Arkansas’s 2023 Special Session Is Over

As I mentioned in the newsletter we sent out at the beginning of this week, the Extraordinary Session of the Arkansas General Assembly would likely happen very quickly. It did move quickly, though it lasted about one day longer than most legislators expected. And that’s where it got interesting. The newsletter from Monday also talked […]

Enhancing Arkansas FOIA for Accountability and Transparency

By Joyce O. Ajayi and Joseph Johns On Friday, September 8, 2023, Governor Sarah Sanders announced that a special session would begin at the Arkansas Capitol on Monday, September 11. In her announcement of the special session, the Governor hinted at potential amendments to the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act (AFOIA). She specifically mentioned a […]

Transparency at the Local Level: Report Shows Progress, but Work Still Needed

By Michelle Stoll, ACRE Communications Manager The Arkansas Center for Research in Economics (ACRE) has released its 2023 County and City Web Transparency Report, Access Arkansas. The report assesses the information that county and city governments publish online, as well as how accessible that information is. Localities are then ranked according to this analysis. Previous […]

Legislative Session Wrap-Up: ACRE’s Top 10 Revisited

By Jeremy Horpedahl, ACRE Director and UCA Associate Professor of Economics The Arkansas General Assembly has informally adjourned, meaning that the time to pass new bills is over. They will reconvene in May to formally wrap up the session, but the major action is now concluded. Prior to the session, ACRE put together a Top […]

Shedding Light on FOIA: Celebrating Sunshine Week and Promoting Transparency

by Dr. Joyce O. Ajayi, ACRE Policy Analyst This week is Sunshine Week, and I couldn’t be more excited! For those unfamiliar with it, Sunshine Week is an annual event across the country that celebrates government transparency and encourages the public to participate in the democratic process. One of the things I am most excited about […]

ACRE’s Mid-Session Legislative Update

By Dr. Jeremy Horpedahl, ACRE Director and UCA Associate Professor of Economics The Arkansas General Assembly has now completed 7 weeks of its 2023 Regular Session. While there is still a lot more work to be done this year, we’ve already seen some major developments, and at ACRE we are closely watching several pieces of […]

Expanding Government Transparency in Arkansas: Why House Bill 1399 Matters

By Dr. Joyce O. Ajayi, ACRE Policy Analyst  The Arkansas Center for Research in Economics (ACRE) has been tracking county government web transparency since 2018 with our publication Access Arkansas: County Web Transparency. Since we first published our report, Arkansas counties have become much more transparent, both through their own individual choices to publish more […]

ACRE’s Top 10 Policy Goals for the 2023 Arkansas Legislative Session

By Jeremy Horpedahl, ACRE Director The Arkansas General Assembly convenes for the 2023 general session on January 9, 2023. Over the weeks and months that follow, the Legislature will consider bills on a wide variety of issues affecting individuals and businesses in Arkansas. Researchers at ACRE have been hard at work since the last legislative […]

Shining the Light on COVID-19 Relief Funds for Arkansas

by Mavuto Kalulu, Assistant Professor of Economics According to the Pew Research Center article, “Public Trust in Government: 1958-2022,” published on June 6, 2022, only two in ten Americans trust the government in Washington to do what is right “just about always.”  The seemingly good news for state governments is that people trust their state […]

Open the Books!

By Joyce O. Ajayi Did you know that since the pandemic, the U.S. Treasury has disbursed to Arkansas a one-time influx of about $2.8 billion under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)? That’s almost $1,000 per Arkansan.  Of these funds, about $1 billion is designated as Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (LFRF). The LFRF is designed […]