Health Committee Soundly Rejects Assisted Suicide Bill

March 12, 2019 | Posted in Arkansas Capitol, Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide | By

This morning the House Public Health Committee soundly rejected a proposal that would have legalized physician-assisted suicide in Arkansas.

This is really good news!

H.B. 1536 legalizing physician-assisted suicide has been widely discussed in Arkansas for weeks, and a lot of testimony was offered in the committee meeting when the bill came up this morning.

In the end, not a single state representative who was present for the meeting today supported the bill.

This was a deeply flawed bill. It fundamentally disrespected the sanctity of innocent human life. Arkansans understood that and have made it that they overwhelmingly oppose physician-assisted suicide.

Hats off to everyone who contacted their state legislators and helped defeat H.B. 1536 — including the 123 ministers and church leaders who signed an open letter to the Arkansas Legislature opposing this bill!

The One Thing the Arkansas Lottery Needs to Do to Increase Funding for College Scholarships

March 11, 2019 | Posted in Arkansas Lottery | By

On Friday the Arkansas Lottery released its financial report for the month of February.

The Arkansas Lottery grossed more than $41 million, but gave scholarships less than $8.2 million — just 20 cents out of every dollar the Lottery made.

The Arkansas Lottery consistently has paid out pathetic sums to college scholarships since Day One.

While the average state lottery gives about 30% of its gross revenue to state programs, Arkansas’ gives about 17% – 18%. As a result, college scholarship funding never has lived up to the promises made when the Lottery came to the state a decade ago.

But today the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration issued a fiscal impact statement confirming that the Lottery Office only has to do one thing to provide more money for college scholarships: Give a larger percentage of its gross revenue to the state’s Academic Challenge Scholarship fund.

The report was issued in response to S.B. 387, which requires the Lottery to give 25% of its gross revenue to college scholarships by Fiscal Year 2025.

According to the report, if this bill passes, scholarship funds will increase from $99.9 million next year to $124.9 million by 2025.

Below is a breakdown of lottery revenue and scholarship funding so far this fiscal year.

Month Gross Lottery Revenue Paid to Scholarships % Gross Revenue
July $42,413,352.70 $5,066,628.73 11.9%
August 40,343,279.62 6,175,998.40 15.3%
September 35,198,809.72 7,783,450.82 22.1%
October 57,575,285.62 11,259,040.31 19.6%
November 37,700,016.00 6,821,411.01 18.1%
December 45,859,642.73 6,650,791.54 14.5%
January, 2019 40,574,813.28 7,848,495.62 19.3%
February 41,060,111.75 8,198,257.31 20.0%
Total $340,725,311.42 $59,804,073.74 17.6%

More Than 100 Ministers and Church Leaders Sign Letter Against Physician-Assisted Suicide Proposal

March 11, 2019 | Posted in Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, Legislature | By

One hundred twenty-three ministers and church leaders have signed an open letter to the Arkansas Legislature opposing H.B. 1536, a bill that would legalize physician-assisted suicide in Arkansas.

Although these ministers and church leaders come from different backgrounds, churches, and denominations from across the state, they all agree that physician-assisted suicide is bad for Arkansans.

Physician-assisted suicide currently is illegal in Arkansas, but H.B. 1536 by Rep. Dan Douglas (R – Bentonville) would let doctors prescribe lethal drugs to terminally ill patients if the doctor believes the patient will die “within a relatively short time.”

This bill is subjective, deeply flawed, and fundamentally disrespects the sanctity of innocent human life.

Unlike other assisted-suicide proposals, the bill does not require patients to undergo counseling first, and it does not contain adequate safeguards to prevent people from being euthanized.

It also does not let faith-based hospitals, hospices, and nursing homes completely prevent doctors from prescribing lethal drugs to their patients.

Family Council has sent a copy of the ministers’ letter opposing physician-assisted suicide to the state representatives serving on the House Public Health Committee.

You can download a copy of the letter and list of the ministers and church leaders who signed it here.