Rutledge Holds 1st Rutledge Roundtable in JonesboroTue, Apr 21, 2015
JONESBORO – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the following statement today after holding the first of what will be a regular series of Rutledge Roundtables. Last Friday, April 17, Rutledge met with more than 15 community and business leaders in Jonesboro to discuss issues critical to the region and the State.
“I am excited to launch the Rutledge Roundtables. As I travel the State and hold meetings at the Attorney General’s Office in Little Rock, I want to create a robust dialogue with members of the community. These discussions will allow me to detail the services my office provides, as well as offer them an opportunity to share their concerns with me.”
The first Rutledge Roundtable was held at the Front Page Café in Jonesboro.
To participate in future Roundtables, contact the Attorney General’s Office at (501) 682-3651 or Cindy.Murphy@arkansasag.gov.
Rutledge Announces Child Safety Poster Contest WinnersThu, Apr 16, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the winners of the 2015 Child Safety Poster Contest, which is sponsored annually by the Attorney General’s Office. This year’s poster theme was Bring Our Missing Children Home. Rutledge released the following statement:
“I want to congratulate this year’s winners of the Child Safety Poster Contest. There were a record number of participants with 1,171 entries. Students from across the State submitted posters with the winners coming from North Little Rock, Pine Bluff, Cabot, Mena, West Memphis, Little Rock and my own elementary school, Southside in Independence County. These students did an excellent job highlighting this year’s theme, and I am extremely impressed by the talent of our young Arkansans.”
Attorney General Rutledge also extended her appreciation to the three contest judges, Melinda Faubel with AT&T, Cynthia Hass with the Arkansas Arts Council and Paul Leopoulos with the Thea Foundation. AT&T also helped sponsor the contest, BK Moulding donated supplies to mat each poster and the Thea Foundation is hosting this evening’s reception, where the winning entries will be on display.
This evening’s reception at the Thea Foundation, located at 401 Main St. in North Little Rock, is open to the public and media. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
- Carter Brown, Stagecoach Elementary School (Cabot), 1st Place
- Rhamiya Smith, Faulk Elementary School (West Memphis), 2nd Place
- Arabella Johnston, Lakewood Elementary School (North Little Rock), 3rd Place
- Tevarious Jones, Faulk Elementary School (West Memphis), 1st Place
- Sasha Walker, Edgewood Elementary School (Pine Bluff), 2nd Place
- Jacob Acosta, Eastside Elementary School (Cabot), 3rd Place
- Fatima Adame, Faulk Elementary School (West Memphis), 1st Place
- Rylee Lemley, Southside Elementary School (Independence County), 2nd Place
- Elizabeth Hardcastle, Southside Elementary School (Independence County), 3rd Place
- Vincent DeLuca, Carver Elementary School (Little Rock), 1st Place
- Kiylee Hughes, Holly Harshman Elementary School (Mena), 2nd Place
- Lina Mesa, Stagecoach Elementary School (Cabot), 3rd Place
- Mason Smith, Magness Creek Elementary School (Cabot), 1st Place
- Matiyah Rowland, Carver Elementary School (Little Rock), 2nd Place
- Jadyn Cook, Lakewood Elementary School (North Little Rock), 3rd Place
- Sarah Grenier, Holly Harshman Elementary School (Mena), 1st Place
- Amanda Booth, Holly Harshman Elementary School (Mena), 2nd Place
- Isabella Balkenhol, Holly Harshman Elementary School (Mena), 3rd Place
The winning fifth grade poster, submitted by Sarah Grenier, will be entered into the National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest, hosted by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
Information about the 2016 contest will be announced later this year.
Rutledge: Court Hears Arguments Challenging the EPA’s Proposed 111(d) RuleThu, Apr 16, 2015
Occurs same day that the EPA is holding a public hearing in Arkansas to discuss the federal implementation plan for regional haze
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia heard oral arguments in the federal lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed 111(d) rule that seeks to reduce carbon emissions from electric generating units. At the request of Attorney General Rutledge, Arkansas was granted intervention in this case on March 9. These arguments occurred on the same day that the EPA held a public hearing in Arkansas on the federal implementation plan for regional haze. Rutledge released the following statement:
“Today, the D.C. Circuit has heard that this proposed rule goes beyond the EPA’s authority, granted by Congress in the Clean Air Act, and seeks to impose a national energy policy that will harm the U.S. economy. Requiring states to reduce carbon emission by 30 percent in 15 years would simply put many out of business, leaving Arkansas unable to maintain steady job growth.
“Also today, the EPA is holding a hearing in Arkansas to receive public comments on a federal plan to address regional haze. This plan, along with the 111(d) rule, could force large numbers of power plants across the U.S. to close, including ones in Arkansas. I hope the EPA will listen to the concerns of the public at this hearing. In the Natural State, we value clean air and clean water, but this type of federal overreach will lead to reduced economic growth – something the people of Arkansas cannot afford.”
Rutledge sought the motion to intervene on Feb. 13 to join the lawsuit with attorneys general from West Virginia, Alabama, Alaska, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wyoming and Kentucky. Wisconsin was granted intervention after Arkansas.
As indicated in the motion, Arkansas is required to meet the sixth most stringent obligation of all the states under the proposed 111(d) rule, yet Arkansas ranks 46th in per capita income. The EPA proposes emissions rate reductions of 41 percent and 44 percent as interim and final requirements. The drastic reductions required under the proposed rule will negatively impact existing industry, future economic development and electric ratepayers in Arkansas.
Rutledge testified about this proposed EPA rule, as well as other EPA policies at the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight Subcommittee on the Interior in February. Click here for a copy of Rutledge’s opening statement, or a video can be found here.
Rutledge to Hold First Statewide Tele-Town Hall on Arkansas FOIAMon, Apr 13, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that she will hold a statewide tele-town hall meeting to educate the public about the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Rutledge released the following statement:
“Arkansas has a strong FOIA that is regarded across the country as one of the best at holding government accountable and helping citizens stay informed. As the people’s lawyer, I am committed to protecting the democratic ideal of an open and transparent government and helping educate Arkansans about the FOIA. I am excited to use technology in an innovative way to help bring Arkansans closer to their government.”
The statewide tele-town hall will be held at 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 23. For those interested in participating, please sign up by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, telephone number and city.
The tele-town hall will be the first in a series of informational meetings, both traditional as well as webcast, to inform Arkansans about the FOIA.
All that is needed to participate is a telephone. Participants will be given an opportunity to ask Attorney General Rutledge questions related to the FOIA. Those who have signed up in advance will receive an automated phone call just before the tele-town hall begins and will receive instructions on how to participate.
Print copies of the 16th edition of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Handbook are available upon request from the Attorney General’s Office, and an electronic copy of the handbook is available on the Attorney General’s website by visiting arkansasag.gov/media-center/foia.
Rutledge Seeks to Raise Greater Awareness of Sexual Assault and Domestic ViolenceFri, Apr 10, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued the following statement after addressing the Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence membership meeting:
“April is Sexual Assault Awareness month, and I am committed to doing everything I can to raise awareness about this issue across our State. According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, one in four women and one in seven men have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner. In 2014, there were nine confirmed homicides in Arkansas that were a result of domestic violence. Domestic violence is brutal and inexcusable. I encourage any Arkansan in an abusive relationship, male or female, adult or teenager, to reach out for help. The Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence is a great organization, and as long as I am in this office they will have a partner in the Attorney General to reduce and prevent domestic violence and sexual assault.”
To reach the Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence, call 1-800-269-4668 or visit domesticpeace.com.
Rutledge Distributes Funds from S&P Settlement to Help Arkansans and Provide for Public Safety NeedsFri, Apr 10, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced today that the $21.5 million from the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) settlement will be distributed in accordance with Act 763 of 2013.
This follows her Feb. 3 announcement of the multistate settlement agreement, which stemmed from allegations that S&P misled investors when it rated structured finance securities leading up to the 2008 financial crisis.
“Arkansas received $21.5 million in a multistate settlement that demonstrated no company no matter its size can circumvent the law and take advantage of Arkansans,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “After weeks of deliberations and discussions with Governor Hutchinson, President Pro Tempore Dismang, Speaker Gillam and various stakeholders, I will distribute this settlement to help Arkansans receive workforce training to help the State better compete for good-paying jobs, as well as for public safety and law enforcement needs.”
“I greatly appreciate General Rutledge's plan to direct these settlement dollars toward urgent statewide needs, including the Crime Victims Reparation program, which has faced a funding shortfall in recent years,” said Gov. Asa Hutchinson. “From the beginning, she expressed to me and legislative leaders her desire to use these funds to support important needs of our state. I am grateful for the Attorney General’s cooperation and leadership through this process.”
“Arkansas youth, adults and persons with disabilities have a strong advocate in Attorney General Rutledge,” said Dr. Charisse Childers, director of the Arkansas Department of Career Education. “The department is grateful for these additional resources which will be used to grow our career and technical education and workforce development programs across the State. To grow Arkansas’s economy, we must ensure that workers have the skills to succeed and these funds will help achieve that goal.”
“This is an exciting time at the University of Arkansas System Criminal Justice Institute,” said Dr. Cheryl May, director of CJI. “I greatly appreciate the commitment of Attorney General Rutledge to help CJI build on the long-standing promise to make our schools safer by supporting law enforcement and educational professionals with training and resources. CJI looks forward to continuing this important partnership, which will build on the successes of the efforts of the Attorney General’s Office and the CJI Safe Schools Initiative. Together, we are going to create safer environments for our children to learn.”
“I want to thank Attorney General Rutledge for recognizing the important needs of Arkansas firefighters,” said Greg Gray, legislative chairman of Arkansas State Firefighters Association. “Volunteer fire departments are a critical part of ensuring that our local communities and neighborhoods remain safe and prosperous, and this investment will go a long way in helping provide much needed training and equipment.”
Pursuant to the settlement agreement, $21.5 million was directed to the Attorney General’s Consumer Education and Enforcement Fund. At the direction of Attorney General Rutledge, $20.5 million will be distributed to the State Treasury. Another $1 million will be retained in the Consumer Education and Enforcement Fund, an allocation permitted by Arkansas law.
The Attorney General will distribute $2.5 million to the Crime Victims Reparation Fund, with an emphasis on assisting victims of sexual assault; $2 million to the Department of Career Education to be used for education and training grants; $600,000 to the University of Arkansas Criminal Justice Institute to benefit the Safe Schools Initiative and Missing Persons Program; $500,000 to the Department of Health for the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program; and $500,000 to the Department of Rural Services to provide for the needs and training of local volunteer fire departments. The remaining $14.4 million will be distributed to the State Treasury and will be allocated for public safety and law enforcement programs, including resources to offset the overcrowding facing our local jails.
In early 2013, Arkansas joined the U.S. Department of Justice, the District of Columbia and 18 states in suit against S&P. The federal and state complaints against S&P alleged that despite S&P's repeated statements emphasizing its independence, S&P misled investors when it rated structured finance securities leading up to the 2008 financial crisis. S&P allowed its analysis to be influenced by its desire to earn lucrative fees from investment bank clients. While at the same time, investors and other market participants, including state regulators, relied on S&P's promises of independence and objectivity. The complaints alleged that the agency knowingly assigned inflated credit ratings to toxic assets packaged and sold by the Wall Street investment banks. The misconduct began as early as 2001 and became particularly severe between 2004 and 2007.