Arkansas Senate confirms Gov. Sanders’ cabinet nominees

by Roby Brock ([email protected]) 942 views 

The Arkansas State Senate wasted little time Wednesday (Jan. 11) confirming Gov. Sarah Sanders’ new cabinet. She has nominated 14 of the 15 cabinet positions. The current interim Secretary of Health, Renee Mallory, will continue to serve until a replacement is named.

Senators approved the following cabinet nominees:

Wes Ward – Department of Agriculture
Hugh McDonald – Department of Commerce
Joe Profiri – Department of Corrections
Jacob Oliva – Department of Education
Shane Khoury – Department of Energy & Environment
Larry Walther – Department of Finance & Administration
Kristi Putnam – Department of Human Services
Allison Bragg – Department of Inspector General
Daryl Bassett – Department of Labor & Licensing
Jon Stubbs – Department of the Military
Mike Mills – Department of Parks, Heritage & Tourism
Mike Hagar – Department of Public Safety
Joseph Wood – Department of Transformation & Shared Services
Kendall Penn – Department of Veterans Affairs

The vote to confirm these nominees was unanimous in the Senate.

In other business on Wednesday, Sanders signed her eighth executive order. The latest directive outlines her major goals for education reform. When asked when she planned to roll out her omnibus education package, Sanders said, “Soon.”

On Tuesday, Sanders signed seven executive orders into effect. They included:

  • A review of all existing executive orders;
  • State government hiring freeze, with the exception of the Department of Corrections or Public Safety;
  • A ban on new rulemaking, plus a requirement to eliminate two rules for every one proposed;
  • An investigation for waste, fraud or abuse of improper unemployment benefits;
  • A review education protocols to ensure they “educate, not indoctrinate students.” This order also bans Critical Race Theory in classroom teaching.
  • A review of state government devices and applications that could be subject to cybersecurity risks, including a continued ban of TikTok; and
  • Prohibition of the use of culturally insensitive words for official state government business, namely the word “Latinx.”