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Rutledge Applauds U.S. Supreme Court Decision to Hear Arguments on Arkansas Works

Rutledge Applauds U.S. Supreme Court Decision to Hear Arguments on Arkansas Works

Fri, Dec 4, 2020

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge appreciates the U.S. Supreme Court decision to hear oral arguments on Arkansas’s Medicaid Expansion Community-Engagement Requirement, otherwise known as Arkansas Works.

“I am pleased the U.S. Supreme Court will hear our case on why the requirements under Arkansas Works’ are necessary to build a better future for Arkansans,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansas Works reaffirms Arkansas’s commitment to ensure the Medicaid program is sustainable.”

Arkansas Works is a pilot Medicaid expansion program designed to encourage able-bodied Arkansans without dependents to transition into the workforce and build a stronger, more resilient connection with their communities.

The case is Arkansas v. Gresham, No. 20-38.

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Rutledge Hosts Virtual 9th Annual Never Forgotten Training and Family Sessions

Rutledge Hosts Virtual 9th Annual Never Forgotten Training and Family Sessions

Wed, Dec 2, 2020

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today hosted the 9th Annual Never Forgotten – Arkansas Takes Action event. It was held virtually this year due to COVID-19 health restrictions and over 200 law enforcement officers and families attended online. On Tuesday, there was law enforcement training as well as an evening family session. To accommodate more families, Rutledge will host another family session on Saturday, December 5th.

“It is important that we never forget those who have gone missing and the families that are deeply involved. No one knows the heartbreak and worry these families go through when they have a loved one go missing,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I am honored to host another successful Never Forgotten – Arkansas Takes Action event. This has turned into an important platform to provide law enforcement and families of the missing with necessary training, resources and support.”

Arkansas State Representative Rebecca Petty keynoted both events discussing her personal experience when her daughter, Andi, was kidnapped and murdered by a family member in 1999. This event was established to raise awareness of the challenges associated with missing persons cases for families and law enforcement officials while also recognizing Arkansas’s missing children and adults. Charish Wallace’s brother, Cory Schroeder from Benton, Arkansas, went missing May 21, 2019. Wallace attended the virtual event and said this helped her understand the resources available.

“Coming out of this event, I feel like people do want to help you,” Wallace said. “Families need to reach out, either through Never Forgotten or the Morgan Nick Foundation. This event restored my faith in law enforcement.”

During the law enforcement training, Colleen Nick from the Morgan Nick Foundation and Mike Nance with National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) spoke about resources for families involved in missing persons cases. Major Mark Hollingsworth with Arkansas State Police then spoke about detailed criteria and protocols for Amber, Silver and Endangered Missing Alerts.

In 2018, Rutledge released the first comprehensive resource guide for families of missing which is available to be downloaded or ordered for free at ArkansasAG.gov and NeverForgotten.ar.gov.

For more information about the event or other trainings offered by Attorney General’s Office, please visit ArkansasAG.gov.

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Rutledge Applauds Court’s Decision to Deny Jim Bakker’s Motion to Dismiss

Rutledge Applauds Court’s Decision to Deny Jim Bakker’s Motion to Dismiss

Wed, Dec 2, 2020

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge appreciates the Arkansas Circuit Court’s decision to deny a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Jim Bakker and his production company, Morningside Church Productions, Inc., which conducts business as The Jim Bakker Show. The decision confirms Rutledge’s continued determination to investigate fraud regardless of its form or its guise. In the suit, Rutledge argues Bakker violated the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act by falsely telling Arkansas consumers that colloidal silver products would cure, eliminate, kill or deactivate COVID-19.

“I am pleased with the court’s decision to deny Bakker’s motion to dismiss our lawsuit against him and his production company. We will continue our work in holding people like Mr. Bakker accountable for illegal schemes that directly harm and impact Arkansans,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Mr. Bakker used the power of fear and religion to line his pockets by peddling unsafe and ineffective potions as a cure for COVID-19.”

Approximately 385 Arkansans made purchases from Bakker’s company totaling approximately $60,524 for colloidal silver products between January 1 and March 9, 2020.

In February 2020, The Jim Bakker Show hosted Sherrill Sellman who falsely claimed the colloidal silver products hawked by Jim Bakker were “proven by the government to have the ability to kill every pathogen it has ever been tested on, including SARS and HIV… .” Both Bakker and Sellman have separately received warning letters from the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for selling unapproved drugs to cure or prevent COVID-19. The FDA had previously stated that silver products are not scientifically recognized to be safe and effective.

Rutledge is urging all consumers who have purchased products from Bakker or Sellman to contact the office immediately at (800) 482- 8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov.

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Rutledge Releases Statement on Passing of AGFC Commissioner Joe Morgan

Rutledge Releases Statement on Passing of AGFC Commissioner Joe Morgan

Mon, Nov 23, 2020

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued the following statement in response to the passing of Arkansas Game and Fish Commissioner Joe Morgan.

“Arkansas lost an incredible man, avid sportsman and conservationist, Arkansas Game and Fish Commissioner Joe Morgan,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “He was a loving husband, father, Christian, servant leader and friend to many with a wonderful sense of humor. His smile could light the darkest of rooms. Please join me in praying for his family during this difficult time.”

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Rutledge Joins EPA Administrator Wheeler for Agriculture Grant Announcement

Fri, Nov 20, 2020

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today joined U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler for an announcement of a $3.2 million grant to protect water quality in Arkansas. The $3,224,000 grant will go to the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Commission to support management programs for nonpoint source (NPS) water pollution, which is caused when rainfall carries pollutants into rivers, lakes and other waterbodies.

“I was proud to welcome EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to the Natural State today and stand with him as he announced the crucial $3.2 million grant funding to the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Commission to protect water quality statewide,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Our Arkansas waters are a resource that is vital and must be protected for our farmers and ranchers in order to help keep our State’s economy thriving.”

“Water quality is of the upmost importance to farmers, and so is regulatory consistency,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “The Trump Administration’s recent Navigable Waters Protection Rule has shown that EPA listened to farmers’ complaints about the unworkability of the previous rule, and this new water quality grant funding shows that the federal government is listening to farmers concerns about non-source pollution.”

The funding supports the State of Arkansas’ NPS pollution management program, focusing on watersheds with water quality impairments caused by polluted runoff from nonpoint sources. NPS implementation projects include best management practice installations for animal wastes, sediment, pesticide and fertilizer control; other structural and non-structural practices; watershed planning, monitoring, technology demonstrations; and education and outreach programs.

AG Rutledge joined Administrator Wheeler and others at Dabb’s Farm in Stuttgart and discussed issues of importance including the Trump Administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which is providing regulatory certainty for farmers across the country, the recent registration announcement of Dicamba and the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Federal Advisory Committee.

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Rutledge Goes Virtual for Ninth Annual Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit

Rutledge Goes Virtual for Ninth Annual Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit

Fri, Nov 20, 2020

U.S. Representative Dr. Buddy Carter to keynote Rx Summit

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the Ninth Annual Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit would be offered virtually on December 8, 2020. The Summit will continue to serve as a free training and educational opportunity for law enforcement officers, medical professionals, treatment specialists, pharmacists, educators and family members. This year’s event will be offered virtually to enable attendees to participate in accordance with the COVID-19 public health emergency. In addition to plenary sessions and breakouts, there will be an attendee “lounge” where you can meet and network with other attendees. All registered participants will have access to the online content for three months following the event. Please also note that new for this year, there will be a family breakout track in addition to clinical, criminal justice, counseling/recovery and education/prevention tracks.

“Now more than ever, Arkansans need education and training to support those with opioid addiction and this year’s event provides the opportunity to reach even more Arkansans where they are,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I am so proud of the partnership that has been fostered from our Summit and am confident that this year’s event will have an even further reach and build on those partnerships to save lives and help end the opioid crisis.”

Those who gather for the all-day Summit will hear remarks from the Attorney General, Governor Asa Hutchinson, Senator Tom Cotton and Executive Director of the Arkansas Board of Pharmacy, John Kirtley, who this year received the National Lester Hosto Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. Breakout sessions will be held on the neurobiology of addiction and recovery, opioid trends, the truth about prescription drugs, recovery resources and Mr. and Mrs. Mark Hayes family story.

The keynote address will come from Georgia Congressman Earl L. “Buddy” Carter. He is an experienced businessman, health care professional and faithful public servant. As the owner of Carter’s Pharmacy, Inc., South Georgians have trusted Buddy with their most valuable assets: their health, lives and families for more than thirty years. As the only Pharmacist serving in U.S. Legislature, Congressman Carter is the co-chair of the Community Pharmacy Caucus and is dedicated to working towards a health care system that provides more choices, less costs and better services.

The afternoon sessions will include clinical regulatory updates, Naloxone updates, Opioid Prevention for Aging and Longevity (O.P.A.L), the Recovery Clinic and family resources.

Plenary sessions will include a presentation about the amazing work of some of the community coalitions across the state. The day will close out with the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care and Drug Director Kirk Lane discussing the new Arkansas Opioid Dashboard.

A full listing of all continuing education approvals is located on the event website.

In addition to Attorney General Rutledge, the Summit is sponsored by the Arkansas Board of Pharmacy, the Arkansas Drug Director’s Office and the University of Arkansas System’s Criminal Justice Institute. Other partners include the Arkansas Alcohol Drug Coordinating Council, Arkansas Association of Chiefs of Police, Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas Department of Human Services, Arkansas Division of Behavioral Health Services, Arkansas Medical Board, Arkansas National Guard, Arkansas National Guard Counterdrug Program, Arkansas State Board of Nursing, Arkansas Prevention Network, Arkansas Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Gulf Coast HIDTA, National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Foundation, University of Arkansas at Little Rock MidSOUTH Center for Prevention and Training, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

For more information about the Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit or to sign up for this free event visit ArkansasAG.gov.

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