"Arkansas Week" highlights a dedicated, distinguished group of Arkansas journalists and political scientists who discuss issues in the news.
"Arkansas Week" is hosted by Steve Barnes. Barnes has been on the air in the Natural State since 1968 when he started as a copy boy on weekends at KTHV-TV Channel 11 in Little Rock. His adept hand at leading journalists and others in a discussion of current events complements his encyclopedic knowledge of the state, its players and its past. Barnes has not only become one of the most recognizable and respected people within Arkansas, but has connected with a national audience through work published in the New York Times, fed to the Reuters news service and shown on networks ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and PBS. He has been a recipient of the University of Arkansas' journalist of the year award, as well as receiving first prize for television documentary awarded by the Society of Professional Journalists.
Arkansas PBS welcomes viewers to submit suggestions for discussion topics through e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter.
Arkansas Week February 21, 2020 (The Chains of 1720) The Black experience in Arkansas. As elsewhere in America, A chronicle of slavery and the subsequent struggle for equality. (Emancipation Unrealized) Two Centuries after the first African-Americans were broght to the Arkansas territory, how much progress? (Incomplete Integration) How to address the continuing gaps in income, opportunity and advancement. (Past, Present, Future) For this edition of Arkansas Week, It's Black History Month. What it means for the now and the tomorrow.
Arkansas Week February 14, 2020 (Capitol City Cannabis) Months after marijuanna dispensories debuted in other Arkansas cities, the state's largest gets the go ahead. Why the delay? (A Bloomberg Boom?) The politics of 2020. Can Arkansas Democrats support a different New York billionaire? (Demographic Hurdles) And if so, which Democrats? And how big a factor are race, age, and ideaology? (Arkansas 2020) The confusion of the nation's capitol. How much impact on politics in our capitol?
Arkansas Week February 7, 2020 (The Trails of Tabulation) Arkansas doesn't caucus but the chaos in Iowa has heightened concern for the election process here. (March 3 Primaries) His Arkansas ready for its next experiment with democracy just around the corner. (Ballot Integrity) The voter registration lists the voting machines and polling places are they immune to mischief. (Battles for the Bench) But first, the business of choosing judges in Arkansas. Any disputes involving their election may not be as contentious as the commercials. In their behalf. Authorized or not.
Arkansas Week January 31, 2020 (Impeachment and Arkansas) Witnesses or no, and they say no. Our two Senators seating as jurors. (Campaign Fundraising) Some judges have judged an Arkansas campaign finance law unjust. What's the impact? (Medicare Block Grants) From Washington, a policy proposal that conservatives craved leave some providers anxious. (Struggle for Survival) But first, the future of Arkansas's sole state-wide newspaper, on paper just once a week.
Arkansas Week January 24, 2020 (Boozman, Cotton) The two jurors from our state seem firm in their stance for acquital, which seems to speak for their constituents. (Impeachment and Arkansas) So, will the long battle impact politics here this election year, or even in the near future? Hear two sides. (Bloomberg Returns) Meantime, a second stop-over by an unconventional candidate who hopes his bilfold can be his breakthrough. (Class and Walmart) With a company he helped build, still calculating its Christmas earnings, an assessment of a envaluable Arkansas executive.
Arkansas Week January 17, 2020 (Relocation Resistance) A Governor's plan for humanitarian relief and a vocal opposition within his own party. (Boozman '22 A Go) There was always more speculation than suspense. The senior Senator from Arkansas has ended both. (A Diseased System?) From the wealthiest family in the nation, a new initiative for improving healthcare in its native state. (Vaccination Deficit) But first and along those lines, illness in our state. Two dozen deaths and dozens more with serious illnesses and most if not all preventable. An update on the intersection of health and public policy.
Arkansas Week January 10, 2020 (2020 Opportunities) The seat of state government and the sprall surrounding it. Prospects for the new year. (2020 Challenges) ...and the problems. Some of them new, others lingering, and how to address them. (Millions in Damage) The chaos and calamity that followed, literally in the wake of the water of the floods of Spring '19. (Levees and Arkansas) A task force appointed by the governor, reports its recommendations. And we'll discuss them with two of it's senior members.
Arkansas Week January 3, 2020 (Campaign Season) The schism that's driving politics in the nation's capital. How much real heat if any will our delegates feel. (Schools and Business) In contrast to a toxic Washington's seemingly tranquil, Arkansas, but for how long. (2020 Crystal Ball) Public education and private enterprise headed where in the next dozen months, will preview the year ahead.
Arkansas Week December 20, 2019 This week's edition of Arkansas Week is a special one, if a bit unusual for the Christmas season. It was 50 Christmases ago when a federal judge assigned two Arkansas lawyers an unusual mission, they would inspect and investigate a prison system that suggested scandal on a massive scale. Sure enough, soon enough, it would stagger not only the state but the nation.
Arkansas Week November 26, 2019 (Seven-Year Sentence) A pivotal player in the long running Arkansas legislative scandal is headed to federal prison. (Bearing Witness) And the man nicknamed 'Crusty Rusty,' has quite apparently been nicking other names. Do we know them all? (Future Indictments) Can we know where, when, and how the corruption case will end? (Exit Interview) And also, can Arkansas agriculture recover its bearing admid trade wars and wars with nature? A conversation with the retiring president of the Arkansas Farm Bureau.
Arkansas Week November 22, 2019 (Dollars and Cents) A jobless rate holding steady and an Arkansas County that's counting the bucks. (Casino Controversy) Another county still can't decide whether it wants bucks from blackjack. We'll have an update. (LRSD, How 'Local?') Another update, the school district for Arkansas's capitol city and the question of charters. (D-G Bi-Centennial) And a two-hundreth birthday observance. An appropriate occasion to assess a media landscape that continues to shift.
Arkansas Week November 15, 2019 (Tickets to '20) Reds, blues, maybe some purples, some officially opaque, but no greens. (Rasing Cotton) A race already bright red grows redder still as the only blue abruptly withdrawls. (Balance of Power) And the legislature, can a party struggling to rebuild make headway against a still popular president? (DisSECting the Hogs) And also tonight, a predictable, and inevitable exit at Fayetteville and the quest to return to glory to the gridiron. What it means inside the stadium and beyond.
Arkansas Week November 8, 2019 (Autumn Harvest) At the close of business on Halloween night it was all treat and no trick for the Arkansas Treasury. (Tariff Scaleback?) The import taxes that have damaged Arkansas business and farming, is that really relief in sight? (Hutchinson in China) The Governor is not the only one that hopes so, but is coincidentally in position to find out. (Campaign 2020) And the time for contemplation is at an end. With only a couple of days remaining before the tickets close, we'll look at who wants in, and who wants to stay in.
Arkansas Week November 1, 2019 (John W. Walker) He was the dominate personality in a half-century of civil right litigation in his native state. (School Desegregation) He was best known for his quest to achive equal educational oportunity for all, especially the children of color. He was best known for his quest to achive equal educational oportunity for all, especially the children of color. (Re-segregation) How successful his efforts, and how profound his fustrations? (A Distant Canaan?) The life and times of another man who believed in a place called Hope.
Arkansas Week October 25, 2019 (DEA, FBI, Fentanyl) Forty-nine arrests and almost 4lbs of an extremely dangerous drug. (Suburban Sales) The retail territory may have startled some people but the authorities say it didn't surprise them. (Susbstance Abuse) The round-up and the seasures were a vivid reminder of an epidemic that knows no season. (A Lethal Cycle?) Is Arkansas and the nation captive to a one-step-forward, two-step-back drug dynamic?
Arkansas Week October 18, 2019 (Family First Fits Us) The state and its youngest most vulnerable clients, the state reports some progress. (Greyhounds Adieu) K-9 competition and casinos, the former shoves aside the latter at West Memphis. (Trump, Turkey, Turmoil) All four Republican representatives break with the President of their party. A one-off or the first crack in the wall? (Mapping a Decade) But first, at the state and federal level, two legislative bodies and some changes just around the corner.
Arkansas Week October 11, 2019 (Mandate to Expel?) It's happened only once before, in the House and only once in the Senate now and a new century. Lawmakers judging one of their own. (Homing in on Scandal) If that's one step toward accountability, then use makes clear that that ain't won't soon be erased. (Report Cards Valid?) 1000 schools, 270 school districts the A's, the F's, and the underlying demography. (A Question of Control) And in Arkansas capital city at candlelight chorus and the prospects of light at the end of the tunnel, but a beacon. Or a light that failed.
Arkansas Week October 4, 2019 (Big Steel, Big Deal) A billion dollar acquisition in the works in north-east Arkansas and Pennsylvannia. (September Dollars) The state treasury keeps rolling in, but are there warning signs elsewhere? (Arkansas's Temperature) Politics, politics, are there any hopeful signs for 'Natural State' Democrats. (Arkansas and Trump) Put another way, is there any sign of the Presidents popularity here is measurably weakening.
Arkansas Week Special Edition: The Elaine Massacre (A Sad Centennial) It happened 100 years ago. An event that stained Arkansas, but altered the course of American law. (Plantation 'Justice') It may have well been the worst, deadliest episode of racial violence in the nation's history. (An Uncertain History) To this day we cannot know for sure how many people were killed. (Trail and Appeal) Only that the vast majority were black and that a dozen men almost certainly would have died were spared only through a heroic and dangerous quest for justice. The massacre at Elaine. An Arkansas Week Special Edition.
Arkansas Week September 20, 2019 (Arkansas Obesity) Our state is getting bigger and we aren't talking about its economy or its population, but it's waistlines (Medical Expense) Every extra pound on the bathroom scales means extra tax pressures and less productivity will talk with a couple of public health pros. (Tariff Scaleback) Also, this week? How much will the thaw in the trade war warm Arkansas farmers? (Saudi, Yemen, Iran) And what could new violence in the Middle East mean for the diesel that agriculture demands.
Arkansas Week September 13, 2019 (Pork and Beans) Arkansas and tariff wars with Washington and Beijing backing down. How much ground can our states producers recover. (Walmart and Guns) Arkansas' retail giant. A significant step on the firearms debate, but not completely in lockstep. (30 Crossing Update) A massive public works program gets the go-ahead in one court, but other legal challenges continue. (Purdue, Google) And also tonight, two, huge, multi-state legal actions, to which Arkansas' a party. One as a plantiff and the second as a Probert, a briefing from the state's chief legal officer.
Arkansas Week September 6, 2019 (Act 580 of 2019) Are dangerous habit now costs a little more to indulge in arkansa but? How much difference? Will it make to the smoker and the larger society? (Placebo or Poison) And health professionals note there's a new danger, one that came disguised as a harmless substitute. (Deficits and Dark Clouds) What's Arkansas to do, but 1st in this week's edition with federal red ink, rising rapidly, can a serious slowdown be averted? (Soybeans, Cotton, Corn) And with many Arkansas farmers approaching crisis conditions, can they sell their autumn harvest?
Arkansas Week August 30, 2019 (Labor Day '19) Come Monday most of the nation will take the day off as it has now for one and a quarter centuries. (Declining Membership) But in Arkansas and the nation, how much does organized labor have to celebrate? (Robotics, Microchips) The supersonic shift to a knowledge-based, high-tech economy, how much does it imperil the union structure that remains? (Unions, The Outlook) Indeed, how large a role can labor hope to play in the Arkansas and American future?
Arkansas Week August 23, 2019 More federal charges, not unexpected, and the legislative scandals continue. Rolling the dice at Russellville, pot limit in Pope County, anteing up in Little Rock. Those dark clouds so many see elsewhere, are they visible here? But first, the scores of small-scale Arkansas dams and the major damage that can follow if they fail.
Arkansas Week August 16, 2019 (Klobuchar, O’Rourke) Two blues pay their dues in the Wonder State, but how much traction can they find in a state so resolutely Red? (Guns and Politics) Like so many other candidates of their party, are they not asking more of Arkansas than even its voters will consider? (Casino Controversy) How badly, if at all, does Pope County want what Crittenden, Jefferson and Garland counties have, and when will it get it? (Tariffs and Topsoil) But first: the trade wars hobbling Arkansas business, including agriculture. Questions for Arkansas’s senior U.S. Senator.
Arkansas Week August 9, 2019 (Gun Laws, Arkansas?) The slaughters that Stun the nation, what measures are possible in our state? (Abortion Injunctions) A federal judge halts enforcement of the latest laws involving reproductive policy but not the litigation. (Police Accountability) New litigation involving one police department, with other Arkansas cities watching closely. (Farm and Factory) But first, Arkansas and international commerce, and the trade and tariff wars that threaten both manufacturing and agriculture.
Arkansas Week August 2, 2019 (Controversial Commutation) A federal inmate from Arkansas with influential Arkansas friends gets a mid-summer present from the president. (The Fed and Future Growth) The central bank the president loves to chastise makes money a little cheaper, but enough to trickle down to Arkansas business? (Capital City Conflict) In our seat of government, more friction between a new mayor and his staff, and the city board, and the police. (Rep. Bruce Westerman) But first, talking trade, tariffs, taxes, and timber with the congressman from our Fourth District.
Arkansas Week July 26, 2019 (The 19th Amendment) It took Arkansas less than two months to become the 12th state to ratify. (The Feminine Franchise) Of course it took a lot longer and a lot of hard, dedicated work to reach that point. (July 29, 1919) But reach it they did, and it helped change politics in Arkansas and America forever. (Suffrage Centennial) Arkansas women at the polls, an anniversary worth celebrating.
Arkansas Week July 19, 2019 (Labor and Management) We depend on it for tens of thousands of jobs year-round. (Impact 6 Billion) We depend on it for hundreds of millions of dollars in wages and tax revenue. (The Natural State) We depend on it to not merely maintain but improve our state's image. (Visit, Linger, Spend!) It's tourism. Summer vacations, autumn among the turning leaves, hunting and fishing and conventions year-round. Where stands the industry today, and possibly tomorrow.
Arkansas Week July 12, 2019 (Endangered species) For a century, they were lost in the wilderness, wet cold and hungry. (Phonebooth Caucus) And by the conventional measure few in number of the state capital, you could count them on one hand. (The Great Groundswell) Then you needed two. And then you needed a calculator. (A Red State Risen) The road to Republican dominance in Arkansas. What happened why, and why it took as long as it did.
Arkansas Week July 5, 2019 (An Ailing Arkansas) In our state more than most others, we make ourselves sick. We either don't take care of ourselves or don't consult those who would keep us healthy. (Mortality and Morbidity) So our rates of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, stroke and other diseases is far greater than need be. (Dollars for Diseases) The cost of preventable ailments costs the Arkansas economy, to include the Arkansas taxpayer, hundreds of millions of dollars each year. (Pathway to Health?) Are there solutions and are we pursuing them as we should? It's our focus on a special edition of Arkansas Week.
Arkansas Week June 28, 2019 (Country to Town) Like it or not, for better or worse, more and more Arkansans are leaving the land for asphalt. (Options and Alternatives) Whether for economic advantage or simply a different lifestyle, the impact is already significant and it's almost certain to deepen. (Shifting Landscape) For those who choose to remain in place? What sort of place will be theirs? (Perils and Promise) The obstacles and the opportunities of rural Arkansas.
Arkansas Week June 21, 2019 (Medicaid Update) Health coverage and the work requirement, did or did it not do, what the state hoped it would do? (Slicing and Hooking) In Arkansas's capitol city, a new mayor and his council confront a budget with little bend. (Pope and Russellville) First casinos, now cannabis, and no consensus. Can there be peace in the valley? (Repairing a River) And also, the locks and dams of the Arkansas River, an economic engine now in serious need of a tuneup.
Arkansas Week June 14, 2019 (Watershed Moment) It came in under the radar, but it has stayed on multiple screens ever since. And soon it will leave the Buffalo, its critics clamed it threatened. (Legislative Taint) A terrible three days for a former Arkansas law maker. Fresh evidence that the broader scandal will linger for months. (Judicial Speech) One aspect of a different sort of contraversy ends, though the man at the center of it suggests he is hardly through talking. (Scholarshipt Tickets) And also in this edition, its tenth anniversary fast approaching, it still has its critics though its beneficiaries are likely not among them.
Arkansas Week June 7, 2019 (Surplus Growing) The state treasury scores another record monthly take, but do nature and international politics threaten a slowdown? (Damage, Inestimable) Nature, closed highways, harbored cargo barges, and submerged farm fields - we'll have an update. (Trading Arkansas) Global tariff wars, we'll hear some expert views of our stake in the standoff with Mexico, Canada, China and the world. (Bernie in Bentonville) The world's biggest retailer is already feeling the impact,if not enough to suit an irate visitor.
Arkansas Week May 31, 2019 (Late Spring Deluge) How much more water is likely, how much more damage is possible and how state and local governments are responding. (Slackwater Shelter) With shipping at a standstill on the Arkansas and other waterways, can we calculate the economic fallout? (Agriculture Anxiety) Flooded fairways are one thing, farm fields quite another. We'll have an update. (Dollars Diverted?) And also in this week's report, the impact on surface transportation, will high water impact the highway agenda?
Arkansas Week May 24, 2019 (Farm Aid, Highway Hang-up)Sixteen-billion in relief for farmers, but fresh doubts about a bill to rebuild infrastructure. (The Cost of College) Higher education and the money needed to earn a degree, come autumn, the price will go up. (Russellville Roulette) Casino confusion in Pope County, maybe we can clear the air – maybe. (Transformation Update) But first - the Arkansas bureaucracy, can the 15 women and men of the governor's new cabinet give him and taxpayers what he says he needs and they deserve? Mr. Hutchinson's senior assistant.
Arkansas Week May 17, 2019 (Bi-, Tri-, Multi-Lateral) Our state and the world, high-level negotiations with Arkansas jobs and Arkansas pocketbooks in the balance. (Imports and Exports) From Fort Smith to Forrest City and points in between, the impact of the trade and tariff dispute. (Commodities, Consumers) What can the Arkansas shopper expect at the checkout counter if there's no real resolution? (Means of Production) And if the Arkansas farmer is taking it on the chin, so is the Arkansas manufacturer. The Natural State and the uneasy, unnatural state of global commerce.
Arkansas Week May 10, 2019 (Revised GDP) Arkansas's economy, after a record-setting revenue month, is Cassandra whispering? (Dreams vs. Deficits) A troubled Arkansas capitol city, in conspicuous need of new, additional capital, it's new mayor's agenda plainly problematic. (Public, Private Dollars) If the way forward for Little Rock and all of Arkansas is high technology, are we aiming high enough and fast enough? (Underwater, Overhead, Overseas) But first, Hundreds of millions of dollars involved, a huge portion of that state GDP. With torrential rains and tumult in the political arena, the Arkansas farmer in the spring of his discontent.
Arkansas Week May 3, 2019 (Execution Protocol) After a week of testimony challenging Arkansas's lethal injection procedure, the state's experts take the stand in rebuttal. (958.8 Mil) Wrong, Mr. Eliot, April was the kindest month in history for the Arkansas treasury. But will May bring flowers? (Medical Marijuana) Yet more tax revenue should begin arriving next week with the arrival of a new and legitimate retail store. (Investment, Expansion) But first, more conventional economic expansion, a spirited first quarter in Arkansas carries into April. Can we expect still more?
Arkansas Week April 26, 2019 (The 92nd Adjourns) In the Latin it's Sin-I Dee-I but let's not posture, and sine die sounds better than sayonora. (Little Rock Mayor-Council?) Just before leaving, the legislature gives the city where it sits a new option for governing itself. So, now what? ('Cruel and Unusual'?) The death penalty protocol in Arkansas, the so-called three- drug cocktail – on trial in federal court. (Cannabis) But first, not new in Arkansas retailing but newly legal - medical marijuana. An update from the state agency assigned as watchdog.
Arkansas Week April 19, 2019 (No Laughing Matter) Time was we made light of it, every kid got it - it was part of growing up. (Long-term Impact) Then we learned what it could do, and that it didn't have to be. (Vaccine Vacillation) But times and attitudes changed amid a flood of suspicion and misinformation… (The Renewed Mortality) …and so now it's back, in Europe, in Africa, in the U.S. and, very possibly, in Arkansas. Measles and its threat.
Arkansas Week April 12, 2019 (Arkansas's Budget) It took 90 days to decide how to spend almost 6 billion dollars, not counting a few billion more in federal funds. (Personal, Corporate) They voted to spend it pretty much as the governor requested, while cutting most taxes along the way. ('Transformation' Time) Not only that, the legislative gave the executive the overhaul of his branch that he contends will save more dollars. (A Minority Appraisal) A good session for the majority party, then, rather less so for the loyal opposition. A review of the 92nd General Assembly.
Arkansas Week April 5, 2019 (Personal and Corporate) Hundred of millions in tax cuts for individuals and businesses and some cuts that didn't make cut. (RSA 5.75 Bil) Still... a budget that's larger than last year's, but possibly tighter. (Arkansas Still 'Works') Tightest possible margin, a 'yes' vote on the Medicaid budget that makes all the pieces fit. (92nd General Assembly) A view of the general assembly in it's concluding hours. A view from the house.
Arkansas Week March 29, 2019 (Medicaid and the Court) It's the judicial decision the governor feared and for his administration the timing could scarcely be worse. (Appropriation Anxiety) What now the outlook for his Arkansas Works program without a work requirement? (Scholarships as Subsidy?) Public money for private schools, will stiff opposition from the education establishment block the legislation? (Executive Reorganization) But first, assigning 45 agencies to 15 Cabinet officers, and the 2,000 page, 20 pound bill that would do it. An update on the governor's plan to restructure his government.
Arkansas Week March 22, 2019 (Tax Relief, Tobacco Remorse?) A late-session income tax bill clears the Senate in a squeeze but can the House be persuaded? (Collections from Clicks?) A corporate tax cut with a revenue neutralizer, has the time come for an Internet retail sales tax? (Asa, EPA, Not So Fast) Animal waste and water quality, a political and environmental contest in the fields and at the Capitol. (Residents in Residence) But first, what medical educators believe could be a major step in keeping doctors in Arkansas, and putting them where they're most needed.
Arkansas Week March 15, 2019 (100 Million Dollar Baby) The legislature looks at a new tax bill, this one with cuts for many and an increase for a powerful industry. (Maximum Opposition) That rollback in the minimum wage? Not so fast, says a governor and both political parties. (Written in Stone) A long time coming, a highway program approved and signed. (Closing Controversies) But first, dark money, rent money and Confederate memory.
Arkansas Week March 1, 2019 (Amending Old '74) The General Assembly can send three to the ballot, and the competition is hot and heavy. (Blue, Gray, Black, White) A war that ended 150 years ago, fresh evidence that its legacy lingers. (Whither Windstream?) Can a telecommunications giant based in Arkansas find its way in an increasingly wireless world? (5 cents equals 300 million) But first, the main ingredient in the governor's highway recipe - will the House find it as tasty as the Senate?
Arkansas Week February 22, 2019 (Taxes, Pro and Con) Income taxes in Arkansas, lower for most everyone, but will investment and equity suffer? (Issue, Abortion) It's one of the most polarizing issues of the past half- century and again a conservative legislature speaks. (Highways, Arkansas) A program demanded in 75 counties moves closer to reality. (Highways, Congress) But how much help, and when, from Washington?
Arkansas Week February 15, 2019 (Upper Bracket Break) Republican resistance in the house? Not when the votes were counted. (His way or Highways?) Now the Governor's highway program. Does the tax break suggest his winning streak isn't over? (Capping Damages) Tort reform, will big business put it back on the ballot? (Containing Cannabis) And medical marijuana, the Governor and the legislature balk at expanding it. Will its supporters put it back on the ballot?
Arkansas Week February 8, 2019 (Upper Bracket Break) It took two votes and three Democrats but no deals, the governor says; and his tax bill heads to the House. (Highways or Highway?) With a transportation program still in the talking stage, a Republican supermajority seems a bit less super. (Ferguson and Douglas) We'll speak with two high-profile House members about what comes next on those issues and more. (32 Shops, 8 Zones) And we'll update Arkansas's plan to take medical marijuana from the shadows to the storefront.
Arkansas Week February 1, 2019 (Two-year Phase-in) The governor speeds up the income tax reduction but scales back its cost to the treasury. Which means what for the short and long term? (Tobacco Tax Hike?) You can still light 'em if you have 'em, but buying 'em may may burn a bigger hole in your pocket. (GenRev, "Off limits") The first cards are dealt in the highway funding game but the governor declares it a mis-deal. We'll consider it all with the new Speaker. (Scott, 30 Days) And also in this week's edition, the new mayor of Arkansas's capital City. At the one- month mark, does the journey ahead seem any less formidable?
Arkansas Week January 25, 2019 (The 92nd, Simmering?) After two abbreviated weeks, do we have any real sense of the legislative session now underway? ('Surface transportation') Highways, will the General Assembly kick the can down the road, and will voters kick up their heels? (Human Services Agenda) Income tax cuts seem to be a lead-pipe cinch, but what does that mean for social spending? (What role Democrats?) And the loyal opposition, with both chambers a deep red, how much room for blue?
Arkansas Week January 18, 2019 (State and Federal Fiscals) The budget the governor wants and the Medicaid dollars he has to have to get it, With a key element pending in the courts, what’s the outlook? (Concrete and asphalt) With pressure from within and outside the legislature, are there the beginnings of a highway program? (Ethics upgrades) Both chambers are meeting under the criminal cloud created by a half-dozen former members, is a new code of conduct the answer? (92nd General Assembly) All that, plus teacher salaries, retirement programs and – tax cuts.
Arkansas Week January 11, 2019 A legislative session is about to begin along with the governor's second and final term. Tax cuts are high on Asa Hutchinson's agenda but so is renewing the Medicaid expansion that makes those cuts and his budget possible. Will a highway program emerge? And what to make of the casino controversy in a state that wants them and a town that doesn't?
Arkansas Week December 21, 2018 (2018 Year in Review) A busy 12 months in Arkansas politics and policy, what happened, and what happens next? (2019 A First Look) Arkansas Works, the governor thinks it does, can he keep it working? (Budgets and Districts) Does the legislature meet at least once too often, and is there better way to choose one? (Collapsing Center?) And turmoil in Washington, if there's a backlash, will it extend to the politics of 2020? Stand by for Arkansas Week.
Arkansas Week December 28, 2018 Steve Barnes visits with U.S. Senator John Boozman to discuss a soaring budget deficit, pressure on Medicare and SocialSecurity, entitlement reform, and the Arkansas farmer batteredby tariff wars.
Arkansas Week December 14, 2018 (Medicaid and Money) The state budget and its big-ticket issues, click or keypad, nursing home or home care? (Tax Cuts, Tax Caution) How to fund that and the rest of the government? The governor's plan, or some alternatives? (Soybeans Under Siege) A farm bill at last, but how far can it go to keeping farmers in the black? (Infrastructure in '19?) And this, can both houses and the White House produce a highway bill that fits Arkansas? Arkansas Week, in just a moment.
Arkansas Week January 4, 2019 Steve Barnes visits with U.S. Senator Tom Cotton to discuss Arkansas farmers, the economy, deficits, interest rates, budgets, the wall, and more.
Arkansas Week November 23, 2018 (The Fall Semester) High school seniors and not a few juniors, and a lot of parents, and the cost of college. (Scholarships, grants) What are the options the state and national capitols make available and how affordable are they? (The Arkansas Lottery) The gigantic game of chance that makes some of those scholarships possible, will other games of chance soon have an impact? (Tuition, Fees, Room, Board, Books) Higher education in Arkansas, the dollars it requires of students and families, and the financial outlook for the next freshman class.
Arkansas Week November 16, 2018 (Lean or Mean) A second term now his, Asa Hutchinson offers a budget that he calls lean and some critics call mean. (Tax Targets) His lease renewed, the governor renews his drive for lower taxes. (Concrete Results?) Still up in the air, transportation on the ground. When and what kind of a highway program? (The Heat is On) And the economy, still running on overdrive, what does it suggest for the governor and the legislature?
Arkansas Week November 9, 2018 (Red, Red, Redder) Blue wave? Blue tide? Not in Arkansas. (A Crimson Capitol) Republicans retain every executive branch office and do it without breathing hard, and, keep the legislative almost as easily. (A Triumph of Gender) The big bipartisan winners, the women who ran and the women who helped them. (Scott v. Kurrus) But there's one more race yet to be decided, a local campaign that's attracting statewide attention.
Arkansas Week November 2, 2018 (Renewal or rejection?) For the nation they're mid-terms, for some Arkansas politicians will they be simply mid-tenures? (Red-Blue-Purple?) Can once-dominant Democrats regain their footing at the local and district level? (The Trump Effect) The incumbent president retains his job performance rating in Arkansas, but is that an asset in every precinct? (Arkansas Poll '18) But first, with spirited early voting ahead of Tuesday's showdown, what do we know about the Arkansas political mindset?
Arkansas Week October 26, 2018 (Presidential boost?) At times he may annoy them, he may embarrass them, frustrate them, but are Arkansas's Republican incumbents newly grateful? (1st Amendment v. Fairness?) An especially frustrated Arkansas jurist turns again to the courts, and the issue again is political speech. (Casinos, IDs, Wages) Her court has tossed torts and term limits off the ballot, but what of the three other issues that remain? (Early voting begins) For the citizen who doesn't want to wait… he or she doesn't have to, and not a few are choosing to not wait. PANELISTS Christopher Housenick - Arkansas Tech Univ., Political Science Dept. Lance Turner - Arkansas Business Rob Moritz - UCA, Journalism Dept.
Arkansas Week October 19, 2018 (Countdown to November) Early voting begins Monday and the big Tuesday is two weeks and change away. Where stands Arkansas in the mid-term? (Supremes Challenged) The state's highest court – almost as controversial now as the issues before it. (Issue 1, No Go) Under fire though it is, the Court remains in business, to the disappointment of business, among others. (Minimum Wage) But first, an issue that remains on the ballot, and the votes will be counted.
Arkansas Week October 12, 2018 (Red, Blue, Purple?) With the clock ticking toward election day how much voter uncertainty remains? (Hot button issues) The Supreme Court clears the way for a consensus on casinos, and voter i.d., just two of the issues that could bring Arkansans to the polls, or maybe keep them away. (Legislative contests) The down ballot, is 2018 a rebuilding year for the Democrats as well as the Razorbacks? (Gray, Pakko, Webb) A dozen campaigns, a handful of ballot issues, uncertain turnout.
Arkansas Week October 5, 2018 ('Transformation'?) Greater efficiency at a lower cost, says the governor, but can he persuade the legislature, the lobbyists, the bureaucracy and the electorate? (Rising revenues) Another robust month for the state treasury, additional fuel on the tax-cut fire. (Kavanaugh/Arkansas) A Senate spectacle in Washington, what impact here among voters of both parties? (Focus, Issue 4) But first, the latest campaign for casinos in Arkansas – pass or don't pass, 7-11 or boxcars? We'll hear both sides.
Arkansas Week September, 28, 2018 (Contortive or compensatory?) Are excessive jury awards an economic millstone or essentially a myth? (Contingency Conflict) Legal fees, how much is too much, and how should that be decided? (Separation of Powers) The administration of justice, when one branch of government sets the rules for another, how easy should it be? (Issue 1) Both sides of a very controversial proposal.
Arkansas Week September 21, 2018 (Un-due Process?) Ethics or the absence there of have dominated the political season, and now the state's highest court is itself in the dock. (Ballot Battles) Five proposals for Arkansas voters and seven, or eight, justices to weigh four of them. (Dark Ads) Political spots and the money behind them, how much more transparency will there truly be? (Issue 2, Voter ID) But first, how much and what kind should be required at the polling place?
Arkansas Week September 14, 2018 (Fund Fraud) The last of the known offenders in a major political fraud has been sentenced; but are there questions unanswered? (Healthcare Scandal) With another indictment, a second set of felonies at the State Capitol involving far larger sums of taxpayer dollars is still unfolding. (Diocesan Disgrace) Scandal involves not just the secular but the sacred, Arkansas amid a global accounting of clerical abuse. (Election '18) And the post-Labor Day rush to Election Day, where stands the Arkansas electorate with seven weeks remaining?
Arkansas Week September 7, 2018 Is 2018 the year of the woman? As Republicans, asDemocrats, as Greens and Independents, they're running for office in recordnumbers. A century ago almost none were running – they weren't even voting.Host Steve Barnes talks with Beth Barham, Denise Ennett and Bonnie Miller, allrepresentatives of the League of Women Voters of Arkansas. They'll discuss the19th Amendment and the centennial milestone of the League of Women Voters,which has advocated long and vigorously for women's involvement.
Arkansas Week August 31, 2018 (Tariffs and trade) Arkansas farms and Arkansas factories, a new NAFTA and a new deal or a mostly a new name? (Stadiums and cells) A false alarm at one venue, an alarming surge at another, how secure can they be made to be? (McCain and Arkansas) The late senator from Arizona and the state he carried easily, some reflections. (Farming Subsidies) But first, with or without a federal check, where goes Arkansas agriculture from here?
Arkansas Week August 24, 2018 (Fall term) They're already on college campuses across Arkansas, the Class of '22; or will it be the Class of '24, if that? (Diplomas) Enrollment is one thing, graduation quite another. How to move the latter closer to the former? (Tuition, etc.) And with state support essentially flat, how to cope with the expense? (3rd and long?) Also tonight: is college sport on the cusp of a new era?
Arkansas Week August 17, 2018 (Dollars?) With the U.S. Economy still in overdrive, for some people, does the majority party still have the edge in Arkansas? (Purple?) With November just around the corner, is a red state having any second thoughts? (Tumult) If all politics are now national, what's the fallout, if any, in our state? (Scandal) But first, the upheaval in the Arkansas Capitol, a fresh look at how it evolved and a man at the core of it.
Arkansas Week August 10, 2018 (Medicaid) There's a first time for everything as Medicaid spending falls in Arkansas. (Tariffs) City leaders in Arkadelphia and farmers in the Delta keep a close eye on China. (Term Limits) A proposal to limit legislators' service is back on the ballot. (Midterms) And reading the tea leaves for clues to November.
Arkansas Week August 3, 2018 (Schools) Arkansas students return to the classroom this month... (Safety) ...While a governor's commission seeks ways to make them safer. (Jobs) In Conway, hundreds of jobs are at risk. Can they be saved? (Film) And in northwest Arkansas, a slice of Hollywood brings in the dollars.
Arkansas Week July 27, 2018 (30 Crossing) After years of impassioned debate, an interstate expansion project is about to begin. We'll talk with the man leading it. (Dispensaries) The state moves forward to outsource one aspect of medical marijuana. (Casinos) Backers of one proposed constitutional amendment get more time to gather signatures. (Economy) And some indicators suggest a slowing of the economy.
Arkansas Week July 20, 2018 (Corruption) Another guilty plea in a widening corruption investigation. (Executions) The state halts efforts, for now,to renew its supply of lethal injection drugs. (Marijuana) Approval of emergency rules could speed implementation of medicinal marijuana. (Trump) And Republicans in Arkansas are coming together this weekend as their president backpedals.
Arkansas Week July 13, 2018 (Trade) As a trade war brews, Arkansas industry - and political leaders - are in the crossfire. (Marijuana) Five firms finally get the go-ahead to grow - but how long to the harvest? (Guns) A task force outlines ways to keep Arkansas classrooms safe. (The Court) And in DC, a confirmation battle looms over a Supreme Court pick.
Arkansas Week July 6, 2018 (Downsized) It has laid off some 250 people and eliminated 700 positions but is still state government's largest employer. (Cuts) Tight dollars and tighter budgets have compelled program reductions. (Degrees) Even so, it schools more clinicians and health professionals, and treats more patients, than any other facility in Arkansas. (UAMS) The Med Center, where it stands, where the new man at the top wants to take it.
Arkansas Week June 29, 2018 (Tariffs) Farm markets, with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, is the biggest about to shrink? (Percentage) Farm credit, two clicks so far, and at least two more to come. (Diesel) Farm fuel, plenty of it, but the cost is rising. (Congress) And the farm bill, when and what will it look like? A half-hour on the business and the politics of agriculture in America and Arkansas.
Arkansas Week June 22, 2018 (Immigration) An emotionally charged issue. A divided Arkansas GOP. (Ethics) Legislative scandal, and efforts by both chambers to address it. (SCOARK) Medical marijuana, has the state's highest court had the final say? (SCOTUS) Internet sales taxes, the nation's highest court gives the go ahead.
Arkansas Week June 15, 2018 (GIFraud) Admitted, adjudicated, accused or implicated, where does the story go from here? (Reform) The upper chamber and ethics, how stringent can any code truly be? (Up in smoke?) Medical marijuana, how and who to penetrate the weeds? (SCOARK) And how much speech is free, how much advisable, how much permissible?
Arkansas Week June 8, 2018 (G-7) May, Macron, Merkel, Abe, Conte, Trudeau and Trump. (South) Pena Nieto, or Obrador, and Trump. (East) Xi, and Kim, and Trump. (Dollars) Tariffs, trade, Trump and Arkansas.
Arkansas Week June 1, 2018 (Trade) Global commerce, tariffs, and business and agri in Arkansas. (Energy) Prices going up, what's the upside, and the down? (Frack-tured?) In Arkansas, in other regions, is there a shakeout underway in the shale? (Abortion) But first, An issue, a legislature, and three federal courts.
Arkansas Week May 25, 2018 (Asa!) Certified by his party for a second term, an incumbent governor wins more than renomination. (Jared?) Winning in November? Can Democrats offer their candidate more than good wishes? (AR-2) A Democrat in another primary takes the hill in a single bound, but lies ahead a far steeper mountain. (Darker?) And also ahead, more money in uncountable, unaccountable sums.
Arkansas Week May 18, 2018 (5/22) Here come the primaries, the first test for both parties. (Asa/Jan) Financially out-gunned, can a GOP challenger wing a popular incumbent? (AR-2) Can a Democrat who wants a shot in November escape without a runoff? ('18) With early voting already underway, a look at the landscape.
Arkansas Week May 11, 2018 (Shadow Smear?) Again, dark money in an Arkansas campaign, again a judicial campaign. (Ballot Proposals) Will there be any? (Capitol Campaigns) Who will lead Arkansas's largest City? The race Changes. (Wind, Solar) And alternative energy, a nod from Arkansas regulators.
Arkansas Week May 4, 2018 A special edition tonight, Opioids, synthetic opiods, other drugs of abuse. We return to the subject because the subject refuses to go away. Probably it never will. But the current epidemic continues to claim lives at a startling rate – even as public policy scrambles to examine the why and how, and public and private institutions search for antidotes.
Arkansas Week April 27, 2018 (R) Still riding high in a state still red, will there be a Trump effect In Arkansas? (D) To what extent and where can the loyal opposition copy their gains in other states? (L) Still searching for success in Arkansas, can a third party shape the mid-term outcome? (Parties) A half-hour with the chairs.
Arkansas Week April 20, 2018 (Dollars) With primaries fast approaching and November in mind, who has how much money as of now? (AR-2) The marquee congressional race, the dollars, as of now, and the landscape. (Medicaid) Numbers of a different sort, though they involve money as well. (Biz) And Cuba, China, Saudi Arabia -- and Arkansas.
Arkansas Week April 13, 2018 (THC) At long last legalized, in part, but how much has gone up in smoke? (SCOARK) The judge who set that fire figures in another case, one of his own, while the plaintiffs blow out the whistleblowers' candle. (Election '18) One of those plaintiffs, among other candidates, is getting a push she does not want. (K-12) But first, report cards for kids and their schools, where are they?
Arkansas Week April 6, 2018 (Trump v. Xi) Two heavyweights, but in this sort of ring can there be a winner? (Metals) For some of our industries the immediate upshot would seem fine. (Agri) But for another component of our economy, the downside would seem obvious. (Tariffs?) The stakes for Arkansas in a trade war.
Arkansas Week March 30, 2018 (THC) Nobody said it would be quick and easy, and medical marijuana is proving all of them right. (Casinos) The stakes are just as high or higher for some other entrepreneurs, but theirs is a taxing path. (Primary) The Republican nomination, the incumbent has a healthy lead in the polls, but is his challenger resonating? (C.C.I.) But first: is a new approach needed to bring jobs to Arkansas?
Arkansas Week March 23, 2018 (Asa?) The favorite, clearly, but how clear is the path to four more years? (1, 2, 3, 4?) Our delegates to D.C. if two more years. Not without a campaign. (Comeback?) The minority party, can there be a resurgence? If so, how strong? (Trump?) Can could all politics be local once again?
Arkansas Week March 16, 2018 (Session) Back-to-back meetings of the General Assembly, the last of the year? (Post-op) What got done, at what cost, and what’s went un-done? (1/19) The coming session, closer than one might imagine… (Agenda) …so we'll take it up with the leaders of both chambers.
Arkansas Week March 9, 2018 (27/79) The governor needed three of four in each chamber and got it and his budget. (529) The treasurer got his budget minus a rider that couldn't ride. (Next?) That language and much more will, however, get a second chance in the days ahead. (Session(s)) But first, where we've been and where we're going.
Arkansas Week March 2, 2018 (Guns) Legislation to make Arkansas schools safer, what to propose, and what can pass? (GOP) Guns, how big a role in the politics of '18, the big race especially. (WMT) Guns, Arkansas's premier retailer raises the sales bar. (Marijuana) And the awkward embrace, the state and a substance that's officially illegal.
Arkansas Week February 23, 2018 Panelist: Dr. Cheryl May - Director, Arkansas Center for School Safety, Criminal Justice Institute; Officer Phil Blaylock - School Resource Officer, Morrilton Police Dept.; David Hopkins - Superintendent, Clarksville School Distric.
Arkansas Week February 16, 2018 (Arkansas Works) Counting votes, bending elbows, a budget in the balance. (Rx Dollars) Can that budget be kept and keep pharmacies in the fold? (200 Billion) Another proposed budget in a another capitol. Can Arkansas highways expect any capitol improvements? (AR-3) And an Arkansas congressman deep in the budget weeds, keeping his own counsel.
Arkansas Week February 9, 2018 Steve Barnes discusses the fiscal session with panelists Rep. Mathew Pitsch of Fort Smith, Rep. David Whitaker of Fayetteville, Sen. Jim Hendren of Gravette, and Sen. Will Bond of Little Rock.
Arkansas Week February 2, 2018 (DFandA) The latest numbers from the Arkansas treasury, we have them. (FY 2018) They arrive just days before lawmakers write a budget for the coming year. (Pros, cons) Can we spot the strengths as well as the weaknesses? (Tax reform) And how will the new federal tax code impact each?
Arkansas Week January 19, 2018 (Budget) A unanimous Arkansas delegation but it may not make the difference. (Cotton) Arkansas's junior senator and presidential rhetoric: ridicule and applause. (NAFTA) The president's rhetoric and the governor's high wire act. (CHIP) But first, the stakes for the kids whose parents make too much and too little.
Arkansas Week January 12, 2018 (5.6 Billion) It's for the executive to propose a budget, and for the legislative to dispose. (Health) So, how will the General Assembly decide an issue that's as practical as fiscal, and philosophical? (And…) Close behind, funding for public schools, prisons and higher ed. Enough? (Asphalt) And can there be consensus on the highway program everyone agrees Arkansas needs?
Arkansas Week January 5, 2018 (12/17) The new year begins with a bang from the bucks. (Asa! Jan?) For a governor already campaigning, it also brings a challenge from the right. (Dems?) The party out of power, how many challengers, and for what? (THC?) And medical marijuana, will Washington limit Arkansas’s legislation?