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Bill changing Arkansas FOIA signed into law


Sanders signs bills altering FOIA law and cutting income taxes

Legislation from this week’s special session of the Arkansas Legislature is now law.

Yesterday, Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed a law expanding exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act to include her security information. The law is a narrower version of a bill by Republican Senate President Bart Hester that would have drastically changed FOIA laws in Arkansas.

The bill was replaced after it was met with bipartisan criticism from lawmakers and the public. Sanders was asked about this during yesterday’s signing.

“We’ve made it very clear that our number one priority was the safety component within the FOIA legislation,” Sanders said. “That’s part of governing, you come in, we got exactly what we really needed that is critical and we’re not going to stop continuing to fight for more government efficiency and effectiveness, and I think this is just the beginning of that process.”

She also signed a bill preventing state employees from being required to get COVID vaccines, and a law cutting personal and corporate income taxes across the state.

Womack seeks re-election

Congressman Steve Womack, R-Rogers, will seek an eighth term in Congress. Womack was first elected to the Third District office in the 2010 election cycle.

He says his priorities for the next term would include support for the country’s military and constituent needs. Before serving in the House, he was mayor of Rogers.

Girlology Program begins at UAMS

UAMS is hosting a free puberty education event for teen and tween girls with qualified doctors and women’s health physicians Sunday.

Girls must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Nicole Bedard, one of UAMS’s community program directors, said the program aims to create a space to have empowering, healthy and factual conversation for girls.

The program covers growth and development, hygiene, nutrition, internet safety, menstruation and more. She said the space they are creating for young girls is unique and focused around having important, and factual information about their health.

“We are so pleased that we have three UAMS OBGYN physicians who will be leading the education and conversation for girls and their adults who will learn about their changing bodies and minds,” Bedard said. “This is a really important critical age for them to start these conversations about what's happening in their lives, about their health and their wellness.”

Bedard said girls need the correct tools and instruction to expect physical and mental changes, as well as how to talk about these topics.

“We hope that people will attend this event, and walk away feeling empowered to have those conversations,” Bedard said. “We hope they'll be able to navigate the body changes that are occurring during that stage with more confidence and support. And we hope that they'll be better informed about valuable health information.”

The event is this Sunday from 2-4:30 p.m. at the UAMS Schmieding Center for Senior Health and Education in Springdale. Parents are encouraged to register online.

UAMS breaks ground on sports performance center

Work on the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ Health and Orthopedic & Sports Performance Center will hit a new gear after today’s groundbreaking in Springdale.

The 115,000-square-foot center will serve as the UAMS’ sports medicine and orthopedic medicine headquarters. The facility will be built on Watkins Avenue in Springdale.

Mike Conley inducted in College Athlete Hall of Fame

Mike Conley, a former Arkansas Razorback track standout and Olympic gold medalist is now officially in the Collegiate Track & Field and Cross Country Athlete Hall of Fame.

The induction ceremony for the 2023 class took place last night in Eugene, Oregon. Throughout his collegiate career, Conley amassed a total of 62 points at NCAA Championships, making him the highest-scoring male field eventer in the history of the competition.

Conley becomes the second Razorback to be inducted in the Collegiate Athlete Hall of Fame, joining Erick Walder, the long-standing collegiate record holder in the long jump, who was part of the inaugural class in 2022.

Razorback games this weekend

No. 16 Razorback women’s volleyball team concludes its non-conference schedule with three matches in Queens, New York, this weekend.

Arkansas plays in the Red Storm Class today and tomorrow, facing host St. John’s University, Buffalo and Bryant. Arkansas is 7-2 and will next play in Barnhill Arena a week from tonight, hosting South Carolina in the SEC opener.

No. 11 Arkansas women’s soccer begins SEC play tonight at Tennessee, then will be back in Fayetteville for the last non-conference match of the season, hosting Grand Canyon Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.

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Kyle Kellams is KUAF's news director and host of Ozarks at Large<i>.</i>
Matthew Moore is a reporter and producer for Ozarks at Large.
Rachell-Sanchez Smith is an associate producer for Ozarks at Large.
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