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Author Archive

Legislative Report

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

ArkansasHouseGreetings! Recently Congress passed, and the president signed a Federal spending bill for 2016. Along with the many other programs funded, including the highway funding program, Congress agreed to increase funding in many educational areas affecting children. Highlights include: (more…)

Legislative Report

Friday, February 5th, 2016

ArkansasHouseGreetings! I apologize to readers of the Ashley County Ledger in Hamburg because we are still having some sort of technical difficulties and they are not receiving my reports. We hope to have the problem solved by this week.
Meanwhile I hope you are keeping an eye on this highway funding situation. A special session will likely be called soon and I’d like your input before the fact.
According to the highway department, there are three things you need to know about highway funding in Arkansas:
1. Arkansas highways are in trouble, and major decisions about how to finance our failing highways are approaching. (For now).
2. Some “revenue neutral” funding options being proposed are treacherous, and will pay for highways by cheating us all out things like quality pre-K, social workers for abused and neglected kids, and textbooks for students.
3. Modernizing the gas tax is a responsible, common sense way to raise revenue that has been vetted in other states. Any increase to fuel tax should be paired with a measure to help working families keep more of what they earn. (more…)

Legislative Report

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

ArkansasHouseThis week also began in celebration of Martin Luther King’s birthday as the Legislature and most government offices at all levels were closed Monday, along with select businesses and schools. Monday evening a special celebration occurred in Monticello at Trinity Full Gospel Church. The event drew a large crowd of enthused attendees who heard an inspiring, emotional sermon from young Edward Suber of the Selma area. Mr. Suber has a great career ahead of him should he choose to become a minister. Pastor Lorenzo Simmons’ congregation and all involved were most gracious hosts for the evening. (more…)

Legislative Report

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

Greetings! This is actually the report for the week of the 13th because it failed to make it to the newspaper office on time – computer email problems – for last week’s paper. I’ll try to catch up next week!
Last week was a busy week in southeast Arkansas as Governor Hutchison made several stops in the area. (more…)

Legislative Report

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

Greetings! Happy New Year! In this first legislative report of 2016, several new laws took effect on January 1st so I thought I should make you aware of some of the more far-reaching of them. They involve some aspects of everything from minimum wages to restaurant menus to tax brackets. Here follows some of the many that took effect at the beginning of the year.
(more…)

Legislative Report

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

Greetings!! We’ve finished our work for 2015 this week and I’ll share some of it with you in the next couple of weeks. During the Regular Session earlier this year we passed legislation known as the Arkansas Health Reform Act of 2015. This established the Arkansas Health Reform Legislative Task Force.
(more…)

Legislative Report

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

Much has been happening at the Capitol in preparation for the Christmas break which begins December 18. Last Monday I attended an advocacy group that will begin a new pursuit of funding for I- 69 in lieu of the new federal funding bill. Officials from Louisiana supporting I – 69 also attended to speak to their progress and encourage Arkansas.
It seems that funding will be the big stumbling block to the project. The Great River Bridge will come first and that’s a superproject in itself. I’ll keep you posted. There were representatives from nearly every county in Southeast Arkansas. Besides the Monticello folks, I saw many from Ashley, Chicot, Bradley, Jefferson and several others. (more…)

Legislative Report

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

Although Arkansas’s population ranks 32nd nationally, we have the 12th largest highway system in America. Arkansas’s public roadways are made up of nearly 100,000 miles of state highways, county roads, city streets and the bridges that connect them.
Ensuring that our highways meet the ever growing needs of Arkansans is an evolving challenge. Therefore, in order to consider the latest highway funding challenges, the governor created a Working Group on Highway Funding by an Executive Order in April of this year. The group has been meeting monthly since August (4 times?) to develop strategies to increase highway funding in the state. The group is composed of members of the Arkansas House and Senate transportation committees, designees from state agencies and commissions, and individuals with knowledge of the transportation and finance industries. (more…)

Legislative Report

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

I trust everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Hopefully the weather didn’t get too bad for you. Ours was great here! Maybe your family got to stay in, enjoy each other’s company and watch some football – or John Wayne movies on Encore Westerns!! Anyway I’d think you’d call it a happy holiday for the most part!
The “action” at the Legislature last week dealt with a rather lengthy meeting of the Health Care Reform Task Force on Tuesday. The time for decision-making is fast approaching and the options for changing how Arkansas will administer its Medicaid system have been narrowed down to two basic options. (more…)

Legislative Report

Friday, November 20th, 2015

Greetings! Although last week seemed shorter there was still enough to do to fill in the hours.

For example, on Monday we had another lengthy Health Care Task Force meeting. One major point discussed was requiring all enrollees pay a little for their insurance; this would be somewhat like a co-payment. (more…)

Legislative Report – Zhilka Update, DHS, Lottery, & Insurance

Monday, October 26th, 2015

capitolThis week the issues focused chiefly on the Legislative Council committees and the adoptions of their reports, health care news, educational issues and the Arkansas Lottery Commission.

However, first I need to go back to an item from last week. The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has finally approved air pollution permits for two full-scale biomass plants in South Arkansas, (more…)

Arkansas Legislative Report

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

What a wonderful fall week we’ve just finished. The only improvement might be 2-3 inches of rain!! (Some might desperately need more.)

Last week began with two days of Education Committee meetings. Monday was an especially informative one. On that day committee members in attendance traveled to Cabot, Arkansas, to see a new program functioning exceptionally well there. We were fortunate enough to visit their entire 7-12 programs and quite impressed with every aspect of their programs. However, a main goal was to observe their new “Cabot Freshman Academy”, a separate campus for ninth-graders to ease them into their transition to high school and their newfound maturity more successfully. Their subjects are a broad mixture of academic coursework and work skills classes to give students more opportunities to look at many different career choices. The day was a great opportunity to see such a differently structured setting. The student body was so well-behaved and seemed quite involved in their classes. Even their cafeterias seemed new and creative in their organizations.
We were all so impressed with the rather large district (@10,000 students – Pre-K through 12). I was especially proud of their energetic, innovative district superintendent, Monticello’s own Tony Thurman, now officially known as Dr. Thurman. Tony is doing a fantastic job and is a fine young man and a great credit to all, especially himself! We had a great visit. Both Monticello (his hometown) and Crossett have (coaching) ties to Dr. Thurman and he is “doing us proud”. (more…)

Legislative Report

Friday, August 21st, 2015

What a week! After the “events” of the past two or three Mondays, I’m really rather anxious about next Monday. I’d enjoy a rain but another Monday like the last two? I hope not! I’m not a big fan of surprises and I really dislike being informed by being blasted out over something that was a complete surprise to me. I fear this may just be the beginning though.

(more…)

Legislative Report

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

Greetings! This week most of my news bites will be related to educational issues since my lifelong interests have always evolved around our children and their futures which I believe are dependent upon adequate education and training.

Some updated and newer educa (more…)

Legislative Report

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

Greetings!! I trust everyone had an enjoyable and appreciative 4th of July holiday weekend! We certainly did in my family.

Before the holidays though, I attended the annual SREB Conference on trending educational issues. (more…)

Legislative Report

Friday, June 12th, 2015

Overall, it has been a quiet week at the Capitol because many legislators were involved in helping with Girls State at Harding University or Boys State at UCA. I felt so honored and privileged to be at Girls State again because I have always felt honored and privileged to be a Girls State girl in my high school days. I have been going to help the last few years and really enjoy the camaraderie and meeting all those precious young ladies. We had 18 girls attending from Ashley and Drew counties and I met a great many of them.
(more…)

Legislative Report

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

After much talk and many presumptions about a special session of the 90th General Assembly, the official ‘call’ came last week and we will begin our session on Tuesday, May 26. The agenda items for the Special Session are:
(more…)

Legislative Report

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015

As “announced” earlier, Gov. Asa Hutchinson will call lawmakers into special session May 26 to pass a bond issue to help “land” a contract with Lockheed Martin to build the U.S. Army’s and Marine Corps’ new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), the successor to the Humvee, at the Highland Industrial Park complex at Camden.

(more…)

Legislative Report

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Monday marked the last day for members to file bills for this session. Several committees are now meeting in the morning and upon adjournment of the session in the evenings as members hear testimony on the great numbers of bills still before us. (more…)

Legislative Report

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Legislation is beginning to pick up speed at the Capitol as the General Assembly began its 5th week of the Regular Session. Our first order of business was to pass a resolution allowing us to extend the session to April 10th and come back on May 8th to correct any errors, address vetoes and take care of any unfinished business before adjournment.
(more…)

Daily Legislative Report

Friday, February 13th, 2015

Today, we wrapped up our 5th week of the Regular Session. On the House floor, members approved legislation to create a Diabetes Action Plan. Close to 10% of Arkansans have been diagnosed with diabetes. HB1267 would require the Department of Human Services and the Health Department to work together to reduce the incidence of diabetes in Arkansas and improve diabetes care.
House members also approved a bill that seeks to protect Arkansans from government policies that interfere with their right to exercise religion. HB1228 now heads to the Senate.

The House is set to reconvene on Monday at 1:30.

Daily Legislative Report

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

It was a busy morning in committees this morning as 12 bills were approved to bring to the House The Education committeee advanced a bill to require that cursive writing be taught in elementary schools. They also voted in favor of a bill to allow year-round schools to offer a 7 week vacation. The current break allowed is 6 weeks.

The Committee for Public Health, Welfare and Labor passed legislation to create a diabetes action plan. This would require the Department of Human Services to present a report to the legislature of the number of Arkansans with diabetes and the financial toll this disease has on our state. It would also identify ways to reduce its impact.
(more…)

Daily Legislative Report

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

The 90th General Assembly began its 5th week of the Regular Session, Monday. The morning was filled with various meetings. Our first order of business in the session was to pass a resolution allowing us to extend the session to April 10th for recess and come back on May 8th for adjournment – if work progresses as planned.
(more…)

Daily Legislative Report

Friday, February 6th, 2015

With a vote of 80-16 and 3 members voting present, the House passed a bill that is aimed at reforming health care in Arkansas.
Senate Bill 96 effectively ends what has been termed as the “Private Option” in December 2016 and creates a task force which will study and present findings for health care reform by the end of this year. (more…)

Daily Legislative Update

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

The bill which would create a task force to study the future of health care reform in Arkansas is now heading to the House Floor. The Public Health, Welfare, and Labor Committee voted in favor of SB96 requiring a taskforce to make recommendations regarding the future of Medicaid in Arkansas by the end of 2015. The current program is extended until the end of 2016.

(more…)

Legislative Report

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

As the second week of the 90th General Assembly progressed, the House passed a number of budget bills to fund various boards and commissions.

Other bills passed in the House included a measure to ensure county clerks use profits from property sales conducted by their office for administrative and operational costs. We also passed legislation to extend liability exemptions to Pre-K programs and a bill allowing the Department of Higher Education to hold scholarships, including the Governor’s Scholars program, for up to 24 months for students who encounter certain circumstances, such as illnesses, and cannot immediately go to college.

(more…)

Daily Legislative Report

Monday, January 26th, 2015

State seal(Last report from last week.)

Hopefully a hurtle has now been overcome. In a speech delivered at UAMS, Governor Hutchinson asked the legislature to fund the Private Option through the end of 2016. He will also be creating a health reform task force to make recommendations for the future of health care in our state by the end of this year. The Private Option currently insures over 200,000 Arkansans.

(more…)

Daily Legislative Report

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

State sealThis is Rep. Sheilla Lampkin reporting from the 90th session of the Arkansas House of Representatives. More than 100 bills have now been filed in the House and agendas for committee meeting are getting longer as we head into our second week of the Regular Session.

(more…)

Cash Saver Food Outlet

Cash Saver

Ray Ryburn Real Estate

Monticello Animal Clinic

Monticello Animal Clinic

Monticello Realty

Monticello Realty

The Guest House

The Guest House

Warren Livestock Auction

Warren Livestock Auction

Re-Elect Bruce Anderson Judge

Union Bank 2

Jim Hall

Jim Hall For State Rep. Dist. 9

Mr. Bug

Mr. Bug

Bone’s Auto Parts

Bone's Auto Parts

Happy Thoughts Booth 236

Happy Thoughts Booth 236 Market Place

Reggie’s Lock & Key

Reggie's Lock & Key

Greenscape Nursery

Greenscape Nursery

Drew Farm / Drew Outdoor & Casual Wear

UAM

Be A Weevil

Farmer’s Insurance

Cass Martin Realty

Cass Martin Realty

Malco Theater

Mullis Insurance

Sammy Mullis Insurance

Custom Truck / Spee-D-Lube

Custom Truck / Spee-D-Lube

City Drug

City Drug

Gibson & Keith

The Computer Guys

Cedar Hills Apartments

Farm Bureau

Monticello Tire (Goodyear)

Monticello Tire (Goodyear)

Razorback Body Shop

Razorback Body Shop

Holiday Inn Express

Booth 7B

Booth 7B

Mt. Tabor

Life Share

Western Sizzlin’

Western Sizzlin'

A.J. Huffman