Issues

Jobs

“If we are serious about growing Arkansas’s economy, then we have to be serious about training our workforce. We have an opportunity to create a competitive edge in recruiting industry to Arkansas. We are competing for jobs in the global marketplace and the jobs will flow to those states with the skilled workers and with an educational system that matches the training to the technology of the workplace.” – Asa Hutchinson

Arkansas needs jobs and Asa has an effective and concrete plan to bring jobs to Arkansas. This plan will help Arkansas attract and keep businesses, encourage entrepreneurship and provide the economic growth we need.

Tax Plan - To become more competitive, Asa proposes to reduce income taxes on those earning between $20,400 and $75,000. This will not only help Arkansas’s middle-income families, it will also make Arkansas more attractive for businesses to locate and stay in Arkansas. Click here to read more about Asa’s tax cut plan.

Workforce Education - With manufacturing returning to the United States it is essential that Arkansas has an effective workforce education plan and coordinate with educators and industry to assure that we are providing the training needed for the workforce of today’s world, including manufacturing, technology, construction and other skilled professions. Read Asa’s plan for Workforce Education here.

Computer Science - Only one in ten high schools across the country teach computer science courses, including coding. This means Arkansas has an opportunity to provide students with the skills needed to bring hi-tech jobs to Arkansas and to have the ability to become entrepreneurs themselves. Read Asa’s entire Computer Science Plan here.

Taxes

“My number one priority is economic growth and job creation in Arkansas. I commit to the people of Arkansas three things as their governor: I will maintain a balanced budget; I will ensure that we continue our commitment to a world-class education and together we will create stronger job growth. Across the board tax reduction and being more competitive in our tax structure is a key part of job growth.” - Asa Hutchinson

Asa’s number one priority as governor will be job creation. One way to spur job growth is through tax reduction and Asa is committed to providing across the board tax relief to all Arkansans. Asa will start this tax relief with the middle income wage earners and his goal is to gradually reduce the income tax for all Arkansans. Tax cuts are an effective method to spur economic growth and create jobs, and Arkansans are long overdue for income tax relief.

Tax Plan - To become more competitive, Asa proposes to reduce income taxes on those earning between $20,400 and $75,000. This will not only help Arkansas’s middle-income families, it will also make Arkansas more attractive for businesses to locate and stay in Arkansas. Click here to read more about Asa’s tax cut plan.

Education

“As a graduate of the public schools in Arkansas, I recognize the critical role that education plays in developing our young people. All four of my children finished their high school education in the public school system in Fort Smith and my wife, Susan, worked as a substitute teacher for a number of years within the Fort Smith public schools.” - Asa Hutchinson

Public Schools - Under the Arkansas Constitution, the State has a constitutional responsibility to provide a quality public education. Asa fully supports this principle knowing how important our local schools are to our families, our communities and the future of Arkansas.

Choice - Parents have to make decisions about their children’s education and particularly what school each should attend. Many times the decision will be different for each child depending upon the child’s unique needs and interests. Asa’s family is an example of choice in education. Susan and Asa sent their children to public schools, private schools, parochial schools and they home schooled for a time as well. That is choice in education at work and the choices Asa and Susan made reflect the needs and interests of each child.

“We have to recognize that parents may make different choices in education for their children. Some parents will choose home school, private school or public charter schools as an alternative to the traditional public school setting. It is important that these options are available even though our tax-payer resources go to the public school system including public charter schools.” - Asa Hutchinson

Charter Schools - Asa supports public charter schools because of their ability to innovate and provide unique choices in education for parents. A charter school is designed to have fewer regulations for day to day management of the school and provides an education environment that is accountable for the result.

Common Core - Asa will oppose any effort to have Arkansas’s curriculum dictated by the federal government. Asa is concerned about the implementation of the Common Core standards and the impact they have had on local decisions such as the flexibility to teach cursive writing. High standards in education are essential and Asa fully supports efforts to increase our student performance in the core subjects as well as science, technology, engineering and mathematics. But the curriculum and assessments to meet these high standards in education should be determined in Arkansas, not Washington, DC.

Computer Science - Asa pledges to have computer science offered in every high school in Arkansas within 4 years. Right now, only one in ten high schools across the country teach computer science courses that include coding. This means Arkansas has an opportunity to lead the nation and to provide students with the skills needed to earn high paying jobs and to bring hi-tech industry to Arkansas. Asa will work with the legislature to change the law to give a math or science credit (core graduation credit) for a computer science class. Read Asa’s entire Computer Science Plan here.

Workforce Education - A skilled workforce is a necessary ingredient of economic growth. Plumbers, electricians, welders and mechanics are examples of skilled workers needed across Arkansas. Using the resources we already have more efficiently, we can make sure that Arkansas workers have the skills they need to succeed. Read Asa’s plan for Workforce Education here.

Teacher Insurance - Arkansas teachers are entrusted with our most precious assets - our children. We need to attract bright and talented teachers and part of that is offering affordable options for health insurance. As governor, Asa will work with the legislature to ensure that our teachers have secure and affordable health insurance.

K-12 - Asa pledges to adequately and fairly fund K-12 education since it is the right thing to do for our children and it is required by the Arkansas Supreme Court.

Higher Education - Asa wants to partner with our institutions of higher learning to maintain an efficient and affordable system of higher education in Arkansas. We must increase the number of our college graduates and we need to reduce the number of students requiring remedial education in college. Higher education has changed Asa’s life and Asa recognizes how important our 4 year and 2 year colleges are to our state.

Pre-K Education - Asa supports increasing the funding for our existing pre-K education program that focuses on children being ready to learn when they start grade school. Right now under the program known as Arkansas Best Chance the state pays the costs of pre-K education for families under 200% of the poverty level. This program has not been fully funded and Asa pledges to work for increased funding and for greater accountability and efficiency in the delivery of our early childhood education programs.

Safety

Crime - As a former U.S. Attorney appointed by President Ronald Reagan, Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Under Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, appointed by President George W. Bush, Asa has always strongly supported law enforcement. As governor, they will have Asa’s support. We must ensure that our citizens enjoy safe neighborhoods and communities.Click here to read the Asa Plan for a Safer Arkansas.

Death Penalty - As a former federal prosecutor, Asa understands that there are certain heinous crimes that justify the use of the death penalty. Asa supports the death penalty when there are sufficient aggravating circumstances that justify the ultimate punishment.

Act 570 - Asa recognizes the need to make adjustments to Act 570 in order to give prosecutors more flexibility in prosecuting property and drug crimes.

Parole Reform - There are serious problems with Arkansas’s parole system. Asa will fight to improve the way that we hold our parolees accountable and also to improve our reentry program so that ex offenders have the best chance to successfully reenter society and return to being a productive and tax paying citizen.

Illegal Drugs - Asa is opposed to the legalization of marijuana and other currently illegal drugs.

Second Amendment

As a former National Director of the National School Shield Initiative sponsored by the NRA, Asa understands the importance of defending the 2nd Amendment rights guaranteed to us by the U.S. Constitution. The 2nd Amendment guards the right to use firearms for personal protection, for sporting and for hunting.

Open Carry (Act 746) - Although this question is likely to be decided by the courts, Asa believes that the law passed in 2013 by the Arkansas General Assembly is clear: carrying a weapon without the intent to commit a crime is legal. Asa supports open carry.

Endorsed by the NRA - Asa has been endorsed by the National Rifle Association.

Government Accountability

Hiring freeze - On his first day as governor, Asa will institute a hiring freeze for all of our state agencies to ensure the best use of taxpayer dollars.

Cutting waste - Finding and eliminating waste will be a top priority of a Hutchinson administration. Asa is committed to run state government based on sound business practices and performance based principles.

Veterans

Our veterans have sacrificed so much for us and they deserve our best. As governor, Asa will be an advocate for the nearly 250,000 veterans living in Arkansas. Asa previously served on the Veteran’s Affairs Committee in Congress and was supportive of the development of out patient clinics for our veterans in Arkansas. Asa has also previously served as an attorney admitted to practice before the Court of Veteran’s Appeals and has represented veterans in pursuing service connected disability claims. He understands the frustration of veterans in dealing with an overburdened and slow system of processing veterans claims.

Values

Pro-life - Asa is pro-life and has consistently received very high ratings from pro-life groups such as Arkansas Right to Life and National Right to Life. As governor, Asa would have signed both the 12 week and 20 week abortion bans passed by the Arkansas General Assembly.

Traditional Marriage - Asa believes that marriage is between one man and one woman.

Faith - Asa relies on his personal faith and strength through prayer as daily reminders that we are not in control of everything in life and that we are all responsible to a divine Creator.

Federal Overreach

Regulatory - The constantly changing regulations from federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency are a burden to agriculture, energy and manufacturing producers in Arkansas. Asa stands for responsible stewardship of Arkansas’s natural resources and beauty but also knows that the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality can provide a greater balance between protecting our environment and our need for economic growth.

Affordable Care Act - Asa has consistently opposed Obamacare from day one and will continue to do so. It is a terrible job killing policy that is fatally flawed and it should be repealed and replaced with a health care system that is not totally defined by the federal government.

Healthcare

“I know further reform in health care is needed, and I look forward to working with our health care professionals and the legislature to determine what changes will be needed in the future. The reforms I will advocate will reflect those needed changes while balancing the need for a stable budget.” - Asa Hutchinson

Obamacare - Asa has consistently opposed Obamacare from day one and will continue to do so. It is a terrible job killing policy that is fatally flawed and it should be repealed.

Private Option - Asa has consistently said that the issue of the Private Option should have been handled in a special session because Obamacare is changing on almost a daily basis. Ultimately, Asa would have designed the health care plan for Arkansas differently. But as governor, Asa will inherit the decisions the governor and General Assembly made in the fiscal session. You can read Asa’s full statement on the Private Option here.

Medical Marijuana - Until the medical community has a consensus in favor of medical marijuana, Asa does not support efforts to legalize marijuana for medical use without a prescription.

Immigration

Asa understands that any real reform starts with securing the border and penalizing businesses that knowingly hire illegal immigrants.

Minimum Wage

Asa supports raising Arkansas’s minimum wage and he believes that raising the minimum wage should be addressed by the legislature at the earliest opportunity. As to an initial amount of a raise, Asa believes that a good starting place would be to at least increase the Arkansas minimum wage to match the current federal minimum wage of $7.25. Any further changes should take into account the strength of the economy and the economic indicators at that time. Asa will be voting for the minimum wage ballot initiative this November because even though it is not the ideal way to raise the rate, it is in line with the main objective of raising the rate.

Infrastructure

Asa knows that a strong economy needs strong infrastructure. Asa supports Arkansas roads and highways and understands that we need smart and efficient investments. Major projects like I-49 through Fort Smith need to be completed. The navigable channel on the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System needs to be deepened to 12 feet. This will allow commercial river traffic to operate at full capacity and help make Arkansas a competitive place to do business.

Agriculture

“My dad was a farmer and it was on our farm near Gravette that I learned the importance of hard work, discipline and caring for the land. I was an active member of 4-H and Arkansas farm values have guided me all my life.” - Asa Hutchinson

Importance of Agriculture – Asa understands the importance of agriculture to our economy in Arkansas. Whether cotton, soybeans or rice, our commodity row crop farmers are national leaders in production and world exports. In addition, family cattle, horse or poultry farms have been the lifeblood of many of our farmers for generations. Arkansas’s berry farms are also a successful part of farm operations across the state.

Research - Agricultural research will continue to be a state priority in order to assist our farmers in the latest technologies and conservation best practices. Asa fully supports the agricultural research programs at our major universities and various marketing programs.

Exports - While in Congress, Asa supported expanding markets worldwide for Arkansas farm commodities and Asa will continue to do so as Governor. In Arkansas, our farmers are efficient and have the latest technologies. We produce far more than we consume and we must compete in the global marketplace to protect our agricultural economy in Arkansas.

Small Farms - Whether a berry farm, cattle, poultry or horse operation, small farms in Arkansas provide a livelihood and wonderful quality of life for many families. Asa supports the continued research work of the Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center in Booneville. Asa also understands the need for disease control for our livestock and farms.