Gov. Hutchinson Announces Cost-Saving Move for Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission

Cut in Unnecessary Spending Nets Taxpayers More Than $70,000

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission (AWCC) announced today that the AWCC will not renew its lease of space for executive offices on the 26th floor of the Regions Building and will instead relocate those three commissioners to the Workers’ Compensation building nearby, at no additional cost to the state. This move will save Arkansas taxpayers more than $70,000 a year and additional savings in utility costs.

The current five-year lease was signed in 2012 and will end June 30, 2017. The full Commission offices have been on the 26th floor of the Regions Bank building for 30 years. These executive high-rise offices are separate from the state-owned Commission building at 324 Spring Street, which currently serves as the office for all Little Rock employees of the agency.

“As Governor, one of my top priorities has been to streamline state government to eliminate unnecessary costs for taxpayers,” Hutchinson said. “The decision to house Workers’ Compensation Commissioners within the Workers’ Compensation building is great news in that regard. This common-sense move to unite the three commissioners’ offices with their staff will save Arkansas taxpayers more than $70,000 per year.

“It is encouraging to see our agencies taking a deep look at spending to determine how to better serve the people of our state. I encourage other agencies to follow the lead of the AWCC, and I look forward to continued work with our legislature, state agencies and the Office of Transformation to find more ways to cut unnecessary spending and improve state government.”

This change was a result of the Hutchinson administration’s continued focus on finding efficiencies and driving down the cost of state government.

“Shortly after the Governor’s inauguration in 2015, the Governor asked me to look into the high-rise executive offices leased by the full Commission,” said S. Dale Douthit, chairman of the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission. “In 2015, we had approximately two and a half years on the five-year lease. As a result of reduction in staff due to natural attrition, our state-owned facility at 324 Spring Street now has more than enough office space for the full Commission. The full Commission has given notice to Regions that we will not be exercising another lease. Beginning July 1, 2017, the full Commission will move into its existing state-owned building at 324 Spring Street. The move into vacant space will require no major renovation. This is in line with Governor Hutchinson’s directive for more efficient state government.”

In 2015, the Commission had 104 employees; that number now stands at 89 employees.