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Arkansas educators hit hard by COVID-19, new figures show

Since Aug. 24, over 2,060 Arkansas public school teachers and staff have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. At least 60 have been hospitalized, 14 have landed in an intensive care unit and seven have been placed on ventilators. Six have died.

When falling behind on rent leads to jail time

Evictions in Arkansas can snowball from criminal charges to arrests to jail time because of a 119-year-old law that mostly impacts female, Black and low-income renters. Even prosecutors have called it unconstitutional.

Statewide voucher program fails in House Education committee

The House Education committee on Thursday defeated a bill that would have created a $3 million statewide voucher program funded with income tax credits. Its sponsor, Rep. Ken Bragg (R-Sheridan), said after the meeting he would not try for a second vote on Senate Bill 539.

State Medicaid budget passes House on second try

The Arkansas House of Representatives narrowly approved a bill to fund the state's Medicaid program on Tuesday, completing legislative action on the appropriation and handing a victory to Governor Hutchinson.

Statewide voucher-like bill passes Senate while Pulaski County bill stalls in committee

On Thursday, the Arkansas Senate passed a bill that would create a $3 million voucher-like program allowing K-12 students to receive scholarships for use at private schools. Senate Bill 539 was approved by a vote of 21-10, with two senators voting "present" — the equivalent of a "no" — and two not voting. It now heads to a House committee.

Federal judge blocks Medicaid work reporting requirement

U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg on Wednesday halted Arkansas's experimental work requirement for certain Medicaid expansion beneficiaries, the only program of its kind in the country. The judge also blocked Kentucky's plans to implement a similar program.

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