Friday, December 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Veteran's Day 11/11/11
Greenbrier High School (Panther Pavilion): 9:30a
If you are a veteran and can make it please RSVP to Kim Austin 501-679-1017 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Info requested includes: Name of Veteran, Phone Number and/or email address, Address, Branch of Service, Rank, and Number of guests attending the rally (include yourself).
"This event will include performances from our choir and band, the presentation of colors, and an address by a guest speaker. A meal will be provided for veterans and their family members immediately after the ceremony."
University of Central Arkansas- Conway (Football Practice Field behind Estes Stadium): 11:00a
There will be free food and informational vendors specifically geared toward veterans available after the ceremony.
Arkansas Military Veteran's Hall of Fame
Agora Events Center- Conway, AR. Event will be held from 6:00pm until 8:30pm. Tickets are $50.00 each. To purchase tickets, please call 1-888-329-3845
The AMVHOF will be inducting 15 people into the initial class of the Hall of Fame. For more info about this organization please visit there website: http://www.amvhof.org/
Bible Baptist Church, 3130 Dave Ward Dr, Conway. 11:00am
Veteran's Appreciation Sunday
Join us during our 11am Service as we honor our Military Members who have served and are currently serving our Country. Allow us to thank you for your service with special music and program, a custom medal, and a delicious fish and chicken lunch all provided free of charge."
Veteran's Day 11/11/11
Ed's Bakery- Oak St, Conway: Starting at 8:15am
Ed's in conjunction with other local businesses will hand out stuff to veterans
Arby's- 414 Harkrider St, Conway: All Day
All active duty and veterans, in uniform or with proof of US Military Service, are invited to enjoy a Free Classic Roast Beef Sandwich.
This information below is taken from the Air Force news website: http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123279140
I have not verified if any of the businesses below are participating here in Conway, so please contact them ahead of time to make sure they are.
Restaurants offer military members, vets thank-you meals
11/8/2011 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- A variety of restaurants and fast-food chains are offering free or discounted meals to active-duty, Reserve and retired military members and veterans in thanks for their service this Veterans Day.
Most participating restaurants will require patrons to arrive in uniform or with some form of military identification, officials said. This can be a U.S. Uniform Service card, a current leave and earnings statement, a DD 214 discharge form or American Legion or VFW membership card. In some cases, restaurants will accept a photograph of the service member or veteran in uniform.
Officials encourage military members to call participating restaurants ahead or check their websites to ensure they are participating in the offer, as many are franchises and may have different policies.
Among restaurants offering Veterans Day appreciation meals or specials are:
-- Chili's, which will offer all military veterans, past and present a choice of six meals Nov. 11. The offer is available at stateside restaurants only and does not include beverages and tip, officials said. Proof of military service is required.
-- Golden Corral, which will host its 10th annual Golden Corral Military Appreciation Dinner on Nov. 14 from 6 - 9 p.m. at all stateside Golden Corral restaurants. Veterans, military retirees and currently serving members of the active or reserve components are invited to enjoy a free thank-you dinner, officials said. Over the past 10 years, Golden Corral restaurants have provided over 2.5 million free meals and contributed more than $4.3 million to the Disabled American Veterans organization, they noted.
-- Outback Steakhouse, where active-duty military members and veterans will receive a free serving of bloomin' onions and a non-alcoholic beverage from Nov. 7 to 11. Patrons must be in uniform or show proof of current or past military service, officials said. During the past two years, Outback and its patrons have donated $2 million to Operation Homefront, a non-profit organization that provides support for active-duty troops, wounded warriors and their families, officials reported.
-- Subway, with select locations to offer veterans free six-inch subs Nov. 11. Officials advise calling ahead to see if a particular restaurant franchise is participating.
-- T.G.I. Friday's, where participating restaurants will offer a buy-one, get-one-free special to anyone with a current or old military ID from Nov. 11 to 14.
(Courtesy of the American Forces Press Service)
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
According to a 2010 report, the Council for Affordable Health Insurance had Arkansas with 45 different mandates.
You can view a copy of the report here: http://www.cahi.org/cahi_contents/resources/pdf/MandatesintheStates2010.pdf
Of note from the report: "Although most mandates only increase the cost of a policy by
less than 1 percent, 40 such mandates will price many people out of the market. It is the accumulated impact of dozens of mandates, not just one, that makes health insurance unaffordable."
If we are to make health insurance more affordable to the people of Arkansas, this is just one area we need to take a closer look at.
Here to Serve,
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Garvee bond ratings are at risk from the increasingly unpredictable budget and policy process in Washington, Standard & Poor’s warned in a report released Friday.
The agency said it retained a stable outlook on all of the Garvees it rates. But in its report, it said, “We believe there are several potential risks that if realized alone or in combination, might cause us to reevaluate the ratings on some or all of our Garvee bonds.”
- Require states to certify that they have adequate funds available to maintain a new road or highway over its useful life before allowing federal highway funds to be spent on its Construction.
- Require states to certify that at least 90% of their existing urban and suburban highways are in good condition before allowing them to undertake new construction.
- Support a joint state/federal effort, through Congress, toward the establishment of a national goal for improving the condition of our interstate Highway system, and provide incentives to states to meet these goals.
- AHTD should develop and use a dynamic computer model to assure a wholly objective determination of construction and maintenance priorities for the state. The model should embody a uniform system for allocation of projected costs to planned construction and maintenance of highways, roads and bridges and fully integrate with a system of performance-based budgeting and activities-based-cost accounting.
- A public report on priorities should be shared regularly in periodicals and the media, as well as be made available on the internet (would include progress on construction underway).
- The design of the model should be contracted out and overseen by both a reliable independent accounting firm and the state's audit committee (should one be put in place as recommended in other Murphy Reports)
- The Governor should task an accountability and performance advisory group with conducting a nationwide search to retain the finest team of "cost conscience" transportation experts in the country to design the model planning and resource system for Arkansas. They should also design (outside of AHTD) the base inputs and outputs comprising the system. The goal should be to make this a "best practices" model that other states would want to consider using.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
Below is just a summary of the promises I made and kept. As we go along, I will post more on my record. If you have any questions about anything in particular, feel free to contact me: email@example.com
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
In the article he quotes Governor Beebe's spokesman Matt DeCample as saying:
I found this statement quite interesting as just last week at the Healthcare exchange meeting I attended the steering committee was still moving full steam ahead on implementing the exchanges to include requesting additional grant money.
So I sent an email to Cynthia Crone, who is leading the effort to implement the healthcare exhanges asking her:
What grants were turned down and/or sent back?
Will the planning meetings that we have been having continue as scheduled?
Are there any other plans to request any grants in the future?
We did NOT send back any money We are continuing our planning. The workgroup meetings will continue as scheduled. We are now getting the results from our background research efforts. Four of our workgroups have met this week--two yesterday and two today.
We do plan to apply for Level One Establishment funding in September--this is the next funding opportunity for States that have made progress with their initial planning grant--which we have. More than half the states now have exchange authority or are otherwise planning their exchange. Sixteen states have now received the Level One grants that we plan to apply for in September. Please don't hesitate to let me know of additional questions/concerns.
So based on this reply nothing has really changed. The planning on the exchange will continue and the grants for planning will still be requested.
Governor Beebe is already trying to frame the debate. Look for a battle during the fiscal session over whether we will give the insurance department permission to start implementation of the healthcare exchange at the state level. This, of course, all hinges on if the Supreme Court decides the constitutionality of the law by then.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Great speaking with you today. Here are the stats on Arkansas affiliates:
- There are 2,000 affiliate marketers in Arkansas (or there were before the law passed).
- Affiliates, by the way, are simply website publishers who earn revenue from running ads on their sites.
- They earned $157 million in 2010, and paid $11 million in state income tax.
- By our estimates, affiliates lost 25-35% of their income when this law passed in Arkansas. Losing 1/4 or 1/3 of an income is a devastating event for a person or a business.
There is a tremendous range of income levels by affiliates. They can be part time, or they can be millionaires, or they can be a company with employees. We estimate that 25%
are full time (quite a few in the 6-7 figure income level) and 5% have four or more employees. We also believe about 90% of that revenue comes from about 10% of the population, sort of an extreme Pareto principal. So that would skew the individual income average up a bit.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
The legislative session is like a roller coaster, lots of ups and downs, twists and turns, and just when you think you’d rather be gliding along on a merry-go-round, you hop on for another ride.
The final week of the 88th General Assembly took House members on a fast and furious flight through a thunderstorm of debate on the federal healthcare law, state-owned vehicles, congressional redistricting and even monkeys.
To get the coaster rolling, a bill requiring out-of-state online retailers to collect sales tax from Arkansas buyers passed the House and will soon be signed into law. I opposed this measure because it amounts to taking more money out of the pockets of hard-working Arkansans.
The Legislature is not your ordinary rodeo. Midweek, House members wrangled over a $72.6 million state Insurance Department appropriation bill which included $1 million in funding for the federal healthcare overhaul. Concerned about tying the federal healthcare law to a bill that funds an essential state agency, House Republicans made several attempts to remove the $1 million from the budget bill.
Meanwhile, legislation to establish federally mandated insurance exchanges necessary to the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was en route to the House floor. As a result, a deadlock on passing the Insurance Department appropriation surfaced, with a majority refusing to strip the budget bill of $1 million in federal healthcare funding. Fortunately, House members lassoed a compromise on Thursday, agreeing to pull down the bill to implement the insurance exchanges and send the legislation to interim study. Consequently, the Insurance Department appropriation garnered the 75 votes needed to pass the House.
I believe the compromise helps ensure a slow and deliberate process for examining a federal law that will drastically alter our healthcare system. We now have a year to study the impact of the federal healthcare law, giving legislators sufficient time to act responsibly in the upcoming fiscal or general session. Until the Supreme Court rules on the law’s constitutionality or Congress acts, our state should not spend money implementing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
A congressional redistricting gerrymander slithered its way out of the Arkansas House, despite overwhelming opposition from concerned citizens, Democrats and Republicans alike. The “Pig Trail Gerrymander” or “Fayetteville Finger,” does not respect our state’s regional communities of interest and will devastate the continuity of Northwest and Southern Arkansas. I opposed this partisan power grab by the State Democratic Party and hope our colleagues in the Senate will take a principled stand for the people of Arkansas, reject this unfair and illogical proposal and look at reasonable alternatives.
Members took up some monkey business on Thursday when a bill to restrict Arkansans from owning primates failed in the House Public Health Committee. Proponents say citizens have a right to own a monkey, and noted that some individuals use primates as service animals. As a result, the bill was pulled from consideration and sent to interim study.
The personal use of state-owned vehicles by elected officials and state employees dominated newspaper headlines and coffee shop talk last year. In an effort to assure taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely, the House passed a bill to allow state agencies to furnish state vehicles with GPS devices to collect data for tracking purposes.
A $4.6 billion balanced budget for the 2012 fiscal year cleared the full House this week. The budget bill, known as the Revenue Stabilization Act, deals specifically with general revenue and prioritizes spending for public schools and prisons. I voted against this budget because it increases state spending too much.
We also approved a General Improvement Fund bill that sets aside surplus funds for special projects. The Governor controls $40 million, while the House and Senate each control $5 million. If you can recall, last month House members voted to use their share of the surplus for statewide projects, rather than funding lawmakers’ pet projects.
Over the course of the session and under the shining dome of Capitol Hill, we worked vigorously to cut your taxes, increase government transparency, hold the line on spending and move our state forward economically. As of Thursday, 903 out of 2,234 House and Senate bills had been signed into law.
The 88th General Assembly held the shortest session in two decades. However, because congressional redistricting is not complete, the House and Senate will reconvene on Monday to complete the process. Members will still return for a “sine die” on April 27, which is the final adjournment of the legislative session.
While we have recessed until next year’s fiscal session, I will continue my work to serve as your voice in the Arkansas House of Representatives. Please contact me with any issues, questions or concerns you may have. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org