The office of Medicaid Inspector General was created in 2013 to prevent, detect and investigate fraud, waste and abuse of the state Medicaid program.

The office reported last week it had recovered $1.56 million in improperly paid Medicaid funds in its first year. Some though question the cost of the office.

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel filed a motion last week to reject a motion for a summary judgment concerning a suit filed by two same sex couples who have challenged the 2004 constitutional amendment and any related laws banning same sex marriage, saying that they are unconstitutional because they discriminate against same sex couples.

Earlier this year a Pulaski County circuit judge struck down the state’s same sex marriage ban in a separate lawsuit but the state Supreme Court stayed the ruling a week later, but not before many same sex couples married. The attorney general’s office is appealing the circuit court’s ruling to the state Supreme Court. Many other states have had their same sex marriage bans overturned by their state supreme courts.

The Arkansas tourism economy grew by 3.35 percent last year and the number of visitors to the state increased from about 22 million to 23 million, according to the state Parks and Tourism Department. Those visitors spent more than $5.9 billion in Arkansas, proving yet again how important tourism is to the state’s economy.

About 100,000 Arkansas residents work in the leisure and hospitality industries and the popularity of Arkansas tourism helps keep those jobs secure. The Parks and Tourism Department markets Arkansas as a tourism destination with revenue from the state’s 2 percent tourism tax, which is collected on hotels and lodging, marinas, campground rentals and attractions.

If you would like to contact me, email me at, call the office at (479) 650-1884 or write me at P.O. Box 2387, Greenwood, AR 72936.