May 21, 2014 Edition

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Sanders to give WRHS address

Senator David J. Sanders of Little Rock will give the main address at the Walnut Ridge High School commencement for the class of 2014. The ceremony is set for Friday at 7 p.m. in Sharum Gymnasium.

Sanders and wife Rebecca, a choral director, have a daughter, age 15, and four sons, ages 13, 12, 7 and 4.

A 1993 graduate of WRHS, he is serving his first term in the Arkansas Senate and represents District 15, comprised of Pulaski, Perry, Conway, Faulkner and Van Buren counties. He served one term in the House of Representatives from 2011-13.

In 2013, Sanders passed legislation cracking down on waste, fraud and abuse in the state's Medicaid program, including the creation of the state's Office of Medicaid Inspector General.

In addition, Sanders has to his credit sweeping laws that corrected years of structural problems with Arkansas' parole system.

He passed the first reduction in the state's income tax rates and reformed the state's worker's compensation laws for motor carriers.

He is also one of the architects of Arkansas' Private Option, the conservative alternative to President Obama's Medicaid Expansion in the Affordable Care Act. He is currently working with members of a bipartisan task force to reform Arkansas' State Employees and School Employees Health Insurance Plan.

In 1997, Sanders earned a bachelor's degree from Ouachita Baptist University. He has worked as a policy and communications aide to former Gov. Mike Huckabee. He spent six years in the energy services industry focusing on healthcare.

From 2000-2009 he wrote a column published by Stephens Media Group in more than 25 newspapers statewide. He also produced, hosted and contributed to public affairs programming for the Arkansas Educational Television Network and frequently contributed to the station's "Arkansas Week" program.

In 2002, Arkansas Business named Sanders one of "40 Under 40," a recognition of the state's future leaders in business and politics.

Sanders works as the director of institutional advancement for a Christian college preparatory school in Little Rock.

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