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Audit report finds several potential breaches of Arkansas law in governor’s $19K lectern purchase

Arkansas Legislative Audit’s report on the $19,000 purchase of a lectern for Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ office found several instances of “potential noncompliance” with state law and has been sent to the state attorney general and Pulaski County’s prosecuting attorney. Members of Sanders’ staff used a state-issued credit card to buy the lectern and a…

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SESSION SNAPSHOT: 2024 fiscal session gets underway in Little Rock

Arkansas lawmakers returned to the Capitol Wednesday for the start of the state’s eighth fiscal session. Held in even-numbered years, fiscal session work is focused on finalizing the state budget.  Legislative sessions occur in odd-numbered years, but lawmakers can take up non-appropriation matters during the fiscal session with a two-thirds majority vote in each chamber. …

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Arkansas AG claims purchasing laws do not apply to governor, days before release of lectern audit

Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin released an opinion Wednesday, at Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ request, declaring that certain executive branch officials such as the governor are not subject to certain laws that regulate purchases by government entities. Sanders’ request and Griffin’s response came just days before lawmakers are expected to release the results of Arkansas…

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Northwest Arkansas officials to address growth challenges with regional strategy

To address challenges created by Northwest Arkansas’ unprecedented growth, community leaders announced plans Tuesday to collaborate on the development of a regional growth strategy.  Finding solutions to byproducts of the region’s expansion, such as a lack of affordable housing and increased traffic congestion, was the focus of the NWA Council’s spring meeting Tuesday in Bentonville. …

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Texas, California residents top out-of-staters moving to Arkansas in ’23, DMV data shows

More new Arkansans moved to the Natural State last year from Texas and California than any other states, according to state driver’s license data. The Division of Motor Vehicles issued 44,271 license transfers in 2023, offering one of the first looks at in-bound migration.  The data only captures people who moved to the state and…

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Central High families, teacher file federal lawsuit over Arkansas LEARNS Act ‘indoctrination’ ban

A federal lawsuit filed Monday challenges the constitutionality of a section of the LEARNS Act that prohibits “indoctrination” in Arkansas schools and asks the court to block its enforcement. Civil rights attorneys Mike Laux and Austin Porter Jr. filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas on behalf of…

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Arkansas National Guard deploying 40 members to assist Texas at southern U.S. border

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders will again send members of the Arkansas National Guard to the southern U.S. border in Texas to assist state authorities working to curb illegal immigration. Roughly 40 Arkansas guardsmen and women will deploy from April 1 to May 30 to Eagle Pass, Texas, according to the governor’s office. The deployment of…

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Legislative panels to probe Arkansas Board of Corrections contract, practices

State lawmakers on Friday initiated a pair of investigations into the Arkansas Board of Corrections over the prison oversight panel’s hiring of special counsel to sue the state. The Legislative Joint Auditing Committee will investigate the origins of the board’s contract with the Hall Booth Smith law firm and attorney Abtin Mehdizadegan; Joint Performance Review…

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Arkansas lawmakers set to vote on reversal of gender-neutral driver’s license policy

Arkansas lawmakers will vote Friday to require driver’s licenses and state-issued IDs to reflect the gender listed on a person’s birth certificate. The state Department of Finance and Administration on Tuesday rescinded a policy that had been in place since 2010 allowing driver’s license holders to change their gender with no questions asked or to…

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