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Gov. Perdue Secretary of Agriculture Appointment

Rutledge Statement on Appointment of Gov. Perdue to be Secretary of Agriculture

Thu, Jan 19, 2017

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a statement today following President-elect Donald Trump’s selection of former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to be the Secretary of Agriculture.

“Governor Sonny Perdue is an outstanding choice to be the Secretary of Agriculture,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “As someone who was raised on a farm, worked as a veterinarian and understands southern agriculture, Gov. Purdue has a long history of helping farmers grow and prosper by championing pro-growth polices and common sense regulations. I was raised on a cattle farm, own a row crop farm with my husband and proudly serve as co-chair of the National Association of Attorneys General Committee on Agriculture, and I look forward to working with the next secretary and President-elect to improve the lives of farmers across the country and ensure this industry is thriving for future generations.”

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Withdraw Critical Habitat Rules

Rutledge: New Administration Should Withdraw Critical Habitat Rules

Thu, Jan 19, 2017

Says, ‘These rules would unnecessarily prevent economic development on large areas of land’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, along with 13 other states, sent a letter to the Trump Transition Team, urging the incoming administration to issue an executive order that restores the definition of “critical habitats” for endangered and threatened species back to its previous definition adopted in 1984.

The states are calling on the President-elect to make clear that the rules from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service, which revise the definition of critical habitat, are unlawful and cannot be enforced.

“These rules would unnecessarily prevent economic development on large areas of land based on an idea that at some point in the future an endangered species might potentially live or visit there,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This is just one more hoop those in rural America would have to jump through that will negatively impact economic growth. I am an avid sportsman and landowner and want to protect endangered and threatened species for future generations, but these rules are not the way to do it, and I urge the President-elect to withdraw them as soon as possible.”

Arkansas along with the State of Alabama are leading a coalition of 18 states that are challenging the rules that effectively declare that any area currently unoccupied by an endangered species by may potentially host an endangered species could be classified as critical habitat subject to stringent regulations.

The letter explains that the critical habitat rules are unlawful and could have a significant impact on private landowners and their property rights.

In addition to Rutledge and Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, the letter is signed by attorneys general from Alaska, Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming.

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Urges Senate to Confirm EPA Nominee

Rutledge Calls on U.S. Senate to Confirm EPA Administrator Nominee Scott Pruitt

Wed, Jan 18, 2017

Says that under Pruitt’s leadership, ‘the agency will promote a healthier environment and a strong economy for future generations’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released a statement after she attended the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee confirmation hearing of President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt.

“I firmly believe now more than ever that my friend from Oklahoma, Attorney General Scott Pruitt, is the right person at the right time to lead the EPA, and I call on the U.S. Senate to move swiftly toward confirmation,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “At today’s hearing, which I had the honor of attending, General Pruitt spoke about three core philosophies that he would bring to the EPA: rule of law, cooperative federalism and public participation. Arkansans have lost trust with the EPA and its overreaching policies that harm farmers, business owners and families across the Natural State. Moreover, the EPA has lost touch with the states on many fronts by ignoring the intent of Congress and what is in the best interest of each state. General Pruitt will reform the agency by working cooperatively with stakeholders, ensuring that it acts within its legal authority while at the same time staying committed to its mission of protecting the environment. I am confident that with General Pruitt leading the EPA under the Trump Administration, the agency will promote a healthier environment and a strong economy for future generations.”

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Rutledge Celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Mon, Jan 16, 2017

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a statement today in observance of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

“Communities across Arkansas and the nation are pausing today to remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Dr. King worked tirelessly for much of his life to ensure freedom and justice for all – a dream that all citizens should continue to work toward every day. As we reflect and celebrate the accomplishments of Dr. King through a day of service to others, we must also remember some of his inspirational words about bravery: ‘Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.’”

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Praises Court for Protecting State-Federal Partnership

Rutledge Praises District Court for Protecting State-Federal Partnership Model

Fri, Jan 13, 2017

Ruling protects farmers, ranchers and countless Delta communities

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today praised a decision from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana that protects state-federal partnerships as an integral part of the Clean Water Act and its implementation.

In 2012, Arkansas joined Nebraska, Alabama, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota in filing a motion to intervene in this lawsuit in which several environmental advocacy groups are seeking to force the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to impose unreasonable regulations on nutrient pollution in the Mississippi River basin and the northern Gulf of Mexico. The EPA had refused to set the standards and told the advocacy groups that it would rely on state-federal partnerships to set the standards, consistent with the Clean Water Act.

“State-federal partnerships are critically important as standards are implemented,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansas has been working cooperatively through a state-federal partnership to properly manage nutrients in the Mississippi River watershed. There is no need for an environmental advocacy group pushing a political agenda to force the EPA to impose burdensome and unnecessary regulations that will most certainly further harm farmers, ranchers and countless struggling communities across the Delta.”

The advocacy groups asked the court to force the EPA to institute specific, numeric criteria for total nitrogen and phosphorus discharges in Arkansas and the entire Mississippi River watershed. The groups also wanted the EPA to impose total maximum daily load requirements for nitrogen and phosphorus within the watershed.

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Winter Webcast Series

Attorney General’s Office to Host Winter Webcast Series

Wed, Jan 11, 2017

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today opened registration for a Winter Webcast Series of trainings on internet safety, dating violence prevention, common scams, identity theft and the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

“Technology offers unique ways to connect and ensure that more and more Arkansans have access to information to protect themselves,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “These trainings will offer valuable material to help individuals navigate the internet safely and avoid common scams and ID theft, as well as teach participants about preventing dating violence and how to apply the Freedom of Information Act.”

The internet safety training, or Digital You, will take place from 3:30-4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 18. Digital You is a comprehensive, interactive educational program created by AT&T and Common Sense Media to offer tools, tips, apps, guidance and education for people of all ages and levels of online experience to learn more about how to have a safe and secure online experience. Rutledge adopted the curriculum last year.

On Wednesday, Jan. 25, a Break the Cycle training will be offered from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Break the Cycle is a leading national nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive dating abuse programs. Participants will learn about dating abuse, methods for intervention and how to implement a Healthy Relationships 101 session. Rutledge partnered with Break the Cycle last year to hold regional trainings across the State.

From 10-11 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 8, participants can learn about common scams, such as the Favorite Grandchild Scam, IRS Scam, Credit Call Robocalls, Work-from-Home Scam, Door-to-Door Scam and many more. Scam artists are always finding new ways to try to trick consumers out of their hard earned money, and senior citizens are often scam targets. This webcast will highlight some of the popular scams that target seniors, offer ways to spot the scam and what to do if you have been scammed.

A training to prevent being a victim of ID theft, which occurs when someone uses your personal information without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes, most commonly to obtain access to credit in your name, will be offered on from 10-11 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15.

And a FOIA webcast covering public records and meetings will be available from 10 a.m.-noon on Wednesday, Feb. 22.

The online trainings are free and open to the public. Registration for each one can be found at ArkansasAG.gov.

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