It’s another busy week out at the Arkansas Legislature, and momentum is still picking up.  Lawmakers are making all kinds of headlines right now, but there are a few whose actions I want to commend today.

Larry Teague for his Lottery Bill

Sen. Larry Teague (D-Nashville) filed a bill this week that brings the Arkansas Lottery under more direct legislative control.  Over and over again last summer, lawmakers who sat on the Lottery Oversight Committee told the public that they didn’t have any decision-making authority over the Lottery. If Sen. Teague’s bill passes, I believe that will change. By bringing the Lottery under the more direct scrutiny of the Legislature, Sen. Teague is helping bring about lottery reform.

SB365 gives legislators greater authority when it comes to ordering audits of the Lottery, reviewing lottery contracts and rules, and providing accountability for the Arkansas Lottery. Way to go, Senator Teague!

House Conservatives for Stopping SB119

SB119 by Linda Pondexter-Chesterfield (D-Little Rock) would have created a nine-member Commission on the Status of Women. Now, if you’re not familiar with the issue, you may be wondering what’s wrong with a commission that promotes equality for women. Well, the problem is that we’ve seen pushes for commissions like this in the past, and their agenda rarely focuses solely on equal pay or equal treatment for women. Rather, they usually end up furthering radical causes, such as increasing abortion on demand or making it easier for married couples to divorce. What’s more, new commissions almost always end up somehow costing the State more tax money, and that’s something nobody wants right now.

Thankfully, lawmakers in the House saw the bill for what it was, and were able to defeat it. In particular, Reps. Andrea Lea, Charolette Wagner, Debra Hobbs, and Ann Clemmer all provided questions and testimony highlighting deficiencies in the bill and the new commission it created. Hats off to them and everyone else who voted against SB119!