saturday, December 9, 2017: 

Monday, December 4, 2017

MALVERN
Ouachita River Correctional Unit Chapel Dedication
2:00 p.m.
Ouachita River Correctional Unit
100 Walco Lane
Malvern, AR

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

LITTLE ROCK
22nd Annual Broyles Award Ceremony
11:30 a.m.
Little Rock Marriott
3 Statehouse Plaza
Little Rock, AR

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

LITTLE ROCK
Boys & Girls Club of Central Arkansas – Leader of the Year
5:30 p.m.
The Cultural Center at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church
1100 Napa Valley Dr. 
Little Rock, AR

Friday, December 8, 2017

LITTLE ROCK
Girls of Promise Coding Summit
9:30 a.m.
Southwest Power Pool
201 Worthen Dr.
Little Rock, AR

LITTLE ROCK
Arkansas School Boards Association 64th Annual Conference
10:45 a.m.
Little Rock Marriott
3 Statehouse Plaza
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 501.682.3642)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
11.29.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Announces Greene County Quorum Court Justice of the Peace Appointments

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced he has appointed two justices of the peace for the Greene County Quorum Court:

Aaron Camp, Paragould, as Justice of the Peace for the Greene County Quorum Court, District 2. Appointment expires on December 31, 2018. Replaces Barry Bateman. 

Aaron Camp has worked as a branch manger for Business World, Inc. in Jonesboro for over ten years. He is a graduate of Arkansas State University and resides in Paragould. 

Russell “Rusty” McAllister, Paragould, as Justice of the Peace for the Greene County Quorum Court, District 7. Appointment expires on December 31, 2018. Replaces Shawntae Thompson. 

Rusty McAllister has served as GIS Coordinator for the City of Jonesboro since 2009. Prior to his time serving with the City of Jonesboro, he was GIS Coordinator for the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission and a program coordinator for the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality. Rusty is a graduate of Arkansas State University. He lives in Paragould with his wife, Pamela.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
11.17.2017

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

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

Monday, November 20, 2017

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

LITTLE ROCK
Bright the Night Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
5:45 p.m.
Downtown Little Rock – Capitol Plaza
Located at the intersection of Capitol & Main Street
Little Rock, AR

STATEWIDE
Arkansans Ask
7:00 p.m.
AETN

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)