LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge attended a bill signing ceremony with President Donald Trump and met with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt on Friday.


Rutledge looked on as Trump signed the American Law Enforcement Heroes Act of 2017, which allows Department of Justice grant funding to be used to hire and train veterans for law enforcement positions, and the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2017, which aims to improve the DOJ’s processing of public safety officers’ death, disability and educational assistance claims.


Benefits under the PSOB program include support for permanently disabled law enforcement officers and education scholarship funding for the next of kin of deceased law enforcement officers.


“As Arkansas’s Chief Law Enforcement Officer, I was honored to join President Trump as he signed two important pieces of legislation that will directly benefit law enforcement,” Rutledge said in a statement.


“Grants will now be used to encourage the hiring of veterans as law enforcement officers, and a new effort has been initiated to eliminate the backlog for officers and their next of kin to receive benefits in a timely fashion. Members of law enforcement and veterans deserve our utmost respect, and I am proud to stand with our president and his administration in support of these brave men and women,” she said.


Rutledge also said she and Pruitt “talked openly about the need to protect our clean air and clean water in a cooperative and lawful fashion. I reassured the administrator that I support the agency returning to its core mission, and I will continue to protect our farmers, ranchers and small businesses against overregulation.”


Before being named to head the EPA, Pruitt served as Oklahoma attorney general. In that position he filed multiple lawsuits against the agency, as has Rutledge.