Press Release

Asa Arkansas's Governor

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)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
11.16.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Orders U.S. & Arkansas Flags to Fly at Half-Staff in Memory of State Sen. Standridge

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has ordered the United States flag and the state flag of Arkansas to be lowered to half-staff in tribute to the memory and honor of State Senator Greg Standridge, who passed away Thursday morning. The flag will remain at half-staff until sunset on the day of interment.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement earlier today: 

“I am saddened by the passing of Sen. Greg Standridge—a friend and dedicated public servant. I recently visited with Greg in his home, and even with his illness, he was a source of encouragement and strength. Greg served his community with distinction, and he loved his family most of all. Greg’s passing is a great loss for our state, and he will be missed.”

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
11.16.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson Issues Statement on the Passing of State Senator Greg Standridge

“…a friend and dedicated public servant.”

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson issued the following statement on the passing of State Senator Greg Standridge of Russellville: 

“I am saddened by the passing of Sen. Greg Standridge—a friend and dedicated public servant. I recently visited with Greg in his home, and even with his illness, he was a source of encouragement and strength. Greg served his community with distinction, and he loved his family most of all. Greg’s passing is a great loss for our state, and he will be missed.”

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
11.13.2017

Governor Hutchinson Issues Statement in Support of Washington Tax Reform

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today released the following statement in support of tax-reform efforts in Washington:

“Tax reform in Washington is long overdue. I was in Congress in 2001 when we passed the last significant federal income-tax reductions, and the current effort to reform our tax code will grow the economy and create jobs.  

“In Arkansas in 2015, I signed into law a $100 million middle-class tax cut, which was the largest reduction in the state income tax in history. Since then, we’ve created thousands of jobs and enjoyed a growing economy. We’ve followed this with another $50 million tax cut in 2017. These tax cuts allow taxpayers to keep more of their paycheck, and if we can do this in Arkansas, then Washington can do the same.

“Washington’s system of taxation takes too much money, is too complicated and hampers economic growth. The result is a system that places too heavy a burden on our businesses and citizens. It places our country at a disadvantage in an increasingly competitive and mobile world. Industry can locate anywhere, and companies are finding that the corporate tax rate in the United States is too high.

“If we lower the corporate tax rate, billions of dollars will return from overseas and will give Arkansas an opportunity to continue our success in attracting new industry and investment.

“In addition, the Tax Foundation found that the individual tax cuts will result in an additional $2,020 for middle-class families in Arkansas.

“I know there are improvements and changes yet to be made, but it is important that Congress continue its progress toward this much-needed reform."  

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
11.09.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: November 11th – November 18th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Saturday, November 11, 2017, through Saturday, November 18, 2017: 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

LITTLE ROCK
Arkansas State Veterans Day Ceremony 
10:00 a.m.
MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History 
503 E 9th St, 
Little Rock, AR

Friday, November 17, 2017

FORT SMITH
Methodist Village Senior Living “Life Plan Community” Groundbreaking
9:00 a.m.
7425 Euper Lane, 
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
11.07.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Issues Statement on Arkansas Supreme Court Decision to Stay Execution of Jack Greene

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today issued a response to the decision handed down by the Arkansas Supreme Court to stay the execution of Jack Greene.

“I am surprised by the Arkansas Supreme Court’s decision to issue an emergency stay of execution for Jack Greene,” said Governor Hutchinson. “Last-minute delays are always very difficult and only prolong the justice the Burnett family was promised more than 20 years ago.

“This case has been reviewed by the courts on numerous occasions, and the state must now await further court action before the penalty given by an Arkansas jury is carried out.”

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
11.06.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Intent to Grant Executive Clemency

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced his intent to grant 13 pardons and 1 restoration of firearm rights only. An additional 46 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:

Linda McFadden-Mills (Little Rock): Forgery 2nd Degree (C Felony) (CR-97-63); Violation of the Arkansas Hot Check Law VAHCL (U Misdemeanor) (CR-97-70); AR Hot Check Law (C Felony) (CR-97-402-1).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1997 – Howard County; 1997 – Sevier County; 1999 – Miller 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.

Andrea M. Adams (Arkadelphia): Theft of Property (B Felony) and Burglary (B Felony) (CR-92-97).

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

Alvin V. Ealom (Little Rock): Robbery (Felony) (23080); Burglary & Grand Larceny (Felony) (59594) and Burglary (Felony) (59591) and Burglary & Grand Larceny (Felony) (59592).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1960 and 1971 – 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.

Duke W. Evans (Bismarck): Breaking or Entering (D Felony) (CR-91-109) and Theft of Property (A Misdemeanor) (CR-91-110), Breaking or Entering (D Felony) (CR-91-111) and Theft of Property (A Misdemeanor) (CR-91-112); Domestic Battering 3rd Degree (A Misdemeanor) (C-01-1273).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1991 and 2002 – Clark County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Eldric Kendrick (Little Rock): Battery 3rd Degree (A Misdemeanor) and Possessing Instruments of Crime (A Misdemeanor) (LRCR-95-8121).

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

Willie N. Knight (Pine Bluff): Possession of a Controlled Substance, Cocaine (C Felony) (CR-95-474-3).

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

Michael L. Porter (Troutman, NC): Theft of Property by Deception (Habitual Offender) (B Felony) (CR-85-2318) and Theft of Property (Habitual Offender) (C Felony) (CR-85-2538); Defrauding Secured Creditors (Habitual Offender) (D Felony) (CR-86-524).

This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (1986 – Pulaski 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.

Eric B. Malott (Bradford): Possession of a Controlled Substance, Methamphetamine (C Felony) (CR-97-422).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1998 – White 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.

Christine Taylor Shaffer (Fort Smith): Possession of Methamphetamine w/Intent to Deliver (reduced) (A Felony), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony) and Maintaining Premises for Drug Activities (D Felony) (CR-2005-1025-B).

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

Joel D. Wright (Bryant): Commercial Burglary (C Felony) (CR-2004-776-4) and Theft of Property (B Felony) (CR-2004-728-4); Commercial Burglary (Probation Revocation) (CR-2004-776-IV) (C Felony) and Theft of Property (Probation Revocation) (B Felony) (CR-2004-728-IV).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (2005 and 2008 – Garland 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.

Carson Roddy (Huntsville): Felon in Possession of Firearm (D Felony) (CR-2003-15); Possession of a Controlled Substance Methamphetamine (C Felony), Possession of a Controlled Substance Marijuana (A Misdemeanor) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony) (CR 2003-79).

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

Adrion Worthy (North Little Rock): Criminal Mischief 1st Degree (C Felony) (CR 2001-1368).

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.

Sherri Oliver Wilson (Pine Bluff): Criminal Mischief (C Felony) (CR-94-272-2).

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

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

Eric D. Parker (Jonesboro): Possession of Drug Paraphernalia w/Intent to Manufacture Methamphetamine (B Felony) (CR-05-239).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (2005 – Craighead County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. The Sheriff of Craighead 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 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
11.03.2017

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

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

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

LITTLE ROCK
Arkansas State Chamber 89th Annual Meeting
12:00 p.m.
Statehouse Convention Center
Wally Allen Ballroom
101 E Markham St,
Little Rock, AR

Friday, November 10, 2017

LITTLE ROCK
State of Arkansas Inaugural Chief Data Officer Forum 
9:00 a.m.
Arkansas State Capitol
Old Supreme Court Chamber 
500 Woodlane St,
Little Rock, AR

Saturday, November 11, 2017

LITTLE ROCK
Arkansas State Veterans Day Ceremony 
10:00 a.m.
MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History 
503 E 9th 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
10.27.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Appointments

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

Dr. Richard Smith, North Little Rock, to the Arkansas State Board of Dental Examiners. Appointment expires September 1, 2022. Replaces Dr. Robert Carter.

Erika Thomas, Conway, to the Arkansas State Board of Dental Examiners. Appointment expires September 1, 2021. Replaces Jennifer Lamb.

James Burr, Farmington, to the Nutrient Water Quality Trading Advisory Panel. Appointment expires June 8, 2019. Reappointment.

John Pennington, Springdale, to the Nutrient Water Quality Trading Advisory Panel. Appointment expires June 8, 2019. Replaces James Mardis.

Heath Tibbs, Jonesboro, to the Arkansas Towing and Recovery Board. Appointment expires June 22, 2020. Reappointment.

Deana Infield, Fort Smith, to the Arkansas State Board of Public Accountancy. Appointment expires August 17, 2022. Replaces Jeremy Watson.

Denton Woods, Fayetteville, to the Arkansas State Board of Public Accountancy. Appointment expires August 17, 2022. Replaces Lloyd Franklin.

Scott Gann, North Little Rock, to the State Fire Prevention Commission. Appointment expires July 18, 2020. Replaces Charles Butler.

Marc Lowery, Harrison, to the State Fire Prevention Commission. Appointment expires July 18, 2020. Reappointment.

Ben Hammond, Sheridan, to the State Fire Prevention Commission. Appointment expires July 18, 2020. Replaces Pamela Richard.

Thomas Washington, Jacksonville, to the HVACR Licensing Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2021. Reappointment.

Bill Reid, Conway, to the Arkansas Manufactured Home Commission. Appointment expires September 1, 2022. Reappointment.

Matt White, Russellville, to the Arkansas Manufactured Home Commission. Appointment expires September 1, 2022. Reappointment.

Bill Roachell, Conway, to the Arkansas Manufactured Home Commission. Appointment expires September 1, 2019. Reappointment.

David Brazeale, Sparkman, to the Ouachita River Commission. Appointment expires September 1, 2024. Replaces Vickey Selman.

Dr. Tim Knight, Arkadelphia, to the Ouachita River Commission. Appointment expires September 1, 2024. Replaces Don Chaney.

David Richardson, Camden, to the Ouachita River Commission. Appointment expires September 1, 2024. Reappointment.

Doug Harton, Monticello, to the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2018. Replaces Christian Ashcraft.

Gregg Garner, Lake City, to the Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation. Appointment expires July 1, 2021. Reappointment.

Terry Walker, Little Rock, to the Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation. Appointment expires July 1, 2020. Reappointment.

Leslie Davis, Little Rock, to the State Board of Registration for Professional Geologists. Appointment expires October 1, 2022. Replaces Dr. Jess Porter.

Jarrod Zweifel, Cammack Village, to the State Board of Registration for Professional Geologists. Appointment expires October 1, 2022. Replaces Linda Hanson.

Frederic Simon, Conway, to the Arkansas Milk Stabilization Board. Appointment expires September 12, 2022. Reappointment.

Lisa Douglas, Forrest City, to the Compliance Advisory Panel. Appointment expires August 1, 2021. Newly created board.

Mayor Douglas Kinslow, Greenwood, to the Compliance Advisory Panel. Appointment expires August 1, 2021.

Robert Barnes, Texarkana, to the Garland Levee District Board of Directors. Appointment expires October 1, 2023. Reappointment.

Floyd Hicks, Doddridge, to the Garland Levee District Board of Directors. Appointment expires October 1, 2023. Reappointment.

Regina Walker, Mena, to the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council. Appointment expires July 1, 2019. Reappointment.

Chris Villines, Benton, to the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council. Appointment expires July 1, 2019. Replaces The Honorable Wesley Fowler.

Tareneh Manning, Fayetteville, to the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council. Appointment expires July 1, 2019. Replaces Terry Coberly.

Curt Clark, Bentonville, to the Professional Bail Bond Company and Professional Bail Bondsman Licensing Board. Appointment expires September 30, 2024. Reappointment.

Daisy Duerr, Ozark, to the Advisory Council for the Education of Gifted and Talented Children. Appointment expires July 20, 2020. Replaces Jessica Sabin.

Haley Jones, Jonesboro, to the Advisory Council for the Education of Gifted and Talented Children. Appointment expires July 20, 2019. Replaces Linda Thompson.

Dr. Jaya Nair, Little Rock, to the Advisory Council for the Education of Gifted and Talented Children. Appointment expires July 20, 2019. Replaces Kristin Hodge.

Joyce Wood, Pearcy, to the Advisory Council for the Education of Gifted and Talented Children. Appointment expires July 20, 2019. Reappointment.

Marsha Partney, Mountain Home, to the Advisory Council for the Education of Gifted and Talented Children. Appointment expires July 20, 2020. Replaces Dr. Kathy Pillow-Price.

Yolanda Green, Little Rock, to the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. Appointment expires October 1, 2021. Reappointment.

Lance Lindow, Benton, to the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. Appointment expires October 1, 2021. Reappointment.

Rachel Sims, Little Rock, to the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. Appointment expires October 1, 2021. Replaces Terri Imus

Ronald Angel, Maumelle, to the Arkansas Veterans’ Commission. Appointment expires October 15, 2022. Reappointment.

Mary Erdman, Hot Springs Village, to the Arkansas Veterans’ Commission. Appointment expires October 15, 2022. Replaces Rex Roark.

David Major, Alma, to the Arkansas Veterans’ Commission. Appointment expires October 15, 2018. Replaces Robert Schoenborn.

Col. Ingram Philips, Fairfield Bay, to the Arkansas Veterans’ Commission. Appointment expires October 15, 2022. Replaces Col. Charles Henry.

Jason Hendren, Bentonville, to the Arkansas History Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2021. Replaces Robert Sherer.

Gerald Canada, Bryant, to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission. Appointment expires September 1, 2018. Replaces Phillip Kaplan.

Andy Montgomery, Batesville, to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission. Appointment expires September 1, 2021. Reappointment.

Dr. Cody Decker, Roland, to the Arkansas Geographic Information Systems Board. Appointment expires August 1, 2021. Replaces Dr. Jackson Cothren.

Dr. John Dennis, Monticello, to the Arkansas Geographic Information Systems Board. Appointment expires August 1, 2021. Replaces Dr. Margaret McMillan.

Amy Whitehead, Conway, to the Arkansas Geographic Information Systems Board. Appointment expires August 1, 2021. Reappointment.

LeDante Walker, Hot Springs, to the Arkansas Spinal Cord Commission. Appointment expires January 14, 2026. Replaces Jon Wilkerson.

Andrea Allen, Jonesboro, to the Arkansas Tobacco Settlement Commission. Appointment expires October 1, 2021. Replaces Dr. Susan Hanarahan.

Robert Wright, Batesville, to the Board of Trustees of Ozarka Technical College. Appointment expires July 1, 2024. Replaces Jack Yancey.

Florance Brown, Colt, as a Justice of the Peace for the St. Francis County Quorum Court, District 6. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Justin Marquis.

Damon Slinkard, Trumann, as a Justice of the Peace for the Poinsett County Quorum Court, District 5. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Gary Anderson.

Jimmy Dale Milam, Maynard, as a Justice of the Peace for the Randolph County Quorum Court, District 6. Appointment expires December 31, 2018.

Elby Lambert, Pocahontas, as a Justice of the Peace for the Randolph County Quorum Court, District 3. Appointment expires December 31, 2018.

Randy Staley, Ward, as a Justice of the Peace for the Lonoke County Quorum Court, District 2. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces B.J. Weathers.

Johnny Horton, Marshall, as a Justice of the Peace for the Searcy County Quorum Court, District 5. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces J. Donald Ragland.

Bill Rawls, Crossett, as a Justice of the Peace for the Ashley County Quorum Court, District 11. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Frank Rawls.

Michelle Huff, Evening Shade, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas.CR-17-260 Richard Conte v. State of Arkansas. Replaces Justice Rhonda K. Wood, who has disqualified herself from the case.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10.27.2017

Governor Hutchinson Applauds Approval of Higher Education Productivity Funding Formula

Calls the New Model a Historic Shift in Funding Higher Education

LITTLE ROCK – The approval of the Higher Education Productivity Funding Formula makes Arkansas one of only three states that has adopted a productivity funding formula for both 2-year colleges and 4-year universities, Governor Asa Hutchinson said today after the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved the final proposal.

The Higher Education Productivity Funding Formula emphasizes student success, accountability and program completion, unlike the previous funding model, which was based primarily on student enrollment.

“I am grateful for the cooperation and energy that went into making this new funding model a reality,” Governor Hutchinson said. “The productivity funding formula is an important step towards achieving my long-range goal of increasing the percentage of Arkansans who attain post-secondary degrees by approximately 20 percent by 2025.

“By shifting the focus from student enrollment to student progression and accomplishment, we create a positive incentive for colleges and universities to encourage more students to complete their courses of study and for institutions to be more efficient in their operations.”

Arkansas’ new formula for funding state colleges and universities will further increase the percentage of Arkansans who are workforce-ready and equipped with degrees and industry-recognized certificates. This productivity model, which has been developed over a two-year period, has received overwhelming support from the Arkansas Legislature and state colleges and universities. The governor signed Act 148 of 2017 into law in February.

Governor Hutchinson also committed an additional $10 million to higher education funding. This will be the first time since 2005 that there has been a substantial increase in state funding for higher education. The $10 million will be distributed to colleges and universities based on their productivity under the new formula.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10.25.2017

Governor Hutchinson Announces Third AEDC Trade Mission to Asia; Focus on China and Japan

JONESBORO – Governor Asa Hutchinson announced today that he will be traveling to China and Japan next week as part of an Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) trade mission to meet with business and government leaders. This will mark the Governor’s third trade mission to Asia with AEDC.
 
The Governor announced the trip during a ceremony on the campus of Arkansas State University. Risever, a Chinese company, signed a memorandum of understanding with the state of Arkansas to open its first factory in North America. The company, which manufactures counterweights for excavators, will invest $20.5 million to build and equip its factory. Risever has pledged to create 130 new jobs over a four-year period.

During the trip Governor Hutchinson will visit Hefei Province to sign the formal MOU with Risever.           

"These trade missions have proven to be incredibly beneficial to Arkansas’ economy," Governor Hutchinson said. “China has become a valuable partner with recent announcements in Arkadelphia, Fort Smith, Little Rock, Forrest City, and now Jonesboro, totaling more than 1,600 new jobs and over $1.4 billion in investments. Arkansas is developing a global reputation as a great place to do business, and it’s paying dividends. I am honored to showcase all that Arkansas has to offer as we continue to expand and develop our economy."
 
"Our world is becoming smaller, and foreign investment is the new normal in economic development," said AEDC Executive Director Mike Preston. "These trade missions allow us to strengthen existing relationships and build new ones with both businesses looking to invest in the United States as well as government officials. When foreign companies invest in Arkansas, they help us diversify our economy, create more jobs, and build our image around the globe."

Governor Hutchinson will leave October 31 and return November 7.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10.23.2017

Governor Hutchinson Announces Brad Cazort as Director of Arkansas Crime Information Center

Governor thanks departing director Jay Winters for his service

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson announced today Brad Cazort, of Little Rock, as the new director of the Arkansas Crime Information Center (ACIC). The Governor recommended Cazort to the ACIC board earlier this month, and the board voted Friday in favor of the Governor’s recommendation. 

“Brad’s career as an attorney, coupled with his tremendous breadth of experience at the Arkansas Crime Information Center, make him the perfect choice for ACIC’s next director,” Governor Hutchinson said. “I am confident that under Brad’s wise and energetic leadership,  the ACIC will continue to thrive as the front-line source of up-to-date data for law-enforcement agencies in Arkansas.”

“I am deeply appreciative of the trust and confidence the Governor and the ACIC Board have placed in me,” Mr. Cazort said. “I look forward to the continued growth of the mission at ACIC to ensure that we always provide the most accurate data in the most efficient manner to those who need it.” 

Mr. Cazort, who has worked for the ACIC since 2005, replaces Jay Winters, who recently stepped down as director for health reasons after serving under two governors.

“I want to thank Jay—a man of great integrity and character—for the incredible work he has done at ACIC through the years,” Governor Hutchinson said. “After I was elected governor in 2014, Jay was one of three agency directors that I asked to stay on. His continued stellar service confirms he was the right person for the job, and his service to our state will be missed. 

“Health and family are some of the most important things in life, and I’m glad to know that Jay and his family will be able to focus on those critical factors at this time.”

About Brad Cazort:

Brad Cazort is an attorney and began his career at ACIC as administrator of the Special Services Division in 2005. Most recently, Cazort served as administrator of the Repository Division, as well as ACIC’s public information officer and liaison to the legislature. He is chair of the Little Rock Zoo Board of Governors, a volunteer position, and is a former member of the Little Rock Board of Directors

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10.20.2017

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

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, October 23, 2017, through Saturday, October 28, 2017: 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

BATESVILLE
Southside Prescription 4 Life Tour
9:15 a.m.
Southside High School
70 Scott Drive
Batesville, AR

BENTON
ACDI Grand Opening Ceremony
3:30 p.m.
403 N Main Street
Benton, AR

Thursday, October 26, 2017

CONWAY
Investiture of President Houston D. Davis 
2:00 p.m.
University of Central Arkansas – Reynolds Performance Hall 
201 Donaghey Ave.
Conway, AR
Friday, October 27, 2017

LITTLE ROCK
Century Farm Family Induction
10:30 a.m.
Arkansas State Capitol Rotunda
500 Woodlane St.
Little Rock, AR

Saturday, October 28, 2017

LITTLE ROCK
Arkansas Black Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary Celebration
7:30 p.m.
Robinson Center Performance Hall
426 West Markham
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
10.13.2017

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

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

Monday, October 16, 2017

FAYETTEVILLE
Facebook TechStart Tour
10:30 a.m.
Arkansas Union
435 N Garland Ave,
Fayetteville, AR

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

NORFORK
Norfork High School
1:00 p.m.
Norfork High School
136 Mildred Simpson Dr.
Norfork, AR

Jacob Wolf House Soft Opening
2:00 p.m.
Jacob Wolf House Historic Site
13775 Highway 5 South
Norfork, AR

Thursday, October 19, 2017

JONESBORO
Hispanic Center of Jonesboro (Centro Hispano) Grand Opening
3:00 p.m.
211 Vandyne Street
Jonesboro, AR 72401

Friday, October 20, 2017

LITTLE ROCK
Delta Grassroots Caucus Annual Conference
9:30 a.m.
Clinton Presidential Center
1200 President Clinton Ave.
Little Rock, AR

Arkansas State Fair Livestock Auction 
2017 Sale of Champions
1:00 p.m.
Arkansas State Fair
Barton Coliseum 
2600 Howard 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
10.12.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Appoints Lucas M. Ferguson Prosecuting Attorney for Twentieth Judicial Circuit

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today appointed Lucas M. Ferguson of Greenbrier as the Prosecuting Attorney for the Twentieth Judicial Circuit, which includes Faulkner, Van Buren and Searcy Counties. Ferguson replaces Cody Hiland, who was sworn in Tuesday, October 10, 2017 as U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of Arkansas. His term expires December 31, 2018. 

Governor Hutchinson released the following statement:

“I am delighted to announce Luke as the next Prosecuting Attorney for Arkansas’ Twentieth Judicial District. His knowledge of the law coupled with his experience in both the public and private sectors, including his previous experience as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the Twentieth Judicial District, will serve him well in this new role. 

“I have no doubt Luke will do a sensational job for the people of Arkansas and the Twentieth Judicial District, and I wish him the best of luck.”

Luke Ferguson previously served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the Twentieth Judicial District.  Most recently, he has been employed at the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce and Conway Development Corporation as Senior Vice President-General Counsel.  He also spent time in the private practice of law in Conway with Hiland, Thomas and Cox, PLLC.  Ferguson earned his B.A. in Spanish and History from the University of Central Arkansas and his J.D. from the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law.  He is a longtime resident of Faulkner County and resides in Greenbrier with his wife, Jessica.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10.06.2017

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

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

Monday, October 9, 2017

LITTLE ROCK
Victory Over Violence Prayer Rally
7:00 p.m.
War Memorial Stadium
Little Rock, AR

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

LITTLE ROCK
Laboratory for Active Kids & Families Grand Opening
& Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center (ACNC) Tour
9:00 a.m.
Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center
15 Children’s Way (corner of 13th and Children’s Way/Marshall)
Little Rock, AR

LITTLE ROCK
AEDC Rural Services and
Grant Divisions Awards Ceremony
10:30 a.m.
Governor's Conference Room
State Capitol
Little Rock, AR

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

TEXARKANA
Texarkana School District Announcement
9:30 a.m.
Arkansas High School
Red Wall, 1500 Jefferson Ave.
Texarkana, AR

Thursday, October 12, 2017

RUSSELLVILLE
Fourth Annual Arkansas Computer Science Education
Leadership Summit 4.0
8:30 a.m.
Arkansas Tech University
Doc Bryan Building
1605 Coliseum Drive
Russellville, AR 

LITTLE ROCK
Goodwill Arkansas First Adult High School Grand Opening
10:30 a.m.
Goodwill HQ
7400 Scott Hamilton Drive
Little Rock, AR

Friday, October 13, 2017

SPRINGDALE
HWOA Annual Conference, Luncheon
1:00 p.m.
The Jones Center
922 East Emma Ave.
Springdale, 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
10.06.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Intent to Grant Executive Clemency

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced his intent to grant 17 pardons and 1 restoration of firearm rights only. An additional 41 clemency requests were denied and 1 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:

Thomas H. McCarthy (Fort Worth, TX): Residential Burglary (B Felony) and Theft of Property (C Felony) (CR-1998-98); of Residential Burglary (B Felony) and Theft of Property (C Felony) (Revocation)(CR-1998-98); Theft of Property (C Felony) (CR-199-550) and Breaking or Entering (D Felony) (CR-1999-553).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1999 and 2000 – Logan County; 2000 – Faulkner County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further Arkansas criminal-law violations. The Faulkner County Prosecuting Attorney and Faulkner County Sheriff have raised objections to applicant's request.

Angela Owens Steltzlen (Danville): Theft of Property (B Felony) (CR-1988-2207); Forgery 2nd Degree (C Felony) (CR-1993-328); Theft of Property, 8 counts (A Misdemeanor) (Case No. SC92-523 and SC92-524).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1989, 1993 and 1994 – Pulaski County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Evette Price (Pine Bluff): Battery 3rd Degree (A Misdemeanor) (CR-2002-670).

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

Tammie Toddy (Searcy): Over Possession of Pseudoephedrine (D Felony) and Failure to Appear (C Felony) (CR-2003-52).

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

Ronnie J. Tribble (Mabelvale): Possession of Marijuana (Misdemeanor) (CR-85-8); Theft by Receiving (Felony) (CR-86-49).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1985 and 1987 – Lawrence 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.

Smith L. Galusha, III (Mabelvale): Burglary (B Felony) (CR-81-798); Robbery (B Felony) (CR-84-906B); Breaking And Entering (D Felony), Theft Of Property (C Felony) (CR-84-186) and Theft Of Property (C Felony) (CR-84-1038); Breaking And Entering (D Felony) (CR-89-1645).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1984, 1985 and 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.

Charles R. Jones (Bauxite): Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance, Methamphetamine (Y Felony) (CR-02-445-2).

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

Robert E. Owens (Greeley, CO): Possession of Controlled Substance w/ Intent to Deliver (C Felony) (CR-78-152).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1978 – Craighead 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.

Summer Brooks (De Valls Bluff): Possession of a Controlled Substance, Marijuana (A Misdemeanor) (CR2004-1080); Possession of a Controlled Substance, Marijuana 2nd Offense (D Felony) (2007-3208).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (2004 and 2007 – Pulaski 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.

Donald Herrington (Kirtland, NM): Attempted Delivery of a Controlled Substance (A Felony) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia w/ Intent to Manufacture, Methamphetamine (B Felony) (CR-2001-72).

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

Rodger D. Hunter (Farmington): Forgery (C Felony) and Theft of Property (C Felony) (CR 93-220); Criminal Impersonation (Misdemeanor) (CR 94-3-14429); Forgery (Revocation) (C Felony) and Theft (Revocation) (C Felony) (CR 93-220); Theft Of Property (C Felony) and Forgery (C Felony) (CR 95-5); Forgery (C Felony) (CR 96-343); Shoplifting (Misdemeanor) (CR 97-3-32972).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1993, 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997 – Pope County; 1995 – Yell 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.

Jacob Jones, Jr. (Little Rock): Theft of Property (B Felony) (CR 2005-002631).

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

Justin H. Lunsford (Booneville): Residential Burglary, 2 counts (B Felony) and Theft of Property, 2 counts (C Felony) (CR-96-203I); Commercial Burglary, 2 counts (C Felony) and Theft of Property, 1 count (B Felony) (CR-96-76).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1996 – Crawford County; 1997 – Logan County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. The Logan County Prosecutor has raised objections to applicant's request.

Tamara L. Whitt (Alexander): Theft of Property (C Felony) (CR-1990-2233).

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

Trenady Vance (Springdale): Conspiracy to Deliver a Controlled Substance-Methamphetamine (A Felony) and Delivery of a Controlled Substance-Marijuana (C Felony) (CR-1996-1737).

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

Tamara J. Easey (Joplin, MO): two counts of Conspiracy to Manufacture a Controlled Substance, Methamphetamine (A Felony) (CR-2004-410) (Probation Revocation); two counts of Conspiracy to Manufacture a Controlled Substance, Methamphetamine (A Felony) (CR-2004-410) (Probation Revocation).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (2005 and 2007 – Boone 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.

Otis R. Banks (North Little Rock): Possession of Marijuana (C Felony), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony), and Maintaining a Drug Premises (D Felony) (CR-2001-2264).

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

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

Ivory Robinson, Jr. (Marvell): Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver-Marijuana, 2 Counts (C Felony) (CR-2002-154).

This notice is issued based on the date of convictions (2005 – 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 501.682.3612)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10.04.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Says First-of-its-Kind Cyber Range is ‘Next Step’ in Computer-Science Initiative;

Announces $500,000 Grant to UCA, Partnership with AETN

Students will learn to detect, defeat cyber-attacks on simulated network

CONWAY — Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced that a $500,000 grant from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education will be provided to the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) to help pay for a fully functional dedicated cyber range for educational training—a first-of-its-kind operation. This “cutting edge tool” in high tech cyber security training will be housed on the campus of UCA and is a complementary initiative to support computer-science education in Arkansas.

A cyber range is a dedicated computer system that can simulate a computer network. Using the cyber range, students will learn how to identify a cyber-attack and defend against it. 

“The Cyber Range means UCA will have state of the art technology that will be available through AETN to Arkansas students, both in high school and college.” said Governor Hutchinson. “This represents the next step in our computer science initiative; one which I know will keep Arkansas as a national leader in technology education.”

“As a result of this investment, UCA will be one of only a few institutions in the country with a cyber range.  UCA’s partnership with AETN is unique and will allow broader access to the cyber range by students and educational partners across Arkansas.” 

While cyber ranges have long been utilized for the nation’s security matters, today’s announcement means students in Arkansas will have access to that same technology—for the very first time.  Moreover, this will be the first educational cyber range in the region, and Arkansas will be the first in the country to implement a range with higher education and K-12 curriculum plans at the range’s foundation.

Governor Hutchinson joined UCA President Houston Davis, Courtney Pledger, Director of the Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN), and Stephen Addison, UCA’s Dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, for the announcement.

“This is another opportunity for students at UCA to gain real-world experience and to develop and enhance skills needed in today’s ever-changing technological world,” President Davis said. “We are appreciative of the support from Gov. Asa Hutchinson and his office, as well as his efforts to shift the landscape around computer science and technological education in Arkansas.”

Also announced Wednesday was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between UCA and AETN, creating a partnership to develop cyber security, coding, computer programming, computer science and other curricula in Arkansas schools.

“AETN is committed to computer-science education for Arkansas students,” said Director Pledger. “Our education team is enthusiastic to partner with UCA on cyber security training; we're eager to use our online media tools through this initiative to prepare students for opportunities in future-facing technologies.” 

The interdisciplinary bachelor’s in cyber security is expected to begin in fall 2018. The program will be supported by the UCA College of Business, College of Liberal Arts and the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

“We proposed bringing a cyber range here to UCA in support of our developing a cyber-security degree program,” said Dean Addison. “With the cyber range, we will be able to inject viruses onto the range without putting a free roaming virus on the internet. Students will be able to learn cyber security in real time systems.”

CONTACT:

J.R. Davis – Communications Director, Office of Governor Asa Hutchinson
501.683.6439, JR.Davis@governor.arkansas.gov

Christina Madsen – Associate VP for Communications, Public Relations and Marketin
501.852.2659, christinam@uca.edu

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
09.29.2017

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

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, October 2, 2017, through Saturday, October 7, 2017: 

Monday, October 2, 2017

PITTSBURGH, PA
Gov. Hutchinson to Chair Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission Annual Convention
8:30 a.m.
Sheraton Pittsburgh Hotel at Station Square
300 W Station Square Dr. 
Pittsburgh, PA

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

LITTLE ROCK
Special Announcement
Details Coming Soon
2:00 p.m.
Governor’s Conference Room
500 Woodlane St.
Little Rock, AR

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

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
09.27.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Joins Simmons Prepared Foods to Announce New Chicken Operation in Benton County

Company to invest $300 million and create 1,500 new jobs

BENTON COUNTY—Today, Simmons Prepared Foods, Inc. announced it will build a new chicken facility in Benton County between Decatur and Gentry. Governor Asa Hutchinson joined Simmons’ leadership and local officials at today’s announcement at Simmons Great Hall on the campus of John Brown University.

The company plans to invest $300 million in the facility which is expected to create approximately 1,500 new jobs, bringing total employment at the operation to over 2,300 people by 2022. It will also create new contracts with local Arkansas farmers. The facility will produce fresh and frozen chicken products for retail and restaurant customers with capacity to sell approximately 850 million pounds of poultry meat annually at full production. The company expects to begin new operations in 2019.

“We’re thrilled to bring this project to our community and are grateful for the cooperation from the Cities of Decatur and Gentry, local officials, Arkansas Economic Development Commission and the State of Arkansas,” said Todd Simmons, CEO of Simmons Foods, Inc. and Affiliates. “This project positions us to continue meeting our customers’ needs.”

The design will feature modern production facilities and contemporary office space supported with best-in-class environmental technologies. Simmons also plans to increase starting pay at production facilities later this year. 

“Simmons Foods is a homegrown company that continues to invest heavily in Northwest Arkansas,” said Governor Hutchinson. “This announcement comes just two months after the company held a ribbon-cutting at its new pet food ingredient facility in Siloam Springs, which goes to show the faith they have in the area’s workforce and their commitment to the state. We competed with both Oklahoma and Missouri for this project, and I’m proud to say we won.”

County Judge Barry Moehring also joined today’s announcement.

"Entrepreneurial families built the backbone of our community,” said Judge Moehring. “We are fortunate to have great, role model businesses in Northwest Arkansas. Simmons is one of those."

Simmons’ existing operations in the Decatur, Arkansas area include a feed mill, hatchery, propane business, business offices and a chicken processing facility, along with a dry pet food production facility operated by Simmons Pet Food. Some processing operations will transition from the existing facility to the proposed plant once construction is complete.

About Simmons Prepared Foods

Simmons Prepared Foods, an affiliate of Simmons Foods, is a farm to fork poultry producer based in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. Simmons operates 3 hatcheries and 2 feed mills which supply nearly 300 independent poultry growers and 20+ company managed farms who raise approximately 200 million birds per year. The company’s 6 processing plants produce 750 million pounds of finished product per year for customer brands around the world.

This year, Simmons began offering chicken raised without the use of antibiotics important to human medicine. In 2018 Simmons will begin offering No Antibiotics Ever (NAE) products.

About Simmons Foods Inc. and Affiliates

Simmons is a leading supplier of poultry, pet food and feed ingredient solutions. Founded in 1949 in Arkansas, the company and its affiliates remain a privately owned and family led business. 
Across its three business affiliates, Simmons employs over 4,000 people in the state of Arkansas. In July, the company’s Feed Ingredients affiliate opened a new pet food ingredient facility bringing 78 new jobs and an estimated $50 Million in economic impact to Arkansas. 

Simmons Foods works with farmers, communities, and employees to apply more than 65 years of experience to serving customers. With more than 5,800 employees across more than 30 facilities, Simmons is committed to providing innovative food products and services to the world. For more information on Simmons Foods, visit simmonsfoods.com.

Gov. Hutchinson Joins Simmons Prepared Foods to Announce New Chicken Operation in Benton County

Donny Epp - Communications Director, Simmons Foods
479.215.2626, donny.epp@simfoods.com

Jeff Moore – Executive VP – Marketing and Communications, AEDC
501.682.7317, jmoore@arkansasedc.com

J.R. Davis – Communications Director, Office of Governor Asa Hutchinson
501.683.6439, JR.Davis@governor.arkansas.gov 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
09.27.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Announces Record High Employment

Attributes success to state’s workforce, natural resources and state’sefforts to recruit industry

HOT SPRINGS – Governor Asa Hutchinson announced today at an event in Hot Springs that the number of people employed in Arkansas is at an all-time high, a statistic the governor attributes to private sector confidence in the economy, in addition to the state’s successful efforts to recruit industry and a growing appreciation nationally of the state’s strong workforce and natural resources.

“Our aggressive recruiting nationally and around the world is paying off as more and more industries expand or relocate to Arkansas,” Governor Hutchinson said. “From our computer science initiative to the state’s strong workforce, companies are taking notice. While there’s always more work to be done, these statistics are a good indication that Arkansas’s economy continues to trend in the right direction, and—more importantly—that Arkansans are finding work.”

In August, a record 1,329,979 people were employed in Arkansas, beating the previous record of 1,327,941 in July of this year, according to the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services.

The unemployment rate in Arkansas reached a record low of 3.4% in 2017, down from 5.6% in January 2015, when Governor Hutchinson took office. Currently unemployment sits at 3.5%, nearly a full percentage point below the national average, and Arkansas has been below the national unemployment rate for 28 consecutive months and at or below 4% for 14 months.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
09.25.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Applauds President’s Focus and Support for Computer-Science Education Nationwide

LITTLE ROCK – President Trump’s commitment of $200 million a year to high-tech education will enhance Arkansas’ nation-leading efforts to ensure that students in every public school have access to computer-science training, Governor Asa Hutchinson said today after the President announced the plan.

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.

“I’m delighted with the President’s focus on computer-science education, and for the White House’s commitment to providing the resources necessary to increase access to computer science for our students,” the Governor said this afternoon.

“Arkansas continues to lead the nation in these efforts — from our first-of-its-kind legislation mandating that every Arkansas high school teach computer science, to providing the funding needed for schools to fulfill that directive. There is, of course, much more to be done, but the federal government’s support of an increase in focus and funding is key. This will further our efforts to train teachers and increase student access, while preparing them for the abundance of opportunities in today’s ever-changing economy.”

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
09.25.2017

Little Rock 9’s ‘Quiet Determination’ To Resist Unfair System Changed Nation, Set Example

LITTLE ROCK – The “quiet determination” and “stubborn refusal” of the Little Rock 9 to abandon their dreams in the face of an unfair system changed the path of the nation, Governor Asa Hutchinson told the crowd gathered today on the 60th anniversary of the day they entered Central High School.

Governor Hutchinson was one of several speakers who joined the eight surviving members of the Little Rock 9 on the stage of Central High’s Roosevelt Thompson Auditorium. 

Minnijean Brown Trickey, Elizabeth Eckford, Ernest Green, Dr. Melba Pattillo Beals, Gloria Ray Karlmark, Thelma Mothershed Wair, Dr. Terrence Roberts, and Carlotta Walls Lanier sat to the right of the lectern, with one empty chair in honor of Jefferson Thomas, who died in 2010.

“Your quiet determination and your stubborn refusal to abandon your dreams not only forced action, but set an example that will last into the ages,” Governor Hutchinson said. “The events of that fall day changed the path of a nation.”

The Little Rock 9 were among the pioneers who took a courageous stand against the segregation of the United States, he said, and “that fact gives us all an even greater appreciation for the lonely steps of the Little Rock 9 as they confronted hostility, the unknown and a defiant governor.”

They certainly encouraged Martin Luther King Jr., who was in the audience in the spring of 1958 when Ernest Green became the first African-American graduate of Central High, the governor noted. 

“Perhaps Reverend King was propelled by that moment to fully see the potential of his own dreams; and perhaps he got a glimpse of the mountain top where all of God's children are created equal,” Governor Hutchinson said.

But this is not a time to rest on victories, he said. “The victories sacrificially won by the Little Rock 9 do not guarantee equal opportunity or freedom from discrimination for this generation or the next.  … We must be constant in educating the current generation of the importance of tolerance, forgiveness and equal treatment.”

The governor thanked the Little Rock 9 for enduring the pain. “There is no other word to describe your experience. … We are grateful as a state and nation for the difference you made. Arkansas claims you as pioneers, heroes and examples to follow.”

• The video of Governor Hutchinson’s speech can be found HERE.
• The transcript of his speech can be found HERE

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
09.22.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule:  September 25th – September 30th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, September 25, 2017, through Saturday, September 30, 2017: 

Monday, September 25, 2017

LITTLE ROCK
Commemoration Ceremony for the 60th Anniversary
Of the Integration of Central High School
10:00 a.m.
Little Rock Central High School
1500 S Park St
Little Rock, AR

CHARLESTON, SC
Gov. Hutchinson to Chair the 57th Annual Meeting
of the Southern States Energy Board
Sunday—Tuesday
Francis Marion Hotel
387 King St
Charleston, SC


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

MOUNTAIN PINE
AEDC Announcement
10:30 a.m.
TBA
Mountain Pine, AR

HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK
Hot Springs National Park Rotary Club
11:45 a.m.
Arlington Hotel
239 Central Ave
Hot Springs National Park, AR

HOT SPRINGS
Arkansas Association of Chiefs of Police
1:30 p.m.
Hot Springs Convention Center, Hall A
140 Convention Center
Hot Springs, AR


Thursday, September 28, 2017

LITTLE ROCK
Arkansas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Annual Meeting
8:30 a.m.
Embassy Suites
11301 Financial Centre Pkwy
Little Rock, AR


Saturday, September 30, 2017

LITTLE ROCK
World Woman Summit, 2017
8:45 a.m.
Clinton Presidential Center
1200 President Clinton Ave
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
09.22.2017

Governor Hutchinson Answers Questions About Effect of Graham-Cassidy Bill on Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has signed a letter in support of the Graham-Cassidy Bill that the U.S. Senate is considering as a replacement for the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. 

The governor has consistently opposed any change that would shift the cost of healthcare onto the states. The block grants that are the foundation of this bill would allow Arkansas to design its own healthcare initiatives in a way that best covers and protects Arkansans. 

The Trump Administration invited Governor Hutchinson to the White House last month to meet with three other governors for discussion about the bill. His leadership on the bill has been recognized nationally. 

From Governor Hutchinson:

"My message has been consistent throughout this debate. The Affordable Care Act should be repealed and replaced with something that works, that is affordable, that continues to provide access to healthcare all the while providing a mechanism to better control costs. Most importantly, I’ve consistently stated that a replacement bill should not shift costs to the states, and I have pushed back on recent legislation that would do so. 

"Graham-Cassidy satisfies my concerns, and I believe it is a true repeal and replace bill that offers states the flexibility the governors have requested in a block grant format for some time now.

“As for some of the misinformation being circulated, Graham-Cassidy will not strip coverage from Arkansans with pre-existing conditions nor do I have any concerns with the long-term success of the program after 2026. The Graham-Cassidy bill follows the CHIP model, which Congress has consistently reauthorized since its creation 20 years ago. In fact, CHIP is up for reauthorization now and there is a bipartisan effort to do so. There is no reason to believe future Congresses and Administrations will act any differently in their approach to this new block grant program.”

The Governor's office put together this document to explain how the bill will affect Arkansas:

1. What is the Graham-Cassidy Bill?

The Graham-Cassidy bill is a true replacement to the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) that, if passed, will provide states the flexibility through block grant funding to innovate, identify efficiencies and find cost-savings while maintaining coverage for their populations. It is the nation's best and last chance to repeal and replace the unsustainable ACA.

The Graham-Cassidy bill will repeal the individual and employer mandates established under Obamacare and return the power to regulate insurance to the states.

The Graham-Cassidy bill will also implement a more equitable approach to federal healthcare funding for ALL states.

2. If the bill becomes law, will Arkansans with pre-existing conditions be protected?

Absolutely. Throughout this debate, Governor Hutchinson has emphasized his commitment to ensuring access to affordable coverage for all Arkansans, including those with pre-existing conditions.

While Graham-Cassidy allows for a state to waive certain provisions under the ACA, the statute clearly states that a Governor seeking such a waiver would have to show an alternative plan to provide access to adequate and affordable coverage for those with pre-existing conditions.

3. What would it mean for Arkansas?

If Graham-Cassidy passes: Arkansas Works would continue, as would the reforms the state is working to implement (lowering the income threshold and instituting work requirements) in the program. Between now and March 31, 2019, the date in which the block grant application would be due, the state would begin working with the provider community, healthcare advocates, the patient community, insurance carriers, and state officials to design a plan that works well for Arkansas. It’s important that the state get it right.

It will also allow the state to continue to identify and achieve cost-savings being pursued under current reform efforts. For example, the Governor and the Healthcare Legislative Task Force, along with DHS, have developed a plan to create $835 million in savings over a 5-year period. The state is well on its way to that goal.

4. Will Arkansas lose federal funds under Graham-Cassidy?

Graham-Cassidy puts federal spending on a budget—a realistic, manageable and achievable budget. This sort of discipline is long overdue in Washington and the states must be a partner in making our health care programs more sustainable.

Federal spending will grow at a slower rate under Graham-Cassidy than under current law, but states will have greater flexibility to manage the new growth rates and will no longer be required to pay a state match for the Medicaid expansion population.

The level of funding that will be provided to Arkansas is sufficient, and the state already has experience successfully operating healthcare programs under budget caps. In fact, the Arkansas Works program includes budget neutrality caps, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is based on capped allotments. Graham-Cassidy has a similar structure.

It’s important to note that the block grants under Graham-Cassidy represent 95% of the spending projections under current law (ACA) for private insurance subsidies and Medicaid expansion, nationally. Therefore, Arkansas can maintain high coverage levels under this plan.

5. Is there a state match under Graham-Cassidy like there is under the ACA?

There is no state match for Medicaid expansion required under the Graham-Cassidy bill. Under Obamacare, Arkansas currently has a 5 percent match ($100 million) for this population that the state pays to the federal government. That match will increase to 10 percent ($200 million) a year in the coming years under the current law.

Graham-Cassidy does not require a state match for the block grant funding that will replace the ACA’s expansion and private insurance subsidy system. In Arkansas, this will free up more than one billion dollars in general revenue between 2020 and 2026.

6. If this bill becomes law, will Arkansas proceed with current reform efforts to the Arkansas Works program and the waiver request pending at the Federal level?

The Graham-Cassidy block grants do not take effect until 2020. This means Arkansas will proceed with the Arkansas Works waiver amendment as planned, which includes lowering the income threshold for the program from 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) to 100 percent and instituting work requirements.

Lowering the FPL to 100 percent will reduce enrollment in the Arkansas Works program by approximately 60,000 Arkansans. Most of these individuals will then become eligible for federally subsidized coverage through the individual marketplace, allowing the state to concentrate limited resources on those who need it most. The block grant program would allow the state to continue a similar model beginning in 2020, if that is deemed to be the best path forward for Arkansas.

7. If the individual mandate is repealed, will this destabilize the individual marketplace? Won’t premiums become more expensive faster if healthier individuals flee the individual marketplace?

The best way to stabilize the market is to return control back to the states. There is no such thing as a national health insurance market. Markets are state and local—competition for customers who decide for themselves what coverage they want and at what price will lower premiums.

In many cases, the individual mandate has not been successful in convincing healthy individuals to purchase insurance. The flexibility allowed under Graham-Cassidy will result in a wider range of coverage options, which may be a more effective way to motivate individuals to buy insurance.

Under the Graham-Cassidy block grants, states will have ultimate flexibility to design an individual health insurance market that meets the needs of their populations. For instance, they could provide direct financial assistance to individuals to buy health insurance; direct payment to providers for healthcare services; and/or assistance to insurance carriers to help stabilize premiums. These mechanisms will also be helpful in ensuring market participation and access to care.

8. How will funding for the aged and disable population be affected?

Under Graham-Cassidy, per capita caps will be applied to several different Medicaid populations, including aged and disabled individuals. These caps will be set based on several factors, including the cost of covering the various populations in recent years. Additionally, the long-term growth rate for the aged and disabled population will remain higher than the growth rate for other populations, to account for the higher costs often required to provide needed services to these individuals. In addition, Arkansas can utilize a portion of its block grant funds for traditional Medicaid to fill any gaps, when and where necessary.

9. Is block-granting health care funds to the states and letting them decide how to use the money a good thing? 

It is not only a good thing, but the right thing. The ACA proved, among other things, there is no national health insurance market. There are only state and local markets. The ACA transferred authority over state health programs and markets from the states to the federal government, causing significant market disruption.

The federal government was never involved in regulating insurance until the ACA and its role in the process in recent years has resulted in duplicative and burdensome administrative requirements. The decisions about individual mandates, mandated benefits, and all the other decisions the ACA moved to Washington are best made at the state level by governors who understand the unique characteristics and needs of their states. Graham-Cassidy is about putting authority and responsibility back together at the state level and that, in itself, will help stabilize the markets.

10. Will states lose the block grant entirely after 2026? 

No. Graham-Cassidy follows the CHIP model. When CHIP was created, Congress only provided funding and authority for 7 years. In the 20-year history of CHIP, Congress has consistently reauthorized and periodically increased funding for it. In fact, CHIP is up for reauthorization now and there is a bipartisan effort to ensure the program continues.

There is no reason to believe future Congresses and Administrations will act any differently in their approach this new block grant program, which will be the basis of access to care for many Americans.

11. What is the Governor’s perspective in the healthcare debate?

Governor Hutchinson believes the Affordable Care Act is the wrong direction for America. He has always supported its repeal, and his message has been clear and consistent throughout this debate. The Governor believes it should be repealed and replaced with something that works, is affordable, and continues to provide access to healthcare—all the while providing flexibility to the states and a mechanism to better control costs.

Most importantly, the Governor has repeatedly stated that he will not support a replacement bill that dramatically shifts costs to the states. Graham-Cassidy meets these conditions and would enable Arkansas to develop an innovative and sustainable path forward.

A PDF of this FAQ can be found HERE.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
09.19.2017

Arkansas Has ‘Literally Written The Book’ On Teaching Computer Literacy, Publication Says

Article Chronicles Governor Hutchinson’s Coding Initiative

LITTLE ROCK – States that are attempting to boost computer literacy in their schools are turning to Arkansas, which has inspired a national wave of interest in computer-science education, according to The 74, a news site that specializes in education reporting.

The 3,000-word story chronicles the history of Governor Asa Hutchinson’s initiative to require computer-science education in every public school in Arkansas.

“Arkansas helped launch what is easily a wave of states that have made computer-science … a priority …,” the chief operating officer at Code.org, told The 74. “I’d say Arkansas has the most detailed set of policies that we have seen.”

The 74 describes itself as a “non-profit, non-partisan news site covering education in America.” The website’s name refers to the 74 million children in the United States under the age of 18.

Read the full story here.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
09.15.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Appointments

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

Chad Pekron, Bryant, as a Special Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas. CV-17-168 The Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas v. Matthew Andrews. Replaces Justice Courtney Hudson Goodson, who has disqualified herself from the case.

Steve Rucker, Alma, to the Residential Contractors Committee. Appointment expires October 1, 2018. Replaces Fred Rausch.

Marliese Kerr, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Home Inspector Registration Board. Appointment expires January 26, 2018. Replaces Cheryl Payne-Nesuda.

Dr. Brian Bell, North Little Rock, to the Palliative Care and Quality of Life Interdisciplinary Task Force. Appointment expires December 31, 2019.

Dr. Carmencita Poe, Little Rock, to the Palliative Care and Quality of Life Interdisciplinary Task Force. Appointment expires December 31, 2019. 

Lisa Vaden, Little Rock, to the Palliative Care and Quality of Life Interdisciplinary Task Force. Appointment expires December 31, 2019.

Dr. Sarah Harrington, Little Rock, to the Palliative Care and Quality of Life Interdisciplinary Task Force. Appointment expires December 31, 2019.

Dr. Angela Norman, El Dorado, to the Palliative Care and Quality of Life Interdisciplinary Task Force. Appointment expires December 31, 2019.

Suzanne McCarthy, Little Rock, to the Palliative Care and Quality of Life Interdisciplinary Task Force. Appointment expires December 31, 2019.

Barry Haas, Little Rock, to the Water Provider Legislative Task Force. Appointment expiresJanuary 1, 2019.

Robert Burns, Little Rock, to the Board of Trustees of the State Police Retirement System. Appointment expires July 1, 2024. Replaces John W. Allison. 

Dr. Rodney Harris, Pocahontas, to the State Review Committee for Historic Preservation. Appointment expires June 30, 2021. Replaces Dr. Ben Johnson, III.

Kelsey Bardwell, Harrison, to the State Review Committee for Historic Preservation. Appointment expires June 30, 2021. Replaces James Sharp, III.

Jammy Turner, Gillett, to the Arkansas Agriculture Board. Appointment expires August 15, 2021. Replaces David Elam. 

Robert Balloun, Dardanelle, to the Arkansas Agriculture Board. Appointment expires August 15, 2021. Reappointment.

Chirie Bazzelle, Benton, to the Arkansas Board of Examiners in Counseling. Appointment expires December 31, 2019. Replaces Clementine Kelley.

Dr. Suzanne Casey, Searcy, to the Arkansas Board of Examiners in Counseling. Appointment expires December 1, 2018. Replaces Dr. John Carmack. 

Dr. Michael Kelly, Arkadelphia, to the Arkansas Board of Examiners in Counseling. Appointment expires December 31, 2019. Replaces Tina Livingston. 

Dr. Ryan Martin, Fayetteville, to the Arkansas Board of Examiners in Counseling. Appointment expires December 31, 2019. Replaces Dr. Charmaine Caldwell. 

Patrick Benca, Little Rock, to the Sex Offender Assessment Committee. Appointment expiresJuly 1, 2021. Reappointment. 

Aimee Cloud, Conway, to the Board of Examiners in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. Appointment expires June 30, 2020. Replaces Karen Bright. 

Dr. Laura Smith-Olinde, Little Rock, to the Board of Examiners in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. Appointment expires June 30, 2019. Reappointment. 

Elizabeth Williams, Fayetteville, to the Board of Examiners in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. Appointment expires June 30, 2020. Reappointment. 

Michael Yarbrough, Benton, to the Board of Examiners in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. Appointment expires June 30, 2019. Replaces Michael Walton. 

Gary Proffitt, Cabot, to the Arkansas Tobacco Control Board. Appointment expires July 1, 2022. Replaces Stephen Lightle.

Dr. John Lynch, Jonesboro, to the Breast Cancer Control Advisory Board. Appointment expiresJanuary 14, 2021. Reappointment. 

Alicia Storey, Bono, to the Breast Cancer Control Advisory Board. Appointment expires January 14, 2021. Reappointment. 

Sharon Parrett, Hot Springs, to the Breast Cancer Control Advisory Board. Appointment expiresJanuary 14, 2021. Reappointment. 

Layza Lopez-Love, Springdale, to the Arkansas Minority Health Commission. Appointment expires January 31, 2019. Replaces Melisa Laelan. 

Christine Patterson, Redfield, to the Arkansas Minority Health Commission. Appointment expires January 31, 2019. Replaces Linda McGhee. 

Louis Portlock, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Minority Health Commission. Appointment expiresJanuary 31, 2019. Replaces Vanessa Davis. 

Timothy Barnes, Clinton, to the Board of Visitors for the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts. Appointment expires January 14, 2018. Replaces Donna Hutchison. 

Brian Reed, Jonesboro, to the Board of Visitors for the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts. Appointment expires January 14, 2020. Replaces Cynthia Miller. 

Todd West, Fayetteville, to the Board of Visitors for the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts. Appointment expires January 14, 2024. Replaces William Watson. 

Kurt Schrock, Fayetteville, to the Board of Directors of Northwest Technical Institute. Appointment expires June 30, 2022. Replaces Les Garrett. 

Rick McClure, Malvern, to the Board of Trustees of College of the Ouachitas. Appointment expires July 1, 2024. Reappointment. 

Rebecca Pittillo, White Hall, to the Board of Trustees of Southeast Arkansas College. Appointment expires July 1, 2024. Reappointment. 

Philip Blankenship, Booneville, to the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission. Appointment expires June 30, 2023. Replaces Roger Carter. 

Angie Hopkins, Maumelle, to the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission. Appointment expires June 30, 2023. Replaces Cheryl Felder Stuart. 

Kevin White, Van Buren, to the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission. Appointment expires June 30, 2023. Replaces Mary Bassett. 

Elizabeth Crone, Mabelvale, to the Arkansas Social Work Licensing Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2020. Replaces Tommie Davis.

Janet Hedges, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Social Work Licensing Board. Appointment expiresJune 30, 2020. Replaces Gary Gray. 

Leigh Hudson, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Social Work Licensing Board. Appointment expiresJune 30, 2020. Replaces Harold Dean. 

Robert Campbell, Witts Springs, to the State Plant Board. Appointment expires August 15, 2019. Reappointment.

Bruce Alford, Lewisville, to the State Plant Board. Appointment expires August 15, 2019. Reappointment. 

Matthew Marsh, Cammack Village, to the State Plant Board. Appoinment expires March 17, 2019. Replaces Jammy Turner. 

Johnny Gardner, Piggott, as a Constable for the Bradshaw/Haywood Township in Clay County. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Jeffery Featherston. 

John Robert Davis, Fountain Hill, as a Constable for the Longview Township in Ashley County. Appointment expires December 31, 2018.

Alma Gipson, Bigelow, as a Justice of the Peace for the Perry County Quorum Court, District 4. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Billy Gipson.

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

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
09.12.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Appoints John Shepherd as Prosecuting Attorney for the 13th Judicial District

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has appointed John Thomas Shepherd of El Dorado to serve as the prosecuting attorney for the 13th Judicial District. Shepherd will replace David Butler, who passed away earlier this year. Shepherd will serve until December 31, 2018, when the next prosecuting attorney is elected. 

“I am pleased to appoint John Shepherd to serve as prosecuting attorney for the 13th Judicial District. Shepherd's impressive legal ability and experience as the deputy prosecuting attorney will serve him well in this new role,” Governor Hutchinson said. “I am confident that he will be a tremendous asset to the 13th district and the people of Arkansas.”

John Shepherd is a partner at Law Offices Shepherd & Shepherd, P.A., in El Dorado and has served as the deputy prosecuting attorney for the 13th Judicial District since November of 2016. 

John currently serves on the board of directors for the Eighth Circuit Bar Association and is the president of the Union County Bar Association. He is also recognized as a certified contract advisor by the National Football League Players Association. Additionally, he serves as a commissioner for the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. Shepherd graduated magna cum laude from the University of Arkansas School of Law, where he was managing editor of the Arkansas Law Review

The 13th Judicial District serves Calhoun, Cleveland, Columbia, Ouachita, Dallas and Union counties.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
09.11.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Issues Statement on 16th Anniversary of 9/11 Attacks

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today issued the following statement in remembrance of the 16th anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2001.

"For me, as with many Americans, September 11th is a day that brings up vivid memories and strong emotions. At the time, I was serving as the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Agency.

"In the days that followed the attacks, in the midst of terror and destruction, we saw the face of America. We saw the strength and resilience that built our nation and that would rebuild it. 

"Today, hundreds of thousands of Americans are assessing their losses in Texas and Florida, where the winds of Hurricane Irma continue to pound. But let me share my assessment of Americans: We are brave. We are resilient. We always rise to meet the challenges of the day. 

“I saw that first-hand when President Bush asked me to serve as Undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security. In that role, I was honored to be trusted to help lead our nation's efforts to prevent an attack like this from ever happening again. 

"Sixteen years ago, terrorists tried to bring the United States of America to its knees. Yet we continue to stand tall as a beacon of freedom, opportunity and hope to the rest of the world. In the past 16 years, we have not forgotten those we lost, nor will we forget the courage, resilience and sacrifice of the American people."

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
09.08.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: September 11th – September 16th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, September 11, 2017, through Saturday, September 16, 2017: 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

LITTLE ROCK
Arkansas Association of Energy Engineers & NEBB Energy Efficiency Conference
12:15 p.m.
Crown Plaza Hotel
201 S Shackleford Rd
Little Rock, AR 72211

Governor's Quality Award Celebration
6:00 p.m.
Marriott Hotel Ballroom
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
09.06.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Announces State’s Naloxone Standing Protocol

“Naloxone in the hands of more Arkansans, including ourfirst responders, will save lives”


LITTLE ROCK –  At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Governor Hutchinson, alongside Kirk Lane, DHS State Director of Drug Prevention, and other administration officials, announced the creation of the state’s Naloxone Standing Protocol.

The Naloxone Standing Protocol was developed pursuant to Act 284 of 2017 by Senators Cecile Bledsoe and Lance Eads and Representative Justin Boyd. Similar to an immunization order, it allows licensed pharmacists in Arkansas to order, dispense and/or administer naloxone without a prescription as therapy, providing greater access to more Arkansans and first responders in the event of a drug overdose. 

Dr. Nate Smith, Director and State Health Officer of the Arkansas Department of Health, will serve as the prescriber of record for the protocol.  

“The effects of opioid addiction—on individuals, families, and our state—are staggering,” said Governor Hutchinson. “Reports of drug-related injuries and deaths across the nation are increasing, and sadly, we’ve seen the tragic effects of this epidemic on the communities in our state, as well.

“The Naloxone Standing Protocol is just one step Arkansas is taking to fight back by allowing easier access to this life-saving medication and helping to reduce the number of lives lost to opioid abuse. There is no doubt that putting Naloxone in the hands of more Arkansans, including our first responders, will save lives.”

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, deaths from prescription opioids like Oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone have more than quadrupled since 1999. One half of all opioid overdose deaths can be attributed to prescription opioids. 

“Establishing a Standing Protocol for Naloxone in Arkansas will increase access to a proven life-saving measure that will benefit Arkansans struggling with substance abuse disorders that involve opioids,” said Kirk Lane, DHS State Director of Drug Prevention. “This protocol was made possible by the collective effort of our legislators, the medical community and state government working together to solve this issue in Arkansas under the leadership of Governor Asa Hutchinson.

“Establishing this Naloxone Standing Protocol is an important step toward achieving our goal of reducing the misuse and abuse of drugs in Arkansas.”

Naloxone is an opioid antagonist delivered via injection or nasal spray that is used to block or reverse an opioid overdose, whether it is a powerful prescription pain medication or a street drug, such as heroin. Naloxone will have no effect on respiratory depression caused from non-opioid substances.  

This standing order is one of the recommendations made recently by the National Opioid Task Force to President Trump as a necessary change to assist is the reducing the opioid epidemic. In 2015, the Arkansas Legislature passed Act 1222, known as the Good Samaritan Act, to cover liability of the use of this substance by trained individuals.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
09.06.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Intent to Grant Executive Clemency

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced his intent to grant 17 pardons and 1 commutation. An additional 36 clemency requests were denied and 4 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:

Jerrill W. Holmes (Fort Smith): Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Deliver (Felony) (CR-82-381); Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony) and Possession of Methamphetamine (C Felony) (CR-2001-204) and Non-Support (D Felony) (CR-2002-10).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1983 and 2002 – 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.

David W. Anemone (Hot Springs): Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony) (CR-2002-458-IV).

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

Holli R. Burns (Port Charlotte, FL): Forgery in the 2nd Degree (C Felony) (CR-95-286).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1996 – Faulkner County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further Arkansas criminal-law violations. The Sheriff has raised objections to the application. 

Debbie Smith Cotton (Pine Bluff): Theft of Property (A Misdemeanor) (PBCR 89-01145); Fail to Appear for Plea (Misdemeanor) (PBCR 90-01176); Theft of Property (C Felony) (CR 94-3379A); Domestic Battery (A Misdemeanor) (PBCR 96-06714); and Violate Curfew Ordinance (Misdemeanor) (PBCR 97-05782).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1990, 1996 and 1997 – Jefferson County; 1995 – 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.

Lora Green (Little Rock): Theft of Property (C Felony) (CR-92-414); Battery 3rd Degree (A Misdemeanor) (CR-94001735), Criminal Impersonation (A Misdemeanor) (CR-94001734), Disorderly Conduct (A Misdemeanor) (CR-94001733), Public Intoxication (A Misdemeanor) (CR-94111732) and Fail to Appear (Misdemeanor) (CR-94005829); Possession of Marijuana (A Misdemeanor) (case no. 97-1-3904); Contempt of Court (A Misdemeanor) (case no. 00-1-4664); Contempt of Court (A Misdemeanor) (case no. 00-1-4665).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1992, 1994, 1997 and 1998 – Pulaski County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Robert M. Hill (Dierks): Manufacturing a Controlled Substance-Marijuana (C Felony) (CR-2001-115).

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

Michael T. Alverson (Harrison): Making and Uttering Hot Checks (C Felony) (CR-98-107).

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

Justin P. Bartholomew (Rogers): Possession of a Controlled Substance, Methamphetamine (C Felony) (CR-2000-1293-2); Theft of Services (A Misdemeanor) (case no 02-61063).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (2001 and 2002 – 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.

John W. Burton (Bryant): Theft Of Property (B Felony) (CR-1996-2815).

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.

Shannon Wheeler Casey (Vilonia): Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony) (CR-1992-388).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1992 – Faulkner County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further Arkansas criminal-law violations. The Prosecuting Attorney and Sheriff have raised objections to the applicant’s request.

Lance Duncan (Jonesboro): Aggravated Assault (D Felony) (CR 2000-362).

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

Loyd Faulkner (Perryville): Possession of Burglary Tools (Unclassified Felony) (Case no 11,289) and Burglary and Grand Larceny (Unclassified Felonies) (Case no 11,290); Burglary (Unclassified Felony) and Grand Larceny (Unclassified Felony) (Case no 2739); Burglary (Unclassified Felony) (Case no 3118).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1960 – Garland County; 1960 and 1965 – 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.

Michael Gray (Little Rock): Fraudulent Use Of Credit Card (C Felony) (CR-2006-3338).

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

George W. Floyd (Clarksville): Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony) (CR-1994-153); Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony) (CR-1995-289; Possession of a Controlled Substance (C Felony) (CR-2000-130).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1994, 1995 and 2000 – Pope County), the fact that all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

Jerome Hill Grave (West Memphis): Battery 2nd Degree (D Felony) (CR-88-173).

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

Michael L. Burgess (Calico Rock): Petty Theft (A Misdemeanor) (#88-13317); Possession of Methamphetamine (C Felony) , Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony) (CR-01-85) and Violation of the Arkansas Hot Check Law (C Felony) (CR-01-61); Attempted Manufacture of Methamphetamine (A Felony) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia with Intent to Manufacture Methamphetamine (B Felony) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (Amended from Possession of Amonia in a Container) (C Felony)  (CR-2000-1488).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1988 – Independence County; 2002 – Cleburne County; 2002 – 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 Faulkner County Sheriff has raised objections to the applicant’s request. 

Marvin K. Guess (Denver, CO): Manufacture of a Controlled Substance (C Felony) (CR 1987-37); Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver (Y Felony), Delivery of a Controlled Substance (Y Felony) and Carrying a Prohibited Weapon (A Misdemeanor) (CR 1996-124).

This notice is issued based on the dates of convictions (1988 and 1997 – Carroll 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.

Governor Hutchinson intends to grant commutation to the following person:

Irene Waddle (ADC #706175): Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Deliver (Y Felony), Distribution Near Certain Facilities (Unclassified), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony), and Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Deliver (C Felony) (2002-73).

The governor has given notice of his intent to commute the sentence of Irene Waddle, who was convicted in Scott County in 2003 for the above offenses, from a total of 360 months to serve in the Arkansas Department of Correction to being immediately parole eligible. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
09.05.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Issues Statement on President’s Decision to Rescind DACA Program

LITTLE ROCK –  Governor Asa Hutchinson today released the following statement on President Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:

“President Trump’s decision to rescind President Obama’s DACA executive order is a recognition of the constitutional limits of executive power,” said Governor Hutchinson. “The issue is squarely back in the hands of Congress, and reform of our immigration laws is long overdue. I support the decision to institute a six-month delay to allow Congress time to develop a modern, workable solution on immigration that should include both a secure border and broader reforms.

“Our hearts go out to the children affected; their unique stories show they have a lot to add to the future of America. Congress should act quickly on this matter and hold hearings on reform legislation.”

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
09.01.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: September 4th – September 9th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, September 4, 2017, through Saturday, September 9, 2017: 

Monday, September 4, 2017

RECTOR
Rector Labor Day Celebration
8:30 a.m.
324 S Main St,
Rector, AR

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

CONWAY
UCA's Makerspace Grand Opening
10:30 a.m.
250 S Donaghey Suite #130
Conway, AR

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

JONESBORO
US Manufacturing Jobs Event
11:00 a.m.
1 Nice-Pak Rd,
Jonesboro, AR

LITTLE ROCK
Naloxone Standing Protocol Press Conference
2:45 p.m.
Governor’s Conference Room
500 Woodlane St,
Little Rock, AR

Thursday, September 7, 2017

LITTLE ROCK
Restore Hope Summit
1:00 p.m.
St. Mark's Baptist Church Little Rock
5722 W 12th 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
09.01.2017

Gov. Hutchinson, DHS Release First Scorecard Showing Traditional Medicaid Spending Lower

DHS files first quarterly public scorecard tracking Medicaid savings from reform efforts

LITTLE ROCK –  Governor Asa Hutchinson today, along with the Department of Human Services (DHS), released the state’s first scorecard showing traditional Medicaid spending well below estimated growth. Arkansas’s traditional Medicaid program spent $175 million less than projected for State Fiscal Year 2017, with a significant portion of that savings attributed to reform efforts approved by the Healthcare Reform Legislative Task Force as a way to help achieve savings requested by Governor Hutchinson.

“I am pleased to see the significant savings outlined in the first DHS scorecard. This report demonstrates that the reforms advanced by my Administration and the Healthcare Reform Legislative Task Force are creating real savings and slowing growth to ensure a more sustainable and efficient Medicaid program,” said Governor Hutchinson. “In fact, these reforms have already resulted in tens of millions of dollars in savings to the state.”

“I will continue to work with DHS and the state legislature to tailor a uniquely Arkansas approach to healthcare reform that is innovative, conservative and will ensure the long-term success and viability of our state’s Medicaid program,” added Hutchinson.
In December 2015, the Governor recommended to the Task Force a goal of saving $835 million in the traditional Medicaid program over five years, and the Task Force voted unanimously to find at least that amount in savings “without managed care, with the exception of dental managed care.”

Based on that goal, the Task Force, jointly chaired by Sen. Jim Hendren and Rep. Charlie Collins, set annual savings targets in five high-cost areas of spending in Medicaid:  behavioral health, developmental disabilities (excluding human development centers), long-term services and supports, pharmacy and dental (through managed care). 

“It is great news for Arkansas that the two years of hard work of the Healthcare Reform Task Force have helped produce savings of over $175 million,” said Sen. Jim Hendren, Task Force co-chair. “DHS has taken the HRTF recommendations and done a fantastic job of turning them into actions that produce savings. It shows Arkansas will continue to lead the nation in innovation and responsible healthcare policy development.” 

Legislation passed earlier this year requires the Arkansas Department of Human Services to track those savings on a public scorecard with the “baseline” scorecard to be submitted to the Bureau of Legislative Research by Sept. 1. You can read the full scorecard HERE.

“It’s fantastic to see such positive results from the work of the Task Force and DHS on the very first public scorecard. There will, no doubt, be obstacles along the way to creating a sustainable Medicaid program, but we are clearly headed in the right direction,” said Rep. Charlie Collins, Task Force co-chair. “I commend DHS for the work it has done to help make this a reality and am impressed that the changes DHS is implementing in partnership with all concerned already have us ahead of track on the $835 million savings goal. The rest of the country will be watching the healthcare policy work happening in Arkansas.”

A consultant hired by the Task Force to set savings targets for each area projected $77 million in savings for SFY17. Analysis of actual expenditures shows a savings in these areas of $93 million. The additional savings is likely due to a number of different factors, including lower utilization and reduced enrollment.

The rules and manual changes to complete the Task Force reforms will receive final legislative action in September, allowing DHS to proceed with fully implementing savings reforms. 

CONTACT: 

Amy Webb
DHS Chief of Communications and Community Engagement
Amy.Webb@dhs.arkansas.gov or 501.682.8946

J.R. Davis
Governor’s Communications Director
JR.Davis@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.683.6439

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
09.01.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Authorizes the Deployment of 1,500 National Guardsmen to Texas

Deployment Could Last Up to 30 Days

LITTLE ROCK –  Governor Asa Hutchinson today authorized the deployment of 1,500 National Guardsmen from Arkansas to Texas to help in the recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Arkansas Guardsmen are scheduled to deploy on Saturday, September 2.

“After speaking with General Mark Berry and ADEM Director A.J. Gary this morning, and based upon a request from the State of Texas, I’ve authorized a deployment of 1,500 National Guardsmen from Arkansas to Texas to assist in the recovery efforts there,” said Governor Hutchinson. “Guardsmen will be leaving tomorrow, and the deployment could extend up to 30 days.”

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
08.30.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Praises Agencies’ Efficiencies Efforts as Highlighted by The Arkansas Project

ADFA, Heritage, ADIS and ADEM Cutting Costs, Maintaining Services

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today praised the ongoing efficiency efforts at the Arkansas Development Finance Authority (ADFA), Department of Arkansas Heritage (DAH), Arkansas Department of Information Systems (ADIS) and the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM). These efforts have been highlighted in a recent series of articles from The Arkansas Projectemphasizing efficiencies in state government. These efficiencies include substantive cuts to each agency’s budget, as well as considerable decreases to agency personnel. These reforms are significant and have been implemented over time, while maintaining services to Arkansas taxpayers. 

“I am grateful that The Arkansas Project has taken notice of the progress my administration has made in cutting the cost of state government by closely examining everything we spend," said Governor Hutchinson. "Since I took office in 2015, my directors have saved money by cutting everything from cable-TV subscriptions to jobs that aren’t essential to the operation of their agency. I am grateful, also, to the directors who have caught my vision for reducing state government to a manageable size and one that is attuned to what is best for all Arkansans.”

Links to the full articles can be found below following an excerpt from each.

Efficiency In State Government: Arkansas Development Finance Authority

More and more Americans in recent years have been “cutting the cord” to save money. It turns out that Aaron Burkes, president of the Arkansas Development Finance Authority (ADFA), did the same after he took the job in 2015. 

Burkes told The Arkansas Project in an interview: “We cancelled the cable TV in the conference room. That’s not a lot of money when you look at our entire budget. But it sends an important message.”

Burkes has also overseen a significant reduction in overall staff size of the agency. The agency had 57 employees for the 62 positions appropriated when Burkes came on board in 2015. Now ADFA has 48 employees and state funding for 60 positions. That’s about a 16 percent reduction in staffing — achieved in a short amount of time. Burkes said the reduction was possible due to streamlining duplicate and redundant processes within the agency. … Overall, Burkes said a rough conservative estimate would be that the staff reductions saved taxpayers around $400,000 to $500,000 annually.

Click HERE for the full article.

Efficiency in State Government: Department Of Arkansas Heritage

The Hutchinson era has seen many Arkansas state agencies adopt efficiency as a priority. 

Nowhere is this more evident than in the Department of Arkansas Heritage (DAH) … Stacy Hurst, DAH Director, told The Arkansas Project how she went about eliminating inefficiencies in the department while still meeting DAH’s service requirements since she took over in 2015.

Hurst said one of the first actions she took after starting at DAH in January 2015 was to work with the Office of Personnel Management in the Department of Finance and Administration to get an analysis of staffing levels in the department. … DAH reduced full-time staff by eight positions from vacancies from attrition for fiscal year 2017. This reduction amounted to an annual savings of $312,694.

Click HERE for the full article.

Efficiency in State Government: ADIS & ADEM 

Both the Arkansas Department of Information Systems (ADIS) and the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) have reduced overall levels of staffing since 2015. 

According to an ADIS spokeswoman, the number of staff vacancies doubled from 32 to 65 from fiscal year 2014/2015 to the current fiscal year. 

… Janet Clark, public information manager for ADIS, said the staff reductions were done through attrition, and these duties were absorbed by other personnel. …Annual salary savings since fiscal year 2014 to the state were approximately $12.5 million, according to Clark. 

… The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) has also reduced its payroll in recent years. According to Melody Daniel, an ADEM spokeswoman, three positions have been eliminated since 2014 for a total of $66,034 in salary savings annually. … Daniel said the reduction in staff wouldn’t keep ADEM from fulfilling its mission of aiding Arkansans in disasters and emergencies. 

Click HERE for the full article.


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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
08.28.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Announces Arkansas & Facebook Techstart Partnership Expansion

Facebook to Provide Technology, Resources to All Arkansas High Schools


HOT SPRINGS –  Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the details of an agreement with Facebook, Inc. to expand the company’s Techstart program to all Arkansas public high schools. The Arkansas & Facebook Techstart Partnership was a first-of-its-kind partnership with the social media giant. Under the original agreement announced earlier this year, Facebook donated approximately 400 Virtual Reality (VR) classroom kits, including computers, cameras and the Oculus Rift equipment necessary to administer the Techstart program to approximately 250 schools. This new agreement will expand the donation to all of the more than 360 public high schools in Arkansas. In addition, each school will receive an Oculus Rift touch controller and 30 virtual reality viewers.

“Last year, after taking notice of Arkansas’ nation-leading computer science initiative, Facebook generously donated hundreds of Oculus VR kits to various high schools around the state,” said Governor Hutchinson. “Now Facebook has agreed to expand the program and will provide an Oculus VR kit and additional technology to every high school in the state.

“We are appreciative to Facebook for its continued efforts to generate excitement for STEM fields in Arkansas high schools. Facebook’s generous donation will provide Arkansas’ students with an exciting learning platform that will allow them to have fun while sharpening their computer science skills and exploring STEM careers. Students who utilize this incredible platform will be well-positioned to succeed in our increasingly technology driven economy.”  

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

According to the agreement, Facebook’s final donation will include more than 550 VR kits, and distribution and facilitation of these resources will be administered through the Arkansas Department of Education Computer Science Division and the Arkansas Public Resource Center. Facebook’s financial commitment to the #ARKidsCanCode Initiative will be in excess of $1.3 million. 

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
08.25.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule: August 28th – September 2nd

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, August 28, 2017, through Saturday, September 2, 2017: 

Monday, August 28, 2017

HOT SPRINGS
Lakeside High School Coding Tour
1:00 p.m.
2871 Malvern Ave.
Hot Springs, AR

HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK
Hot Springs High School Coding Tour
2:15 p.m.
701 Emory St.
Hot Springs National Park, AR

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

LITTLE ROCK
Teacher of the Year Finalist Ceremony 
10:00 a.m.
Old Supreme Court Room
500 Woodlane St.
Little Rock, AR

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

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
08.25.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Orders State Flag to Fly at Half-Staff in Memory of Drew Co. Deputy Timothy Braden

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has ordered the flag of the state of Arkansas to be lowered to half-staff in tribute to the memory of Drew County Sheriff’s Deputy Timothy Braden who was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, August 24, 2017. The flag will be flown at half-staff from August 25, 2017, to the day of interment. The full proclamation can be found HERE.

Governor Hutchinson released a statement Thursday on the death of Deputy Braden, and that statement can be found HERE.

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

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
08.25.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Announces Intent to Grant Clemency to Jason McGehee

Sentence to be Commuted from Death to Life Without Parole

LITTLE ROCK –  Governor Asa Hutchinson announced today his intent to grant clemency to Jason McGehee based upon the Parole Board’s recommendation earlier this year. The clemency would commute McGehee’s sentence from Death to Life Without the Possibility of Parole.

“My intent to grant clemency to Mr. McGehee is based partly on the recommendation of the Parole Board to commute his sentence from Death to Life Without Parole,” said Governor Hutchinson. “In making this decision I considered many factors including the entire trial transcript, meetings with members of the victim’s family and the recommendation of the Parole Board. In addition, the disparity in sentence given to Mr. McGehee compared to the sentences of his co-defendants was a factor in my decision, as well.”

Jason F. McGehee (ADC #000946) was convicted in Circuit Court of Boone County on January 8, 1998, of Capital Murder (Y Felony) in killing of John Melbourne Jr. and sentenced to Death. It should be noted that the presiding Judge has recommended clemency. The Boone County Prosecutor and Sheriff have raised objections. 

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
08.24.2017

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

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson issued the following statement on the death of Drew County Deputy Sheriff Timothy Braden, who was killed in the line of duty earlier today during a motor vehicle pursuit outside Monticello:

“It is always a difficult day when I hear of the loss of one of Arkansas’ finest. I am deeply saddened to learn that Deputy Timothy Braden was killed in the line of duty early this morning. Deputy Braden’s life was cut short in service to the people of our state. My prayers and gratitude are with Deputy Braden’s family and with the law enforcement community for their selfless commitment to serve and protect the people of our state, even in times of danger.”

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
08.24.2017

Arkansas Has Second-Fastest Growth Rate in Nonfarm Employment, Bureau of Labor Statistic Reports

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas had the second-highest percentage increase in nonfarm employment in July, which indicates that “Arkansas is clearly on the right track,” Governor Hutchinson said Thursday in response to a report by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Participation in Arkansas’ work force grew by 2.7 percent, an increase second only to Oregon’s 2.9 percent growth, according to the report.

Click HERE to see the full report. 

“It is great to see that our state’s labor force is among the fastest growing in the country,” said Governor Hutchinson.

“Over the past 3 years, Arkansas’ unemployment rate has fallen from 5.6 percent to a record low 3.4 percent. This is just another indication that our economy is growing. More people are working, more businesses are expanding and more employers are hiring than when I took office in 2015. Arkansas is clearly on the right track, and we will work every day to continue to grow our economy and improve the quality of life in Arkansas.”

Over recent months, Arkansas’ unemployment rate has fallen to an all-time low of 3.4 percent, nearly a full percentage point below the national average of 4.3 percent. When adjusted to account for seasonal employment, the state has added 63,400 new jobs since Governor Hutchinson took office in 2015. When not adjusted for seasonal employment, the number of new jobs is 121,205. The state’s per capita income also increased 4.7 percent in that same period.

Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique to measure changes in employment from month to month that is intended to eliminate predictable fluctuations resulting from seasonal influences including school schedules, harvests, holidays, changes in weather and other temporary factors.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
08.21.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Appointments

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

Matt Keil, Texarkana, to the Pawnbroker Licensure Commission. Appointment expires August 1, 2020.

Douglas Braswell, Little Rock, to the Pawnbroker Licensure Commission. Appointment expires August 1, 2024.

Traci Lewellen, Van Buren, to the Pawnbroker Licensure Commission. Appointment expires August 1, 2023.

Sergeant Marty Wardlaw, Warren, to the Pawnbroker Licensure Commission. Appointment expires August 1, 2022.

Chief Paul Keith, Bay, to the Pawnbroker Licensure Commission. Appointment expires August 1, 2021.

Captain Keith Eremea, Little Rock, to the Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial Design Committee. Serves at the will of the Governor.

Rafael Figueroa, Jr., De Queen, to the Department of Human Services State Institutional System Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2018. Replaces Dr. John Fleming.

Michael Burden, Conway, to the Department of Human Services State Institutional System Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2024. Reappointment.

Ronnie Dorsey, De Queen, to the HVACR Licensing Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2021. Replaces Scott Freyaldenhoven.

Charlotte Bradley, Hope, to the Board of Electrical Examiners of the State of Arkansas. Appointment expires June 15, 2021. Reappointment.

Steven Smith, Mountain Home, to the Arkansas Lifeline Individual Verification Effort Corporation Board of Directors. Appointment expires March 30, 2020. Reappointment.

Tyrus Reed, Prairie Grove, to the Arkansas Lifeline Individual Verification Effort Corporation Board of Directors. Appointment expires March 30, 2020. Reappointment.

Matthew Morrison, Rose Bud, to the Arkansas State Board of Sanitarians. Appointment expires June 30, 2022. Replaces Sherri Woodus.

Wayne Wiggins, III, Jonesboro, to the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2019. Reappointment.

Richard Hillman, Carlisle, to the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2019. Reappointment.

David Gairhan, Jr., Jonesboro, to the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2019. Reappointment.

Marvin Hare, Jr., Newport, to the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2019. Reappointment.

James Whitaker, McGehee, to the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2019. Replaces Bobby Hoard.

Kenneth Clark, Newport, to the Arkansas Wheat Promotion Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2019. Reappointment.

Blake Swears, Carlisle, to the Arkansas Wheat Promotion Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2019. Reappointment.

David Wallace, Crawfordsville, to the Arkansas Wheat Promotion Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2019.

Jackie Prince, Biscoe, to the Arkansas Wheat Promotion Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2019. Reappointment.

Tony Schwarz, Weiner, to the Arkansas Wheat Promotion Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2019. Replaces Barry Walls.

John Freeman, Dumas, to the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2019. Reappointment.

Gary Sitzer, Weiner, to the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2019. Reappointment.

Donald Morton, Des Arc, to the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2019. Reappointment.

Glynn Guenther, Sherrill, to the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2019. Reappointment.

Joe Thrash, Houston, to the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2019. Reappointment.

Greg Moyers, Portland, to the Arkansas Catfish Promotion Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2019. Reappointment.

John Farmer, Dumas, to the Arkansas Catfish Promotion Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2019. Reappointment.

David Heikes, White Hall, to the Arkansas Catfish Promotion Board. Appointment expires June 30, 2019. Reappointment.

T.J. Curtis, Russellville, to the Supervisory Board for the Arkansas Crime Information Center. Appointment expires June 30, 2021. Reappointment.

Marc Phillips, Ash Flat, to the Arkansas State Board of Registration for Foresters. Appointment expires July 18, 2022. Reappointment.

David Gammill, Tyronza, to the Arkansas Corn and Grain Sorghum Promotion Board. Appointment expires July 1, 2019. Reappointment.

Jon Carroll, Moro, to the Arkansas Corn and Grain Sorghum Promotion Board. Appointment expires July 1, 2019. Reappointment.

Trent Dabbs, Stuttgart, to the Arkansas Corn and Grain Sorghum Promotion Board. Appointment expires July 1, 2019. Reappointment.

Jeff Hankins, Little Rock, to the Arkansas Freedom of Information Task Force. Appointment expires August 9, 2021.

Representative Mickey Gates, Hot Springs, to the Child Maltreatment Investigations Oversight Committee. Appointment expires August 10, 2020. 

Phyllis Bell, Little Rock, to the Child Maltreatment Investigations Oversight Committee. Appointment expires August 10, 2020.

Barry Weathers, Cabot, to the Water Provider Legislative Task Force. Appointment expires January 1, 2019.

Van Nowlin, Mountain Home, to the Interagency Task Force for the Implementation of Criminal Justice Prevention Initiatives. Appointment expires July 1, 2019.

Bryan Chesshir, Nashville, to the Interagency Task Force for the Implementation of Criminal Justice Prevention Initiatives. Appointment expires July 1, 2019.

Judge Ray Spruell, Ozark, to the Interagency Task Force for the Implementation of Criminal Justice Prevention Initiatives. Appointment expires July 1, 2019.

Daniel Shue, Fort Smith, to the Interagency Task Force for the Implementation of Criminal Justice Prevention Initiatives. Appointment expires July 1, 2019.

Judge Chalk Mitchell, Helena, to the Interagency Task Force for the Implementation of Criminal Justice Prevention Initiatives. Appointment expires July 1, 2019.

Richard Steiner, Mountain Home, as a Justice of the Peace for the Baxter County Quorum Court, District 3. Appointment expires December 31, 2018. Replaces Erric Totty.

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

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
08.18.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule:  August 21st – August 26th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, August 21, 2017, through Saturday, August 26, 2017: 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

HARRISON
Harrison High School Coding Tour
9:30 a.m.
925 Goblin Dr.
Harrison, AR

ALPENA
Alpena High School Coding Tour
11:00 a.m.
300 S. Denver St.
Alpena, AR

GREEN FOREST
Green Forest High School Coding Tour
1:30 p.m.
800 Tommy Ratzlaff Ave.
Green Forest, AR

Thursday, August 24, 2017

BEEBE
Beebe High School Coding Tour
9:30 a.m.
1201 W. Center St.
Beebe, AR

FORREST CITY
Forrest City High School Coding Tour
1:15 p.m.
467 Victoria Ave.
Forrest City, AR

LITTLE ROCK 
Women’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
7:00 p.m.
Statehouse Convention Center
101 E Markham 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
08.16.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Issues Response to 8th Circuit Planned Parenthood Ruling

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today issued the following statement in response to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling vacating the injunction that had prevented the state from terminating Planned Parenthood’s status as a Medicaid provider: 

“In 2015, the state terminated its Medicaid provider agreement with Planned Parenthood because there was evidence that Planned Parenthood and its affiliates were acting in an unethical manner and engaging in what appeared to be wrongful conduct. I am pleased with the ruling of the 8th Circuit today reversing Judge Baker on her injunction that blocked the state from proceeding. 

“The decision allows the state to proceed with the termination of Planned Parenthood as a Medicaid provider. This is a substantial legal victory for the right of the state to determine whether Medicaid providers are acting in accordance with best practices and affirms the prerogative of the state to make reasoned judgments on the Medicaid program.”

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
08.16.2017

National publication on ARTechJobs.com:

'Broader push from a state that is ‘pioneering technology workforce development initiatives’

LITTLE ROCK – StateScoop, a national news publication for government technology leadership and innovation, published an article featuring yesterday’s launch of ArTechJobs.com, Arkansas’ statewide database of tech job openings. 

Click HERE or see the full article below.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

August 15, 2017 – 1:18 p.m.

On Tuesday, the office of Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced that Arkansas had become the first state to launch a statewide database of unfilled technology jobs.

The new website — called ArTechJobs — is part of a broader Computer Coding initiative out of the governor's office designed to close the tech employment gap. The free website features upon launch more than 50 companies and 100 job openings across the state in areas including web development, design, database administration, computer network architecture, information security and health care.

The website joins a national push from state and local government to fill a demand for skilled technology workers that is outpacing qualified university graduates.

Arkansas has positioned itself as a national leader in the computer coding movement, first by passing a law in 2015 that required all public high schools and charter schools serving upper grades to offer computer science classes. When the initiative launched, Hutchinson noted that the "small-ticket item may have the greatest long-term impact."

“The number of high school students participating in computer science and coding courses has increased almost 400 percent since we began our initiative,” Hutchinson said in a statement. “Now it is time to focus on connecting tech-savvy young people to the growing number of available tech jobs in our state. By connecting those searching for jobs with local employers, ArTechJobs.com will simplify the job-search process and keep more of our tech talent right here in Arkansas.”

Nationally, the number of technology workers grew about 2 percent to about 7.3 million last year, outpacing major industries like construction, finance, and transportation. But despite lucrative compensation — tech workers earned about $109,000 on average last year — jobs are popping up faster than workers can fill them. There will be more than 1 million unfilled technology jobs by 2020, according to estimates by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Employers put the blame on the higher education system. According to a January survey conducted by the Career Advisory Board, only 11 percent of employers said they believed higher education is "very effective" in readying graduates for the workforce, while 62 percent said students were unprepared.

In Arkansas, the new jobs website offers some hope, both in its utility and origin story. It was designed by ARCodeKids, a Little Rock-based nonprofit founded last year by the Wengel family, which includes Ella Beth, 13, and Malcolm, 11. Through coordination with the Information Network of Arkansas, a state government oversight board, the nonprofit developed the website at no cost to the state.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
08.15.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Announces Fall 2017 Computer Science Tour of Arkansas Schools

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced his fifth computer coding tour of Arkansas high schools since taking office in 2015. The tour will kick off August 22 and run through the end of the month. The focus of the tour is to promote computer science and encourage students to enroll in courses this fall. Schools, dates and times are listed below.

Gov. Hutchinson issued the following statement: 

“I am kicking off my fifth computer science tour this week, and the difference between what was happening in the state on the first tour two years ago and now is tremendous. 

“Thanks to the amazing response from educators, students and the business community, Arkansas continues to lead the nation in computer-science education. National publications are writing stories about us. Companies are considering Arkansas because they see the strong workforce we are creating. Computer coding classes have become so popular that some schools have a waiting list of students. Teachers have access to training and resources that they did not have before we started our Computer Coding Initiative. 

“Arkansas is truly becoming a tech hub, and I can’t wait to hit the road and meet even more of our talented students to spread the word about coding and their future in Arkansas’ economy.” 

Tuesday, August 22

Harrison High School
9:30 a.m.
925 Goblin Dr.
Harrison, AR

Alpena High School
11:00 a.m.
300 S. Denver St.
Alpena, AR

Green Forest High School
1:30 p.m.
800 Tommy Ratzlaff Ave.
Green Forest, AR

Thursday, August 24

Beebe High School 
9:30 a.m.
1201 W. Center St.
Beebe, AR

Forrest City High School
1:15 p.m.
467 Victoria Ave.
Forrest City, AR

Monday, August 28

Lakeside High School
1:00 p.m.
2871 Malvern Ave.
Hot Springs, AR

Hot Springs High School
2:15 p.m.
701 Emory St.
Hot Springs National Park, AR

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
08.15.2017

Governor Hutchinson Announces Launch Of Web Site for High-tech Jobs in State

LITTLE ROCK - Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the launch of ArTechJobs.com, a one-stop website that will connect people looking for high-tech jobs with employers in Arkansas.

The website ArTechJobs.com is the latest addition to the governor’s Computer Coding initiative, which focuses on increasing the number of Arkansans working in high-tech fields.

The mission of ArTechJobs.com is to connect employers and tech workers in Arkansas to fill a growing number of technical jobs in a wide variety of industries including IT, web development and design, database administration, software development, computer network architecture, information security, healthcare and more.

With the launch of the ArTechJobs.com, Arkansas has become the first state to launch a statewide database of unfilled tech jobs.

“The number of high school students participating in computer science and coding courses has increased almost 400 percent since we began our initiative,” Governor Hutchinson said. “Now it is time to focus on connecting tech-savvy young people to the growing number of available tech jobs in our state. By connecting those searching for jobs with local employers, ArTechJobs.com will simplify the job-search process and keep more of our tech talent right here in Arkansas.”

Mike Preston, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission said, “We have the talent in Arkansas to fill these high-tech jobs now, and thanks to Governor Hutchinson’s coding initiative, we are leading the nation in educating more workers for future jobs. This website is the first step in pairing the right employees with the right companies.”

There is no cost for companies or job seekers to participate. A “Sign Up” button on the home page allows companies to create accounts and start posting open positions immediately. Nearly 50 companies are already using the site, including AT&T, Tyson, Windstream, J.B. Hunt, iDatafy, Tenneco, inuvo, Walmart and the state of Arkansas. ARCodeKids, a new Little Rock-based non-profit organization, and the Information Network of Arkansas (INA) created and developed the website at no expense to the state.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
08.14.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Issues Statement on the Passing of Frank Broyles

“He was an Arkansas treasure who devoted his life to others…”
 
LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson issued the following statement on the passing of Coach Frank Broyles, an Arkansas treasure and college football legend:

“This is a day we knew would come, but it is still a great loss to learn of the passing of Coach Broyles. My first memory of Frank was cheering on the Hogs with my dad, but that was just part of his great legacy. He was an Arkansas treasure who devoted his life to others—from student-athletes to his support of Alzheimer’s research. He was an example for young people to follow, and that alone reflects a life well lived.”

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
08.14.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Announces Bid for Private Youth Treatment Centers and Independent Review

of Division Operations; Accepts Recommendations of DHS Review


LITTLE ROCK – On January 1, 2017, Governor Asa Hutchinson directed the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Youth Services (DYS) to take over the day-to-day operations of seven of the state’s eight residential treatment centers for youth involved in the juvenile justice system.
After spending months assessing and improving core services at these seven juvenile treatment centers, DHS has recommended to the Governor that the State seek a private operator to take over next year. A solicitation is being developed and will be issued for all seven facilities by the end of year. 

“When I directed DHS to take over these juvenile treatment centers, it gave my office and the department a fresh set of eyes and an opportunity to better understand how we could improve current services,” said Governor Hutchinson. “I greatly appreciate the leadership of Director Cindy Gillespie and the hard work of DYS Director Betty Guhman and her staff. I accept these recommendations, and I have no doubt that these substantive changes will better serve our juvenile justice system.”

During the course of the past year, the agency has:

  • Contracted with Community Mental Health Centers to provide a broad array of individual and group mental health and substance abuse treatment services at each regional juvenile treatment center. The Community Mental Health Centers now have a therapist with an office on each campus and the work done for the youth is supported by a psychiatrist via telemedicine.
     
  • Partnered with Virtual Arkansas to provide standardized curriculum used by public school systems that youth can work at their own pace with the help of online teachers and in-person educational coaches. Virtual Arkansas also provides youth with access to dual credit and coding classes, and eliminates concerns about teacher shortages at the centers’ schools. 
     
  • Repurposed positions to support family engagement, created new family activities and encouraging team approach to treatment that includes families.

In addition, the DHS Division of Medical Services has retained a Medicaid consulting firm to identify and develop a plan for DHS to maximize Medicaid funding opportunities related to services offered through DYS. Some services that have been funded by State General Revenue could be provided through Medicaid providers, thus freeing state dollars to be used for innovations and community-based alternatives that will place youth in the least restrictive setting possible while maintaining public safety.

DYS also is in the process of releasing nearly $2 million in Innovation Funds grants that require organizations and judges to work together to create an innovative and individualized proposal to provide alternatives to confinement for youth in their respective judicial districts. 

On Monday, the Governor approved the following actions:

  • A security audit of all seven centers that will identify security weaknesses and ways to address those, prior to completion of the solicitation. This will be overseen by the new DHS Chief of Security, Brian Marr, who recently left the U.S. Secret Service after more than two decades of service.  Upon completion of this review, Chief Marr will conduct a similar review of the Arkansas Juvenile Assessment and Treatment Center in Saline County.
     
  • Incorporating the results of the Medicaid funding study and plan into the solicitation for the centers and into the solicitation for community-based services, in order to address the reliance of DYS operations on state general revenue.  This study will be completed in September of 2017.
     
  • An independent review of the role and work of the Division of Youth Services, similar to the review conducted by child welfare expert Paul Vincent in 2015 for the DHS Division of Children and Family Services.  

The entire DYS Action Plan can be found HERE.

CONTACT:    Amy Webb
                      DHS Chief of Communications and Community Engagement
                      Amy.Webb@dhs.arkansas.gov
                      501.682.8946

                       J.R. Davis
                      Governor’s Communications Director
                      JR.Davis@governor.arkansas.gov
                      501.683.6439

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
08.11.2017

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Public Schedule:  August 14th – August 19th

LITTLE ROCK – The following is a list of public appearances by Governor Asa Hutchinson from Monday, August 14, 2017, through Saturday, August 19, 2017: 

Monday, August 14, 2017:

LITTLE ROCK
Ceremonial Bill Signing with the Ambassador of Israel
3:00 p.m.
Governor’s Conference Room
500 Woodlane St.
Little Rock, AR

Tuesday, August 15, 2017:

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

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

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
08.10.2017

Gov. Hutchinson Announces Four Counties to Receive Funding for Crisis Stabilization Units

Counties Are Craighead, Pulaski, Sebastian and Washington

LITTLE ROCK – Each of the four counties that applied to open Crisis Stabilization Units (CSU) will receive up to $1.6 million from the state to operate a sixteen-bed CSU facility, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced today. Those counties include Craighead, Pulaski, Sebastian and Washington.

The governor’s letter to the newly formed Interagency Criminal Justice Commission announcing the awards can be found HERE
Act 423, which established the CSU pilot program, was a major part of Governor Hutchinson’s 2017 legislative agenda and received strong bipartisan support in both houses of the legislature. Governor Hutchinson signed it into law on March 8, 2017. 

“The original plan was to select three counties, but we received four stellar applications, and so I decided to award funding to all four,” the governor said. “Each of the four counties’ submissions went above and beyond the parameters laid out in the application process, with substantial support from local leadership and the community.”

With today’s announcement that all four projects will be funded, the Governor is committing an additional $1.4 million from the state’s Rainy Day Fund to support Crisis Stabilization Units, in addition to the $5 million already committed to this project. The additional $1.4 million in funding will go before the Arkansas Legislative Council for final approval.

CSUs are short term clinical facilities that provide assessment and treatment services for individuals with behavioral health conditions. A primary goal of the state’s investment in CSUs is to reduce the number of people with mental illness and other behavioral health conditions entering jails or other facilities, such as emergency rooms, not designed to effectively address their underlying behavioral health conditions. CSUs have the potential to improve outcomes for people with acute behavioral health conditions and reduce overall system costs to both the state and counties, including the strain on our county jails.

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