Bills to Watch–Arkansas Legislature–Week of March 11, 2013

by Christine Keller

We had a great and productive time at the Springdale Gun & Knife Show yesterday! Our volunteers are there again today. Lots of interest in the tea party there. We’re making new contacts! 🙂

While there are thousands of bills flying around the state legislature, it is difficult to keep track of so many. In an effort to avoid sending too frequent emails, this one lists summaries/updates of some of the more interesting bills you may be interested in:
1) The voter turnout bill (to curb special elections) passed the House State Agencies Committee and is scheduled to be voted on in the full House on Monday afternoon. It is not too late to contact your state rep. in favor of this bill. Or, you may call the House switchboard at 501-682-6211 and leave a message asking any representatives to vote for the bill. The messages get delivered into the chamber.
2) The voter i.d. bill passed the House State Agencies Committee. It has a companion bill in the House (H1). It is not on any agenda at the time of this writing, but you can track the bill here.
3) **INTERESTING GUN RIGHTS BILL** Check this out! This bill, filed by freshman state representative Bob Ballinger, intends to nullify federal gun regulations: (from the preamble) “AN ACT TO REQUIRE STATE AGENCIES AND PUBLIC OFFICERS TO DISREGARD UNCONSTITUTIONAL OVERREACHES OF POWER; TO PROTECT THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF ARKANSAS: TO PREVENT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FROM REGULATING THE MANUFACTURE, ASSEMBLY, AND TRADE OF FIREARMS WITHIN THE BORDERS OF ARKANSAS; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.” Read the rest here. It has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee. Their contact info below.*
4) HB1312 regarding local control of water additives. This is the same bill we mentioned in an earlier email, which attempts to clarify existing state law regarding water additives and support local control of our water supply. When the legislature passed a fluoride mandate in the last legislative session, it overrode the wishes of voters in certain municipalities who had already voted to not have fluoride in their water. The issue at stake is not whether fluoride is good or bad. The issue is really about local control of water additives. It makes sense for regulations to be as close to the people’s control as possible. When the bill came up in the Public Health Committee, it was tied 9-9 evenly along party lines. It is necessary to persuade two more Democrats to support the bill in order for it to come up again. You can read more here (about 1/3 down the page). Respectful emails asking for local control of water additives would be appreciated to these representatives:; “Greg Leding” <>;;;;;;;;;
5) SB255, the Arkansas Water Additive Accountability Act, has been referred to the Senate Public Health Committee and needs to pass. Operators at the Carroll Boone Water District (CBWD) and other water districts in the state have come out in support of this bill to regulate substances added to public drinking water. From an article in the Eureka Springs Independent: “After a mandate was passed by the Arkansas legislature requiring all water districts serving more than 5,000 customers add fluoride to the water, the CBWD operators contacted 49 suppliers of fluoride asking for exact copies of documents that manufacturers are required to submit in order to receive American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and NSF Standard 60 certification. These manufacturers’ documents are required to declare the full extent of each contaminant and provide a list of toxicological studies on the product and those contaminants. Not a single supplier responded with the requested data…”

***House Revenue and Taxation Committee emails:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,