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Weekly Updates

Legislature Helping Child Facilities Cope with Coronavirus Closings

At the beginning of this year, there were more than 2,000 licensed child care programs in Arkansas. They had slots for 194,000 children.

By mid-April, about half the facilities had closed. Although most have been able to re-open, as of early October at least 20 had closed permanently

Legislators Approve $48.5 Million in Grants For Tourism Industry

The Legislative Council approved spending $48.5 million in federal relief money to fund a grant program that will help tourism-related businesses adversely affected by the pandemic. The grants will be available to small businesses that hire up to 250 full-time employees.

Budget Hearings Prepare Legislators for 2021 Regular Session

The legislature has begun budget hearings, in preparation for the regular session that begins in January.

Three Proposed Constitutional Amendments on the Ballot This Year

In this year’s election, Arkansas voters will determine the outcome of three proposed amendments to the state Constitution.

Arkansas legislators approved using $165 million in federal relief funds to shore up the state unemployment insurance trust fund.

Arkansas legislators approved using $165 million in federal relief funds to shore up the state unemployment insurance trust fund.

Arkansas Cities and Counties Eligible for Grants From Relief Fund

Arkansas cities and counties that have been hit hard by the economic impact of the coronavirus can apply for help, after legislators approved the use of $150 million for relief grants.

Census Workers Going Door-to-Door in Final Days of National Countdown

Census workers across Arkansas will be knocking on doors until the end of September in a last-ditch effort to make sure that as many people as possible get counted in the 2020 U.S. Census.

Legislature Had Already Begun Expanding Broadband Capacity Before Pandemic

Before this year, the legislature had already laid the groundwork for expansions of broadband capability in education and health care. In response to the changing needs of schools and businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, legislators have accelerated the pace of projects that expand broadband access in rural Arkansas and in small towns.

Election Officials Brace for Increase in Absentee Ballots

County clerks are preparing for a sharp increase in the number of absentee ballots that they expect to be turned in for the November 3 general election.

Legislative Council Approves Higher Unemployment Benefits

Arkansas legislators approved a plan to add $300 a week to unemployment benefits, to extend the extra benefits available during the coronavirus pandemic.

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