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Weekly Updates

Statewide Water Plan

The Arkansas Agriculture Department has completed a series of public hearings on updates to the statewide water plan, which hasn’t been modified in 10 years.

For the first time, the water plan developed this year will include ways to prepare for floods and to mitigate as much damage as possible caused by flooding.

Attorney General has sued Two Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs)

The state Attorney General has sued two pharmacy benefit managers, alleging that they contributed to the dramatic rise in the abuse of painkillers that has ravaged Arkansas.

Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) are companies that act as the middleman in transactions between wholesale manufacturers and the people who pay for prescription drugs, such as drug store chains, health insurance companies and government health care agencies

Legislature Cuts $438 Million a Year in State Income Taxes

Arkansas families and businesses will save more than $483 million in income taxes next year, thanks to a tax cut passed by the legislature during a three-day special session.

Registering to Vote Requires "Wet Signature" Unless Done by Certain State Agencies

The deadline to register to vote in the November 5 general election falls on Monday, October 7. Keep in mind that county clerks may not accept voter registration forms signed digitally, unless they are submitted by certain state agencies.

Average Arkansas Teacher Salaries Now Rank 45th in the U.S.

Arkansas teacher salaries went up 3.2 percent last year, to an average of $54,309. That ranked Arkansas 45th in the country. 

Drug Overdose Fatalities in Arkansas Decline Again

The number of fatalities in Arkansas due to drug overdoses declined faster than the national average last year, according to records maintained by the Centers for Disease Control. From 2022 to 2023 the number of fatalities dropped by 13.7 percent, from 591 fatalities caused by an overdose to 510 fatalities.

Supreme Court Upholds Four Election Integrity Acts Passed in 2021

Four election laws passed by the legislature in 2021 will continue to be enforced, thanks to an Arkansas Supreme Court ruling that upholds their constitutionality

Arkansas Still Looking to Limit Children's Access to Social Media

Limiting children’s access to social media is still a priority for Arkansas policy makers.

State Focuses on Recruiting Foster Parents Among Health Care Professionals, Educators and Businesses

The Division of Children and Family Services will try to recruit more foster families among health care professionals, educators and businesses.

Legislature Approves General Revenue Budget of $6.3 Billion

The legislature has passed a balanced budget for state government for next fiscal year, clearing the way for completion of the 2024 session. The budget calls for general revenue spending of $6.31 billion in Fiscal Year 2025, which begins on July 1.

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