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Arkansas Week

Watch Friday nights at 7:30 p.m. on AETN (Repeats Sundays at 11:00 a.m.)

"Arkansas Week" highlights a dedicated, distinguished group of Arkansas journalists and political scientists who discuss issues in the news.

"Arkansas Week" is hosted by Steve Barnes. Barnes has been on the air in the Natural State since 1968 when he started as a copy boy on weekends at KTHV-TV Channel 11 in Little Rock. His adept hand at leading journalists and others in a discussion of current events complements his encyclopedic knowledge of the state, its players and its past. Barnes has not only become one of the most recognizable and respected people within Arkansas, but has connected with a national audience through work published in the New York Times, fed to the Reuters news service and shown on networks ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and PBS. He has been a recipient of the University of Arkansas’ journalist of the year award, as well as receiving first prize for television documentary awarded by the Society of Professional Journalists.

AETN welcomes viewers to submit suggestions for discussion topics through e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter.

Portrait Photo of Steve Barnes

Most Recent

  • Arkansas Week August 29, 2014
    (2014) The campaigns, Senate and the Statehouse. We'll have an update. (P.O.) There's some good news on the affordable care front, but is it sustainable? (PSE/ASE) There's another insurance problem in Arkansas and no news is not good news. (Broke-rages) And turmoil for some Delta farmers, could it be that government isn't big enough?
  • Arkansas Week August 22, 2014
    (GOPower?) A who's who of the Republican establishment parachutes in for the ticket. (Demo-graphics) Can the party under siege count on its one-solid constituencies? (Issues) Can items that may or may not be on the ballot shape the outcome? (3 Million) And how would you like to be the one to run a state lottery?
  • Arkansas Week August 15, 2014
    (Motivation) Labor Day's just around the corner and the campaigns are trying to round it. (Litigation) Two big cases to follow, both with real money at stake and real implications for public policy. (C6) Reducing it, sure; but not everyone is sure how to do it and how fast. (H20) And could a proposed publid-private partnership save a trillion gallons?
  • Arkansas Week August 8, 2014
    (12.4 percent) Some health insurance numbers to crow about, and there was some crowing. (GOP) What does it mean for some Republicans in the legislature and on the stump? (AR-GOV) In the race for the statehouse we'll update the rhetoric and perhaps the reality... and have a tea-leaf look at the economy the winner will inherit.
  • Arkansas Week August 1, 2014
    (Health) In a new fiscal year and with a new school year at hand, new rates for insurance. (Dow-n) Amid the good economic news, some new and old probleams conspire. (AR) In the race to reach the state Capitol, is anyone really ahead? (DC) And in the race to leave the nation's capitol, was anything actually accomplished?
  • Arkansas Week July 25, 2014
    (The Cost) Two courts throw a key component of health reform in question, and in Arkansas, we weigh the cost. (The Toll) Is it time to start charging drivers on I-40? And what’s the future of highway funding in the state? (The Proposal) One ballot proposal gets more time, but another draws more opposition. (The Campaign) Courting constituents on the farm as November looms.
  • Arkansas Week July 18, 2014
    (Votes) We're watching the Arkansas Senate race, but our eyes are all on Washington. (Dollars) Does Money spell Winner? (Debates) More debates but do they matter? (Revenues) Wither the lottery.
  • Arkansas Week July 11, 2014
    (Minimum Wage) Petition signatures are now being verified by the state. Will there be enough to get on the ballet? (Pryor) The incumbent senator removes footage from a campaign ad after being accused of politicizing a tragedy. (Cotton) His Republican opponent meanwhile is facing criticizism privately from those within his own party. (Session) And moving forward with the issues that brought lawmakers together last week.
  • Arkansas Week June 27, 2014
    (Session) Teacher health insurance and criminal justice - three days and cut? (E-games) In or out this time, another issue not likely to die. (IT-ussle) Another conflict, another special session? (Tea-d off) And the mood in Dixie, the Tea Party wins one but loses another.
  • Arkansas Week June 20, 2014
    (A fix?) The cost of health insurance, teachers and administrators getting antsy. (P.O.) The Arkansas adaptation, should the enrolled get ready to pay? (HRC) Twice a former first lady, thrice an author, does the latest book mean twice the candidate? (John Miller) And an appreciation of a legendary Arkansas Legislator.
  • Arkansas Week June 13, 2014
    (Runoffs)  The second primary and the victor, spotlight GOP.  (P.O.) One race in particular what will it mean for the private option and the January session.  (Schism) Will Arkansas republicans follow the regional trend?  (Premiums)  With time running short is there a way out on teacher health coverage?
  • Arkansas Week June 6, 2014
    (Tuesday) The runoff is days away, we'll have a rundown of the races. (Senate) For Democrats the long march to November isn't getting shorter. (Grass roots) Yet another attempt at medical marijuana, has anything changed? (Session?) And teacher insurance, is a solution at hand, and for how long?
  • Arkansas Week May 30, 2014
    (P.O.) Enrollment touches 170,000, how much higher? (V.A.) A health care story of a different kind, with its own political dynamic. (11/14) In the two big statewide races, on to November. (M&A) And in business, two Arkansas giants get gianter.
  • Arkansas Week May 23, 2014
    (Re-cap) The primary shakeout, and a handful of runoffs, we'll run through them. (P.O.) The private option, a first read of the January tea leaves. (Stayed) Gay marriage, what to expect after the expected stay? (Growth) And the business of Arkansas, how much bigger?
  • Arkansas Week May 16, 2014
    (Same-sex) Gay and lesbian marriage in Arkansas, it's the Supreme Court's case. (Fallout) It's a case filled with political implications, for candidates in all three branches. (Senate) An issue in another race suddenly isn't, at least to the nominees... (Judges) ...and the same court that's hearing the same-sex case ends the suspense in another.
  • Arkansas Week May 9, 2014
    (2014) Arkansas is voting, the first ballots of the primaries. (UA) Lobbying for higher ed, a bi-partisan approach. (Obama) The President in Arkansas, unavoidably political? (M and A) But first, banking in Arkansas, is it swallow or be swallowed?
  • Arkansas Week May 2, 2014
    (SCOARK) Three new justices for a seven-member court and a warm potato. (i.d.) With early voting about to begin and the primaries at hand, we'll have the latest, maybe. (Reed) A resignation, a leave of absence, and more questions. (Twisters) But first, the storms did their frightful work, did the response mechanism do its job?
  • Arkansas Week April 25, 2014
    (i.d.) Show your card before voting? Maybe not, but it's not over. (P.O.) The Arkansas approach, are the numbers behind the numbers cause for concern? (Senate '14) Arkansas's marquee contest, has the incumbent found his footing? (A.C.A.) And could Obamacare, somehow, some way, have a role in it?
  • Arkansas Week April 18, 2014
    (Senate '14) The challenger demands satisfaction, not one duel but several. (1Q Dollars) The political money, in the Senate race and the others. (Overdues) Will, or when will, the judicial question reach the Justices, and which Justices? (Blind?) But first, how apolitical can justice in Arkansas be?
  • Arkansas Week April 11, 2014
    (Arrears) The Arkansas judiciary and just dues, are they just dues? (Maggio) An ever murkier situation in the case of one judge, a judge with no cases. (2014) And with the prospect of another red tide, how much difference can lunchbucket issues make for state Democrats?
  • Arkansas Week April 4, 2014
    (Ballot?) The judges of Arkansas, will some of them get their just dues? (Baker) Judging it was time to go, a university lobbyist PACs it in. (Dollars) Five of nine judges open the campaign finance door yet wider. (DFandA) While the new numbers make the state's picture a bit brighter.
  • Arkansas Week March 28, 2014
    (Maggio) The political blurs the judicial, so much so the state Supreme Court benches a judge. (Rapert0Tyler) Senatorial prerogrative: does it signal a trened in legislative politics? (Snags?) There's potiential trouble on two rivers, where they meet and below. (Slick) And a year after Mayflower discovered Pegasus - what now?
  • Arkansas Week March 21, 2014
    (Sine Die) Barring any emergencies that's it for this year, though not the fiscal year. (Fracked) Regarding the fiscal, a veto and an easy override. (Strikedown) That abortion law from the previous session? The toughest part falls. (D.C.) And a call to Congress for action from Arkansas's public and private sector.
  • Arkansas Week March 14, 2014
    (Recess) All that's left to do is sine die, and of course manage. (2015) A new team arrives next year with new leadership. However, to confront what? (Salaries) Perhaps teacher pay, in the long shadow of Lake View. (Scandal) And with the primaries upon us and November around the corner, public officials behaving badly.
  • Arkansas Week March 7, 2014
    (76) It took five tries but the Private Option survived with one vote to spare. ('15) Next year, though, will its supporters have the votes they need? (122M) In the meantime, how much to spend and how much for the cookie jar? ('14) And this year's ticket, suggesting what for next year's politics?
  • Arkansas Week February 28, 2014
    (PO-ED) With tempers beginning to show, the speaker puts the private option on hold. (TEA-ED OFF) How much of a stand-off is political and how much is personal.  (Session?) What's happens if the latest reported compromise falls through? ('14-'15) And what does the showdown suggest for this years elections, and next year's legislature?
  • Arkansas Week February 21, 2014
    (P.O.) On the north side, a first vote, then another, then another… (28) On the south end, one vote, with one vote to spare. (Taxes) Should they call the roll now and do the math later? ($8.50) And a candidate is one thing, but a major employer?
  • Arkansas Week February 14, 2014
    (Option) That's it, says the Speader. Next week, the vote. (Outlook) Will the Senate go along? …and if it does, have opponents still carried the day? (Debt) In that other Capitol, the politics of pensions and the deficit… (Judges) …and the politics of the non-political branch.
  • Arkansas Week February 7, 2014
    (2/10) It's just around the corner now, so what's around the corner? (Staff) What's to do for four employees of an empty office? (Rates) A tax program from one presumptive nominee, scorned by the other… (Receipts) …and how much room will there be for either approach?
  • Arkansas Week January 31, 2014
    (Health) Clean shaven or fuzzy, the private option and the push to preserve it. (Numbers) With days remaining before the session, what are it's demos? (Jobs, GDP) The nation's econometrics and Arkansas's... (Farm) ...including the ag sector, and the legislative breakthrough.
  • Arkansas Week January 24, 2014
    (Option(s)) If the Arkansas versions is in trouble, how much trouble? (UA/F) If the trustees see an end what kind of end? (Ballot) The amendment quandary, a way out? (Farm) And four-dollar milk, a way around it?
  • Arkansas Week January 17, 2013
    (Pulco) Twenty-five years and a billion dollars, now what? (Darr) A defiant lame duck, a soon-to-be-vacant office, now what? (Senate) 57/43 means 21/15, which means what? (Option) And even if enrollment is up, what's up?
  • Arkansas Week January 10, 2014
    (Darr) A dilemma for his own party, a delight for the Democrats. (UA/F) The hearing… did anyone hear anything? (Economy) The outlook for 2014 in dollars and cents… (Politics) …and the outlook in dollars and maybe sense.