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State Capitol in review

The 2014 election season began last week with the opening of filings at the Capitol and contined through noon Monday for 265 federal, state, district and nonpartisan judicial positions. Each of the state’s 100 House seats and 18 of the 35 Senate seats are on the ballot. The primary election is May 20 and the general election is Nov. 4. I was one of the 136 people who filed at the state capitol on the beginning day, last Monday.

This will be a very active campaign year as the governor’s race and the U.S. Senate race will have national attention. There also will be people, between now and July, trying to get their petitions signed that would put various issues on the ballot in November.

Gov. Mike Beebe signed SB 139 last week which gives him the power not to call a special election to fill the lieutenant governor’s vacant seat. The regular general election is in November.

The legislature is still in its fiscal session. You can go to the state website to see actions taken in both houses. You can go to www.arkleg.state.ar.us and see the schedule of meetings and the agenda, the bills and the votes. Private Option is still one of the biggest issues. The outcome of that bill will determine the budget.

Small groups of representatives met Thursday and Friday throughout the day to hash out what might be negotiated to pass a funding bill for the private option.There are 127,000 Arkansans who have gained health coverage through the Private Option program.

If you would like to contact me, please email me at bruce.holland@senate.ar.gov or call the office at (479) 650-1884 or write me at P.O. Box 2387, Greenwood, AR 72936.

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