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Rep. Ratcliffe honors Texas Middle School principal for statewide recognition and tours technology classrooms

Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) visited Texas Middle School this week to honor Principal Tim Lambert for being selected as Middle School Principal of the Year by the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (TASSP) and as the Texas representative for the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) Principal of the Year Award. “As the son of two school teachers, I have a special place in my heart for those who dedicate their careers to education,” Ratcliffe said. “I have no doubt that Principal Lambert’s work at Texas Middle School will have an enormous positive impact on the future leaders of Texarkana and Northeast Texas.” 

Ratcliffe presented Lambert with a flag over the U.S. Capitol to commend him for achieving statewide recognition for his success as Texas Middle School’s Principal. Following the flag presentation, Ratcliffe met with members of the student council and visited a gaming programming and design class in the school’s Apple lab. He then toured the school’s synergistic technology lab, which provides hands-on and real-world learning opportunities for careers in science and technology. Continue Reading →

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Womack Statement on Arkansas Poultry Farmers Regaining Access to China

Arkansas Flag

Washington, DC—November 14, 2019….Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3), Co-Chair of the Congressional Chicken Caucus, released the following statement on China’s decision to lift its ban on poultry imports from the United States:

“Today’s announcement is welcome news for Arkansas and farmers across the United States. Our hardworking poultry producers help feed and fuel the world, and strong market access is critical to supporting jobs and economic growth. I look forward to seeing our farmers and local businesses take advantage of renewed export opportunities. We must also continue standing up for U.S. workers and Arkansas’s agriculture economy by passing the USMCA and securing modernized trade deals across all sectors.” 

Arkansas ranks second in the nation in chicken production and third in the nation in turkey production, with the Third District being the fifth-highest producing poultry district in the United States. Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3) has represented Arkansas’s Third Congressional District since 2011. Continue Reading →

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Texas Bans Future Income Tax

Texas Capitol

In the November 5th election 76% of Texas voters approved constitutional amendment Proposition 4 to prohibit the state from imposing any income tax.  Proposition 4 started in the Texas legislature as HJR 38, to refer to the voters the question of a constitutional prohibition on an income tax.  The measure amends the state constitution that requires a two-thirds supermajority in the House and Senate so support from both Democrats and Republicans was needed.  The voting results by Texas politicians and voters show a strong rejection of a state income tax.     

Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared in a victory statement, “This ban on such a disastrous tax (state income tax) will keep our economy prosperous, protect taxpayers, and ensure that Texas remains the best state to live, work, and raise a family.” There are seven states without a personal income tax: Texas, Florida, Alaska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nevada, and Washington.  Tennessee will phase out its state income tax on January 1, 2021. For a fair tax to fund the federal government there is in the House Ways and Means Committee the FAIRtax bill, HR 25, that abolishes personal and corporate income taxes plus gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare, and self-employment taxes.  Federal revenue to fund government programs would be collected by a progressive tax system that includes a national sales tax and a monthly tax refund, called the Prebate, that un-taxes all legal residents up to subsistence level spending—a progressive sales tax.   The FAIRtax also eliminates the threat to the insolvency of Social Security and Medicare and eliminates the need for tariffs to raise import prices to price levels of U.S. goods caused by the existing income/payroll tax system. 

Steve Hayes, President of Americans for FAIR Taxation states, “The Texas message is clear to Texans and those looking to move there that we are not going to destroy our economy and our competitive advantage over other states by putting in an income tax.  The FAIRtax has a similar message, America is going to abolish the income tax to stop destroying our economy and improve our competitive advantage.”    

Learn more at Fairtax.org. Continue Reading →

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Arkansas House Update: 11-8-19

Arkansas is home to over 219,000 Veterans. They live and work in every community throughout our state. Our men and women who served are an extraordinarily selfless group. They worked as a team and looked out for one another. 

We must look out for them. 

In 2017, the General Assembly passed Act 141 which exempts military retirement benefits from state income tax. This year, we continued our effort to improve veteran affairs in our state with various legislation. Continue Reading →

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President Trump In Bossier City on November 14

President Trump will be in Bossier City, LA at the Centurylink Center on November 14. The President is visiting as part of his support campaign for Republican candidates across the state. The public is welcome to attend with tickets. Members of the public and press may obtain tickets online at Trump-Pence. The event will start at 7:00 p.m. People wishing to attend are encouraged to follow all guidelines and arrive early for seating and entrance. Continue Reading →

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11-1-19 Arkansas House Updates

On Monday morning, House members were informed of the passing of one of our fellow representatives. Representative John Walker was elected to the House in 2010 and was serving his 5th term when he passed at the age of 82. He represented District 34 which includes southwest portions of Little Rock. His public service career stretched far beyond the halls of the Capitol. Walker attended Yerger High School in Hope until 1952 and continued his education at Jack Yates High School in Houston, Texas, where he graduated in 1954. Continue Reading →

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Weekly House Arkansas House Report 10-26-19

Childhood obesity is a serious problem across the country. Surveys indicate 1 in 5 children are now obese. Several studies have shown that students will eat more fruits and vegetables when they have easy access to a variety of high quality fresh items. And one way to provide more healthy options is through Farm-to-School programs.

October is National Farm-to-School Month. Farm-to-School programs connect Arkansas’s growers and local food producers to learning environments in the community. The three main farm-to-school practices are local food procurement, nutrition education, and school gardens. Continue Reading →

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Arkansas House Updates 10-20-19

On average, an Arkansan with a bachelor’s degree will earn $700,000 more in a 30 year career than those who drop out of college.  The gap climbs to $1.5 million for those with a doctorate. This information is included in the 2018 Economic Security Report which was presented this week to the Arkansas Legislative Council Higher Education Sub-Committee. The report makes clear that the cost to obtain any certificates or degrees at an Arkansas public postsecondary institution is significantly lower than the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in additional average career earnings.  

Not including living expenses, the estimated cost in Arkansas for an associate’s degree is $10,000. The estimated cost for a bachelor’s degree $30,000. Each level of educational achievement provides a boost in earnings power. Continue Reading →

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Arkansas House Update 10-11-19

A 2017 study titled “Indicators of School Crime and Safety,” published by the United States Department of Justice and the United States Department of Education, reported that 20% of students ages 12-18 reported being bullied at school during the previous school year. The same study also reported that about 33% of students who reported being bullied at school indicated that they were bullied at least once or twice a month during the school year. The persistence of school bullying has led to instances of student suicide across the country, including Arkansas. October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Bullying is when someone hurts or scares another person repeatedly. Continue Reading →

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Lt. Governor Tim Griffin to Speak at Miller County Republican Meeting Tuesday

Lt. Governor Tim Griffin

Texarkana, AR – Arkansas Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin will be the guest speaker at Tuesday night’s Miller County Republican Committee (MCRC) meeting. The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Big Jakes on Arkansas Blvd. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend this meeting. After Lt. Governor Griffin speaks, there will be a ten-minute intermission before the MCRC starts a business meeting. Tim Griffin is a former Congressman for District 2, a Lt. Colonel in the United States Army Reserve, and a graduate of Hendrix College and Tulane Law School. Continue Reading →

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