The Caucus' Arkansas First priorities include: a strong economy, a strong educational system, a strong and accountable government and a strong healthcare system. The last of these served as the focus of today's event.
"Today the Arkansas House Democratic Caucus unites to say that it's time to put campaign rhetoric behind this legislature and put Arkansas First," said House Minority Leader Greg Leding (D-Fayetteville). "Our four major focus areas will each include legislation aimed at getting Arkansans back to work, and one of the biggest ways we can do that is by expanding healthcare for working Arkansans."
The Arkansas House Democratic Caucus is made up of 48 lawmakers, several of which will be introducing supporting legislation for the main focus areas in the coming days.
"Members of the Caucus have taken time during the first part of this session to become informed on the issues and the process that have ultimately combined to form our legislative priorities," said House Speaker Pro Tem Darrin Williams (D-Little Rock). "Strengthening our healthcare system is something that we must achieve this session because it's going to help thousands of hard working Arkansas families get healthy and get back to work. And that's going to help move this state forward."
Also speaking at the press conference were Caucus members Rep. Steve Magie (D-Conway) and Rep. Reginald Murdock (D-Marianna). Rep. Magie, a physician, discussed the impact of strengthening our healthcare system on the medical community and Rep. Murdock discussed the impact that would be felt on Arkansas' rural communities.
Caucus leaders also announced that legislation would be highlighted in the coming days that support other focus areas within their priorities.
"If we're going to grow Arkansas' economy, we need to help get working Arkansans back on track," said Williams. "And the Arkansas House Democratic Caucus believes that our legislative priorities will do just that."