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On Wednesday, members of the Arkansas Legislative Council were given an update on unemployment claims in the state. This week, we have also been reviewing a preliminary report from the Arkansas Economic Recovery Task Force. 

Millions of small businesses across America have been impacted by COVID-19, and Congress created the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to assist them through the crisis. As of May 23, 40,329 Arkansas businesses had received a total of $3,286,789,662 in PPP funds. These businesses have been a…

Plague, pestilence, misfortune, epidemics, pandemics, and contagions of all kinds have been part of the human existence since Genesis 3 and they always will be, at least until Christ returns.  Many people observe these and see signs indicating that the return of Christ is near. That is not t…

LITTLE ROCK –More than 10,500 Arkansas businesses have been approved for grants to reimburse them for the expenses of protecting the health of employees and customers.

We have all heard the screaming: “Safety first” and “the Economy first”.  The idea being that everything else pales next to the importance of the economy or safety currently dominates the airwaves and watercooler discussions.  

These days, we often hear things like, “I know my rights” or “I don’t have to take that” or “You can’t do that to me”.  Many people believe that it is a badge of honor, something to be proud of that they stand up for their rights.  Many arguments, even fights, occur because we make sure that…

When COVID-19 first began to spread, I don’t think any of us could have predicted just how catastrophic it would become. After more than two months of shelter in place protocols, almost 40 million Americans have lost their jobs and don’t know what the future holds. As a member of Congress, I…

The COVID-19 pandemic could be a source of stress, fear, or anxiety for many Arkansans. May is Mental Health Awareness Month and a good time to remind Arkansans of the resources available to help during this time. 

Beauty shops and barber shops open. Turtle Cover Spa opens. Restaurants open with limited inside seating. Tourists are arriving. This is supposed to be good news, right?  I mean our economy is a tourist economy so we need those tourists, don't we? And heaven knows we need our hair cut.

Perhaps you have heard this tale.  A young mother of three wrote the following thank you note. "Many thanks for the play pen. It is being used every day from 2 to 3 pm. I get in it to read and the children can’t get near me."  Every mother understands that.  The complete lack of private time…

The Arkansas Department of Health lifted several restrictions and issued new directives for restaurants, gyms, and hair salons this week. While Arkansas takes steps to re-open the economy, we recognize the challenges still ahead. This week, we want to update you on the programs available to …

This has been a good week in Arkansas. We have made progress in containing COVID-19, so I was able to announce some good news about our path back to normal.

We live in strange, strange times. Some of the strangeness is related to COVID-19, some is not. There are many other forces at work in our post-modern, post-truth world. It is very difficult, nigh impossible to determine the veracity of facts presented to us. These facts are almost always pr…

I’d like to a talk about the improvements we’ve made to our unemployment benefits system. I want to assure the thousands of Arkansans who have lost a job because of the COVID-19 pandemic that we are working diligently to get the benefits out the door.

These days, reading the news is sobering at best. News of COVID-19 spreading across the world, infecting friends and loved ones, and causing economic instability is all over the headlines. However, even in these uncertain times, I’ve also heard so many stories about Arkansan communities comi…

I was grateful when President Trump recently called me to discuss the agriculture community’s concerns related to the coronavirus crisis, particularly the need to assure the public that our food supply chain remains strong in the midst of this pandemic.

Pestilence brings many questions.  COVID-19 has brought to light many of the most important questions that have ever been asked and that could possibly be asked.  Who caused COVID-19 and other viruses?  I will not attempt to answer that question here except to say that God is not the author …

As I often say and remind people that LIFE is not just about us. Most, if not all, of us can show a little care for people and things surrounding us, life and the world will be a better place for us to live in:

I’d like to talk about the professionals who are on the front lines at the hospitals and clinics all over Arkansas who are treating our COVID-19 patients and doing the critically important testing work.

I am isolated and, quite frankly, sick of it. Can’t play bridge, get a hair cut or a massage, go to a Master Gardener meeting or exercise with the ExtensionGetFit group, even welcome visitors to the Chamber Visitor Center. Isolating is what you do when you are 78 years old and are thus in a …

The sudden and severe economic downturn caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus means that the 2020 fiscal session will be the most difficult one for legislators since Arkansas voters first voted to establish fiscal sessions 12 years ago.

Ever since Congress passed the $2 trillion CARES Act, I know many of you have had questions about what this bill means for you, your families and your businesses. I hosted a telephone town hall to hear from you and answer your questions. UAMS Chancellor Dr. Cam Patterson and Executive Direct…

I was shocked, sad, and in disbelief with an aching heart to see a video clip on Facebook where a young man (in his teens) with five friends gave a big fist punch to an innocent Asian man from behind. That Asian man was not warned at all that this brutal fist punch was coming. Just one big p…

As the U.S. grapples with containing COVID-19, Congress has been working to provide emergency funding for research, relief efforts, small businesses, unemployed workers and more. Phase III of the funding plan, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed the House an…

Census Day is less than a month away, and today I’d like to share some advice from the United States Census Bureau that will ensure we count as many people as possible.

The legislature has begun budget hearings in preparation for the 2020 Fiscal Session, which convenes on April 8 and is scheduled to last a month.

We have had one case of the flu this past week as someone must have brought the bug in while visiting but thankfully the resident is almost over it now and we are hoping no one else gets it. So far this week we are clear. A few of the Churches have rescheduled due to some of their members be…

We all expect that we change every second, the moment we come into this world. What I mean is not just physically and mentally, but mainly our characteristics and personality which shapes us to who we are yesterday, today, and perhaps also tomorrow. This also can be wonderful, scary, or trag…

With spring just around the corner, it’s important to remember that state and federal income tax forms are due soon. Both state and federal income tax forms must be postmarked no later than April 15, 2020, to avoid penalties and late fees. 

I might not believe in psychics;  but one psychic lady once told me that I was the type to move and live in many places. Since I was a little boy, (after my Dad had passed away), that was my first time that I moved from my birth place and moved to live in with my big brother at the capital o…

An Arkansas success story that is attracting national attention is the expansion of computer science classes in public schools over the past five years.

By law, Fiscal Sessions can only last 30 days (45 days with a ¾ vote to extend), so members work weeks in advance drafting appropriation measures in order to ensure our sessions are brief.

I think one of the toughest things that humans face in life is choosing what job or career to go into. It is a hard challenge that many college students face when going into their second or third year. In general, most of the high school seniors have made up their minds on what to major in w…

Early voting for the Arkansas Preferential Primary and Nonpartisan General Election began this week.