Judge McGowan Benchslaps Act 1413

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One of the most offensive bills that the Arkansas General Assembly passed last session was SB 821/Act 1413. This bill, which we warned the legislature about, almost seemed designed to make it more difficult for citizens to pass laws by means of ballot initiatives. Act 1413 created a new set of regulations that controlled the registration, tracking, and training of those who gathered signatures for petitions. Earlier this week, we were very pleased to see Judge McGowan’s decision to the effect … [Read more...]

Term Limits Camouflage

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The debate over extending legislative term limits in Arkansas is only just beginning. Unfortunately, that debate has been diluted: in this year’s legislative session, the legislature opted to couple term limits extension measure with ethics reform. The amendment’s ballot title says nothing about extending term limits. Instead, it mostly discusses ethics reforms and then, in the last line, says it is intended to “establish” term limits. This, to say the least, has concerned many conservatives … [Read more...]

Just Saying Hello (And Those Other Guys Suck!)

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Last week, an email with the subject line “Just Saying Hello” went out to legislative supporters of the “private option”/Medicaid expansion. The email was from State Rep. John Burris. He began this missive by explaining that it lacked “a real motive or specific request.” It’s real cute. You should read it: Hey all, This is an email to those who voted "yes" on the DHS appropriation that included the Private Option spending authority. I don't have a real motive or specific request. I just … [Read more...]

Who Are Arkansas’s Friends Of Freedom?

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Today at the Capitol, 23 state legislators were awarded “Friends of Freedom” awards from the Advance Arkansas Institute. These legislators represent the top tier of scorers on AAI’s newly released 2013 Freedom Scorecard, an index of over 100 bills that were debated in this year’s legislative session. (If you’d like a copy of the full report, send us a tax-deductible donation and we’ll ship one out to you.) So, who are the Friends of Freedom? In the House, the following representatives made the … [Read more...]

Beebe’s “Non-Starter” Wish List Becomes Starter For Some GOP Legislators

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Yesterday, I wrote about Governor Beebe’s redistribution plan for Arkansas school funding. As part of that story, I shared several mass emails from and to Republican legislators that revealed their thinking on this issue (many are upset with the plan, to say the least). Perhaps as a result of my story, last night I received even more emails that more clearly demonstrate the divide in the GOP caucus -- as well as the evolving nature of the debate over the imminent special session’s … [Read more...]

Failure to Launch

The launch of the nation’s Obamacare exchanges continues to be a nationwide disaster – and Obamacare advocates continue to grit their teeth and insist that all is well. On the one hand, this disturbingly propagandistic video attempts to show that the Arkansas exchange worked well on its first day: one “satisfied customer” stands just outside the Clinton Library’s exchange rollout, explaining that the startup went “very easily, very smoothly, it went right to the point, you know; she keyed in … [Read more...]

It Got Better For John Cooper

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The preliminary results for the Jonesboro state senate primary suggest that John Cooper received just a few more votes than Dan Sullivan for the Republican nomination. Each of them received around 37% of the Republican vote and will take each other on in the Republican runoff. Radius Baker and Steve Rockwell will do the same in the Democratic runoff. Chad Niell's contributions to this race will be remembered as well. Early in the race, Niell wrote Cooper a personal note suggesting that Cooper … [Read more...]

State Legislators Recognized For Conservative Principles

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Tuesday night, the Conduit For Commerce (CFC) hosted an appreciation dinner for conservative members of the Arkansas legislature. Approximately 25 lawmakers were in attendance to receive awards of appreciation for their commitment to limited government and lower taxes. I was privileged to attend the dinner and share a table with Senators Bart Hester and Alan Clark. CFC co-founders Brenda Vassaur Taylor and Joe Maynard, in brief remarks, expressed gratitude to lawmakers for holding the line … [Read more...]