At the center of Bill Halter’s campaign for Governor of Arkansas is his progressive proposal to pay for college for every eligible high school student in the state.
21st Century Democrats endorses Halter and his groundbreaking scholarship plan,Arkansas Promise, which should be used as a model across the country.
The Halter program would ensure that any Arkansas high school student with a 2.5 GPA would be able to attend college in state with all tuition paid. Funded by a combination of lottery scholarships, philanthropic support, federal grant assistance and the Arkansas Promise, the plan would not raise taxes or increase state spending.
21st Century Democrats, as well as progressives in Arkansas and across the country, most recently supported Halter in the 2010 Senate primary against the incumbent, conservative Democrat Blanche Lincoln, who went on to lose the seat to Republican John Boozman.
Halter’s progressive track record includes championing health care reform, spearheading a free clinic, supporting a minimum wage increase, working for student loan reform, advocating for clean energy and leading on gay rights.
Halter served in the Clinton administration beginning in 1993, working to help trim bureaucratic waste with the Office of Management and Budget. During his six years at OMB, the government’s $290 billion budget deficit turned into a $125 billion surplus, and the United States saw its first balanced budget in 40 years.
President Bill Clinton appointed Halter, a fellow Rhodes Scholar, as deputy commissioner of Social Security in 1999. Halter also served the U.S. Congress as an economist for the Joint Economic Committee and as chief economist for the Senate Finance Committee.
As we enter a new year full of opportunities to advance the progressive agenda, we want to take stock of what we accomplished together in 2012. Whether campaigning for candidates or organizing around an issue, our success comes from the dedication and energy of 21st Century Democrats' supporters working together. [more]