On-Going Priorities


Health Care

  • Even with the success of Arkansas Works, health care remains expensive for many Arkansans. Governor Hutchinson is committed to working with the Legislature, the Federal Government, and local communities to lower costs and ensure the highest quality of care.
    • Potential strategies for health care cost control at the state level:
      • Identify sources of inefficiency
      • Reduce the administrative and regulatory burden for local hospitals
      • Promote technological innovation in the health sector
      • Set cost growth cap goals, to limit the state’s total health care spending per capita
      • Promote greater price transparency among health care providers
    • Potential strategies for improving availability of quality health care, particularly in rural areas:
      • Invest in telemedicine technology
      • Support workforce training initiatives focused on developing skills required for health sector jobs
      • Promote family medicine training programs in rural areas
      • Work with communities to tackle barriers to access such as transportation and technological illiteracy

Workforce Training

  • When competing for jobs in a global marketplace, Arkansans must have the skills to compete. Governor Hutchinson is committed to continuing his focus on expanding job skills training services at the secondary and post-secondary level in Arkansas.
    • Ensure that every public high school in Arkansas has access to a job skills training center
    • Coordinate partnerships between local businesses and local schools to ensure that workforce training prepares participants for jobs available in their area
    • Continue to support development of career education centers and partnerships with industry

Literacy

  • Literacy rates in Arkansas have remained well below the national average for decades. As a state, we can do better. Governor Hutchinson is working to reverse that trend.
    • In January 2017, Governor Hutchinson and the Arkansas Department of Education launched R.I.S.E. (Reading Initiative for Student Excellence) Arkansas, a statewide literacy campaign designed to engage with community partners, educators, and parents to:
      • Establish a culture of reading in Arkansas
      • Better prepare teachers to teach good reading skills to their students
    • In March 2017, Arkansas became one of only eleven states to require licensed teachers to become certified in the “science of reading” instructional method
  • Governor Hutchinson will continue to be an advocate for literacy in Arkansas by increasing participation in R.I.S.E. Arkansas and working with local communities and schools to ensure its goals are being fully realized

Opioids

  • In his first term, Governor Hutchinson has demonstrated his strong commitment to fighting the opioid abuse epidemic that has affected countless Arkansas families.
    • Continued the Arkansas Prescription Drug Take-Back Day to become one of the most productive in the nation by 2017
    • Act 820 of 2017: Strengthened the monitoring of prescription medication
    • Act 284 of 2017: Allowed licensed Arkansas pharmacists to dispense the overdose antidote drug Naloxone without a prescription in emergency situations
    • March 2018: Attorney General Leslie Rutledge filled a lawsuit against three out-of-state opioid manufacturers
    • April 2018: Launched AR-IMPACT, an educational web portal designed to aid health-care providers in managing opioid abuse and addiction
  • As a former administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration under President George W. Bush, where he championed investment in prevention and treatment methods, Governor Hutchinson has the right experience to tackle the opioid crisis in Arkansas.
    • In his second term, Governor Hutchinson will continue to work with hospitals, pharmacists, and the Legislature to decrease the circulation of opioids in Arkansas and improve access to addiction and overdose treatment.

Public safety

  • In his first term, Governor Hutchinson has worked to improve our corrections facilities and mental health services in Arkansas.
    • In 2015, Governor Hutchinson announced his on-going Prison Expansion and Public Safety Plan. The plan outlined the Governor’s three-pronged approach to criminal justice reform:
      • More prison space
      • A more effective parole and reentry system
      • Investing in alternative and accountable sentencing programs for non-violent offenders
    • In March 2017, Governor Hutchinson established the Crisis Stabilization Unit pilot program (Act 423)
      • The nation’s first statewide network of specialized treatment facilities for people with mental illnesses
      • Secured a total of $6.4 million in state funding to establish four CSUs throughout the state
      • Included special diversion training for law enforcement officers to ensure they have the skills necessary to handle mental health situations and direct people to CSUs instead of prison
      • This will keep the mentally ill out of prison, save taxpayer dollars, decrease crime, and better manage mental health in Arkansas.
    • Since 2015, the Governor has emphasized the importance of re-entry programs for inmates re-entering society, working with the Department of Corrections to:
      • Identify inmates who are nearing release and connect them to job opportunities
      • Educate them on what to expect when they re-enter society and teach them the skills they will need for a career
  • The Governor will continue to fight for public safety and criminal justice reform according to his three-pronged plan.
    • Work with prisons to free up beds and tackle overcrowding
    • Ensure that police officers and citizens are informed about CSUs and are utilizing them in cases of mental health crises
    • Work with local communities to ensure that inmates re-entering society are able to immediately return to productive citizenship