Key Economic Questions for 2021 in Arkansas

By Caleb Taylor Will next year bring better economic times or more of the same? ACRE Scholar and UCA Assistant Professor of Economics Dr. Jeremy Horpedahl was a guest on Arkansas Week on Arkansas PBS over the weekend to discuss the future of Covid-19 and the economy for 2021. The discussion also included University of […]

Economist Examines New Arkansas Budget Plans

By Caleb Taylor Gov. Asa Hutchinson proposed biennial budget released last Tuesday contains an early Christmas present for new Arkansans, but does it make larger reforms more difficult?  Hutchinson announced on Nov. 10 that he’d like to cut the top individual income tax rate to 4.9 percent for new residents of the Natural State. He […]

Missouri Licensing Law a Good Example for Arkansas

By Caleb Taylor Should Arkansas follow Missouri’s lead on occupational licensing? ACRE Policy Analyst Alex Kanode and ACRE Scholar and UCA Associate Professor of Economics Dr. Thomas Snyder discussed in “Show-Me the way” (published in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on October 22) a recent occupational licensing reform bill passed by the Missouri legislature, known as universal […]

Towards Web Transparency at Lower Levels of Government: How are School Districts Reporting Procurement Processes and Outcomes?

By Joyce Ajayi, Mavuto Kalulu, and David Lee Year after year we are seeing more laws and initiatives go into effect to encourage local levels of government in Arkansas to have more online transparency. For example, Act 564 recently mandated all Arkansas counties to publish their annual budget and financial reports online. Why is this important? Local […]

Permanent 0.5% Sales Tax on Ballot

By Caleb Taylor Should Arkansas approve a permanent 0.5 percent sales tax for road funding in November? UCA Assistant Professor of Economics and ACRE Scholar Dr. Jeremy Horpedahl gave voters a few important points to consider in “Paying for roads,” in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on September 25. The 0.5 percent sales tax on the ballot […]

Is Arkansas’s Sales Tax Holiday Really Worth Celebrating?

By Caleb Taylor Arkansas’s annual sales tax holiday allows shoppers in Arkansas the opportunity to purchase certain school supplies, school art supplies, school instructional materials, and clothing free of state and local sales or use tax one weekend per year. The holiday occurred on August 1-2 this year. Sixteen other states have similar back-to-school holidays. […]

How to Minimize Corruption in Pandemic-Related Programs

By Caleb Taylor How can corruption be minimized in pandemic-related government programs? Incentivize whistleblowers and improve online transparency. Programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or the Ready for Business Grant Program need greater scrutiny, according to ACRE Policy Analyst Dr. Mavuto Kalulu in “Be vigilant,” an op-ed published in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on […]

Improving Access to Mental Health Care for Arkansans

By Caleb Taylor How can Arkansas improve access to mental health care?  Zak Massey, a former ACRE Research Fellow, discussed the benefits to Arkansas’s mental health outcomes of expanding scope of practice for nurse practitioners in an op-ed published in Arkansas Business on July 27 entitled “Free Nurse Practitioners.” Massey writes: Nurse practitioners can provide […]

Reducing Barriers to Health

By Ryan Jackson According to the Center for Disease Control, 65 year old adults have lower life expectancy in Arkansas than in the vast majority of other states. Given the plight of our elderly, our state’s seniors would benefit from policies that improve the healthcare they receive.  For instance, a state policy that reduces the […]

How Can Arkansas Counties Prevent Abuse of Public Funds?

By Caleb Taylor What solutions are available to county officials hoping to stop corruption like the recent case of a former Craighead County Clerk allegedly stealing $1.6 million in taxpayer funds? Online transparency helps the public guard against cases of fraud, according to ACRE Policy Analyst Joyce Ajayi in “To prevent abuse,” published in the […]