Freshmen Democratic Arkansas state Representatives Megan Godfrey of Springdale and Jay Richardson of Fort Smith give the party's response to Gov. Asa Hutchinson's State of the State address Tuesday.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Democrats in the Arkansas Legislature responded to Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s State of the State address Tuesday by expressing their priorities for the session that is just getting underway. In particular, they voiced concerns about the impact the governor’s proposed tax cut plan would have on the state budget.

Two freshmen representatives, Megan Godfrey of Springdale and Jay Richardson of Fort Smith, read a prepared statement saying that allocating money for highways and expanding pre-kindergarten education would benefit more Arkansans.

Arkansas Works Governor Asa Hutchinson Work Requirement
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas officials say the number of people who have lost Medicaid coverage for not complying with a work requirement has risen to more than 18,000.

The Department of Human Services on Tuesday said more than 1,200 people were kicked off the state's Medicaid expansion for not complying with the requirement for three months. The rule requires beneficiaries to work 80 hours a month. Beneficiaries lose coverage if they don't meet the requirement for three months in a calendar year. The months reset at the end of the year.

UA Little Rock To Open Downtown Center

8 hours ago
UA Little Rock

Little Rock's only four-year public research university is preparing to expand its presence in Arkansas's capital. 

A grand opening for UA Little Rock Downtown is set for Wednesday at noon at the center's location on President Clinton Ave. in Little Rock's River Market district. It will offer meeting space, faculty lectures and a series of extended education courses not for college credit. 

Arkansas Legislature
Sarah Kellogg / KUAR News

Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s plans for Arkansas this year include more money for teacher pay, an increase in funding for the Department of Agriculture and the third phase of a tax cut plan. Hutchinson outlined parts of his proposed state budget and goals during his State of the State address Tuesday morning.

Speaking after taking his inaugural oath in the Arkansas House of Representatives, Hutchinson outlined what his idea for Arkansas’s future looks like.

Arkansas Legislature
Sarah Kellogg / KUAR News

The 92nd General Assembly of Arkansas began Monday afternoon. Thousands of bills are expected to be considered in the coming months with proposals to cut individual income taxes and a reorganization of state government among the top issues.

Arkansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Dan Kemp first gave the oath of office to the 100 members of the House of Representatives. He then went to the Senate to give the oath to its 35 members.

Department of Human Services

As the partial federal government shutdown continues, ripple effects are being felt by more than federal employees. Monday the Arkansas Department of Human Services announced that qualified Arkansans will receive their Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits earlier than usual.

The money that allows low-income participants to purchase food is released monthly, and February's allotment will be distributed on January 17, according to DHS spokeswoman Marci Manley.

Arkansas Senate President Pro Tem Jim Hendren (R-Gravette) and House Speaker Matthew Shepherd (R-El Dorado) speak on their legislative priorities during a press event Friday
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

While Arkansas lawmakers have already filed bills on gun registration, automatic voter registration and other topics, one of the main issues leadership wants to fix during the 2019 session that begins Monday is ethics reform.

Andrew DeMillo
Sarah Kellogg / KUAR News

The Arkansas State Legislature begins its 92nd General Assembly on Monday.

While lawmakers are officially in Little Rock, some have already been working by filing bills ahead of the start of the session. Legislators could begin filing bills as early as November 15 of last year. Topics range from budget bills, to bills on abortion to one on automatic voter registration.

Andrew DeMillo covers the legislature for the Associated Press. He believes one of the biggest issues for this year’s legislature will be tax cuts.

A former Arkansas lawmaker has been charged with conspiracy in an alleged bribery scheme with an ex-judge who admitted to lowering a jury's judgment in a negligence lawsuit in exchange for campaign contributions.

A federal indictment unsealed Friday shows that former state Sen. Gilbert Baker was also charged with bribery and wire fraud in connection to the scheme involving former Judge Michael Maggio.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

A modest slowdown of the global financial markets in 2018, could turn into a more significant slowdown in the coming year, according to the St. Louis Branch of the Federal Reserve.

James Bullard, president of the St. Louis branch of the Fed presented an overall economic outlook Thursday as a part of the Little Rock Regional Chamber’s Power Up Little Rock event at the Clinton Presidential Library.



KUAR Is Making Changes To Its Schedule In January 2019

KUAR is bringing two new programs featuring science and storytelling to its central Arkansas airwaves and making several changes to its local and regional music programming schedule beginning January 5th and 6th, 2019.

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This program highlights the arts and humanities and is hosted by J. Bradley Minnick.