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Arkansas PoliticsIgnoring the Party PlatformRead

SEN. BILL SAMPLE Ignoring the Republican Platform

Pt 9 of the series

SEN. BILL SAMPLE Ignoring the Republican Platform

Pt 9 of the series

Since Conduit focuses on conservative issues and legislators’ voting records, and the Arkansas House and Senate are over 78% Republican, this series of articles highlights Republican incumbents who frequently vote contrary to conservative values and in many of those instances contrary to the Republican Party of Arkansas Platform.

We are highlighting the record of Senator Bill Sample (R – Hot Springs). Before we begin, we need to explain voting records.

Senator Bill Sample (R – Hot Springs)

You need to know sometimes a legislator will try to kill a bill without going on record as voting “No.” To do this, some walk off the floor to miss the vote or sit quietly without voting. Another tactic used to help kill a bill without voting “No” is to vote “Present.” Not voting or voting “Present” are not neutral actions. Regardless of whether a legislator votes “No”, doesn’t vote, or votes “Present” each action has the same effect of trying to deny the legislation enough votes to pass.


Here are some important votes on which Senator Sample”s actions conflict with conservative values and to various degrees with the platform and principles of the Republican Party of Arkansas.

In each instance below where Senator Sample is listed as “failed to vote,” he was recorded as present that day but did not vote on the issue..


  1. Failed to vote to override the Governor’s veto of a bill to ban abortions after 12 weeks – Override of Veto Vote – SB134 of 2013

Value of Life

  1. Voted to place a price tag on human life – SJR8 of 2017


  1. Failed to vote on bill to prohibit vaccine passports in Arkansas – SB615 of 2021


  1. Voted for Internet Sales Tax paid by Arkansas consumers – SB140 of 2017
  2. Voted for the Gas Tax Increase – SB336 of 2019
  3. Failed to vote on bill for Income Tax Cut – SB211 of 2019
  4. Voted for Tire Fees/Tax Increase – HB1267 of 2017
  5. Voted for increased cell phone fees/tax – HB1564 of 2019
  6. Voted for increased water bill fees/tax – HB1737 of 2019
  7. Voted for increased fees for state parks use – SB418 of 2021


  1. Voted against special election reform to prohibit sales tax increases at special elections – SB723 of 2017

Education – School Choice

  1. Failed to vote on bill for School Choice/Education Savings Accounts for children – SB746 of 2017

Limiting Access to Government Information

  1. Voted FOIA exemption for government attorneys – SB373 of 2017
  2. Voted to undermine FOIA in law enforcement with FOIA exemption – SB346 of 2021
  3. Voted for FOIA exemption on sales tax data – HB1868 of 2021

Regulation/ Deregulation

  1. Failed to vote on bill to repeal one regulation for any new regulation – SB512 of 2017
  2. Voted for new regulations and fees on ride sharing apps at airports (Uber/Lyft) – SB686 of 2021
  3. Voted against  bill for deregulation of homegrown foods, the Food Freedom Act – SB248 of 2021
  4. Voted against exempting hair stylists from a full cosmetology license – HB1746 of 2021
  5. Voted against housing design freedom- SB170 of 2019
  6. Voted against expanding scope of practice for optometrists – HB1251 of 2019
  7. Voted against expanded telemedicine use – HB1068 of 2021
  8. Failed to vote on bill for deregulation to amend supervision requirements of nurse anesthetists – HB1198 of 2021
  9. Voted against expanded telemedicine to phone calls – HB1063 of 2021
  10. Voted against a pathway for nurse practitioners to practice to full scope of education/training – HB1258 of 2021

Other Legislation

  1. Failed to vote on bill for a ten commandments monument on the state capitol grounds – SB939 of 2015


The votes of Senator Sample listed above conflict with conservative values and we believe to various extents the votes conflict with statements in the platform and principles of the Republican Party of Arkansas. We provide examples below we believe show a conflict but judge for yourselves by reading the full Republican Party of Arkansas Platform.

Item 1: The 2nd Principle of the RPAP “The sanctity of life” and with the platform which says: “Most importantly, we believe all unborn children have a fundamental right to live in order to avail themselves of these equal opportunities.
Item 2: The 2nd Principle of the RPAP – “The sanctity of life”, the 9th Principle of the RPAP – “The equal and just enforcement of the law”, and the 10th Principle of the RPAP – “Separate and equal branches of government”
Item 3: The 4th principle of the RPAP – “Individual freedom and liberty secured by a limited government”.
Items 4-11: The 6th Principle of the RPAP “Lower taxes to produce economic growth” and the Preamble of the RPAP – “We recognize the importance of lower taxes to spur economic growth and to ensure that individuals reap more of the benefits of their hard work.
Items 12: The Education Section of the RPAP – “Arkansas’s children deserve a world class education, developed by parents, educators, and leaders accountable to our citizens, regardless of their zip code. This requires openness to every type of education system available: homeschooling, distance learning, public school, private school, charter school, and vocational or technical school.” “Every tool should be given equal consideration and be utilized in a manner that puts the student’s needs above all ‘to secure to the people the advantages and opportunities of education.’”  “Every education decision we make is with the students and parents first in our minds!” “Every opportunity for every family to enroll each child in the school of its choice should be secured by government and offered to Arkansas families. Parents must have the ability to make informed choices regarding the education of their children and should not be restricted by lines on a map or the cost of tuition.” “to become greater players on the global stage, our children must be given the tools to succeed in their chosen fields through education.”
Items 13-15: The Preamble of the RPAP – “Regnat Populus, the People Rule” and with the Government Reform Section of the RPAP – “We firmly support transparency and openness at every level of government. Those elected, appointed, and employed in government work for the taxpayers of this state and must provide public information when requested . . .
Items 16-25: The 4th Principle of the RPAP – “Individual freedom and liberty secured by a limited government”, the Preamble of the RPAP – “We are created equally with individual freedoms and liberties that, through our own exercise of individual responsibility and initiative, can result in great outcomes independent of government.”, and the Economic Prosperity and Job Growth Section of the RPAP – “In order to continue moving forward in our economic recovery, businesses in Arkansas need to operate freely from overly burdensome regulation and over-taxation.
Item 26: The 1st Principle of the RPAP: “The power of faith in God Almighty


Conduit for Commerce scores the votes of legislators based on Conduit’s Economic Freedom Filter.  The Economic Freedom Filter analyzes bills that do the following:

  • Increase or decrease the size and scope of government
  • Increase or decrease dependency on government
  • Spend money we do not have
  • Increase or decrease transparency in government

Senator Sample scored poorly on the Conduit for Commerce Scorecard in 2021 and 2017. Below is a breakdown on his showings on the scorecard, released after each regular legislative session.

Bill Sample Voting Record – Conduit for Commerce Scorecard History

(In 2021–94% was the Score for the most conservative Senator with a ranking of 1/35.  Senator Sample scored in the bottom half of the Senate. Only 13 of 35 Senators scored lower than Senator Sample and that includes Democrats.) 

Session Score Rank
2021 64% 22/35
2019 59.2% 12/35
2017 42% 24/35



The Republican primary is May 24, 2022 and candidate filing has begun. Filing as a candidate ends on March 1.

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