Senator Pryor Jumps the Gun on Phthalates

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Senators aren’t rocket scientists. In fact, most of them aren’t scientists at all. There are a few doctors in the Senate. The House of Representatives has a microbiologist, but most of the members of Congress are about as educated on science as you or I. That, however, doesn’t stop them from pretending to be scientists. Take the ban on certain phthalates in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), the federal legislation I’ve written about in previous posts. What’s a phthalate? … [Read more...]

Sen. Pryor Stops Kids from Eating All-Terrain Vehicles

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Can all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) be dangerous to children? Of course. When I was 12, my cousin and I were riding on my grandfather’s 4-wheel ATV. Our behavior was about as mature as that of a typical 12-year-old, which is to say that we were driving the ATV backwards at a high rate of speed. My cousin turned the ATV sharply, causing it to flip over and roll on top of us. Let’s just say that I have some idea of how unsafe an ATV can be. Our foolish actions on the ATV that day (and many other … [Read more...]

Senator Pryor Helps Out Big Toy

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Big businesses – or at least big toy makers – don’t have a better friend in the Senate than Mark Pryor. That may seem strange. After all, didn’t the federal law he sponsored, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), place strict new regulations on toy makers? Indeed it did. But big toymakers had no problem complying with the Byzantine rules spawned by CPSIA. It’s the small toy companies, especially makers of handmade toys, who were and are hurt by this legislation. At his … [Read more...]

Uber/Lyft Working Well in Detroit. Why Not Little Rock?

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We wrote a couple weeks ago about Little Rock City Director Joan Adcock’s ongoing crusade to ban (or regulate out of existence) innovative ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft that may soon be operating in Little Rock. Our friends at the Center for Local Governance at the Texas Public Policy Foundation recently released a video about one Detroit driver who used her employment by a ride-sharing service to avoid going on welfare. Take a … [Read more...]

Making Arkansas a Rich State

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What can Arkansas lawmakers do to grow the state’s economy in the years to come? That’s the question a new study, Rich States, Poor States, seeks to answer. Compiled by Arthur B. Laffer, Stephen Moore, and Jonathan Williams, this study identifies pro-growth tax and regulatory policies that states can implement. It also discusses what states are doing to attract new businesses and create jobs for their workers. In state rankings released in conjunction with this study, Arkansas came in at … [Read more...]

Gyronne Buckley’s Second Punishment

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I often suspect that the people running our government have no idea what they are doing, but it is rare that this suspicion of mine is verified so persuasively. You’ll probably remember our earlier coverage of Gyronne Buckley, who was unjustly imprisoned for over a decade and then denied compensation by our state legislature. After state Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson voted to deny Buckley compensation for being falsely imprisoned for more than a decade on the basis of an unfair trial, Hutchinson … [Read more...]

Arkansas’s Timid Response to the EPA

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Last week, our neighbors in Texas considered how to respond to the EPA’s onerous regulations introduced earlier this summer. From a Texas Tribune report: Texas’s top environmental regulator suggested Thursday that the state may ignore a proposed directive from the Obama administration in June toreduce carbon emissions from power plants. “I’m concerned that if this is not contested, if we don’t dispute this, if we don’t win, the implications … are only the camel’s nose under the tent,” … [Read more...]

Dirty Cops, Wrongful Imprisonment, and Blessings from Government: A Conversation with Senator Hutchinson

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Earlier this week, I interviewed state Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson about the Gyronne Buckley case. It was one of the most astonishing conversations I have ever had. As I wrote on Tuesday, Buckley was incarcerated for over eleven years; the state Claims Commission determined that he hadn’t received a fair trial. In particular, the Commission found that Buckley was the victim of a corrupt cop, Keith Ray, who failed to disclose documents at Buckley’s trial that would have helped Buckley; according to … [Read more...]