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Judges to oppose natural gas tax increase

Judges to oppose natural gas tax increase

LITTLE ROCK - At its Winter Conference Friday, the County Judges’ Association of Arkansas unanimously passed a resolution to oppose the ballot initiative underway to raise the state’s severance tax on natural gas.

“We’ve seen firsthand the positive impact natural gas production has had on our counties, our communities, and on the lives of our citizens,” said Faulkner County Judge Preston Scroggin, president of the association.  “The industry has helped us weather the economic storm and has brought thousands of jobs to our state – jobs our folks have come to count on, and passing a tax increase would put all that in jeopardy.” 

Rep. Rick Crawford responds to the State of the Union

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Jan. 24, 2012) -- Representative Rick Crawford released the following statement in regards to the State of the Union address.
Tonight we heard President Obama lay out his vision for the country. The President talked about the need for jobs and new sources of domestic energy. I agree with the President that Americans need jobs. I also agree that new sources of energy will give certainty to our economy and ultimately make our nation more secure.
During my first year in Congress I have worked with the President and my colleagues across the aisle whenever possible. Many times our political parties have the same goal in mind, we just favor different approaches. I believe that it is possible to disagree, without being disagreeable.

Voters to decide on tax increase in March

Voters to decide on tax increase in March

BATESVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) – Batesville residents will head to the polls in a special election to decide on a one-cent sales tax increase in the city.

The proposal is called the 2012 Community Development Initiative.

According to Batesville Mayor Rick Elumbaugh, the purpose of the increase would be threefold. A half-cent temporary sales tax would fund the construction of a multi-purpose community center in Fitzhugh Park, while a permanent half-cent sales tax would support city maintenance and operations.

The community center would include an indoor walking track, basketball and racquetball courts, a swimming pool and a workout room. The permanent tax would go to the police and fire departments, street maintenance and recreation.

Elumbaugh estimates each tax would bring in $1.6 million dollars per year over the next 25 years. He calls that a “conservative figure.”

Ark. ed chief: Don't back away from school funding

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The state's top education official says he would view any cuts to Arkansas' public schools budget as a slide from the commitment the state has made in the wake of lawsuits over how it funds its classrooms.

Arkansas Education Commissioner Tom Kimbrell on Thursday praised the Legislature for the improvements it's made over the years to the state's public schools and said that any decreases would back away from that commitment. Kimbrell spoke to the Joint Budget Committee as it reviewed Gov. Mike Beebe's proposed schools budget.

Beebe has proposed increasing the public school budget by $56 million to nearly $2 billion. It makes up nearly half of Beebe's proposed $4.7 billion budget for the coming year. Lawmakers convene at the Capitol for the fiscal session Feb. 13.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Ever thought of running for public office?

Ever thought of running for public office?

Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas and Arkansas Broadcasters Association to host political candidates training seminar


Beebe to address viewer questions on AETN’s ‘Arkansans Ask’

Beebe to address viewer questions on AETN’s ‘Arkansans Ask’


Gov. Mike Beebe will discuss state issues and answer viewer questions in the next episode of “Arkansans Ask,” airing on the Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) tonight at 7 p.m.

Viewers may submit questions by: phone, 800-662-2386; fax, (501) 852-2280; e-mail, paffairs@aetn.org; or via on-air phone, (501) 852-8426.

Steve Barnes moderates. The program is underwritten by the Arkansas State Employees Association.

The Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) is Arkansas’s statewide public television network that enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. AETN delivers local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers. AETN depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming.

Voters asked to renew $575M in highway bonds

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Voters are being asked to vote on a proposal to renew a $575 million bond issue to pay for interstate improvements in Arkansas.