Politicians, Citizens Gather at UCA Downtown for Town Hall

Sen. Jason Rapert and the University of Central Arkansas hosted a town hall meeting on Thursday March 10 at UCA Downtown. Several local representatives attended.

Rep. David Meeks said foster care is an area that needs work.

“One thing that I’m looking at in this fiscal session is doing what I can to strengthen our foster care and adoption system,” he said. “It’s something that I think has been overlooked.”

Meeks said Arkansas has over 4600 children in the foster care system, with an additional 8000 in protective services.

This past Tuesday, the governor proposed a 5.3 billion dollar budget for the fiscal year starting July 1.

Rapert shared his thoughts on the Affordable Care Act.

“I do not like it, on its base. I opposed it. I don’t think the federal government should be in the business of telling the states everything we can or cannot do,” he said. “I have stated publicly, we need to be in a position now that is either prove it, or lose it.”

Rep. Douglas House said Obamacare is hard on hospitals, saying it has taken 2.2 billion dollars from Arkansas hospitals. He also said Medicaid does not work and that doctors lose money every time they see a Medicaid patient.

House was adamant about not raising any taxes to fund highways.

“I’m not going to vote to raise a tax, that’s a given,” he said. “It’s not necessary, if we have to cut some things, we can.”

Meeks said Arkansas is one of the only states that uses federal dollars and not general dollars to fund roads. He believes  the sales tax from products bought for cars, like car batteries, should be used to fund highways.

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