Issues

PROTECTING ARKANSANS

As your Attorney General, I have been committed to protecting Arkansans from criminals, con artists, bad businesses, and corrupt government. It is my honor and privilege to protect and serve the people of our great state as the Chief Legal and Law Enforcement Officer.

  • Protecting children and teens online:
    • The Cyber Crimes Unit of the Special Investigations Department is an elite law enforcement unit tasked with investigating cyber crimes against children, providing support and training to local law enforcement, and conducting computer forensics in our on-site state-of-the-art lab. Providing this unit with the resources they need to carry out their important mission has been one of my top priorities. As of result, the arrest of offenders has increased substantially since I took office in 2015.
    • In 2016, I adopted Digital You as a comprehensive, interactive internet safety program to educate Arkansans of all ages on how to navigate the internet safely and securely. Educators from the Attorney General’s Office have trained thousands of students across Arkansas.
  • Investigating and prosecuting fraud in state programs:
    • Since January of 2015, the office has had more medicaid fraud convictions than the prior 16 years combined.
    • Medicaid-related fraud convictions obtained include: 50 Medicaid provider convictions, 10 long-term care convictions, and 64 criminal convictions to date.
    • In 2015, I launched a unit to combat fraud in Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) which has saved taxpayers over 25 million dollars.
  • Safeguarding veterans, seniors, and consumers:
    • As the daughter of a veteran, I knew we weren’t doing enough at the state level to support our veterans. That’s why I launched the Military and Veterans Initiative in 2015 to assist active-duty military, reservists, veterans, and their families with consumer-related issues, veterans courts, the Hiring Heroes program, and other collaborative efforts.
    • I am committed to exposing and prosecuting con artists that intentionally target our veterans and seniors to fleece them out of their hard-earned money and benefits.
    • As your Attorney General, I am educating Arkansans on consumer scams and fighting to end illegal robocalls.
    • Since taking office, I have increased the effectiveness of the consumer division by reaching consumers in person at mobile offices in all 75 counties each year, on the phone, online and on social media resulting in more consumer complaints being filed with the office.
  • Combating the opioid epidemic on all fronts:
    • Over 10,000 students statewide have participated in Prescription for Life, a first-in-the-nation digital platform I created to educate teenagers on the dangers of prescription drug abuse and misuse.
    • Every year, I host a Prescription Drug Abuse Summit, which includes training and educational opportunities for law enforcement officers, medical professionals, pharmacists, educators and treatment professionals to learn how to they can combat Arkansas’ prescription drug abuse problem.
    • As part of the Prescription Drug Take Back Program, I partner with law enforcement agencies in all 75 counties to promote the proper disposal of medication, collecting over 500 pounds of prescription drugs since 2016.
    • I filed a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers to hold them responsible for their deceptive marketing and profiting at the expense of Arkansans’ health and safety.
    • I work daily to coordinate the state and federal efforts to combat opioid abuse.
  • Protecting Arkansas businesses and farmers:
    • I created the Metal Theft Prevention Unit in 2015 in response to the metal theft crisis in Arkansas, which was costing businesses, homeowners, and farmers millions of dollars each year. Since its creation, the unit has provided compliance-enforcement and training for law enforcement officers and scrap dealers. The successful program subsequently cut the number of thefts and losses by more than half within a few months after its creation.
    • I successfully challenged the Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) Rule and the Critical Habitat designation by the Fish and Wildlife.
  • Providing resources, support, and training for law enforcement and first responders:
    • As the state’s top law enforcement officer, I host the Arkansas Law Enforcement Summit annually to provide free training and resources to Arkansas’s police officers. I am the first Attorney General to award Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer of the Year to officers from all 75 counties.
    • Since taking office, I have directed over $14 million to public safety initiatives to better equip and train local police officers and firefighters.
  • Helping and supporting victims of crimes and the families of missing persons:
    • In 2016 I launched Laura’s Card as an initiative to assist and empower victims of domestic abuse and to make them aware of available resources for them and their families.
    • Every year I host our Never Forgotten Event in partnership with other law enforcement agencies and the Morgan Nick Foundation, “Never Forgotten” provides free training to law enforcement, raises awareness about missing persons.
  • Holding elected officials and public servants accountable:
    • In 2018 I created the Public Integrity Division (PID) as a division of the Special Investigations Division within the Attorney General’s Office, the PID punishes investigates violations of the public trust. Elected officials and government employees do not check their ethics at the door, and abuses must be dealt with aggressively.

FIGHTING FEDERAL OVERREACH

As your Attorney General, I have been committed to fighting unlawful federal regulations that make it more difficult for Arkansans to go about their daily lives. I am a strong advocate of states’ rights, an open market, and returning power to the people with minimum government interference.

I am working hard for you by:

  • Fighting for Arkansas’s farmers:
    • I led the fight to protect Arkansas’s farmers, ranchers, and energy industry from the job-killing, Obama-era burdensome EPA regulations like the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, the Clean Power Plan, and the Regional Haze Federal Implementation Plan.
  • Defending Arkansas’s right to work:
    • I successfully won a lawsuit against the Department of Labor’s overtime rule, blocking the Obama-era regulation from harming Arkansas businesses and employees.
  • Supporting a secure border:

    • As Attorney General, I have fought to keep our borders by suing the federal government over the unconstitutional Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
  • Protecting our healthcare freedom:
    • I joined a 20-state coalition urging the courts to halt Obamacare, which has placed an undue financial burden on Arkansans.
  • Standing up for Arkansas values:
    • I strongly urged Arkansas’s local school districts to disregard the Obama Administration’s attempt to force a social agenda on the states via a radical ‘bathroom directive’.
  • Keeping money at the local level:
    • In 2017 I won a lawsuit against the FCC after they issued an order that would have limited the amount of money correction facilities could collect on inmate calling systems. This overreach by a federal agency would have forced already struggling localities to lose even more revenue.

STANDING FOR LIFE

As your Attorney General, I have been committed to protecting women’s health and unborn children and holding the abortion industry accountable. Arkansas is now considered the second most pro-life state in America.

I am working hard for you by:

  • Stopping taxpayer-funding for the abortion industry:
    • I defended Gov. Hutchinson’s decision to end Arkansas’s Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood and won the case in court. Taxpayers should never be forced to subsidize abortions.
  • Advocating for women’s health:
    • I continue to vigorously defend in court the Arkansas Abortion-Inducing Drug Safety Act — a law that calls for common-sense regulations on abortion clinics that administer the abortion pill. Women’s health must always be protected.
  • Defending Arkansas’s pro-life laws:
    • As your Attorney General, I’m proud to stand up for the Arkansas Heartbeat Protection Act, the Arkansas Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, and all other pro-life laws that protect women and unborn children.
  • Being a voice for the unborn:
    • I was privileged to be the keynote speaker for the 2018 Arkansas March for Life at the State Capitol.
    • I was proud to receive of the Arkansas Right to Life Mary Rose Doe Award in 2016.

DEFENDING THE CONSTITUTION

As your Attorney General, I have been committed to defending our God-given rights from overzealous politicians and bureaucrats. The U.S. Constitution and Arkansas Constitution will always be my guides.

I am working hard for you by:

  • Protecting religious liberty and free speech:
    • I am proud to have joined the fight in support of Jack Phillips and Masterpiece Cakeshop, and even more proud that we prevailed at the Supreme Court. Phillips’ victory protected his First Amendment rights and was a major win for religious conscience nationwide.
    • When California tried to force pro-life pregnancy centers into promoting abortion, I joined with 19 other attorneys general in support of free speech and the Supreme Court struck down California’s law. This was a decisive win for the freedom of speech of all Americans.
  • Supporting your right to keep and bear arms:
    • Because I believe that your Second Amendments rights should be fully protected as you travel across the country, I urged the U.S. Congress to allow concealed carry reciprocity — giving law-abiding Americans legal assurance state by state that they can exercise their right to carry for self defense.
    • When Washington, DC passed a law making it nearly impossible for a citizen to carry a firearm by implementing an overburdensome permitting scheme, I could not stay silent. That’s why I joined 14 of my colleagues and petitioned the federal appeals court to find this law unconstitutional. We won.
  • Fighting against sanctuary cities:
    • As the result of action by myself a team of attorneys general nationwide, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit allowed implementation of a Texas law prohibiting sanctuary cities. Sanctuary jurisdictions violate the rule of law and place law-abiding citizens in danger.
  • Defending President Trump’s travel ban:
    • I defended President Trump’s executive order suspending the entry of non-citizens from certain countries known to be hotbeds for terrorism was found to be constitutional. Arkansans are safer as a result of this ruling, and I was pleased to defend the President’s lawful decision in court.

ADVOCATING FOR ARKANSAS

As your Attorney General, I have made it a priority to make the Attorney General’s Office more accessible, to educate the public on the services we provide, and to bring state government to your communities. Upon taking office, I realized there was often a disconnect between elected officials and those who we serve. I believe in face-to-face meetings, so I began traveling the state to hear the concerns and problems facing everyday Arkansans. Not only am I working hard for Arkansas at the state level, but I am advocating for Arkansas and Arkansas values at the national level as well.

I am working hard for you by:

  • Making state government more accessible:
    • I have held Rutledge Roundtables in all 75 counties every year since taking office. As of June 2018, I have held more than 300 rountables and have visited with over 3,200 people. I have met with local business owners, farmers, faith leaders, educators, and concerned citizens to hear their problems and to find out what we can do to make Arkansas a better place to live, work, and raise a family. As elected officials we work for the voters, and I believe we should be listening to them.
    • In an effort to make state government more accessible, I created Rutledge Resources Days mobile offices to assist constituents with consumer-related issues, including filing consumer complaints and providing information about scams, identity theft, fraud and other protection. It has been expanded to partner with local law enforcement agencies by incorporating the Prescription Drug Take Back boxes, which allow individuals to properly dispose of their prescription medications.
  • Encouraging transparency in government:
    • To help voters hold their elected officials accountable and to see how their taxpayer dollars are being spent, I provide Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) workshops and I have partnered with the Arkansas Press Association and others to publish and maintain a free handbook to help promote transparency in our state government.
  • Leading the way nationally:

    • As Chair of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), I have been able to lead the way in defending the rule of law and fighting federal overreach into every state, all while promoting the same conservative values we hold dear in Arkansas.
    • I’m proud to represent Arkansas in my role as Southern Region Chair of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG). NAAG is a great resource for all attorneys general across the country to collaborate on confronting issues such as deceptive trade practices, the opioid epidemic and human trafficking.
    • I also Co-Chair the NAAG Committee on Agriculture. Agriculture is vital to Arkansas and many parts of our great country. I worked hard to re-establish NAAG’s Committee on Agriculture as way for state attorneys general to address 21st century legal issues facing agriculture and to advocate for farmers, ranchers, and the entire agricultural industry.