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What Does the Legislation Do? – The Problem of Bill Titles

By David Ferguson The titles of some bills filed in the Arkansas legislature are so short and vague they will leave you scratching your head wondering “what does it do?” Sometimes a bill only addresses one specific change and in those instances a short title gives you all the information you need but often having a short title means very important details go unnoticed until it is too late. Sometimes the sponsor of a bill intentionally leaves the title vague to keep you from notic…

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Sales Tax On Ballot Despite Economy Wrecked by COVID-19 Shutdowns

While you have been worried about COVID-19 and about whether you will be able to make a living in its wake, the tax-and-spend crowd have been busy promoting Ballot Issue #1 to impose a permanent sales tax that will go into the Arkansas Constitution where it will be nearly impossible to remove. They hope you will forget all about your family’s economic woes and vote for the tax (or at least that you will stay home and not vote against it). Your November ballot will include Issue #1 to…

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Legislator To Government Lobbyist

It is no longer an occasional occurrence. It is now a biennial event. For the third time since 2016 a state Representative has resigned from office to take a government lobbyist job. Every two years in June or July during an election year a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives has resigned to take a government lobbyist job The whole idea of state agencies and institutions using taxpayer money to hire a lobbyist to lobby other agencies and officials is offensive to fis…

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Freedoms Forgotten – Freedoms Lost

Do you know who said the following? “It’s time we asked ourselves if we still know the freedoms intended for us by the Founding Fathers.”  Many will recognize it as having come from a speech by Ronald Reagan who became our 40th President. But did you know he said it decades before he became President? He said it fifty-six years ago in 1964. A lot has happened since his speech and our freedoms are at even greater risk. It seems our founding documents and the lives of the founder…

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Coronavirus Rules – Coronavirus Edicts

Normally when we hear the two words “Coronavirus Rules” it is coming from someone who is wants stronger more invasive rules or it is coming from someone who is sick of their liberties being trampled. Don’t worry. This article is not about what rules should or should not exist. This article only looks at a complaint by legislators who say many of Arkansas’ Coronavirus Rules are not being adopted in a legal manner. The complaint was made by state Representative Dan Sullivan along…

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The Hutchinson/Hendren Family Political Dynasty

Arkansas politics is peppered with family dynasties.  Among the Democrat dynasties, we are reminded of: David Pryor and son Mark Pryor both of whom served in various offices including the U.S. Senate. Henry Wilkins III, his widow Dr. Josetta E. Wilkins, and son Henry “Hank” Wilkins IV all of whom served in the state legislature from Jefferson County. K. “Bill” Ingram and sons Kent and Keith all of whom served as state Senators from Crittenden County. This dynasty is ongoing a…

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In Remembrance of Linda

By Bryan King It’s been a little over a year since hearing the tragic news of Linda Collins. While many focus on the news of the day involving Linda’s murder, I chose to take time to remember who Linda was, her courage, and persevering despite consequences for doing what was right. During our time in the legislature, we witnessed changes in political party control while major policies didn’t change. In fact, many times the changes that did happen, occurred when changes in polit…

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Is Getting Attention More Important Than Good Policy?

State Senator Jim Hendren, a Republican, and Representative Nicole Clowney, a Democrat, have released a hate crimes bill. Any discussion of the merits of the bill have taken a backseat to criticism of Hendren for once again bypassing his colleagues to grab the center of attention. KATV cited another state senator as being blindsided by the proposal saying: “There had been real discussion about how to move forward in a positive way with race relations and how to approach a sen…

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National Conservative Group Issues Report Card

The leading national conservative organization on economic issues recently issued a report card on how members of the Arkansas General Assembly voted during the 2019 legislative session. The report card is by the Club for Growth Foundation. Club for Growth is known as the leading free-enterprise advocacy group in the nation. In the past Club for Growth focused only on Congress, urging Congress to vote like free-market, limited government conservatives and holding them…

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Is AR Legislature Powerless on COVID-19 Rules?

By David Ferguson Some Arkansas legislators are upset with Governor Asa Hutchinson’s COVID-19 emergency rules and are upset with being left out of the decision-making process. Legislators have been saying in frustration: “We are powerless to stop the Governor.” But these legislators have been misinformed. The legislature is not powerless. The legislature can end the Governor’s emergency power by terminating his declaration of an emergency. And, if they wish, they ca…

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