Audio – Senator Keith Ingram Reporting News From 91st General Assembly
February 28th, 2019 • News

February 28, 2019

  • Every year, the state of Arkansas purchases goods and services from private vendors that are worth hundreds of millions of dollars. In order to prevent waste and abuse, it’s essential that the state’s process of seeking bids and awarding contracts is transparent.
  • The competitive bidding process must truly be competitive in order to maximize the use of your tax dollars.
  • The Human Services Department pays hospitals, physicians and pharmacists for health care for people with disabilities, the elderly and the poor.
  • The Transportation Department pays contractors for asphalt surfaces, concrete embankments and steel bridges.
  • Many state agencies contract with computer firms for information technology, which allows you to apply for all kinds of professional licenses.
  • When universities and colleges expand, they pay architectural and engineering firms to design and build new facilities.
  • In order to improve the efficiency of government purchasing practices, the Senate has approved a package of bills that overhaul the rules by which agencies purchase goods and services from the private sector.
  • The bills are the result of a year-long study of Arkansas procurement laws.
  • The legislature made excellent progress on other high-profile bills. Legislation to generate revenue for a highway program has been approved, and both chambers have passed bills to strengthen ethics laws.
  • We still have to choose up to three proposed constitutional amendments to refer to voters in next year’s election.
  • We still must approve a budget for state government. We’ll work up until the final days of the session on budgets for the larger state programs, such as Medicaid, higher education, public schools and prisons.
  • I’m still pushing for a 5 percent raise for state troopers, and I’m happy to report final passage of my bill to provide tax incentives for companies to invest in opportunity zones.
      Click to Listen - Audio Recording from February 28, 2019