ENG - Mike Dale Beebe (born December 28, 1946)is the 45th and current Governor of Arkansas, since January 9, 2007. He is a member of the Democratic Party.
Beebe was born in Amagon, a small town in Jackson County, Arkansas. He was raised by his mother, a waitress, and never met his father. As a child, he moved often with his family. They lived in Detroit, St. Louis, Chicago, Houston and Alamogordo, New Mexico. They returned to Arkansas, and he graduated from Newport High School in 1964.Beebe received a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Arkansas State University in 1968, where he was a member of Sigma Pi fraternity. He earned a law degree from the University of Arkansas in 1972. Beebe served in the U.S. Army Reserve. He practiced law in Searcy in White County for ten years after his graduation from law school. In 1982, he was elected to the Arkansas State Senate, where he would serve for 20 years. In 2002, he was elected Arkansas attorney general.
In 1982, he was elected to the Arkansas State Senate, where he would serve for 20 years. In 2002, he was elected Arkansas Attorney General, a position he held until getting elected Governor of Arkansas.
Governor of Arkansas
In his official website, Beebe outlines some of the policies he has pursued during his first term. He has outlined a plan for a balanced budget and attempted to cut middle class taxes by slashing in half the percentage of the state's grocery tax and increasing the Homestead Property Tax Credit, which can provide for lowing property taxes. Beebe has focused heavily on education reform.
He has called for an additional $19 million per year to be spent on assisting special needs students and has designed a program that attempts to increase the quality of teachers within Arkansas by providing alternative pay and mentoring to motivate bright students to enter education or young teachers to work in struggling rural schools. Beebe has rejected calls to allow for Social Security private accounts to be established. He has also made plans to phase out the tax on utilities for manufacturers. He has also outlined a 12-point plan to make health care more accessible and affordable. Some of his proposals include using federal tax credits to make private insurance cheaper, promote the expansion of Medicaid, advocating preventive care to stop health concerns before they grow worse, expanding school health clinics, and using home or community based cares as an alternative to nursing homes. In September 2008, Beebe's Commission on Global Warming voted 11-10 to adopt a moratorium on new coal plants in Arkansas. It was unclear whether he would support his commission's vote or whether the state legislature would even include it in future legislation.
Campaigns 2006 and 2009
On June 14, 2005, Beebe announced his candidacy for the Democratic Party's nomination to run for Governor of Arkansas. Beebe defeated former Republican Congressman and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) chief Asa Hutchinson as well as the Green Party candidate and an independent candidate in the general election on November 7, 2006, capturing 55 percent of the vote. Beebe was sworn in as governor on January 9, 2007. He was elected to the Democratic Governors Association Executive Committee for 2008–2009.
Beebe was challenged by Republican nominee Jim Keet, a former state legislator from Little Rock.
Beebe defeated Keet 64% to 34% He was sworn in on January 11, 2011, at the Arkansas State Capitol rotunda.
Beebe and his wife, Ginger, have three children and seven grandchildren.