Arkansas politics

In his weekly conversation with Roby Brock, of Talk Business and Politics, John Brummett, a political columnist with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, considers recent Arkansas legislation regarding guns and what it says about the current state of politics.

Courtesy / WorthPoint

For decades, politics in Conway County moved with Marlin Hawkins. He was an elected official who created an efficient political machine that propelled him to 40 years in office. We use archives from the David and Barbara Pryor Center for Arkansas Oral and Visual History with Randy Dixon as our guide to learn more about Hawkins' legacy.

Courtesy / Urban League of Arkansas

To raise awareness surrounding proposed hate crimes legislation, the Urban League of the State of Arkansas and its partners announced their Arkansas United Against Hate campaign at the state Capitol yesterday. Meanwhile, Republican legislators filed a new bill that they say will address class protections.

Courtesy / Evelyn Rios Stafford

Evelyn Rios Stafford, who is a Washington County Justice of the Peace and the first openly transgender elected official in Arkansas, met with Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday after the state legislature passed the SAFE Act, or House Bill 1570, the day before. The bill would ban minors from receiving gender-affirming healthcare and penalize doctors who attempt to provide it. The governor has not yet signed or vetoed the bill.

Courtesy / Arkansas Secretary of State

A bill that would put new restrictions on absentee voting in Arkansas has advanced to the full House for a vote. Among a number of changes to the current system, House Bill 1715 from Rep. Mark Lowery, R-Maumelle, would lower the number of absentee ballot applications a person can obtain without opening them up to allegation of voter fraud. Opponents say the bill doesn't seek to fix any actual issues with absentee voting.

This week's Northwest Arkansas Business Journal Report includes a survey of business conducted by the Arkansas legislature since January. Rex Nelson, a senior editor and columnist at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, provides perspective.

The Arkansas legislature can refer up to three constitutional amendments to Arkansas voters in the 2022 General Election. We talk to Kristin Higgins from the Arkansas Public Policy Center to learn more about the process for narrowing down proposals.

This week, Roby Brock, with Talk Business and Politics, and John Brummett, a political columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, discuss the legislator-approved extension of the pandemic emergency for another 60 days and the new candidates entering races in the 2022 elections.

Arkansas Democrats are reducing filing fees for candidates for the third time since 2017. A spokesman for the Republican Party of Arkansas says the organization has no plans to follow suit. Arkansas has some of the most expensive filing fees in the country.

This week, Roby Brock, with our partner Talk Business and Politics, and John Brummett, a political columnist with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, discuss the conservative leanings of the Arkansas General Assembly and how Arkansas is faring when it comes to vaccinations.