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Successes of MyIdea

Successes of MyIdea

Idea:

I am 17 years old from Cabot, Arkansas and I believe we should have a VA Reform. I believe that if the Federal Level cannot solve the problem of Veterans (who sacrifice their LIFE) waiting DAYS to get treatment or to even see a doctor, the State should take over this duty. Its tragic to see these veterans come back Physically or Mentally impaired and can’t get Treatment. With strategic planning, I believe Governor Hutchinson can make Arkansas the state known for treating our veterans the best! For I know, if MY generation is not assured they will have quality care when they are in/out of service, they will not join.

Result:

Governor Hutchinson has taken several steps to create a better environment of support for Arkansas’s veterans and those currently serving. First, he established the Governor’s Military Affairs Committee in September 2015. Through this initiative, a committee was established in order to research how to best support and promote the state’s military installations, creating job opportunities for those who serve. The Governor also dedicated grant funds to be directed to the state’s military installations. In early 2017, the Governor appointed Col. Nate Todd Director of the Arkansas Department of Veteran Affairs. At the time the Governor stated “I am pleased to announce the selection of Colonel Nate Todd as Director of the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs. Colonel Todd is a friend and a trusted public servant. I am confident that his distinguished military service, executive experience and healthcare expertise make him the perfect selection to lead the department forward. Arkansas Veterans deserve the highest quality service in return for their sacrifice and I have no doubt that Colonel Todd will work tirelessly to ensure that our veterans receive the service they deserve.” In February 2017, Governor Hutchinson signed a bill into law a bill to eliminate state income tax on military retirement pay. The Governor was proud to include this as a key priority in his legislative package. In November 2016, Governor Hutchinson joined Arkansas veterans to celebrate the opening of the new $24 million Arkansas State Veterans Home. 

Idea:

End the Medicaid Waiver wait list.

Result:

In September 2016, Governor Hutchinson announced his plan to provide approximately $30 million to significantly reduce this waiting list. In July 2017, the Governor reported as a result of these dedicated funds, the waiting list was reduced by more than 500 applicants. The Governor is committed to continuing to reduce the list of those families waiting. 

Idea:

I believe there should be more organization on governmental departments in the state such as The Department of Human Services. As a foster child in the system I have experienced extreme frustration along the way as there seems to be few case workers and too much load on those case workers, which in turn causes them to focus on one child rather than multiple families in the system. There needs to be a better system in managing the cases in the state and better standards for doing so rather than just pushing a case off to the side until someone can answer your questions. I waited over 7 months to finally get insurance on my vehicle through the driver's reimbursement program that is offered by the department and this caused me to see that there is many flaws to this system that need to be changed.

Result:

The response below was sent to Dylan Johnston (the young man who submitted this idea). 

We appreciate your submission through MyIdea for Arkansas. You're right; our caseworkers experience caseload sizes that exceed the best practice recommendation of 15-17 cases per person. Unfortunately, you've seen the results of a heavy caseload first hand when you waited seven (7) months to receive car insurance for your vehicle through our driver's insurance reimbursement program. Your needs should have been met sooner. I want to share with you some of the efforts that are currently underway and that are planned to address some of your concerns. First, beginning July 1st, DCFS will receive additional positions in order to hire and strategically place new staff. In March of this year, Governor Hutchinson signed Act 365 of the 91st General Assembly, which revised the pay plan for state employees. Beginning on July 1st, DCFS caseworkers will receive a higher salary. Also, over the last year, DCFS and its partners have been involved in a successful foster home recruitment campaign. So far, we've added approximately 600 new foster homes! It is so important to place foster children in family-like settings, just as you identified in your submission. Approximately 76% of the children in foster care in Arkansas are placed in family-like settings. Our goal is to increase that percentage.
 

Idea:

Unify the State's marketing efforts - Arkansas Economic Development Commission, Arkansas Parks and Tourism, Game and Fish - with variations on a common brand executed by a single agency or complementary partners.

Result:

Under Governor Hutchinson’s direction, these agencies now communicate regularly regarding brand messaging. Due to the Governor’s directive, AEDC and Parks and Tourism have partnered on ads in which the state is promoted under common branding as both a business and vacation destination. 

Idea:

Make it possible to buy lottery tickets with debit cards, many people now days don't carry cash, I would buy more tickets...

Result:

In April 2017, Governor Hutchinson signed Act 876 into law, allowing lottery retailers throughout the state to accept debit cards for lottery purchases. 

Idea:

Each state agency has a Mission statement which acts as a guide for that agency. I suggest Every Mission Statement Should Mention 'Efficiency'.

Result:

Governor Hutchinson established an Office of Transformation in December 2016 in order to drive the implementation of state efficiencies and streamline state operations. State agencies have been asked to identify efficiencies within their operations and procedures. At the announcement of this new office, Governor Hutchinson shared the following… “I am delighted to announce the establishment of the Office of Transformation to identify potential state efficiencies and implement cost-savings. Increasing efficiencies to conserve state resources is the best way to return money to the pockets of hard-working taxpayers and deliver better state services to Arkansans.”

Idea:

I had a complaint about an unsanitary restaurant so I thought I would report it.  I went to the Arkansas Department of Health Website.  There were two numbers listed to call about a restaurant health issue.  The first number listed was incorrect.  The second number had voicemail that was full.  I searched further on a different link and found a form to fill out to submit a "Food Establishment Complaint Form" as titled at the top of the form.  When I went to submit the complaint, the form didn't work.  There was another number to call that was listed near this form.  I called and talk to someone.  She referred me to someone else but that I had to leave a voicemail.  There was no one I could talk with...and what if this was an emergency. 

Result:

The Arkansas Department of Health reported they implemented changes to their reporting system based on this feedback. The Department updated phone numbers and corrected the submission form on their web site. They continue to work to improve the ADH web site and anticipate launching a much easier to use form in the near future.

Idea:

The tax revenue for the state could be bolstered by encouraging the expansion of the state's Wine industry.  This industry is currently a drop in the bucket in Arkansas.  In neighboring states such as Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, and Tennessee the Wine industry is significant - annual production/sales top one billion dollars per state and is growing every year as wine consumption increases nation-wide.

Result:

In March 2017, Governor Hutchinson signed Act 508 into law. In addition to allowing Arkansas’s grocery and convenience stores to sell an expanded variety of wines, this legislation also provides grant funds to Arkansas wineries. These funds come from the application fee grocery/convenience stores will pay for the opportunity to sell an expanded wine selection. Application fees range from $1,000 to $5,000 depending on the size of the grocery/convenience store. Arkansas’s Alcohol Beverage Control Division has already received more than 240 applications for expanded sales, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in initial grant funds for Arkansas wineries. A portion of the application fee will also be directed to the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism specifically to promote wine tourism, further growing this sector of Arkansas’ economy. 

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