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Smith appointed director, state health officer

Governor Beebe appointed Dr. Nathaniel Smith as director and state health officer of the Arkansas Department of Health.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel last week allowed a ballot title for a medical marijuana proposal to begin getting signatures to be placed on the 2014 ballot. He rejected another proposal that was similar . Atty. Gen. McDaniel ruled that the proposed popular name and ballot titled “The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act”, would give the voters a fair understanding of the issues presented. The supporters have until July 2014 to collect 62,507 signatures from Arkansas registered voters.

37 of 45 Arkansas hospitals eligible for the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program will get about 98% of the Medicare payments they are eligible to receive because the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services deemed that they have had too many patient readmissions that were deemed avoidable..

Arkansas companies exported $7.6 billion in merchandise last year. This is an increase of 36% over the previous year. The growth in sales in overseas markets by Arkansas firms was due in large part to increased exports of transportation equipment. It accounted for $2.1 billion of our total in exported merchandise. The next largest categories of exports were chemicals ($925 million), food and food related products was $769 million. Arkansas’ largest market was Canada. About $1.7 billion of our exports were shipped to Canada in 2012. Mexico, the second largest foreign market received $847 million in Arkansas products followed by China, France and Brazil. Fort Smith area was third in the major metropolitan areas that had expansion. Fort Smith area had $503 million of exports.

If you would like to contact me please email me at bruce.holland@senate.gar.gov or call my office at 650-1884 or write me at P.O. Box 2387 Greenwood AR. 72936.

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