KASU

Talk Business

Mondays & Fridays, 6:51am; Wednesdays 5:20pm
  • Hosted by Roby Brock

A multi-media news organization focusing on Arkansas news and information.Content is driven by Roby Brock, who has interviewed more than 2,000 business and political leaders. Brock is the host of Talk Business & Politics which airs Sunday mornings at 9 am on KATV Channel 7. He also moderates a radio program which airs on NPR affiliates statewide. Supporting staff, contributors,and content partners represent the most knowledgeable and experienced in their fields. 

Digital platforms such as Talkbusiness.net, Facebook and Twitter allow news and information from around the state to be made accessible as it is happening and keeps those most affected in the know. Talk Business.net micro-sites further providing dedicated content to the Northwest and Northeast regions.In addition, micro-sites are dedicated to specific industry insights such as entrepreneurial, education, healthcare and financial news. 

The Talk Business & Politics publication reaches affluent decision-makers across the state and is an essential resource guide for new entrepreneurs and leaders at all levels of government. With a dedicated delivery of 16,000 copies bi-monthly, readers receive an in-depth look at business and political profiles, the most current developments in key industries, and corporate and policy strategies. 

Courtesy of Talk Business & Politics Facebook page

Talk Business and Politics airs on KASU 91.9 FM on Mondays and Fridays during NPR’s Morning Edition at 6:51 am.  It also airs during NPR’s All Things Considered on Wednesdays at 5:20 pm.  You can follow more of their coverage on their website TalkBusiness.net where you can also catch the latest Northeast Arkansas news.

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Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Wendell Griffen on Wednesday declared the state Medical Marijuana Commission’s process of scoring and awarding Arkansas’ first highly-prized licenses to five pot cultivators as “null and void” under the constitutional amendment approved by voters in the November 2016 election.

Controversy has raged within the Arkansas farming community for years about the use of the herbicide, dicamba, and its impacts. The Arkansas State Plant Board allowed one formulation, Engenia dicamba, to be used during the 2017 growing season.

(Left to Right):  Rex Nelson, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Wes Brown, Talk Business & Politics; and Roby Brock, Talk Business & Politics
Talk Business and Politics

Everyone needed spring break this week to recover from last week’s end of the fiscal session and three-day special session of the Arkansas Legislature.  Two gentlemen who did not take the week off are Talk Business’ Wes Brown and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Rex Nelson.  Talk Business’ Roby Brock sits down with Brown and Nelson to talk about the sessions, medical marijuana, and Governor Hutchinson’s big “smaller” idea.


Jerry Adams, CEO of the Arkansas Research Alliance, speaking with Roby Brock of Talk Business and Politics
Talk Business and Politics

The Arkansas Research Alliance is a non-profit that ties together the states 5 research institutions:  Arkansas State University, University of Arkansas School for Medical Sciences, University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, University of Arkansas-Little Rock, and University of Arkansas-Fayetteville.  Roby Brock with Talk Business and Politics speaks with Jerry Adams, CEO of the Alliance.  Adams has spearheaded the organization for 10 years.  They discuss the impact the alliance has on the state’s economy, their mission, and their future plans.


NPR

Arkansas Department of Human Services Director Cindy Gillespie was in a cheerful mood by week’s end as the Arkansas legislature undramatically passed her agency’s often-controversial budget thanks to federal officials approving one of the state’s two major waiver requests for Medicaid expansion.

Wes Brown with Talk Business and Politics
Talk Business and Politics

Northeast Arkansas and the Delta were the big winners at last week revealing of the 5 cultivation centers that will launch to grow medical cannabis in Arkansas.  4 of the 5 cultivation facilities will be located in the Delta.  So, what happens next?  Could there be lawsuits from those dismissed?  How quickly will the centers be built and start hiring?  And, when will you be able to buy medical marijuana if you qualify in Arkansas?  Roby Brock and Wes Brown with Talk Business and Politics discuss.


(left to right) Arkansas state Senate President Jonathan Dismang (R-Searcy) & Arkansas state House Speaker Jeremy Gillam (R-Judsonia)
Talk Business and Politics

The legislative session in Little Rock is winding down.  State lawmakers optimistically think they may complete their work by week's end.  But, don't hold your breath.  The big issue holding everything up is Arkansas Works.  Are there enough votes to pass the funding bill for the state's controversial Medicaid expansion program?  Roby Brock with Talk Business and Politics sits down with state House Speaker Jeremy Gillam (R-Judsonia) and state Senate President Jonathan Dismang (R-Searcy) to find out. 


U.S. Rep. Steve Womack (R-Rogers), representative of Arkansas' 3rd congressional district
Talk Business and Politics

U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, R-Rogers, expects an attempt at bipartisanship to reform the Congressional budgeting process, but he’s less certain of consensus on altering gun laws in the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting.

Sen. Ron Caldwell (R-Wynne) and Rep. Vivian Flowers (D-Pine Bluff) talking with Roby Brock of Talk Business and Politics
Talk Business and Politics

The fiscal session is underway in Little Rock, and the big issue for consideration is a tax cut proposal for the top earners in the state.  Governor Hutchinson proposed this during his State of the State address last week.  He wants it to go into effect sometime next year.  State Sen. Ron Caldwell (R-Wynne) and state Rep. Vivian Flowers (D-Pine Bluff) sat down with Roby Brock of Talk Business for a conversation on this proposal.

 


Arkansas State Capitol
Wikipedia.org

Gov. Asa Hutchinson told reporters Monday (Feb. 19) he will call lawmakers back to the State Capitol shortly after the ongoing fiscal session to pass legislation to address growing concerns on rising health costs associated with so-called PBMs, or pharmacy benefit managers.

Pixabay

State Sen. Ron Caldwell, R-Wynne, and Rep. Vivian Flowers, D-Pine Bluff, both contend that a path for passage of Arkansas Works exists in this fiscal session, but both say their votes are dependent on how federal waivers will affect the program. The two Delta legislators also said they have stipulations before agreeing to any future tax cuts, such as the $180 million top income tax bracket reduction pushed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

John Brummett, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist
Talk Business and Politics

The fiscal session has begun.  That means all eyes are on the state capitol to see if the Arkansas Works program can survive another close vote for passage, despite the loss of several "yes" votes in the Senate due to deaths and resignations.  Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist John Brummett sits down with Roby Brock of Talk Business to discuss the topic and pay tribute to longtime Parliamentarian of the House Representatives, Tim Massanelli.  Massanelli passed away last week. 


The city of Walnut Ridge is the only city in Arkansas where the Beatles ever set foot during their touring days as a band, and seven years ago Mayor Charles Snapp and a group of civic leaders wanted to commemorate the event with a festival. This year, it struck gold.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson with Roby Brock of Talk Business and Politics
Talk Business and Politics

Rising pharmacy reimbursement rates are a part of the cost structure between pharmacist, health insurance plans, and a group known as PBMs—Pharmacy Benefits Managers.  Roby Brock with Talk Business sits down with Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson to talk about potential legislative remedies for this seemingly dire situation as a private solution may be in the works.


Talk Business and Politics

Dr. Anthony Bland, a previously announced candidate for the Democratic nomination for Arkansas Secretary of State, said he will now run for Lt. Governor.

Bland said he was encouraged by the Democratic Party of Arkansas, his family and friends to make the switch. He also indicated that the other Democrat announced for Secretary of State, Susan Inman, was a better candidate than him.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on March 6, 2017, presenting his proposed changes to the state's Medicaid-expansion program, which included the addition of a work requirement.
MICHAEL HIBBLEN / KUAR NEWS

Where will the votes come from for Arkansas Works in the upcoming fiscal session? Gov. Asa Hutchinson says it’s less about lawmakers changing their minds and more about reforming a program to satisfy conservative principles.

Rex Nelson, Columnist and Senior Editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas State University

  Rex Nelson, columnist and senior editor with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, spends his days driving around the state of Arkansas talking with residents.  Roby Brock with Talk Business sits down with Nelson to talk about a variety of issues, such as the Slovak Oyster Supper, Bentonville’s 8th Street Market, the Arlington Hotel, the State of the Union, and more.


Talk Business' Roby Brock (left) with Economist Mervin Jebaraj (right)
Talk Business and Politics

We’ve been hearing a lot about the state of the State, the state of the Union, and the state of the economy.  For a review of 2017’s economic performance and projections for 2018’s, Roby Brock with Talk Business and Politics sits down with Mervin Jebaraj, economist, and Director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Arkansas’s Walton College of Business.


Arkansas Sen. Johnathan Dismang (R-Searcy)
Talk Business and Politics

Senate President Jonathan Dismang, R-Searcy, said he believes the votes for Arkansas Works will be found in the upcoming fiscal session and prospects for a special session to deal with a failed vote or other issues is not a goal of his.

John Brummett, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist
Talk Business and Politics

Just around the corner is candidate filing season and we have a fiscal legislative session on the horizon.  Talk Business and Politics’ Roby Brock sits down with Columnist John Brummett with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for analysis and his latest article for TB&P’s “State of the State” magazine.


TBP Roby Brock (far right) speaking with Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist Rex Nelson (far left) and State Representative Charles Blake (D-Little Rock) (center).
Talk Business and Politics

It’s the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, and race in America could not be a more timely topic on this day of remembrance.    Especially after President Trump’s controversial remarks about immigrants from African countries.  State Representative Charles Blake (D-Little Rock)--co-sponsor of legislation to separate the King Holiday from the holiday of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist Rex Nelson discusses the topic with Talk Business’ Roby Brock.


Brandon Tabor / KASU News

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a directive that reversed an Obama-era policy regarding Marijuana laws.  Sessions called for justice department officials to enforce federal law regarding marijuana usage; a law which is in conflict with many states, including Arkansas, which has legalized cannabis.  Roby Brock with Talk Business and Politics sits down with attorney Erica Gee for analysis on how Session’s move will impact Arkansas’ fledgling medical marijuana industry.   


Andrew DeMillo, Associated Press; Wes Brown, Talk Business & Politics; Roby Brock, Talk Business & Politics
Talk Business and Politics

2017 had no shortage of political news.  That includes several stories you may not remember due to the sheer volume of politics we saw last year.  Roby Brock with Talk Business recaps the political headlines from last year.  He’s joined with fellow TBP reporter Wes Brown and Associated Press Capitol Correspondent Andrew DeMillo.


Brandon Tabor / KASU News

Despite the belief by Gov. Asa Hutchinson that medical marijuana use will likely remain consistent under President Donald Trump, others were uncertain of the impact a decision by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will have on the state’s medical marijuana industry, which is projected to also help the state’s economy.

Talk Business' Roby Brock (left) with Economist Mervin Jebaraj (right)
Talk Business and Politics

Out with the old year; in with the new year!  How did Arkansas' and the national economy hold up in 2017?  What can we expect in 2018?  Roby Brock with Talk Business and Politics sits down with Economist Mervin Jebaraj to go over the numbers.


Pixabay

The Arkansas State Plant Board will hold a special meeting Wednesday (Jan. 3) in Little Rock to discuss potential regulation changes for the use of the herbicide dicamba during the 2018 growing season.

ASPB had proposed to ban the controversial weed killer for the season, but the Arkansas Legislative Council’s Administrative Rules and Regulations Subcommittee decided Dec. 12 to hold the rule change to allow ASPB to possibly modify it before a final decision is rendered.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced his initial campaign team structure on Monday, Jan. 1. Five positions were filled as the governor embarks on his re-election bid. The staff and consultants include:

Jan Morgan
Talk Business and Politics

Former exploratory candidate Jan Morgan said she will challenge Gov. Asa Hutchinson in the GOP primary in May. Morgan, a gun range owner and Second Amendment advocate, said she is formally entering the race in a New Year’s Eve event in Hot Springs, according to a press release.

Talk Business and Politics

There’s a lot of new talent running for office in Arkansas these days.  Among those is a teacher from Helena-West Helena running as a Democrat for the first U.S. Congressional District.  His name is Chintan Desai.  He wants to take on GOP incumbent Congressman Rick Crawford next November, although he may have to defeat primary challenger Richard Butler first.  Roby Brock with Talk Business and Politics sits down with Desai for a conversation.


Talk Business and Politics

The Alabama U.S. Senate Special Election has been the buzz of the nation this week.  Did the upset win of Doug Jones over Roy Moore change the dynamics for next year’s races?  Roby Brock with Talk Business and Politics sits down with Republican strategist Richard Bearden and Democratic strategist Jessica DeLoach Sabin to talk about how the election impacts the political climate in Arkansas.


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