February 21, 2018 •

Special Session for Arkansas to Follow Fiscal Session

Gov. Asa Hutchinson stated he is going to call a special session after the ongoing fiscal session concludes. The special session will address pharmacy benefit managers’ low reimbursement rates to pharmacists and a current law preventing Arkansas from qualifying for […]

Gov. Asa Hutchinson stated he is going to call a special session after the ongoing fiscal session concludes.

The special session will address pharmacy benefit managers’ low reimbursement rates to pharmacists and a current law preventing Arkansas from qualifying for certain federal highway funds.

Hutchinson has yet to set a date for the special session.

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February 20, 2018 •

Special Election Called for Arkansas Senate District 8

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has scheduled a special election on August 14, 2018, to fill the state Senate District 8 seat vacated by Jake Files. The primary will be May 22 and a primary runoff, if necessary, on June 19. Files […]

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has scheduled a special election on August 14, 2018, to fill the state Senate District 8 seat vacated by Jake Files.

The primary will be May 22 and a primary runoff, if necessary, on June 19.

Files resigned after pleading guilty to charges of wire fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering.

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November 28, 2017 •

Special Election Called for Arkansas Senate District 16

Gov. Asa Hutchinson called a special election on May 22, 2018, for Senate District 16. The special election has been called to fill the vacancy left by the passing of State Sen. Greg Standridge. Standridge lost his battle with cancer […]

Gov. Asa Hutchinson called a special election on May 22, 2018, for Senate District 16.

The special election has been called to fill the vacancy left by the passing of State Sen. Greg Standridge. Standridge lost his battle with cancer on November 16, 2017.

The primary will be February 13 and a primary runoff, if necessary, on March 13.

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November 27, 2017 •

Special Election Called for Arkansas State Senate District 29

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has scheduled a special election on May 22, 2018, to fill the state Senate District 29 seat vacated by Eddie Joe Williams. The primary will be February 13 and a primary runoff, if necessary, on March 13. […]

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has scheduled a special election on May 22, 2018, to fill the state Senate District 29 seat vacated by Eddie Joe Williams.

The primary will be February 13 and a primary runoff, if necessary, on March 13.

Williams vacated the seat to become a representative to the Southern States Energy Board.

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September 29, 2017 •

New Arkansas Lobbyist Registration and Reporting System

Beginning October 1, 2017, all lobbyists must register and file reports through the new lobbyist registration and reporting system. The new system requires all lobbyists, regardless of whether they are new lobbyists or currently registered, to re-register and submit a […]

Beginning October 1, 2017, all lobbyists must register and file reports through the new lobbyist registration and reporting system.

The new system requires all lobbyists, regardless of whether they are new lobbyists or currently registered, to re-register and submit a new signature card.

Lobbyists must re-register and submit a new signature card to file third quarter reports. The new system may be accessed at the Secretary of State’s website.

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May 4, 2017 •

Arkansas Special Session Adjourns Sine Die

The First Extraordinary Session of the 91st General Assembly adjourned sine die on May 3, 2017. One ethics bill was passed to cleanup legislation passed during the regular session. Four other bills were passed, including a bill regarding the Arkansas […]

The First Extraordinary Session of the 91st General Assembly adjourned sine die on May 3, 2017.

One ethics bill was passed to cleanup legislation passed during the regular session.

Four other bills were passed, including a bill regarding the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson is expected to sign all five special session bills.

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May 2, 2017 •

Arkansas Legislature Adjourns Only to Call Special Session

The 91st General Assembly adjourned sine die on May 1, 2017. A half hour after adjourning, the Legislature convened a special session. The special session was called to address approving authorization for Arkansas Works waivers, restructuring the Arkansas Health Insurance […]

Arkansas State CapitolThe 91st General Assembly adjourned sine die on May 1, 2017. A half hour after adjourning, the Legislature convened a special session.

The special session was called to address approving authorization for Arkansas Works waivers, restructuring the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace, cleaning up medical marijuana laws, and boosting long-term reserve funding for Arkansas.

The special session is likely to adjourn by the end of the week.

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April 28, 2017 •

Arkansas Lobbyists Prohibited from Giving Loans to Constitutional Officers

Effective July 30, 2017, Arkansas constitutional officers are prohibited from soliciting or accepting loans from lobbyists. Senate Bill 7, now known as Act 1108, amends the definition of gift to include any advance or loan. The bill excludes an advance […]

Arkansas State CapitolEffective July 30, 2017, Arkansas constitutional officers are prohibited from soliciting or accepting loans from lobbyists.

Senate Bill 7, now known as Act 1108, amends the definition of gift to include any advance or loan. The bill excludes an advance or loan made in the ordinary course of business by a financial institution or business regularly extending credit.

Bills signed during the regular session are effective 90 days after the final, official day of session, unless otherwise specified. The 91st General Assembly is set to adjourn sine die on May 1, 2017.

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March 7, 2017 •

Two Ethics Bills Signed by Arkansas Governor

Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed House Bill 1401 and Senate Bill 169 into law. Both bills provide exceptions to the definition of gift. For example, House Bill 1401 excludes nonalcoholic beverages provided to attendees at a meeting of a civic, social, […]

Arkansas State CapitolGov. Asa Hutchinson signed House Bill 1401 and Senate Bill 169 into law. Both bills provide exceptions to the definition of gift.

For example, House Bill 1401 excludes nonalcoholic beverages provided to attendees at a meeting of a civic, social, or cultural organization or group from the definition of gift, as well as food and nonalcoholic beverages provided to participants at a bona fide panel, seminar, or speaking engagement at which the audience is a civic, social, or cultural organization or group.

Senate Bill 169 provides the use of one or more rooms or facilities owned, operated, or otherwise utilized by a state agency or political subdivision of the state for the purpose of conducting a meeting of a specific governmental body is not a gift.

House Bill 1401 is effective immediately and Senate Bill 169 will become effective 90 days after the Legislature adjourns sine die, or June 9, 2017.

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November 22, 2016 •

Transparency Bills Filed for Arkansas 2017 Session

Since pre-filing began for the 2017 Arkansas legislative session, multiple measures have been introduced regarding lobbying, ethics and campaign finance. If passed, measures introduced in the House would require reporting and disclosure of electioneering communications and covered transfers (House Bill […]

Arkansas State Capitol BuildingSince pre-filing began for the 2017 Arkansas legislative session, multiple measures have been introduced regarding lobbying, ethics and campaign finance.

If passed, measures introduced in the House would require reporting and disclosure of electioneering communications and covered transfers (House Bill 1005), prevent a member of the General Assembly from forming more than one political action committee (PAC) as either a registered agent or an officer (House Bill 1009), require the Secretary of State to make independent expenditures and PAC reports public (House Bill 1010), prohibit PAC-to-PAC transfers (House Bill 1011)  and ban direct contributions to candidates from PACs (House Bill 1012). Several measures introduced in the Senate mirror the House bills.

Additionally, bills introduced in the Senate would bar soliciting or accepting campaign contributions before the expiration of the immediately preceding general election (Senate Bill 2), prohibit elected officials from registering as a lobbyist while serving as an elected state official (Senate Bill 3) and ban constitutional officers, like the governor, from soliciting or accepting loans from lobbyists (Senate Bill 7).

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September 1, 2016 •

Arkansas Gov. Hutchinson Selects Rep. Gossage as Deputy Chief of Staff for External Operations

On August 30, 2016, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced state Rep. Bill Gossage as his deputy chief of staff for external operations. As a result, Gossage is resigning as the House District 82 representative. Hutchinson will not call a special election […]

BILL GossageOn August 30, 2016, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced state Rep. Bill Gossage as his deputy chief of staff for external operations. As a result, Gossage is resigning as the House District 82 representative.

Hutchinson will not call a special election to fill the remainder of Gossage’s term because the vacancy will be filled within 150 days, as required by law. The state Republican party will be responsible for selecting a nominee to run in Gossage’s place.

Gossage was running unopposed in the November 8 general election, and other political parties will be unable to run a candidate in this race as the filing deadline has already passed.

Photo of Bill Gossage courtesy of the Arkansas House of Representatives website.

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July 27, 2016 •

Arkansas Gov. Hutchinson Calls Special Election

Gov. Asa Hutchinson will call a special election to fill the House seat left vacant by the passing of state Rep. Sheilla Lampkin. The special election will coincide with the November 8 general election. Voters in Lampkin’s district will be […]

Seal_of_ArkansasGov. Asa Hutchinson will call a special election to fill the House seat left vacant by the passing of state Rep. Sheilla Lampkin.

The special election will coincide with the November 8 general election.

Voters in Lampkin’s district will be able to vote in both the special election to fill Lampkin’s remaining term and in the general election for the seat.

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July 22, 2016 •

Arkansas Gov. Subject of Probable Cause Hearing

Gov. Asa Hutchinson was the subject of a probable cause hearing scheduled by the Ethics Commission on July 22, 2016. Attorney Matt Campbell filed a complaint on March 31, claiming Hutchinson violated campaign practices law by campaigning for other candidates […]

Asa HutchinsonGov. Asa Hutchinson was the subject of a probable cause hearing scheduled by the Ethics Commission on July 22, 2016.

Attorney Matt Campbell filed a complaint on March 31, claiming Hutchinson violated campaign practices law by campaigning for other candidates during “usual office hours.” If prosecuted, Hutchinson could face up to a year in jail, a $1,000 fine, and removal from office.

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May 23, 2016 •

Arkansas Special Session Adjourned Sine Die

On May 23, the Third Extraordinary Session of the 90th General Assembly adjourned sine die. The primary focus of the special session was Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s $50 million highway funding plan. After three days, the plan was given final approval […]

Flag of ArkansasOn May 23, the Third Extraordinary Session of the 90th General Assembly adjourned sine die.

The primary focus of the special session was Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s $50 million highway funding plan. After three days, the plan was given final approval by the Legislature.

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