Rutledge: D.C. Circuit Grants Stay of Costly FCC OrderMon, Mar 7, 2016
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released a statement after the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit granted in part a motion to stay an order of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that effectively limited the amount of money that Arkansas and other local units of government may recover from inmate calling systems (ICS).
“The stay from the D.C. circuit is welcome news for local budgets and law enforcement across Arkansas,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Because of the court’s action, jails and prisons will not be shortchanged during the legal challenge to the FCC’s order. If this costly order had taken effect, the result would have been disastrous for many local communities.”
The court’s decision to stay in part the FCC order comes after Rutledge, along with attorneys general from Wisconsin, Nevada, Arizona, Indiana, Louisiana and Missouri, filed a motion last month seeking to intervene in order to join the lawsuit, State of Oklahoma v. FCC. The court has not acted on the request.
The FCC’s order, which caps rates and limits fees for ICS, ignores significant ICS- and security-related costs borne by the states and their need to recoup these costs from ICS providers.
In the final order, the FCC caps inmate calls at 11 cents per minute for all local and long distance calls from state and federal prisons. In jails, prices will range from 14 cents to 22 cents per minute, depending on the size of the institution. The new cap accounts for a more than 50 percent decrease from previous limits. Additionally the new caps will apply to all intrastate calls, not just interstate calls.
Rutledge Discusses EPA’s Unlawful Carbon Plan at CPACThu, Mar 3, 2016
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge participated today in a panel discussion, “The Lights Go Down in the City: The Journey to Energy Self Sufficiency,” at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland. The panel, which included U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R-OK) and David Rivkin Jr., an attorney with BakerHostetler, highlighted the damaging effects of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) unlawful Clean Power Plan.
“It was an honor to join this panel to discuss the Clean Power Plan which jeopardizes the future of our nation’s economy,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The EPA lacks authority under the Clean Air Act to impose such sweeping regulations upon the states, and its actions violate the rule of law by usurping both the constitutional authority of the legislative branch and the sovereignty of the individual states. As I have traveled to all 75 counties this past year, countless Arkansans raised concerns about skyrocketing electric rates that will occur from the EPA’s power grab. Projections show that the EPA’s rule will cost at least $29 billion per year and cause double-digit electricity price increases in 41 states, including Arkansas. I am committed to doing everything I can to stop this unlawful rule from going into effect.”
Rutledge is part of a bipartisan coalition of states and state agencies that are challenging the Clean Power Plan in the D.C. Circuit. Last month, at the request of Rutledge and others, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed the rule until the legal challenges are resolved.
Attorney General’s Office Accepting Applications for Summer InternsWed, Mar 2, 2016
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that her office is accepting applications for summer interns. The summer internship session will begin on May 23.
“Internships can be invaluable for college students to gain real-world experience as they plan their career path,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I want to encourage careers in public service and offer students service-learning opportunities that directly impact people across the State.”
Applicant packet information is available under the employment section at ArkansasAG.gov.
The deadline to apply is May 1.
Some interns may be able to arrange for college credit for their internship, depending upon the requirements of their college or university.
Those with questions about the Attorney General’s office intern program may contact the Human Resources Department at internship@ArkansasAG.gov or 501-682-2007.
Attorney General, Press Association Announce 2016 FOIA RoadshowsFri, Feb 26, 2016
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and the Arkansas Press Association (APA) today announced the 2016 schedule for the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Roadshows, which are informal workshops on the act and include the FOIA Made Simple presentation by the Attorney General’s office, detailing responsibilities and rights covered by the Act related to public meetings and documents.
For the first time ever, the roadshows will now include two dates where a live webcast will be offered where participants can watch and type questions to presenters.
“As the people’s lawyer, it is a top priority of mine to educate the public about their rights under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “That education is not limited to those in and around Little Rock, which is why I am proud to partner with the Arkansas Press Association to offer regional roadshows and for the first time, a live webcast. I will do whatever I can to help Arkansans better understand one of the strongest transparency laws in the nation, and I encourage all of those interested to join us.”
“The Arkansas Press Association and the Office of the Attorney General have combined forces for a number of years now to bring these important forums to the people of Arkansas,” said Tres Williams, APA’s director of government relations and communications. “They are essential tools for informing custodians of public records and other public officials of their responsibilities under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act. They also provide an excellent opportunity to raise awareness among average citizens across the state as to their rights under the law and the importance of preserving transparency and citizen involvement in government.”
All roadshows are free and open to the public. Register at ArkansasAG.gov. The program has been approved for 2.0 hours of general Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit.
FOIA Roadshow Schedule:
Wednesday, March 9
10 a.m. to noon
Arkansas State University Mid-South, West Memphis
Marion Berry Renewable Energy Center, Room 136
Friday, April 1
10 a.m. to noon
Thursday, May 12
10 a.m. to noon
Arkansas Tech University, Russellville
Doc Bryan Student Services Building, Multipurpose Room 242
Tuesday, June 21
10 a.m. to noon
Tuesday, Sept. 6
10 a.m. to noon
University of Arkansas Community College at Hope
Thursday, Oct. 13
10 a.m. to noon
University of Central Arkansas, Conway
Brewer-Hegeman Conference Center, Rooms 112 and 113
The Arkansas Freedom of Information Act was enacted by the General Assembly in 1967 after a strong push from a coalition of citizens and journalists and with the support of then-Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller. The bill passed the House and Senate without a dissenting vote. Gov. Rockefeller later reflected that the passage of the FOIA was one of the most significant achievements of his time in office.
Today’s announcement comes after Rutledge and the APA published the 17th edition of the FOIA handbook. Print copies of the Freedom of Information Handbook are available upon request from the Attorney General’s office by calling (501) 682-2007, and electronic copies of the handbook are available at ArkansasAG.gov and at ArkansasPress.org.
For more information about the roadshows, please email email@example.com.
Rutledge Seeks to Challenge Costly FCC OrderWed, Feb 24, 2016
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today has filed a motion to intervene in a federal lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The lawsuit challenges an FCC order that would effectively limit the amount of money that Arkansas and other local units of government may recover from Inmate Calling Systems (ICS).
Rutledge, along with Attorneys General from Wisconsin, Nevada, Arizona, Louisiana and Missouri, are seeking to intervene in order to join the lawsuit, State of Oklahoma v. FCC, which is in the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
“Since this order from the FCC was finalized in October, I have spoken with numerous sheriffs, the Arkansas Department of Correction and other agencies about the loss of revenue this order would impose on local communities,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Increased financial strain is not something local jails or prisons can handle at this time. Based on the feedback I received, I am seeking to join a lawsuit, brought by my colleague from Oklahoma, which will invalidate this order.”
The FCC’s order, which caps rates and limits fees for ICS, ignores significant ICS- and security-related costs borne by the states and their need to recoup these costs from ICS providers. As explained in the motion to intervene, “the Order is arbitrary and capricious as it does not consider these costs and allow for reasonable cost recoupment by the states. The intervening states will also argue that the Order is unconstitutional and not authorized by federal law.”
In the final order, the FCC caps inmate calls at 11 cents per minute for all local and long distance calls from state and federal prisons. In jails, prices will range from 14 cents to 22 cents per minute, depending on the size of the institution. The new cap accounts for a more than 50 percent decrease from previous limits. Additionally, in a constitutionally-suspect power grab, the new caps will apply to all intrastate calls, not just interstate calls.
Two FCC commissioners, Ajit Pai and Michael O'Rielly, opposed the order, calling it well-intentioned, but saying the order bends the FCC's legal authority and violates the Administrative Procedure Act.
Rutledge Announces Mobile Office Locations for MarchWed, Feb 24, 2016
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced mobile office locations for March.
Attorney General Rutledge created the mobile office initiative to make the office accessible to everyone, particularly to those who live outside the capital city. In October, the initiative celebrated the milestone of holding office hours in all 75 counties, marking the first time that the Attorney General’s office has held office hours in each county across the State.
The Attorney General Mobile Offices assist constituents with consumer related issues in filing consumer complaints against scam artists. Staff will also be available to answer questions about the office and the other services it offers to constituents. Attorney General Rutledge believes there is no issue too small for her staff to have a face-to-face conversation.
Attorney General Rutledge recently expanded the services offered at mobile offices to include Prescription Drug Take Back boxes. Rutledge is partnering with local law enforcement agencies across the State who will handle a secure box and properly dispose of the prescriptions collected. Rutledge encourages Arkansans to bring their old, unused or expired prescription medications to an upcoming mobile office.
For more information about services provided by the Attorney General’s office, visit ArkansasAG.gov or call (501) 682-2007. Rutledge can also be found on Facebook at facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge and on Twitter at twitter/com/AGRutledge.
The upcoming mobile office schedule is below:
Thursday, March 3
Central Arkansas Development Council Arkadelphia Senior Activity Center
1305 N. 10th St.
Arkadelphia, AR 71923
Tuesday, March 8
10 a.m. – noon
Southwest Arkansas Development Council Camden Senior Center
465 Columbia Ave. SW
Camden, AR 71701
Thursday, March 10
Lincoln County Senior Center
201 N. Drew St.
Star City, AR 71667
Monday, March 14
10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Mena-Polk County Senior Citizens Inc.
401 Autumn Drive
Mena, AR 71953
Tuesday, March 15
Stuttgart Senior Citizens Center
811 S. Buerkle St.
Stuttgart, AR 72160
Tuesday, March 29
Monticello Senior Citizens Center
203 Henley Drive
Monticello, AR 71655
Thursday, March 31
10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Newport Senior Life Center
947 Hout Circle
Newport, AR 72112