It was a good week for ...
JOBS IN ARKANSAS. LM Wind Power said it would expand its Little Rock workforce to about 400, recovering most of the jobs lost in a slowdown last year. Meanwhile, Redman and Associates, which makes battery-powered ride-on toys, announced that it will spend $6.5 million to open a new manufacturing and distribution facility in Rogers to provide toys exclusively for Walmart, headquartered in nearby Bentonville. It will employ 74 people.
THE PRIVATE OPTION. The Arkansas Department of Human Services sent out letters, based on verified income information on clients of other DHS services, to 132,000 households whose adults qualify for health insurance under the so-called "private option" for Medicaid. Some 55,400 adults mailed a letter back to DHS stating that they wanted to enroll. That's an astonishing response rate. Five percent is considered a strong response rate in direct-mail campaigns.
It was a bad week for ...
ARKANSAS. Thousands of workers whose salaries depend, in part or in whole, on federal funding were furloughed in the wake of the House Republican-prompted government shutdown.
U.S. REP. TIM GRIFFIN. Immediately after Capitol police shot a woman who tried to force her way through a White House security fence, Griffin posted on his Twitter account "Stop the violent rhetoric President Obama, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. #Disgusting." He soon deleted the tweet, but stood by the sentiment.
U.S. REP. TOM COTTON. His latest political commercial echoes a lie he's been spreading for some time, that there is a special benefit to Congress and congressional staff under Obamacare. Congress is covered under employer-backed group health insurance. Like anyone else who already has affordable insurance through a job, Cotton, Sen. Mark Pryor and their staffs will keep theirs.
NORTHWOODS SUBDIVISION. ExxonMobil demolished two homes it had purchased from residents of the Mayflower neighborhood where Exxon's Pegasus pipeline ruptured on March 29. Exxon said demolition was the only way to ensure all spilled oil around the houses was cleaned up.