Worth Sparkman
Mar 17, 2023 - Politics

Sanders rejects government pay proposal as lawmakers ready for break

Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in an open letter Wednesday she won't support a pay increase plan for state government employees valued at $80 million.

What happened: In the communication, addressed to Secretary of Transformation and Shared Services Joseph Wood, she directed the department to "review and rework the existing classification and compensation structure of the state."

Worth Sparkman
Mar 16, 2023 - Politics

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders turns to tax cuts and public safety proposal

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks in NWA for the first time since her inauguration. Photo: Worth Sparkman/Axios

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders told journalists Wednesday she intends to sign the bill this week that would create a monument to unborn children.

Driving the news: Sanders made her first public speech in NWA as governor, attending an Economic Arkansas awards event in Rogers.

Alex Golden
Mar 13, 2023 - News

What changes under Arkansas' loosened child labor law

Illustration of a teen wearing canvas shoes flanked by two people in work boots.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Teens under age 16 no longer need a work permit through the Arkansas Department of Labor and Licensing before they can start a job.

Driving the news: Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed HB1410, dubbed the "Youth Hiring Act of 2023," into law last week.

Sanders signs over 40 bills; legislators tackle books, boycotts and more

Photo: Worth Sparkman/Axios

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders' education reform package, LEARNS, was the star of the week, but at least 46 other bills were signed into law, the administration said Wednesday.

What happened: Sanders signed HB1410, removing a requirement for 14- and 15-year-olds to obtain a work permit from the Arkansas Department of Labor and Licensing to be employed. The permits required a parent's signature.

Worth Sparkman
Mar 8, 2023 - News

Arkansas Senate passes "bathroom bill"

State Sen. Joshua Bryant (R-Rogers) speaks against the "bathroom bill" from the chamber floor on Tuesday. Screenshot: Courtesy of the Arkansas Legislature

The Senate passed SB270, the so-called bathroom bill, on Tuesday.

The big picture: While the measure applies to all gender identities, it's part of a nationwide trend that disproportionately impacts transgender people.

The Arkansas Legislature's long week recapped

State Rep. Jim Wooten (R-Beebe) argues against LEARNS on Thursday. Photo: Courtesy of the state of Arkansas

After dominating much of the Legislature's attention the past 1.5 weeks, Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders' education bill LEARNS passed the House on Thursday.

What happened: All 18 Democrats and three Republicans — Julie Mayberry of Hensley, Jim Wooten of Beebe and Hope Duke of Gravette — voted against the bill, while Ron McNair (R-Harrison) voted present. The 78 remaining Republicans voted in favor.

Worth Sparkman
Feb 28, 2023 - Politics

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders races to sign a flurry of bills

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders gives her acceptance speech on election night. Photo: Worth Sparkman/Axios

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders has signed more than 140 bills into law since taking office 49 days ago, a spokesperson tells Axios.

Why it matters: The Republican supermajority in the state Legislature means few bills, if any, are likely to run afoul of the new administration, so work is quick.

Alex Golden
Feb 24, 2023 - Politics

Legislators had a busy week as Sanders' education bill clears Senate

The Arkansas Capitol. Photo: Don and Melinda Crawford/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders' education bill, dubbed LEARNS, cleared the Senate on Thursday and now heads to the House.

What happened: Democrat and Republican legislators alike expressed concerns over pushing the 144-page bill through without taking time to consider possible amendments. Lead sponsor Sen. Breanne Davis (R-Russellville) refused to pull the legislation back, arguing there were no surprises.

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