Federal Government Grants Reprieve on HHS Mandate

October 10, 2017 | Posted in Abortion | By

Over the years we have written repeatedly about Obamacare’s contraception mandate — also called the “HHS Mandate.” The mandate requires employers to pay for contraception and abortion-inducing medication.

Many people find this mandate unconscionable and have sued the federal government in court. While the original mandate included religious exemptions for churches, the exemption was extremely narrow.

On Friday, the federal Department of Justice unveiled its “interim final rule” keeping the mandate in place for the vast majority of employers’ employees, but dramatically expanding the Obama administration’s narrow categories for religious exemption.

This makes it much less likely Americans will be forced to violate their consciences by paying for contraception and drugs that cause abortions.

Congress needs to take steps to make this interim final rule a permanent fixture in federal law. In the meantime, the Trump Administration has given people of faith a reprieve from the Obama Administration’s HHS mandate.

A.G. Rejects Eleventh Recreational Marijuana Proposal

October 9, 2017 | Posted in Marijuana | By

Last week Attorney General Leslie Rutledge rejected yet another ballot proposal legalizing recreational marijuana.

The A.G. rejected the measure due to ambiguities in its text.

The proposal would have made it legal for anyone 18 or older to grow, sell, or use marijuana.

By our count, this is the eleventh attempt to legalize recreational marijuana since May of this year.

So-called “medical marijuana” is just a stepping stone. The endgame for marijuana’s supporters is — and always has been — full legalization.

You can read the A.G.’s full opinion here.

AR Lottery Posts Dismal Numbers for September

October 9, 2017 | Posted in Arkansas Lottery | By

The Arkansas Lottery gave 18.6 cents of every dollar it made in September to college scholarships, according to a report released today.

Since July, the Lottery has made $122.6 million, but has paid out $22.3 million to scholarships — a little over 18% of its total revenue.

Since 2014, the Arkansas Lottery has spent roughly 18% – 19% of its revenue on scholarships. For perspective, the average state lottery allocates 30%.

Below is a breakdown of lottery revenue so far this year.

Month Gross Lottery Revenue Paid to Scholarships % Gross Revenue
July $36,885,396.81 $6,661,762.99 18.1%
August 49,320,459.23 8,912,741.54 18.1%
September 36,405,731.14 6,755,333.93 18.6%
Total $122,611,587.18 $22,329,838.46 18.2%