2019 Session: Issues fight to get spot on 2020 ballot

By:  Jessi Turnure

SJR 8 would limit awards of punitive and noneconomic damages in civil actions, commonly known as tort reform. The measure would not go as far as the proposed constitutional amendment the Arkansas Supreme Court struck from the ballot last year.

'Tort Reform' Returns: Lawmakers File Proposal to Allow Damage Limits

by Associated Press  

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas lawmakers are proposing a constitutional amendment to allow the Legislature to limit damages awarded in lawsuits.

That comes after a more-expansive "tort reform" measure was disqualified from last year's ballot.

A Statement on Today's Filing of Senate Joint Resolution 8

This is just the latest scheme by selfish special interests to put a government-mandated price on human life. Senate Joint Resolution 8 would remove Arkansans’ guaranteed constitutional right to a trial by a citizen jury and surrender power to politicians and corrupt corporate lobbyists to decide a one-size-fits-all value on human life. Special interests will never stop trying to rig the system at the expense of our rights, and it is crucial that this legislation be stopped.

Judge lets former Arkansas judge withdraw prison-release bid

A federal court Monday granted Michael Maggio's motion seeking to withdraw his previous request to get out of prison while he challenged his bribery conviction.

The former circuit judge's motion, filed in mid-December, came amid reports that he had been seen in Little Rock and amid speculation that he had begun cooperating with federal investigators in the hope of getting a reduced prison sentence.

Arkansas Ethics Commission pushed to 'breaking point' after receiving record citizen complaints, director says

The Arkansas Ethics Commission received a record 146 citizen complaints filed against candidates and others during the 2018 election cycle, a 45 percent increase over the 2012 election cycle, an official said Friday.

The increased workload has pushed the agency to "the breaking point," commission Director Graham Sloan warned.

Federal grand jury indicts former Arkansas lawmaker on conspiracy, bribery charges

A federal grand jury has indicted former state senator and lobbyist Gilbert Baker on conspiracy, bribery and wire-fraud charges in an alleged scheme involving a nursing-home owner and a now-imprisoned judge.

Baker, 62, of Conway was the only defendant named in the nine-count indictment, handed up Thursday and released Friday.

The charges, which include seven wire-fraud counts, resulted from a criminal investigation that led to former Circuit Judge Michael Maggio pleading guilty to bribery in January 2015. Maggio, 57, later tried unsuccessfully to withdraw the plea and began serving a 10-year prison sentence in July 2017.