February 17, 2016 EditionAlso in this issue...
Ratliff seeks reelection
State Rep. James Ratliff has formally announced that he will be seeking a fourth term in the Arkansas House of Representatives in 2016. Currently, he represents district 60, which includes Lawrence, Randolph, western Greene and parts of Sharp county.
"I am proud of what the people of district 60 and my colleagues in state government have allowed me to accomplish in my three terms as representative," Ratliff said. "At all levels, we have been able to exceed expectations in providing help and services to friends and neighbors."
"After three terms, I've gained a working knowledge of government and built relationships with state agencies. Both knowledge and people who will count you as a trusted ally are very necessary in this position."
In the last legislative session, Ratliff was able to see nine of 10 bills he introduced passed by both the House and Senate - all signed into law by the governor. He cosponsored 25 additional bills that were also signed into law.
"This success for the district would not have been possible without drawing support from all parties," added Ratliff.
With election to a fourth term, Ratliff will stand 18th in seniority in the House. Positions of seniority at this level insure greater access to the decision making process.
"With revisions in how seniority is determined, it would take a new legislator greater than 10 years to get to the 20th position, and beyond that, a representative would be term limited of the Arkansas General Assembly."
Ratliff currently serves on the committee for Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development, the committee for Education, the House Select Committee for Rules and the Arkansas Legislative Council. He co-chairs the Rural Fire Departments Study Committee and is vice-chair of the ALC Game and Fish/State Police committee.
Other appointments include the Higher Education Subcommittee, House Higher Education Subcommittee and House Agriculture Parks and Tourism Committee.
During his term, the completion of the Highway 67 tie in to the interstate system is a reality. Emergency rooms in the district have been supported by revenue improvements to hospitals. Job growth is significant with a variety of professions being attracted to the area.
"Economic growth has begun, and I see nothing but improvement in the near future," said Ratliff. "Job growth and new industry will further contributions to school districts, fire and police departments, and other public services."
"Even the construction of new industry in this area has improved sales tax income with workers using Northeast Arkansas hotels, restaurants, lumber and hardware stores and more. The unemployment rate is lowest since 2001. I feel good about our prospects for the future."
Ratliff and his wife, Georgia, are native to the area. Ratliff enjoys hunting and fishing, as well as his time with his wife and grandchildren.