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ARKANSAS

Arkansas

State Recovery Act Website: http://recovery.arkansas.gov/

Arkansas's state Recovery Act website scored 60 out of 100 possible points (ranking 17th) on Good Jobs First's updated 51-state study of state stimulus websites entitled Show Us the Stimulus (Again). The state earned a higher than average score by displaying individual county allocation totals overall and by program, and using an interactive map to provide limited details on individual contracts and grants.

For detailed scoring information, see the Arkansas appendix of Show Us the Stimulus (Again).

Coordination & Oversight

Gov. Mike Beebe set up a Recovery Cabinet consisting of representatives from state agencies most involved in Recovery Act programs.

 

Policy Debates

In March Beebe first complained that he had received mixed messages on whether the state would have to keep paying for extended unemployment benefits after exhausting money provided as part of the stimulus bill. The General Assembly approved legislation to change state unemployment insurance policy to conform with the requirements in the Recovery Act after Beebe said he had received confirmation that the state could discontinue the UI expansion after the federal money ran out. The National Employment Law Project (NELP) reports that as a result of the ARRA's incentive funds, Arkansas has modernized its unemployment insurance policy by enacting legislation which adopts the "alternative base period," authorizes part-time workers to collect benefits, and extends benefits to workers who are forced to leave their jobs for compelling family reasons.

In May Gov. Beebe asked state agencies to "make every effort" to make purchases of goods and materials for stimulus-related projects from Arkansas companies.

With the help of stimulus money, funding for Arkansas's K-12 schools increased by $64 per student from the 2008/2009 school year. State spending cuts for higher education were also reversed with stimulus funds.

Last updated on: 27 January, 2010

Quick Facts

Population:
2,855,390

Median Household Income:
$38,134

Unemployment Rate:
7.1%

Poverty Rate:
17.9%

Estimated Recovery Act Funding:
$2.2 billion

Resources

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families:

WELFARE REFORM REDUX: ARRA’s Potential to Help Arkansas Families in Financial Crisis, July 2009; online here.

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE AND ARRA: An Overdue Win for Arkansas Families, June 2009; online here.

ARRA and Arkansas: Recommendations for Improving the Health of Children and Families, May 2009; online here.

ARRA Funding for Education in Arkansas: A Jump Start for Moving From Adequacy to Excellence, May 2009; online here.

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: What's In It for Arkansas Children and Families, April 2009; online here.

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