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Arkansas House of Representatives Update 11-23-2020

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase across the state, the Arkansas Department of Health reminds Arkansans that the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate at home with the people who live with you. While the number of people around your table may be smaller this year, we want to take a moment to express our thanks for Arkansans who make it possible for what is on the table. Our grocery store employees have worked tirelessly to keep the doors open. Our food processors, truckers, and farmers also deserve our utmost appreciation for keeping the shelves stocked. Arkansans made not only your meal but countless meals across the country possible. Continue Reading →

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Senator Bryan Hughes and Representative James Frank Joint File Legislation to Reduce Child and Family Trauma in Child Protection Suits

AUSTIN — Senator Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, Chairman of the Senate Committee on State Affairs, and Representative James B. Frank, R-Wichita Falls, Chairman of the House Committee on Human Services, today filed joint legislation aimed at reducing the cycle of trauma that many children experience in foster care by clarifying standards in the Family Code related to the removal of children from their families. 

“It is undeniable that children are traumatized whenever they are removed from their homes. There are, of course, occasions where removal is necessary because of an imminent threat to the health and safety of those children,” Sen. Hughes and Rep. Frank said. “However, it is equally true that too many Texas children are removed from their homes unnecessarily and the rights of these children and their families are trampled on. This harm stays with these families forever. Our legislation will clarify standards for DFPS caseworkers, protect due-process for parents, and ensure families here in Texas remain united when possible.”

Specifically, the bill seeks to protect children and families from serious actions by the Department of Family and Protective Services—including removal of children from their families and termination of parental rights—for normal, every-day activities by amending the state definition of “neglect” in Texas Family Code. It also aims to increase minimum due-process rights for parents in child welfare cases before a family can be forced into court-ordered services and by ensuring fair adjudication of rights for non-offending parents. 

Finally, the legislation clarifies procedures in child protection cases including that such cases are subject to certain pleading requirements under the Rules of Civil Procedure, and it establishes a deadline for the rendition of a final order in parental termination cases. Continue Reading →

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Arkansas House of Representatives Update 11-13-2020

The 2021 Regular Session begins in less than two months. We want to take this week to update you on the ongoing budget hearings in preparation for the session. Pre-session budget hearings have been extended. They began last month and will continue from now to November 19. 

This week, members were presented with the General Revenue Forecast and the Governor’s Balanced Budget Proposal. The Governor’s plan calls for a reduction of sales tax on vehicles priced less than $10,000. Continue Reading →

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Arkansas House of Representatives Update 11-9-2020

Veterans live and work in every community of Arkansas. We are their friends, their family, their co-workers, and their neighbors. It is up to us to ensure that every veteran feels that his or her service to this country is appreciated. There are ways every Arkansan can help our veterans. Shop at your local businesses that support the military and hire veterans. Continue Reading →

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Arkansas House of Representatives Update 10-30-2020

This year, returning House members and members-elect will make their committee selection for the 2021 Regular Session just days after the election. A House caucus has been scheduled for November 6. During the caucus, newly elected members will draw for seniority and all members will select their seats for the 93rd General Assembly. After seat selection, the committee selection process will begin. The vast majority of legislation considered during a legislative session begins in a standing committee. Continue Reading →

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Charles Cooper Announces Candidacy for Fouke City Council

Charles Cooper

Fouke, AR: As the election day draws near, I would like to introduce myself to the citizens of Fouke, Arkansas. My name is Charles Lynn Cooper, and I am running for Fouke City Council, Ward 3 Place 2. I am a lifetime resident of Fouke. I attended school at Fouke Public Schools, Texarkana College, Texas A&M, Texarkana, and U of A at Cossatot. I am currently semi-retired. Continue Reading →

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Miller County Republican Women Announce New Officers

Miller County, AR: The Miller County Republican Women wish to announce the selection of new officers for 2021-2022. Citizens of Miller County will recognize the new President of the organization, Miller County Judge Cathy Hardin Harrison. Harrison currently serves as the first female judge of Miller County, Arkansas. Other officers elected include Vice-President Nancy Herron. Herron is the Miller County Assessor. Continue Reading →

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Twin City Freedom Cruise

Texarkana, AR, October 23, 2020:  The Texarkana region will participate in an Arkansas statewide event on October 24, 2020, from 1:00 to 2:00 pm in a show of support of the re-election of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.  The peaceful protest will be held in the old Regions Bank parking lot in Downtown Texarkana.  After the rally, cars, trucks, and motorcycles will join supporters across the state in a cruise through Texarkana adorning TRUMP and United States of America flags and decor. 

The peaceful event will begin at 1:00 pm with a welcome message, followed by a prayer for our country and leaders from Brother Donnie Edwards of Legacy Baptist Church.  Then, Gracie Pendergraft will sing the Star-Spangled Banner.  Once the cheers subside from the patriotic presentation, Miller County Judge Cathy Hardin Harrison will welcome and introduce Arkansas Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin to address the attendees. 

“This event will show support of our country’s President and Vice President and their re-election in conjunction many other counties in Arkansas.  The supporters of the TRUMP 2020 movement feel strongly this election is critical to the continued success of our great country despite the many obstacles our nation has endured.  The attendees and participants will show our patriotic pride and express our support of President Trump, all while maintaining a respectful environment of those that do not agree with our message.  Our event is unlike others in Arkansas due to our Texas neighbors participating, making it a Twin City Freedom Cruise,” Tiffani Whitehead, event coordinator, said. The final speaker will instruct attendees to fire up their engines to cruise through the region beginning at 2:00pm.  Once drivers exit the parking lot, the recommended route takes supporters down State Line Avenue to Arkansas Boulevard, then onto Jefferson Avenue, and the final turn onto Broad Street.  However, many will cross the state line expanding the show of support into Texas by taking their own route. The Trump decorated vehicles are to adhere to traffic laws and be respectful of other motorists on the roadways. 

“This event is special because it is part of a much larger picture.  While cruises are happening on water and roadways across the country, this one is unique to the official Arkansas Freedom Cruise that is coordinating counties across the state to cruise at 2:00 pm.  The goal is to have as many motorists as possible on the roads at 2:00 pm with their flags waving,” Whitehead said. 

More information can be found on the Twin City Freedom Cruise event page on Facebook. Continue Reading →

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Arkansas House of Representatives Updates 10-23-2020

In the 2019 Regular Session, the General Assembly made the first effort to reorganize state government in 50 years. We are now seeing the results of that effort through millions in savings. The 92nd General Assembly passed Act 910, known as the “Transformation and Efficiencies Act.” Since it took effect cabinet secretaries have been asked to find opportunities to improve their departments in the three ways:

1. Efficiencies

2. Improved managerial support

3. Improved delivery of services to citizens

One way departments have accomplished this is by focusing on location sharing when possible and evolving to a new work environment that is less expensive and ensures less square footage. The Department of Transformation and Shared Services reports that from July 1, 2019, to March 4, 2020, departments have realized more than $920,000.00 in savings on rent and 80,282 square feet of reduction in space. Continue Reading →

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