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Arkansans Ask: The Governor

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Governor Beebe responds to viewer questions from around the state about the economy, education, health care, and other issues. Do you have a question for the Governor, e-mail your comments to paffairs@aetn.org.

This program was previously recorded. Please do not call the phone numbers provided.

"Arkansans Ask" is underwritten by the Arkansas State Employees Association

TRANSCRIPT FROM APRIL 3, 2014

ARKANSANS ASK: GOVERNOR MIKE BEEBE" IS UNDERWRITTEN BY THE ARKANSAS STATE EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION INCORPORATED, AN ORGANIZATION OF STATE EMPLOYEES WORKING TOWARD THE BETTERMENT OF STATE GOVERNMENT.

HELLO AGAIN EVERYONE. THANKS FOR JOINING US FOR ARKANSANS ASK. OUR GUEST FOR THE NEXT SENT MINUTES GOVERNOR MIKE BEEBE OF ARKANSAS AND AS ALWAYS THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME TONIGHT.

ABSOLUTELY STEVE.

AND WE WILL TAKE YOUR QUESTIONS IN THE NEXT HOUR AND OPERATORS STANDING BY, 1-800-662-2386. EMAIL QUESTIONS ARE WELCOME AT PAFFAIRS@AETN.ORG AND YOU CAN TWEET AT #ARASK. I WILL PUT IT THAT WAY. I'M NOT COMPLETELY INTO THE CYBER AGE YET. GOVERNOR FORGIVE ME. I AM COMPELLED TO ASK AT THE TOP OF THE BROADCAST TONIGHT HAVE YOU PAID YOUR BAR DUES.

I'M ON LEAVE SO I TOOK THE SABBATICAL.

SURRENDER.

NO. I HAD NO INTENTION OF PRACTICING AGAINST AND IF I DID THE HOURS AND THE OPTION IS THERE BUT I'M NOT OBLIGATED TO DO THAT AND PAY THE DUES. I DID THAT WHEN I GOT THIS JOB.

WITH THAT SAID A QIP OR TWO AND SEEMS WE HAVE A PROBLEM AND YOU MAY HAVE SOME APPOINTMENTS TO MAKE.

YEAH TO SIMPLIFY IT FOR THE VIEWERSES APPARENTLY SOMEBODY BROUGHT A LAWSUIT FOR A CANDIDATE RUNNING FOR A JUDGESHIP CLAIMING THE PERSON WASN'T QUALIFIED BECAUSE THEY HAD THEIR LICENSE SUSPENDED FOR A PERIOD OF TIME. SOME OF THE SUSPENSIONS ARE PURELY TECHNICAL. THEY FAILED TO PAY THE $200 DUES OR $100 DUES WHATEVER THE CASE MAYBE AND THEY DON'T DO IT ON TIME AND PAY TWO DAYS LATE OR SIX MONTHS LATE OR WHATEVER. SOME ARE SUSPENDED FOR MORE SERIOUS THINGS BUT THE JUDGE RULED YOU HAVE TO HAVE SIX YEARS CONTINUOUS SERVICE AS A LICENSED ATTORNEY IN THE STATE BEFORE YOU CAN RUN FOR JUDGE -- I THINK IT'S SIX, AND IT HAS TO BE CONTINUOUS SERVICE SO IF YOU WERE SUSPENDED THAT KNOCKS OFF THE CONTINUOUS SERVICE AND THE LOWER COURT DISQUALIFIED THIS CANDIDATE. WELL, THE IRONY THEY GOT TO CHECKING AND A TON OF EXISTING JUDGES HAVE HAD A FEW DAYS SUSPENSION INCLUDING THE JUDGE THAT THIS PERSON WAS RUNNING AGAINST SO THERE MAYBE A WHOLE BUNCH OF JUDGES NOT QUALIFIED BASED ON THAT DECISION TO SEEK OFFICE AND THERE WOULD BE A BUNCH OF VACANCIES AND WHO KNOWS. IT'S ON APPEAL TO THE APPELLATE COURT AND THE IRONY THERE MAYBE JUDGES FALLING INTO THAT SAME TRAP.

WELL, I WAS GOING TO ASK IT'S IT'S NOT YOUR BACK BUT YOU WOULD MAKE THE APPOINTMENTS IF IT'S NOT SUSTAINED AND AN OUT NOT FOUND. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MANY JUDGESHIPS THIS MIGHT --

NO. IT'S SPECULATIVE AT THIS JUNCTURE. THE THINK THE PRESS HAS NOW AND THE JUDICIAL COUNCIL DOING A BUNCH OF LEG WORK TO DETERMINE HOW MANY AND THE FIGURE I SAW WAS SPECULATION OF THE PRESS AND MAYBE AS MANY AS 30, BUT I DON'T HAVE ANY INDEPENDENT KNOWLEDGE OR VERIFICATION OF THAT FIGURE.

HOW WOULD YOU ADVISE THE COURT, THE APPELLATE COURT?

I'M NOT GOING TO GET IN THE MIDDLE OF ADVISING THE COURT.

WELL --

IT COULD DISRUPT A LOT OF STUFF FRANKLY, AND BUT THE -- THEY TRIED TO DISTINGUISH -- SOMEBODY MADE AN ARGUMENT AND THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A TECHNICAL SUSPENSION FOR NOT PAYING THE ANNUAL DUES ON TIME WHEN YOU SUBSEQUENTLY FIX IT --

IT WORKED SO FAR.

THAT'S RIGHT AND A MORE SERIOUS SUSPENSION WHERE YOU DID SOMETHING WRONG AND THE COURT SAID NO, THERE ISN'T A DISTINCTION BETWEEN A TECHNICAL NONPAYMENT OF DUES FOR A FEW DAYS OR A SERIOUS VIOLATION THAT CAUSED THE LICENSE TO BE SUSPENDED. IT JUST SAYS YOU NEED THE CONTINUOUS SERVICE SO THERE IS NO DISTINCTION THERE. EVERYBODY IS IN THE SAME BOAT SO WE WILL SEE WHAT HAPPENS.

WE HAVE ANOTHER SITUATION IN THE COUNTY WHERE WE'RE BROADCASTING TONIGHT AND THAT IS FAULKNER COUNTY AND ANTICIPATING THAT YOU DECLINED TO ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT A MATTER UNDER SCRUTINY BY THE JUDICIAL DIVISION AND TALKING ABOUT JUDGE MACHIO AND EFFECTIVELY BUNCHED BY THE SUPREME COURT.

RIGHT.

WHAT SHOULD IT SUGGEST TO AN ALERT CITIZEN AND THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING AND THE MULTIPLE PAC'S, THE TIMELINE.

THAT PARTICULAR SET OF FACTS, AND IF THE VIEWERS AREN'T FAMILIAR WITH IT WHAT APPARENTLY HAPPENED HE WAS A JUDGE IN A TRIAL WHERE A LARGE JUDGMENT WAS RENDERED AGAINST A NURSING HOME AND HE SUBSEQUENTLY CUT THAT JUDGMENT, AND I DON'T REMEMBER THE EXACT FIGURE, SOMETHING FROM $5 MILLION TO $1 MILLION JUST ON HIS OWN BASED UPON A MOTION AND HE CUT THAT JURY AWARD DOWN SIGNIFICANTLY, AND THEN THEY FIND OUT HE HAD BEEN THE BENEFICIARY OF CAMPAIGN FUNDS FROM SEVERAL POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEES OVERRED BY OR CONTRIBUTING TO A --

[INAUDIBLE]

FROM THE VERY NURSING HOME OR NURSING HOMES THAT WERE THE BENEFICIARY OF THAT CUT, SO ONE OF THE THINGS THAT THE CANDIDATES CALL FOR IS THAT A JUDGE WILL EVEN AVOID -- EVEN THE APPEARANCE OF IMPROPRIETY SO BASED UPON THOSE FACTS THE SUPREME COURT TOOK ALL THE CASES AWAY FROM HIM, AND THEY'RE INVESTIGATING IT AND IN THE MEANTIME HE'S ON I GUESS PAID ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE. IT'S THE FIRST TIME I EVER SEEN THAT HAPPEN BUT MAYBE IT'S HAPPENED BEFORE, BUT THE SUPREME COURT UNDER OUR CONSTITUTION THE SUPREME COURT IS IN CHARGE OF THE ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION OF THE LOWER JUDGES -- LESSER JUDGES SO IT'S THE SUPREME COURT'S RESPONSIBILITY.

AGAIN WHAT DOES IT SUGGEST PARTICULARLY ABOUT -- A NUMBER OF MEMBERS OF THE JUDICIARY HAVE EXPRESSED FOR YEARS NOW WHAT IS GOING ON IN STATES ELSEWHERE, AND TO SUGGEST THAT WE ARE IN DANGER IN ARKANSAS -- I GUESS IT DEPENDS ON YOUR PERSPECTIVE, BUT SOME OF THE JUDICIAL RACES IN OTHER STATES HAVE NEARLY APPROACHED -- WELL, THEY ARE THEY'RE CARNAL AND REALLY COARSE. WE HAD A FAIRLY GENTEEL SET OF JUDICIAL RACES IN RECENT.

YEAH. I THINK MOST PEOPLE PREFER GENTEEL RACES AND WOULD PREFER THAT ALL TOGETHER. I THINK PEOPLE GET TIRED OF NEGATIVE CAMPAIGNING AND THE MUD THROWING AND THE SAMEO AND YOU CAN'T BELIEVE WHAT ANYBODY AD SAYS BUT I THINK THAT IS CERTAINLY THE ENTIRE OF A LOT OF PEOPLE TO TRY TO KEEP IT OUT OF THE JUDGES' RACES AND THEORETICALLY THAT SHOULD BE LESS POLITICAL THAN SOME OF THE OTHER STUFF. THOSE STATES WHERE THEY HAVE SEEN THAT IT HASN'T REFLECTED WELL ON THE COURTS OR THE JUDICIARY BUT I THINK IT DOESN'T REFLECT WELL ON ANYBODY WITH THAT.

I GUESS IN A ROUNDABOUT WAY WE'RE GETTING TO MC CUTCHEN, THE SUPREME COURT WEDNESDAY MORNING AND OPENED THE DOOR A BIT WIDER [INAUDIBLE]

KIND OF THREW IT OPEN, DIDN'T IT.

UPON ANDS BELIEVE THERE IS MORE TO COME AND THIS IS THE CASE BEFORE THE COURT AND AGGREGATE CYCLE LIMITS.

YEAH, I THINK MONEY HAS GOTTEN TOO BIG. I DIDN'T FAVOR THAT DECISION. IT'S A U.S. SUPREME COURT DECISION. THERE ISN'T MUCH I CAN DO BUT IT BUT I THINK TOO MUCH MONEY IS BEING SPENT. I KNOW THE TV STATIONS WOULDN'T AGREE WITH THAT AND THE MONEY IS AGAIN SPENT IN THE NEGATIVE APPROACH TO NEGATIVE ADVERTISING, AND FRANKLY I THINK THE AMERICAN PUBLIC DESERVES BETTER THAN THAT, AND AN UNLIMITED MONEY REALLY DOES PUT POWER IN THE FOLKS THAT CAN AFFORD IT AND LESS OF THE ORDINARY CITIZEN, AND SO I HAVE ALWAYS FAVORED THE LIMITS. I HAD LIMITS WHEN I RAN AND AS LONG AS THE RULES ARE SAME FOR EVERYBODY BUT WHEN YOU THROW IT OPEN AND UNLIMITED AMOUNT OF MONEY THOSE PEOPLE WILLING TO SPEND ENORMOUS SUMS OF MONEY HAVE INORDINANCE AT INFLUENCE AND SHOWS UP MORE OFTEN THAN NOT IN NEGATIVE ADVERTISING AND ADDS TO THE CYNICISM ABOUT GOVERNMENT ALL TOGETHER AND I DON'T THINK IT'S HEALTHY FOR THE DEMOCRACY BUT IT'S A SUPREME COURT RULING. YOU AND I HAVE TO LIVE WITH IT.

MAY NOT BE HEALTHY, BUT THE STANDARDS THAT IT WORKS. IT'S EFFECTIVE.

YEAH. UNTIL THE AMERICAN PUBLIC STARTS PUNISHING THE PEOPLE THAT RUN NEGATIVE ADS OR PUNISHING CANDIDATES THAT ARE THE BENEFICIARIES WE WILL SEE IT.

DO YOU ANTICIPATE OUT OF WASHINGTON THERE FURTHER WIDENING OF THE DOOR? IT'S ALMOST WIDE OPEN.

YEAH, THE SUPREME COURT --

IT'S BEEN INCREMENTAL SO FAR.

THEY BASICALLY RULED ON A CONSTITUTIONAL BASIS OF FREE SPEECH, YEAH, FIRST AMENDMENT AND AS A RESULT OF THAT I DON'T KNOW WHAT WASHINGTON CAN DO. I DON'T KNOW WHAT LEGISLATION WOULD TRUMP THAT. THE CONSTITUTION TRUMPS ALL OF THE STATUTES.

BACK IN FAULKNER COUNTY FORMER SENATOR GILL BAKER STEPPED DOWN AS ASSISTANT AS UCA AROUND THE CORNER. WAS THAT APPROPRIATE THING FOR HIM TO DO?

I THINK IT WAS. HE MADE THAT CALL, HE MADE THAT DECISION. I DON'T KNOW WHAT ALL WENT INTO THAT. I DON'T KNOW WHAT DISCUSSIONS WERE OCCURRING, BUT HE PROBABLY THOUGHT IN LIGHT OF ALL OF THE PRESS ABOUT HIS INVOLVEMENT OR ROLE IN ANY OF THOSE PACKS OR FUNDRAISING IT WAS IN HIS BEST INTEREST AND UCA'S BEST INTEREST FOR HIM TO TAKE THE ACTION THAT HE DID. I DON'T FAULT THAT AT ALL. I THINK HE MADE A WISE CHOICE.

AND THEY SAID THIS WAS SOMETHING MR. BAKER WAS DOING ON HIS OWN TIME AND THE INVOLVEMENT WITH THE OTHER PAC'S. WOULD YOU ENCOURAGE OTHER UNIVERSITY PRESIDENTS TO -- WELL, FIRST OF ALL IS THAT OKAY WITH YOU?

WELL, CERTAINLY IT MAKES IT MORE PALATABLE. I'VE GOT STAFF MEMBERS THAT THEY CAN GO VOTE FOR OR VOLUNTEER WHOEVER THEY WANT TO WORK FOR ON THEIR OWN TIME. I CAN'T STOP THAT OR SHUT THAT UP AND SOME MAY WORK FOR FOLKS THAT I'M NOT SUPPORTING, SO THERE SAY DISTINCTION BETWEEN DOING IT ON THE REGULAR HOURLY TIME THAT YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE WORKING FOR OTHER EMPLOYER BUT EVEN THEN YOU CAN'T DIVORCE THAT ISSUE WITH THE PUBLIC AND IT WENT INTO THE DECISION.

AND IT'S A TWO YEAR OFFICE.

THAT'S TRUE, SO THE UNIVERSITY HAS TO DEAL WITH BOTH SIDES.

TACTICALLY MADE IT DIFFICULT.

YEAH, EVERY UNIVERSITY AND COLLEGE WANTS TO NICE TO DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS AND THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND WHOEVER THE GOVERNOR IS BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO DEAL WITH THEM IN TOMORROWS OF LEGISLATION, AND CERTAINLY IN TERMS OF APPROPRIATIONS AND YEAH THEY WALK A FINE LINE WITH ACTIVITIES ON THE COLLEGE CAMPUSES AND RIGHTLY SO THEY CAN'T AFFORD TO BE VERY PARTISAN.

HEALTH CARE SIR.

YES.

THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT HAS -- IT MET ITS 7 MILLION AND THEN SOME. PRESIDENT OBAMA PRONOUNCED HIMSELF QUITE HAPPY. AS FAR AS THE ARKANSAS APPLICATION OF IT GOES HOW ARE YOU -- WE'VE HAD A DEADLINE NOW.

WELL, IN TERMS WE HAVE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS APPLICABLE TO THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. ONE IS THE FEDERAL SUBSIDY PORTION OF IT, AND THAT'S THE ONE THAT THE PRESIDENT WAS TALKING ABOUT. IT EXCEEDED THE 7 MILLION TARGET HE HAD. IN ARKANSAS OUR NUMBERS WERE LOW. THE LAST NUMBERS I SAW WERE IN THE 30,000 RANGE. THAT'S ONE ASPECT AND THE OTHER ASPECT IS WHAT WE DID WITH THE MEDICAID EXPANSION IN TERMS OF UTILIZING PRIVATE INSURANCE.

PRIVATE OPTION.

AND CALLED THE PRIVATE OPTION AND HAS BEEN SUCCESSFUL ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND IT'S FAR EXCEEDED THE EXPECTATIONS AND 130,000 OR SO AT THIS JUNCTURE. THAT'S PRETTY REMARKABLE.

FROM DESHA COUNTY TO PULASKI -- A VIEWER QUESTION AND THE STATE EMPLOYEES COLA.

WELL, THE EMPLOYEES GOT ONE LAST YEAR AND WILL NOT GET ONE THIS YEAR BECAUSE THE MONEY SET ASIDE WAS A PORTION OF THE REVENUE STABILIZATION ACT THAT THE LEGISLATURE WHEN THEY OVER RODE THE VETO GAVE THAT MONEY TO A SAND FRACKING COMPANY FOR A TAX BREAK AND I THINK IT'S UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND IF THE COURT RULES ON IT CAN BE REINSTATED AND IT TAKES A WHILE TO GO THROUGH THE COURTS AND IF IT DOESN'T YOU CAN'T SPEND THAT MONEY BECAUSE THE LEGISLATURE TOOK THE COLA MONEY AND GAVE IT TO A FRACKING COMPANY.

YOU HAD A GOOD REVENUE REPORT.

YOU DON'T MAKE A DECISION ON ONE MONTH'S REPORT. WE ARE CONSERVATIVE WITH BUDGETING AND WE WILL CONTINUE THAT WAY. HOPEFULLY IT STAYS GOOD THAT WAY AND THEN -- BUT THE COLA WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT IS FROM JULY 1 TO JUNE 30 OF 2015 AND AS A RESULT OF THAT YOU'RE NOT LIKELY TO KNOW WHAT THAT FORECAST FLOW IS REALLY GOING TO BE UNTIL IT GETS CLOSER INTO THAT YEAR.

IF WE GET A REPUBLICAN CONTROLLED FEDERAL U.S. SENATE AND HOUSE AND THE ACA IS OVERTURNED -- FIRST OF ALL DO YOU THINK IT WILL BE? I WILL BREAK IT DOWN INTO TWO.

I HAVE NO IDEA. I HAVE TOLD FOLKS ALL ALONG I THOUGHT THEY ATTACKED THE WRONG PROBLEM UP THERE. I WOULD HAVE ATTACKED COST CONTAINMENT WHICH WE'RE DOING IN ARKANSAS WITH THE PAYMENT REFORM AND IT'S THE LAW AND I CAN'T CHANGE THAT IN WASHINGTON SO WE WANTED TO MAKE THE BEST OF IT AND REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS WORKING TOGETHER CAME UP SOMETHING UNIQUE FOR ARKANSAS THAT NOW THE REST OF THE COUNTRIES AND REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS ACROSS THE COUNTRY SEEM TO BE EXPLORING DOING WHAT ARKANSAS DID BECAUSE WE'RE GOING TO PAY FOR IT WHETHER WE TAKE IT OR NOT SO I DON'T HAVE ANY FEELING WHAT THEY'RE GOING TO DO IN WASHINGTON D.C.. THAT'S ONE OF THE REASONS I DON'T HAVE TO GO UP THERE.

AND THIS VIEWER WANTS TO KNOW -- THE BETTING WOULD BE IT WOULDN'T BE -- WHATEVER, IF THAT WERE TO BE REVERSED, IF THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT WAS REPEALED HOW WOULD IT AFFECT ARKANSAS?

ALL OF THE STUFF ON THE PRIVATE OPTION WOULD GO AWAY AND THE PAYMENTS THAT THE HOSPITALS AND TAXPAYERS ARE MAKING WOULD GO AWAY TOO THEORETICALLY.

WILL UNEMPLOYMENT FUNDS BE EXTENDED?

I HOPE THE FOLKS UNDERSTAND I'M NOT TRYING TO DODGE THE FEDERAL QUESTIONS BUT I'M NOT HAPPY WITH WHAT HAPPENS IN WASHINGTON D.C.. I MADE NO BONES ABOUT THAT. I CAN'T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. I CAN GRIPE ABOUT IT AND I CAN EXPRESS MY OPINION WHICH I DO TO OUR FOLKS BUT WHAT THEY'RE GOING TO DO IN WASHINGTON D.C. ABOUT EXTENDING UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS IS EVERYBODY'S GUESS. WE DON'T HAVE THAT DECISION MAKING HERE.

FAULKNER COUNTY, THERE HAVE BEEN NEW DEVELOPMENTS ANYWAY. WE HAD THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF THE PEGASUS RUPTURE. ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH THE STATE'S RESPONSE, AND WITH EXXON'S PERFORMANCE AS TO DATE?

NOT YET. I AM SATISFIED THAT THE STATE MONITORED IT AS WELL AS WE COULD MONITOR IT. I AM SATISFIED THAT THE STATE IS HOLDING EVERYBODY'S FEET TO THE FIRE TO MAKE SURE IT'S SAFE. I AM CONCERNED THAT IF THEY REOPEN THE PIPELINE AND WE HAVE TO HAVE PIPELINES. I UNDERSTAND THAT. THEORETICALLY IT'S SAFER THAN TRUCKS RUNNING DOWN THE ROAD.

ALTHOUGH WE HAVE BOTH.

EXCUSE ME, BUT WHAT BOTHERS ME IS THE PROXIMITY TO THE WATERSHED AREAS AND PARTICULARLY LAKE MAUMELLE AND HAS ALL OF THE PEOPLE DEPENDENT ON IT AS A WATER SUPPLY AND I WANTED THEM TO MOVE THE PIPELINE INTO AN AREA AND IF THEY'RE NOT GOING TO DO THAT I DON'T KNOW WHAT SAFETY MEASURES WOULD BE SUFFICIENT TO MAKE SURE IF THERE WAS ANOTHER PROBLEM ON THE LAKE THEY COULD STOP IT AND CATCH IT AND NOT HAVE AN EFFECT ON THE LAKE. THAT WORRIES ME, BOTHERS ME AND OF COURSE THE FEDERAL AGENCY THAT PERMITS THEM TO OPEN IT UP IS GOING TO I THINK HOLD THEIR FEET TO THE FIRE TOO, BUT I KNOW THE LITTLE ROCK WATER SYSTEM, THE CENTRAL ARKANSAS WATER IS WORKING TO ENSURE THAT ALL OF THE APPROPRIATE TESTING AND SAFEGUARDS ARE THERE, SO I'M GOING TO BE GUIDED TO A LARGER EXTENT WHAT CENTRAL ARKANSAS WATER FINDS OUT AND WHAT THEY SAY AS FAR AS MY RESPONSE.

YOU HAVE EIGHT AND A HALF MONTHS REMAINING --

YEAH, I MAYBE GONE BEFORE THEY KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION.

SHOULD THAT PIPELINE BE MOVED OUT OF THE WATERSHED?

THAT'S MY FIRST PRIORITY. THAT'S MY NUMBER ONE REMINI IS TO MOVE IT OUT OF THAT WATER SHED.

A VIEWER FROM PULASKI NOTES ABOUT THIS TIME LAST YEAR YOU EXPRESSED RESERVATIONS AS THE MAN WHO HAS TO IMPLEMENT THE DEATH PENALTY.

YES.

ONE OF YOUR PREDECESSORS --

YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT [INAUDIBLE]

HAS THAT CROSSED YOUR MIND?

WELL, I AM AWARE OF THAT BUT I HAVEN'T SERIOUSLY CONSIDERED DOING THAT, NO.

IS THAT SOMETHING YOU WOULD CONSIDER?

WELL, I GUESS YOU NEVER SAY NEVER. I HAVE SIGNED DEATH WARRANTS AND AS YOU HAVE POINTED OUT I HAVE EXPRESSED ON THIS PROGRAM AND ELSEWHERE HOW DIFFICULT THAT IS NO MATTER HOW GUILTY THE PERSON IS, AND WHY IT'S DIFFICULT FOR ME IS IF YOU'RE THE ACTUAL PERSON DOING IT IT'S A LITTLE DIFFERENT THAN IN THE ABSTRACT. YOU'RE THE PERSON THAT ACTUALLY IS THE ONLY ONE THAT CAN STOP IT, SO I HAVE HAD I THINK EIGHT SITUATIONS WHERE THAT'S COME UP, AND EVERY ONE OF THOSE SITUATIONS I HAVE READ THE TRANSCRIPT BEFORE I WOULD DO IT. I WANTED TO SEE IF THERE WAS ONE REASONABLE DOUBT IN MY MIND AS TO THE GUILT OF THE PERSON AND I WILL TELL YOU AFTER READING ALL OF THE TRANSCRIPTOS EIGHT OF THE DEATH SENTENCES THAT I SET OR EXECUTIONS THAT I HAVE SET I CAME AWAY AFTER READING THE TRANSCRIPT MORE CONVINCED THAN EVER ABOUT THE PERSON'S GUILT. THAT DOESN'T TAKE AWAY THE HUGE RESPONSIBILITY THAT YOU'RE THE ONE THAT HAS TO DO IT BUT I SWORE ON THE BIBLE ON UP HOLD THE CONSTITUTION AND THAT IS PART OF THE CONSTITUTION. SO I DID IT. I DIDN'T LIKE IT. I STILL DON'T LIKE IT. I WOULD BE LESS THAN HONEST IF I DIDN'T TELL YOU PART OF THAT BURDEN WAS OFF OF ME -- ALL OF THE BURDEN WAS TAKEN OFF OF ME IN ALL OF THE EIGHT CASES THE COURTS STAYED THE EXECUTIONS SO WE HAVEN'T HAD ONE BUT IT'S STILL THE CONSTITUTION SO THAT'S WHAT GUIDED ME EVEN THOUGH IT'S TOUGH.

AND THE CONSTITUTION EMPOWERS YOU --

IT DOES TO COMMUTE AND I HAVE BEEN CONSERVATIVE ABOUT COMMUTATIONS. I AM LIBERAL ABOUT PARDONS AFTER PEOPLE COMPLETED THE SENTENCE AND PARTICULARLY KIDS WHO DID DRUGS AND ALL OF THAT. IF THEY DID THEIR TIME AND FINES AND PRISON TIME AND PROBATION TIME AND IF SOME PERIOD OF TIME ELAPSED AND THERE IS NO MAGIC AMOUNT OF TIME, BUT A PERIOD OF TIME ELAPSED THAT YOU BELIEVE THEY LEARNED THEIR LESSON I BELIEVE IN SECOND CHANCES SO I GRANTED PARTONS BUT FOUR OR FIVE COMMUTATIONS WHERE I LOWERED SOMEONE'S SENTENCE. I AM STRICT ON THAT AND LESS STRICT ON THE PARDONS.

PARDONS. ANOTHER VIEWER WONDERS HOW YOU WOULD EXPLAIN WHY ARKANSAS HAS AN INCOME TAX WHEN SO MANY OTHER STATES PARTICULARLY IN OUR REGION SEEM TO BE THRIVING PROSING WITHOUT ONE?

IT'S A THING OF WHERE IS THE MONEY COMING FROM. ALL OF THE THINGS THINGS COST AND TEXAS HAS OTHER TAXES AND THE PROPERTY TAXES ARE FIVE, SIX TIMES AS OURS SO THEY LOAD UP ON PEOPLE'S PROPERTY TAXES. ARKANSANS HATE PROPERTY TAXES. WE ARE WORSE THAT WE HATE THE TEXAS LONGHORNS AND CONSEQUENTLY THERE ISN'T REALISTIC CHANCE YOU WILL GET ANYWHERE NEAR THAT REVENUE WITH PROPERTY TAXES. IN TENNESSEE THEY HAVE A SIGNIFICANT SALES TAX AND SO DO SOME OF THE OTHER STATES. FLORIDA, WHILE THEY'RE NOT A NEIGHBOR OF OURS MAKES MONEY OFF TOURISM AND HOTELS AND RESTAURANTS SO EACH STATE IS DIFFERENT. ARKANSAS HAS AN INCOME TAX AND HALF OF THE GENERAL BUDGET COMES FROM AN INCOME TAX. IF YOU DO AWAY WITH IT YOU WILL DO AWAY WITH HALF OF THE MONEY. DO THEY WANT PEOPLE IN PRISON AND WANT THE SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES TO RUN? YOU MIGHT NOT LIKE IT BUT UNLESS YOU HAVE AN ALTERNATIVE AND SOME OF THE PEOPLE THAT RUN THEY DON'T NEED TO PROMISE FOLKS STUFF THEY CAN'T DELIVER. MY MANTRA WAS UNDER PROMISE AND OVER DELIVER WHEN I RAN AND YOU JUST GOT TO TELL THE PEOPLE THE TRUTH AND THE TRUTH IS IF WE'VE GOT A $5 BILLION BUDGET CLOSE HALF OF THAT COMES FROM INCOME TAX AND SO IF YOU'RE GOING TO DO AWAY WITH THE INCOME TAX AND DON'T RAISE ANOTHER TAX SOMEWHERE ELSE YOU'RE THEN CUTTING 50% OUT OF EVERYTHING AND TRUST ME EDUCATION, PRISONS AND HUMAN SERVICES TAKE 95% OF EVERY TAX DOLLAR SO WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO CUT IT?

AGAIN FROM THE BENTON AREA. A VIEWER WANTS TO KNOW IF THERE IS ANYTHING -- HE APPARENTLY UNDERSTANDS THAT THE COMMISSION IS INDEPENDENT OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH --

WHAT COMMISSION?

HIGHWAY COMMISSION.

OH.

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU CAN DO TO NURCH ALONG THE CONSTRUCTION EAST OF LITTLE ROCK ON 40?

YEAH. HE'S RIGHT. THE PEOPLE GAVE THE HIGHWAY COMMISSION -- HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT INDEPENDENT STATUS AS A RESULT OF THE MACK [INAUDIBLE] AMENDMENT BUT THE STATE HAS CONTROL BECAUSE THE LEGISLATURE STALE APPROPRIATES ALL OF THE MONEY EVEN IF THEY'RE INDEPENDENT SO CONSEQUENTLY THERE IS CONTROL AND GOVERNOR APPOINTS THE PEOPLE AND HOPEFULLY THE PEOPLE I APPOINT WILL LISTEN TO ME. WHAT THE VIEWER IS TALKING ABOUT I ASSUME IS 40 EAST IS UNGODLY IN THE AMOUNT OF TRAFFIC THAT EXISTS THERE BECAUSE IT'S THE MAIN THOROUGHFARE FOR A LOT OF BIG RIGS FROM CALIFORNIA TO THE ATLANTIC COAST BUT BECAUSE OF THE CONFIGURATION WE GET ALL OF THE SOUTH-NORTH TRAFFIC OUT OF TEXAS AND GOES ON THE SAME STRETCH TO GO UP TO CHICAGO SO YOU'VE GOT THAT -- WHAT 150 MILES I SUPPOSE OF I-40 EAST THAT'S GOT ALL OF THE HUGE NORTH SOUTH, EAST WEST TRAFFIC AND WHEN YOU TRY TO IMPROVE THE ROADWAY AND IT'S A FOUR LANE AND YOU KNOCK DOWN A LANE YOU CREATED A HUGE MESS SO WHAT THE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT TRIED TO DO INCENTIVIZED CONTRACTORS -- EXCUSE ME, BY GIVING THEM MORE MONEY IF THEY FINISH QUICKER AND THAT MEANS THEY HAVE TO WORK AT NIGHT AND SET THE LIGHTS UP, WORK ON WEEKENDS. YOU'RE SEEING A LOT OF THAT IN THE CONWAY AREA. THEY'RE WORKING TONIGHT 630 AND JUST WORKING EVERYWHERE, BUT THAT'S THE ONLY WAY I KNOW YOU CAN HURRY THEM UP.

YOU WERE CRITICAL ALONG WITH SEVERAL OTHER PEOPLE OF THE PERFORMANCE OF THE HIGHWAY COMMISSION IN THE STORMS OF JANUARY-FEBRUARY.

I TELL YOU PART OF THE REASON FOR THAT WITHIN HOURS OF GETTING THE INFORMATION ABOUT HOW BAD THAT ICE WAS AND THAT BACK UP WAS, AND THE CONGESTION THAT WAS OCCURRING, WE HAD NATIONAL GUARD. WE HAD GAME AND FISH. WE HAD ADAM -- EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT FOLKS. WE HAD ALL SORTS OF STATE AGENCY FOLKS SENDING EXTRA PEOPLE OVER THERE, AND THE EXTRA CREWS FROM THE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT DIDN'T START OVER THERE FOR -- UNTIL THE NEXT DAY, AND FRANKLY THAT -- I DIDN'T LIKE THAT.

WELL, IT'S FAIR TO ASSUME YOU HAVE BEEN IN CONTACT WITH THE APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS OF THE DEPARTMENT.

YEAH.

HAVE YOUR CONCERNS BEEN ADDRESSED TO YOUR SATISFACTION?

WELL, YEAH I THINK IF WE HAD IT AGAIN THE RESPONSE TIME TO MOVE -- YEAH, PART OF THIS -- THEY COULDN'T HELP. OKAY. THEY COULDN'T HELP HOW FAST THE SLEET CAME DOWN. THEY COULDN'T HELP HOW CLOGGED THE HIGHWAY GOT ALL OF A SUDDEN BECAUSE HOW FAST THE ICE AND THAT SLEET AND ALL THOSE TRUCKS AND ALL THE CARS GOT TOGETHER, PARTICULARLY IN THE CONSTRUCTION AREA. THEY COULDN'T HELP THAT. WHAT THEY HAVE TO DO THOUGH IS GET FOLKS THERE FASTER FROM OTHER PARTS OF THE STATE THAT DON'T HAVE A SERIOUS SITUATION LIKE THAT PART OF THE STATE. I THINK THEY WILL ADDRESS THAT GOING FORWARD, YES.

ALONG THOSE LINES A QUESTION VIA TWITTER. WHAT CAN YOU TELL -- WHAT CAN YOU TELL THE VIEWER ABOUT THE PROSPECT, THE POSSIBILITY OF MORE AND BETTER ROADS SOONER IN NORTHWEST ARKANSAS?

WELL I THINK IT'S GOING ON NOW.

BESIDES THE LANES ON I-40.

THAT IS HAPPENING BUT WHEN THE VOTERS APPROVE -- FIRST WE HAVE A PROBLEM AND THE DEPARTMENT IS CORRECT ABOUT THIS AND I DON'T LIKE GOING INTO OTHER FUNDS AND THE WAY WE FINANCED HIGHWAYS AND IT'S A FLAT TAX, X CENTS A GALLON. THE CARS ARE MORE FEW EFFICIENT AND PEOPLE ARE AWARE OF THE COSTS AND CONSTRUCTION COSTS WENT UP AND THE SO MUCH A GALLON GAS TAX DIDN'T GO UP SO YOU HAVE A HUGE GAP. THEY'RE DOING ROAD WORK WITH LESS AND LESS REVENUE WITH INCREASING CONSTRUCTION COST. THEY NEED ANOTHER FORM OF REVENUE OF THE GOOD NEWS IS THEY WENT TO THE VOTERS FOR A SALES TAX TO HELP DEFRAY SOME OF THE COSTS AND BUILD THE HIGHWAYS AND THE VOTERS APPROVED IT OVERWHELMINGLY -- I THINK 81% AND THEY SUPPORTED IT AND THAT PLAN HAS BEEN LAID OUT SO THE ADDITIONAL MONIES WILL FLOW OVER THE 10 YEARS AND A LOT OF THE CONTRACTS HAVE BEEN ISSUED BUT IT DOESN'T DO A LOT FOR THE MAINTENANCE BUDGET AND NOW THE FEDS HAVE A PROBLEM BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT RENEWING THE FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION MONEY SO A LOT OF THINGS HAVE BEEN TAKEN OFF OF THE SCHEDULE FOR CONSTRUCTION BECAUSE OF THE UNCERTAINTY IN WASHINGTON BECAUSE THEY GET HALF OF THE MONEY FROM FEDERAL MONEY AND HALF FROM STATE REVENUE AND WITHOUT ASSURANCE THAT THE FEDERAL MONEY IS GOING TO CONTINUE THEY HAVE TO BE CAREFUL WITH THE CONTRACTS SO IT CREATED A HUGE HI EIGHT US SO IT MIGHT GET WORSE BEFORE IT GETS BETTER.

I WAS GOING TO ASK IF YOU WERE IN CONTACT WITH THE DELEGATION AND MIGHT BE INCENTIVE FOR BOTH PARTIES.

YEAH. IT'S NOT A DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN DEAL. IT'S HIGHWAYS AND EVERYONE DRIVES ON THEM AND NEEDS THEM. I THINK THEY'RE GOING TO DO SOMETHING BUT IN THE MEANTIME THE UNCERTAINTY CAUSED DELAY.

SPEAKING OF UNCERTAINTY A BAXTER COUNTY PERSON WANTS TO KNOW -- THEY APPLIED FOR COVERAGE UNDER THE PRIVATE OPTION AND CAN'T GET THE BALL ROLLING AND WHAT SHOULD THEY DO AND OTHERS IN HER SITUATION?

WELL, IF THAT PERSON WILL CALL MY OFFICE AND -- I DON'T WANT TO START A RUN ON POOR OLD HAILEY BUT WE WILL CALL MY OFFICE AND ASK FOR HAILEY. SHE WILL TRY TO GET THEM IN TOUCH WITH THE APPROPRIATE PEOPLE TO SEE WHAT HER PROBLEM IS AND HOW IT CAN BE ADDRESSED.

FROM CROSS COUNTY SIR. THIS ONE IS PRETTY CONTROVERSIAL ACROSS THE COUNTRY AT LEAST IN SOME QUARTERS. ARE YOU STILL COMMITTED TO COMMON CORE?

YEAH, IT'S NOT A WASHINGTON DEAL. IT'S A STATE DEAL AND STARTING IN KENTUCKY AND OTHER PLACES. IT'S DESIGNED THEORETICALLY THAT STUDENTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY ARE EXPOSED TO THE SAME BASIC KIND OF INSTRUCTIONAL LEARNING SO IF YOU MOVE FROM ARKANSAS OR WANT A JOB FROM ARKANSAS TO NEW YORK OR NEW JERSEY TO CALIFORNIA, OR WHATEVER THE CASE MAYBE, THAT THE BASIC ABILITY TO HAVE THAT KNOWLEDGE QUOTIENT TO BE PROFICIENT IN WHAT YOU'RE DOING HAS SOME CONTINUITY TO IT. ALL OF A SUDDEN PEOPLE THINK IT'S A WASHINGTON CONSPIRACY. IT WOULDN'T AND I SUPPORT IT. I THINK WE'RE BETTER WITH IT.

TO SUMMARIZE AND I FREQUENTLY GET IN MAIL AND FROM READING IS THAT THIS IS YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF WASHINGTON -- STATE AND LOCAL AND FEDERAL DIVISION OF ROLE -- THERE ARE THE PREROGATIVES OF PARENT AND LOCAL CONTROL OF PUBLIC EDUCATION WITH THESE STANDARDS.

WELL, LOCAL CONTROL -- A LOT OF LOCAL CONTROL OF PUBLIC EDUCATION WAS TAKEN AWAY FROM THE SUPREME COURT WHEN ADEQUACY WAS DEFINED AND THE NUMBER OF COURSES AND THE TYPE OF COURSES AND THE SPECIFIC COURSES HAD TO BE TAUGHT IN EVERY SCHOOL. THERE'S A WHOLE LOT OF THAT ALREADY EXISTS. OBVIOUSLY I BELIEVE IN LOCAL CONTROL. I BELIEVE THE LOCAL SCHOOL BOARDS OUGHT TO BE THE PRIMARY FOLKS RUNNING THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS BUT THEN YOU HAVE SITUATIONS WHERE THE SCHOOLS FAIL AND THE SUPREME COURT SAYS THAT'S STILL THE STATE'S RESPONSIBILITY AND THAT'S WHY THE STATE STEPPED IN AND TAKE OVER SOME SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND REPLACE THE BOARD AND THE SUPERINTENDENT UNTIL THEY'RE BACK ON THEIR FEET ACADEMICALLY AND FISCALLY AND THAT EXISTS BUT I DON'T WANT WASHINGTON TELLING US WHAT TO DO.

ANOTHER QUESTION. DO YOU ANTICIPATE MORE COUNTIES GOING WET AND SUNDAY RETAIL PACKAGE SALES?

I HAVEN'T SEEN A PROLIFERATION OF THE SUNDAY RETAIL SALES. I'M NOT AWARE OF THAT BUT WE HAD SEVERAL COUNTIES THAT WENT WET AND EVEN IN THE ONES THAT ARE DRY THERE SEEMS TO BE A PROLIFERATION OF ESTABLISHMENTS, RESTAURANTS THAT CAN SERVE ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES AND I THINK THAT'S GOING TO CONTINUE AT LEAST THE TREND IS THAT IT'S CONTINUING BUT I THINK ALL OF THE PEOPLE THAT EVEN SUPPORT THAT ARE OPPOSED TO THE ACTUAL LIQUOR STORE BEING IN A DRY COUNTY, SO AGAIN THAT WOULD BE UP TO THE VOTERS OF THE LOCAL AREAS. THAT'S DEMOCRACY.

GOVERNOR A NUMBER OF -- WELL, THEY WOULD ARGUE IT ISN'T. THEY SHOW UP AT ABC, THE ABC GRANTS THE PERMITS --

YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT PRIVATE CLUBS.

PRIVATE CLUBS AND SOMETIMES THEY SHOW UP AND OPPOSED ANOTHER PERMIT.

YEAH, BUT THAT WASN'T THE ORIGINAL QUESTION OR THE VIEWER 'S QUESTION IS WILL WE SEE MORE COUNTIES GOING WET AND THAT IS CLEARLY A RESULT OF THE VOTE OF THE PEOPLE. ABC OR NOBODY ELSE CAN DO THAT. IN ORDER TO GO TO WET FROM DRY AS A COUNTY --

ON PACKAGE.

YEAH.

A GREAT MANY FROM NORTHWEST ARKANSAS AND THIS IS FROM CRAIGHEAD AND ALL INVOLVE THE SWINE FACILITY NEAR --

YEAH.

[INAUDIBLE]

AND WE ANSWERED THIS QUESTION.

WE GET IT EVERY TIME.

IT'S ONE OF THE SITUATIONS WHERE I NEVER PUT THE HOG FARM UP THERE AND I HAVE TRIED TO EXPLAIN TO FOLKS THAT UNDER EXISTING LAW ADQ DIDN'T HAVE CHOICE TO GRANT THE GENERAL PERMIT IF THEY MET THE REQUIREMENTS AND THEY DO. NOW THE PROBLEM IS THAT IT'S TOO CLOSE TO THE BUFFALO RIVER WATERSHED SO WHAT I HAVE ASKED AND WHAT WE HAVE DONE WE ASKED THE UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS AND SOME OBJECTIVE FOLKS TO MONITOR ALL THE WAY AROUND OF THAT THING AND AT THE FIRST SIGN OF POTENTIAL DAMAGE THE WATERSHED AND THE BUFFALO THEN THEY HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO STOP IT. RIGHT NOW THEY DON'T.

ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH THE STATE'S CONTINUED EFFORTS TO MONITOR THE SITUATION?

YES, YEAH. THEY HAVE BEEN VERY THOROUGH AND THEY HAVE ENLISTED THE THEORETICALLY THE FOLKS AT U OF A THAT KNOW WHAT THEY'RE DOING THAT CAN OBJECTIVELY MEASURE WHETHER OR NOT THERE SAY PROBLEM.

DIFFERENT TYPE -- MADISON COUNTY SIR. OF THE LOTTERY --

SCHOLARSHIP..

LOTTERY SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM CONTINUES TO SEE IT DECLINE. WHAT SHOULD WE MAKE OF THAT?

I TOLD YOU SO. IT GETS BACK TO THE OVER PROMISE AND UNDER DELIVER. WHEN THE LOTTERY WAS PASSED AND THE LEGISLATURE CAME UP AND I'M NOT GOING TO NAME TWO NAMES BUT THERE ARE TWO PEOPLE THAT JUST INSISTED AND THEY WERE IN CHARGE OF -- I MEAN THE LOTTERY THING WAS NOT PART OF THE EXECUTIVE ADMINISTRATION. THEY INSISTED THAT THOSE SCHOLARSHIPS BE SET AT $5,000 THE FIRST YEAR AND I SAID YOU NEED TO START IT LOWER THAN THAT BECAUSE YOU MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO SUSTAIN THE $5,000 SCHOLARSHIP. START AT $4,000. IT'S EASIER TO GO UP THAN GO DOWN. I BELIEVE IF YOU START SOMEBODY AT AN AMOUNT AND KEEP THE GRADES UP FOR THAT PERIOD YOU OUGHT NOT TO CHANGE IT ON THEM SO THE FIRST GROUP IF THEY GIVE $5,000 KEEP IT $5,000 FOR THE KIDS THAT MAINTAIN THE QUALIFICATIONS DURING THE FOUR YEAR TIME IN COLLEGE, BUT WHAT HAS HAPPENED IS THEY OVER SHOT, THEY OVER ESTIMATED HOW MUCH MONEY WHEN THEY SET THE $5,000 AND THAT HAS BEEN EXACERBATED BECAUSE PEOPLE -- THERE ARE FEWER AMOUNTS OF MONEY SPENT BUYING LOTTERY TICKET AND THAT'S WHERE IT COMES FROM AND IT'S AGAIN JUST A FUNCTION OF WHETHER THE MONEY IS SUFFICIENT FOR THE SCHOLARSHIP SO THEY HAD TO LOWER THE SCHOLARSHIP AMOUNT TO MEET THE CASH FLOW WITH THE LOWERED AMOUNT OF REVENUE COMING IN FROM THE PEOPLE PLAYING THE LOTTERY.

WE WILL TAKE A BREAK AND MAKE AN ANNOUNCEMENT GOVERNOR THAT WAS MADE TO ME. EVERYONE WAS AWARE OF THE PROSPECT OF SEVERE WEATHER IN ARKANSAS. I HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED UNTIL 8:15 O'CLOCK THIS MORNING THERE IS A TORNADO EFFECT FOR SEARCY COUNTY. A WARNING AND NOT A WATCH AND AGAIN THAT IS SEARCY COUNTY AND IF THERE ARE ADDITIONAL BULLETINS WE WILL BRING THOSE TO YOU DURING THE PROGRAM. HERE'S ANOTHER QUESTION AND FROM FAULKNER COUNTY. IT'S BEEN REALLY WEEKS SINCE COLORADO -- COLORADO AND MAYBE ONE OTHER STATE AND SEMI-OFFICIALLY DECRIMINALIZED MARIJUANA.

OREGON, WASHINGTON, COLORADO.

DO YOU SEE A PROSPECT OF THAT COMING? HAVE YOU READ ABOUT IT TO HAVE A SENSE?

WHEN IT WAS PUT ON THE BALLOT HERE IN ARKANSAS FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA.

MEDICAL.

A COUPLE YEARS AGO THE VOTE WAS SURPRISINGLY CLOSE -- TO ME IT WAS CLOSE. I CAN'T PREDICT BECAUSE IT WAS CLOSE LAST TIME. I DON'T THINK THERE IS A PROSPECT THEY WILL LEGALIZE IT FOR RECREATIONAL USE HERE.

OH THE STATUS OF THE FOREST PRODUCT PLANTS THAT ARE IN THE PROCESS OF CHOOSING EVIDENTLY BETWEEN ARKADELPHIA AND CAMDEN.

YEAH. I HAVE TOLD PEOPLE FOREVER I'M THE GOVERNOR OF ALL 75 COUNTIES AND ALL OF THE CITIES SO I CAN'T PICK ONE OVER ANOTHER. I WILL FIGHT THE OTHER STATES TO KEEP BUSINESS IN ARKANSAS OR EXPAND BUSINESS IN ARKANSAS BUT DON'T ASK ME TO CHOOSE OVER THE TOWNS AND ANY OF THIS. ONCE WE GET THEM HERE IT'S UP TO THE LOCAL COMMUNITIES TO TRY TO PUT THEIR BEST FOOT FORWARD IF THEY'RE COMPETING WITH ANOTHER COMMUNITY IN ARKANSAS SO I DON'T GET IN THE MIDDLE OF WHETHER IT GOES TO ONE OF THESE AREAS. THE COMPANY WILL MAKE THAT DECISION. I WON'T PUSH ONE CITY OVER ANOTHER AND INCIDENTALLY THIS SAY GOOD TIME TO BRING OUT THE FACT THAT THEY CAN WORK TOGETHER AND WHEN HEWLETT-PACKARD WAS CONSIDERING ARKANSAS WE WERE FIGHTING 23 OTHER STATES FOR THAT HEWLETT-PACKARD BUSINESS AND WE WON -- ULTIMATELY WON BUT THEY WERE CONSIDERING THE LITTLE ROCK METRO AREA AND CONSIDERING THREE COMMUNITIES IN LITTLE ROCK METRO AREA, LITTLE ROCK, CONWAY AND BENTON SO WE HAD I MEETING WITH THE COMPANY EXECUTIVES IN THE GOVERNOR'S MANSION ONE EVENING AND REPRESENTATIVES FROM ALL THREE OF THE COMMUNITIES WERE THERE AND NONE OF THEM TRASH THE OTHER COMMUNITIES. OF COURSE THEY WERE ALL LOOKING AT EACH OTHER SO THEY WERE RELUCTANT TO DO THAT ANYWAY AND THEY REALIZED THEY WERE GOING TO BRAG ON THEIR OWN COMMUNITY BUT NO MATTER WHERE IT WENT IT WOULD BENEFIT ALL OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS AND THAT IMPRESSED THE HEWLETT-PACKARD TEAM THAT MADE THE DECISION AND I THINK HELPED US BEING SUCCESSFUL IN BEATING 23 OTHER PLACES ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO GET THEM SO TO ME WE CAN FIGHT TO PUT THE BEST FOOT FORWARD TO GET IT THEIR PLACE BUT DOING IT CONSTRUCTIVELY OFTENTIMES MAKES A DIFFERENCE TO SOME OF THE COMPANIES.

YOUR THOUGHTS SIR ON -- I WILL TOSS IT IN, ON THE EXXON PIPELINE ISSUE --

THE KEYSTONE.

YEAH, THE KEYSTONE PIPELINE.

YEAH.

MR. KERRY HAS GIVEN THE SEAL OF APPROVAL I BELIEVE.

WELL, IT WAS HIDEMAN, THE REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR OF NEBRASKA. HE STOP IT TO BEGIN WITH AND NOW THEY WANT IT, BUT NOW THERE IS SO MUCH HEAT ABOUT T YEAH, PIPELINES ARE A NECESSARY INFRASTRUCTURE. WE NEED THEM BECAUSE IF YOU'RE NOT GOING TO TRANSPORT THE OIL OR GAS OR WHATEVER THAT WAY YOU'RE PUTTING IT RAIL CARS OR PUTTING IT ON TANKER TRUCKS. EITHER WAY THERE'S ALWAYS A DANGER. YOU HAVE TO MAKE SURE IF THEY DO IT IT'S IN A WAY TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT AND MINIMIZES THE RISK. WE CAN NEVER DO AWAY WITH THE RISK 100%.

CLEVELAND COUNTIES AND OF THE COUNTIES CAN YOU GIVE US UPDATE ON INSURANCE, TEACHER INSURANCE?

WE ADD MORE BUT IT'S STILL FRAGILE AND HAS PROBLEMS. THERE'S NOT ENOUGH TEACHERS TAKING THE INSURANCE THAT ARE WELL, SO IT BECOMES A FUNCTION OF WHAT THEY'RE PAYING OUT WHAT THEY'RE PAYING IN AND WHEN THEY PAY OUT MORE THEY HAVE TO RAISE THE RATES.

IN DOING THAT FOR 69 AND HOW WOULD THAT BENEFIT IT.

THAT WOULD BENEFIT AND THE FEDS UNDER THE TRANSPORTATION BILL -- WE CAN'T GET IT REAUTHORIZED AS I MENTIONED AND HOW THEY'RE GOING TO COME UP WITH THE MONEY TO BUILD A BRAND-NEW INTERSTATE FROM CINCINNATI TO MEXICO AND A BRIDGE ACROSS THE RIVER WHICH IS WHAT IT CALLS FOR IF I WERE THE VIEWER I WOULDN'T GET MY HOPES UP ANYTIME SOON.

DO YOU SEE SIR ANY KIND OF -- SORT OF ALONG THE LINES OF SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BILL. DO YOU SEE ANY MOVEMENT ON IMMIGRATION OR IS IT STUCK?

I THINK THERE HAS TO BE MOVEMENT ON IMMIGRATION. I THINK FORCES CAME TOGETHER INCLUDING A LOT MUCH THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY THAT IS CRYING OUT FOR SOME SORT OF IMMIGRATION REFORM THAT INCLUDES ENFORCEMENT AT THE BORDER, SO I THINK THAT'S AN ISSUE THAT'S NOT GOING AWAY, SO YEAH I THINK THEY WILL MOVE ON IT.

MORE ON AN EXTENSION OF UNEMPLOYMENT -- THIS IS FROM CLAY COUNTY AND AGAIN A LITTLE OUTSIDE YOUR DOMAIN, FEDERAL DEAL, BUT OBVIOUSLY PRETTY SIGNIFICANT CONCERN OUT THERE. OUR JOBLESS RATE WENT DOWN TWO CLICKS IN THE LAST REPORT.

THAT'S RIGHT.

WHAT DO YOU --

WHAT I THINK THE VIEWER IS CONCERNED ABOUT THERE SI SEGMENT LONG-TERM EMPLOYED AND THEY'RE HAVING A TOUGHER JOB AND IF YOU HAVE BEEN OUT OF JOB THAT LONG EMPLOYERS ARE LESS LIKELY TO HIRE YOU COMPARED TO SOMEONE OUT OF JOB FOR A MONTH OR SCHOOL. FOR WHATEVER REASON EMPLOYERS LOOK AT THAT AND IT CREATES AN OBSTACLES FOR THE LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYED AND I AM SURE THAT'S WHAT THEY'RE WORRIED ABOUT AND THAT'S A PROBLEM THAT CAN ONLY BE RECTIFIED BY US GETTING MORE JOBS AND REQUIRE MORE SKILL LEVEL IN TODAY'S WORLD, SO WHAT WE DID IN THIS LAST SESSION AND JAY ENGLISH DESERVES CREDIT FOR THIS BUT A LOT OF PEOPLE DESERVE CREDIT. TYING THE ACTUAL NEEDS OF THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY IN A SPECIFIC AREA AND THE JOB AVAILABILITY AND OPPORTUNITIES IN A SPECIFIC AREA TO THE TECHNICAL PROGRAMS AND THE CURRICULUMS, PARTICULARLY IN OUR TECHNICAL INSTITUTES AND OUR TWO YEAR COLLEGES SO THERE IS INCREASED FOCUS TO TRY TO TIE THE JOB TRAINING AND THE EDUCATION LEVELS, PARTICULARLY IN THE TWO YEAR SCHOOLS, TO THE PARTICULAR NEEDS OF BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY IN A GIVEN AREA SO THEY CAN CHANGE THE CURRICULUM, MOVE IT UP AND DOWN, AND GET IT TO ALIGN WITH THE JOB OPPORTUNITIES THAT EXIST SO YOU HAVE A TRAINED WORK FORCE.

DO YOU -- FROM SEBASTIAN COUNTY. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT WE ARE -- THE SUM OF TOTAL TAXATION -- IS ARKANSAS TOO HIGH PER CAPITA? ARE WE TAXED TOO MUCH ALREADY?

DEPENDS WHO YOU TALK TO. NONE OF US LIKE TO PAY TAXES. WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE TAX RATE WHICH I SEEN RECENTLY WE'RE AT 30 SOMETHING HIGHEST SO THERE ARE A LOT OF FOLKS AHEAD OF US BUT AGAIN WHAT DO YOU WANT IN TERMS OF SERVICES? THE VIEWERS NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT WE'VE CUT MORE TAXES IN MY ADMINISTRATION THAN ANYBODY IN THE HISTORY OF ALL THIS STUFF -- EXCUSE ME, I'VE GOT A FROG IN MY THROAT AND I WILL GET SOME WATER.

MR. RUBIO. I SHOULDN'T HAVE DONE THAT. I APOLOGIZE.

WE HAVE CUT THE TAXES ON GROCERIES AND IT'S DOWN TO ONE AND A HALF AND THE REST IS GOING AWAY IN YEAR 18. WE HAVE CUT MANUFACTURING TAXES, UTILITY FOR JOBS, TO BE MORE COMPETITIVE SO WE HAVE ACTUALLY CUT I THINK THE CUMULATIVE FIGURE IS SOMETHING LIKE 1.3 BILLION DOLLARS SINCE I HAVE BEEN GOVERNOR BUT YOU HAVE TO THAT IN A WAY TO MAINTAIN YOUR SERVICES. WE DON'T WANT BAD GUYS RUNNING AROUND THE STREETS AND WE HAVE A PRISON PROBLEM NOW WHERE THE JAILS ARE BACKED UP. WE DON'T WANT OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM TO BE SECOND CLASS AND WE'RE FIFTH IN THE COUNTRY IN K-12 AND WE DON'T NEED TO GO BACKWARDS ON THAT. WE DON'T NEED THE TUITION TOO HIGH THAT PARENTS CAN'T SEND THE KIDS TO COLLEGE AND WE DON'T NEED DISEASES RUNNING RAMID IN THE HOSPITALS AND THAT'S WHERE THE MONEY GOES AND I MEAN THE STATE TROOPERS AND ALL THESE THINGS. THAT'S WHERE THE TAXES GO SO WHEN YOU ARE CUTTING TAXES YOU HAVE TO BE CAREFUL IN A WAY THAT DOESN'T ADVERSELY IMPACT THOSE ESSENTIAL SERVICES.

FROM SEBESTIAN COUNTY -- I BELIEVE IT WAS. DO YOU BELIEVE AN AGENCY IS DOING ENOUGH ONCE THE INMATE LEAVES THE SYSTEM IS THE FOLLOW THROUGH ADEQUATE -- NOT JUST IN TERMS OF SUPERVISION FOR VIOLENT OFFENDERS BUT IN TERMS OF SECURING EMPLOYMENT AND TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THIS?

HUGE PROBLEM. THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION CAN'T FOLLOW THEM UP TO MAKING SURE THEY HAVE EMPLOYMENT. THAT TAKES ALL OF US AND CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS. WHAT THE PRISON SYSTEM CAN DO IS PROVIDE SKILLS SO THEY'RE EMPLOYABLE WHEN THEY GET OUT AND CERTAINLY IT'S THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE SURE THAT PEOPLE COMPLY IF THEY'RE OUT ON PAROLE BY SHOWING UP, NOT GETTING IN TROUBLE, DRUG TESTING AND ALL OF THOSE THINGS BUT TO MAKE SURE TO INSURE THEY GET THE RIGHT TYPE OF JOB IT TAKES THE REST OF US TO DO THAT. THE PRISON HAS A JOB KEEPING THE FOLKS LOCKED UP, 15,000 FOLKS LOCKED UP AND WE'RE BACKED UP IN THE COUNTY JAILS AND DOING A BETTER JOB ON SUPERVISION.

SINCE WE OCCASIONALLY RECORD SURPLUSES AND ALBEIT MONTHLY WHY NOT A REBATE?

WHY NOT A REBATE?

SURE.

AGAIN IT'S A FUNCTION OF BALANCING YOUR BUDGET. WE NEVER -- WE WERE ONE OF FOUR STATES THAT NEVER GOT IN TROUBLE, SO I MEAN DO YOU WANT A BALANCED BUDGET? DO YOU WANT TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE CONSERVATIVE BUDGETING? DO YOU WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT THE SCHOOLS AND THE PRISONS AND THE REST OF THE SERVICES GET PAID FOR? I MEAN THAT'S THE ISSUE.

CRAIGHEAD VIEWER NOTES THERE HAS BEEN DISCUSSION ABOUT A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT WHICH WOULD BE REQUIRED TO ABOLISH THE OFFICE OF LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR.

YEAH.

SHOULD THAT BE DONE?

THERE ARE A LOT OF THE OFFICES THAT COULD BE DONE MINISTERIALLY AND ANY THE VOTERS WANT THE ACCESS AND THOSE ARE THE BOSSES AND WE'RE ACCOUNTABLE TO THE PEOPLE AND PEOPLE LIKE THAT INSTEAD OF A AGENCY HEAD OR THE GOVERNOR FOR THAT MATTER. COULD WE DO IT MORE EFFICIENTLY OR DO IT THAT WAY? SURE, SURE. BUT THAT IS A CONSTITUTIONAL QUESTION. THE VOTERS WOULD HAVE TO DECIDE THEY NO LONGER WANT TO ELECT THOSE OFFICERS AND HAVE THEM -- FOR EXAMPLE LIKE UNDER DFNA OR UNDER THE GOVERNOR.

BUT IS IT A USEFUL OFFICE? IT'S OFTEN [INAUDIBLE] LIKE THAT.

THERE IS ONLY ONE FUNCTION FOR A LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR AND THAT'S STAY ALIVE AND TAKE OVER IF THE GOVERNOR DIES. THE OLD FUNCTION OF ASSUMING THE DUTIES OF THE GOVERNOR WHEN THE GOVERNOR IS OUT OF STATE THAT SOUGHT DATED. THAT WAS WRITTEN BACK IN THE DAYS YOU WERE RIDING ON HORSEBACK AND TOOK FOREVER TO GET ACROSS THE RIVERS AND COULDN'T GET IN TOUCH WITH SOMEONE AND HAD SOMEONE IN TOUCH. IN TODAY'S WORLD YOU'RE ALWAYS IN TOUCH SO THAT PART OF IT IS ANTIQUATED. PRESIDING OVER THE SENATE IS MAINLY CEREMONIAL SO THE MAIN REASON TO ELECT A LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR YOU WANT TO ELECT SOMEONE YOU HAVE CONFIDENCE IN THAT GOD FORBID SOMETHING HAPPENED TO THE GOVERNOR THEY COULD DO THAT JOB WELL AND REPRESENT THE PEOPLE WELL AND THAT'STHE MAIN REASON.

AND WITH THAT WE'RE OUT OF TIME GOVERNOR AND THANK YOU FOR WATCHING AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR QUESTIONS AND WE WILL SEE YOU NEXT TIME.