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Parent Voice Oklahoma Launches in Wake of School Closures

OKLAHOMA CITY – Parents from across the state today held a rally to protest school closures and a lack of parent involvement in education decisions. Now, many of those parents have organized to launch a new group: Parent Voice Oklahoma. The group exists to elevate the role of parents in regard to educational decisions at the school, district, and state level. Parent Voice Oklahoma starts with chapters in Owasso, Deer Creek, and Stillwater. Parents from Heritage Academy, a new Epic Charter School program that emphasizes bilingual learning and Hispanic culture and heritage, have also launched a chapter. Dana Walsh, who attended today’s rally at the State Capitol, said she got involved with Parent Voice Oklahoma because she feels parents are being ignored by local school districts. “We are tired of not being listened to,” said Walsh, an Owasso parent. “Our school boards are making decisions that impact the health and wellbeing of our kids as well as our ability as parents to work. Continue Reading →

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COVID Worsening – It’s Time to Do More to Protect Children

Over the weekend, Oklahoma hit a horrible mark with a record new cases of COVID-19. Oklahoma had 4,741 new cases, almost doubling the previous record high. Combine that with more students returning to in-school learning and we have the potential for a human catastrophe greater than what we already have endured. There are few Oklahomans who have not been impacted in some way by COVID-19. One of my good friends died from COVID-19 last week. 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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Answers To Common Questions For Louisianans Searching For Contractors To Repair Homes

Louisiana

Hurricane Delta became the sixth Hurricane to hit Louisiana in 2020, with each causing significant damage. As Louisianans rebuild, the National Insurance Crime Bureau offers answers to common questions many are currently facing. Q: How can I search for a licensed contractor?A: People searching for contractors are inundated with information which can make the search more challenging. The best place to go is to the Louisiana State License Board for Contractors (LSLBC). On its website, consumers can search by a contractor’s license number or name, or by city or parish. Continue Reading →

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Arkansas House of Representatives Update 10-16-2020

October is breast cancer awareness month. This is an opportunity to remind Arkansans of the importance of mammograms for early detection and lifestyle changes that could help prevent cancer. Mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early when it is easier to treat, and before it is big enough to feel or cause symptoms.

It is important to still get checked for breast cancer regularly, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. As long as you’re not feeling sick or having any COVID-19 symptoms, experts say it’s safe to get a mammogram. In 2017, there were 2,163 new breast cancer cases and 414 cancer deaths in the state. Continue Reading →

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Terry Roberts, City Board Candidate For Texarkana, Arkansas

Terry Roberts

Texarkana, AR: Terry Roberts is running for Texarkana, Arkansas Board of Directors Ward 1 Position. Terry is a lifelong resident of Texarkana, Arkansas and a graduate of Arkansas High. He is currently serving as the Cheif Clerk for Judge Nancy Talley in Bowie County, Texas. Roberts holds a Bachelors’s degree in Business Administration and serves as a volunteer at Hospice of Texarkana in the pastoral care capacity. He has spent several years volunteering in the community and notes that it has been a blessing and joy to serve. Continue Reading →

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Congressman Westerman to speak at Miller County Republican Committee Meeting

Westerman

Congressman Bruce Westerman

Miller County, AR: Congressman Bruce Westerman will be the guest speaker at the Tuesday evening meeting of the Miller County Republican Committee. The meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. with Congressman Westerman speaking. There will be a short intermission between the speaker and the business portion of the meeting. The meeting will be held at 1022 Arkansas Blvd in Texarkana, Arkansas. This will be the last meeting of the Miller County Republican Committee before the general election. Continue Reading →

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Arkansas House of Representatives Update 10-9-2020

Decisions regarding our state budget show the priorities we make as a state. The budget-making process has a direct impact on everything from classrooms to health care. 

Budget hearings will begin Tuesday, October 13, 2020, and are scheduled to conclude November 12, 2020. The Joint Budget Committee sits with the Arkansas Legislative Committee as voting participants in the hearings, creating the Arkansas Legislative Council/Joint Budget Committee. 

The hearings will begin with requests from licensing boards and commissions. The second week members will review recommendations from the Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Public Safety. On week 3, Higher Education Institutions, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Transformation and Shared Services will have proposals reviewed. Continue Reading →

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ICYMI: Hill, Womack, Crawford, Westerman Request Change of Social Security Administration Policy Harming Arkansans

Arkansas Flag

Washington, DC: Congressman French Hill (AR-2), Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3), Congressman Rick Crawford (AR-1), and Congressman Bruce Westerman (AR-4) sent a letter to the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Andrew Saul, urging changes to a policy requiring Arkansans to surrender their primary identification documents—such as drivers’ licenses—for as much as thirty days in order to obtain a new copy of their Social Security card. The members are demanding action because Arkansans are being harmed by this policy, which has limited their ability to drive to work or doctor’s appointments and because in some instances these documents have been permanently lost. 

“This current policy is counterproductive to the interests of central Arkansans,” said Congressman Hill. “This is forcing hardworking moms and dads to choose between violating state law and going without working or attending necessary appointments. A driver’s license is necessary for a host of other operations as well, such as picking up vital medications. While it is important to protect our employees during the pandemic, this current policy has already had ramifications that have negatively impacted our community. Our federal agencies must take responsibility to amend this burdensome policy and generate a solution to this problem.”

“Helping Arkansans and providing constituent services is a core function of our offices. Residents have voiced concerns that current Social Security Administration policies are hampering their ability to obtain needed documents without having their day-to-day lives limited,” said Congressman Womack. “By raising the matter, I am hopeful we can responsibly resolve the issue.” 

“Like most employers, executive agencies were forced to quickly implement new telework policies. Continue Reading →

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Arkansas House of Representatives Update 10-2-2020

You can watch all House and Senate Education Committee meetings and review the reports at www.arkansashouse.org. For every dollar of general revenue coming into the state, 41% is spent on K-12 public schools. Approximately, half of all school district revenues come from the state. Our current process of determining the amount of state funding for our schools goes back to 2003. The Public School Funding Act of 2003 develops per-pupil funding amounts by assigning costs to various educational inputs. 

Those inputs range from staff salaries to transportation needs. Continue Reading →

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