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Public Statements

Newsletter: Pryor Wrap-up for June 12, 2009

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Newsletter: Pryor Wrap-up for June 12, 2009

LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITY

Keeping Emergency Rooms Open in Rural America

Every Arkansan should have access to quality health care, no matter where he or she lives. But, without immediate relief, many small hospitals in the nation are at serious risk of closure, job loss, or reductions in patient services, with rural families suffering the consequences. That's why solutions to preserve health care facilities that serve our rural communities should be part of the broader effort to improve the quality and access of health care for all Americans. As a first step, I have introduced legislation that will give states the necessary flexibility to protect local hospitals that serve rural communities. [Read More]

Requesting the Corps Waive User Fees at Lakes, Parks

During these tough economic times, families and individuals are seeking inexpensive day-trips or vacations, especially as many schools are out for the summer. Unfortunately, even the most minimal user fee can be cost-prohibitive and prevent families from enjoying a day or weekend at the lake, beach, park, or other recreation facility maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and taxpayer dollars. Given these conditions, I sent a letter to the Corps this week asking them to waive certain recreation user fees this summer. This will allow an affordable and enjoyable experience for all Americans, increase the visibility of Corps facilities, promote tourism to these locations, and reinforce the importance of investing in our natural resources. [Read Letter]

FLOOR ACTION

Senate Passes Tobacco Bill to Prevent Kids from Smoking, Save Lives

Cigarettes - despite their danger - are exempt from the basic health regulations that apply to other consumer products, such as food, drugs, even lipstick and dog food. Tobacco companies have taken advantage of this leeway, particularly in their marketing schemes targeting teenagers. That's why the Senate this week overwhelmingly voted in favor of handing the Food and Drug Administration the legal authority to regulate tobacco products. The overall goal of the legislation is to reduce youth smoking, prevent the sale of tobacco to minors, help current smokers quit, reduce the toxicity of tobacco products, and stop the tobacco industry from misleading the public with their understated claims about the dangers of using tobacco products. This bill will go a long way towards keeping tobacco companies honest about the safety of their products and improve our nation's efforts to stop kids from smoking.

FEDERAL FUNDING FOR ARKANSAS

$150,000 for Disaster Response Center in Magnolia
$149,169 for Lake Village Municipal Airport
$4.5 Million for Northwest Arkansas Airports
$270,000 for Mississippi County
FEMA Funds for January Ice Storm Recovery Efforts
Funds for Rogers Municipal Airport

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

In an article titled, Pryor asks Corps to waive fees, the Baxter Bulletin reports, "at least one marina owner says Pryor is correct...Anything the federal government can do like this will help," said Richard Hanson, owner of Quarry Marina and a past president of the Missouri and North Arkansas Marina Owners Association. He noted campers spend $16 a night or $112 a week for use of the Quarry Camping and Recreational Area near his marina.

"It's good first for the campers," said Hanson. "Any money we can put back into their pockets will make its way back into the local economy."

Hanson said the Corps is perhaps better positioned than other federal agencies to waive fees because fees collected by the Corps go directly to the U.S. Treasury and are not used as a basis for year-to-year budgets for maintenance and operation of Corps parks.


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