Attorney General McDaniel issued an opinion last week that school districts cannot continue to use a private security guard law to arm their teachers or other staff members. Such licenses have designated school districts as private companies able to hire armed security guards or arm designated staff members. A couple of schools had spent money to train some teachers to carry a firearm. Legislators raised no objections last week to an Arkansas State Police request for 130 new patrol car cameras, approving the spending of $957,449 in federal funds to replace broken and outdated equipment. This grant will allow for high resolution police cameras to be newly installed in more than a third of the patrol cars.

The state submitted the applications of four companies last week to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for the health insurer exchange in Arkansas. The four companies are Blue Cross and Blue Shield, St. Louis based Centene Corp’s Celtic Insurance Co. QualChoice and Chicago based Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield Assoc. The exchange, which is being set up by the federal agency in partnership with the state will allow the more than 500,000 people in the state who lack health insurance to shop for coverage through a federal website. For low and moderate income Arkansans, the coverage will be subsidized, either through federal tax credits or through the expansion of Medicaid

Injury is the #1 killer in Arkansas of those between the ages of 1 and 44. In 2010 our death rate from all types of injuries was 31 percent higher than the national average and the death rate from automobile accidents was 82% higher. But Arkansas is now adding more trauma centers. We now have 39 level four centers. These provide advanced life support for trauma patients who are in remote areas. We now have 22 certified level !! trauma centers and three in state Level 1. Both Level 1 and 2 centers have surgical specialists available 24 hours a day as well as medical equipment for treating patients who have suffered a traumatic injury. Level 2 does not have a full range of specialist at all times.

If you would like to contact me please email me at or call my office at 650-1884 or write me at P.O. Box 2387 Greenwood AR> 72936 Have a good week.