House Committee Votes to Concur on Religious Freedom Bill

This morning the House Judiciary Committee voted to concur in the amendments the Arkansas Senate made to H.B. 1228, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

This brings the bill one step closer to the governor’s desk.

The bill passed the committee with 11 representatives voting for it; 5 representatives voting against it; and 4 representatives not voting.

Below is a breakdown of the vote.

The Following Representatives Voted for the Bill

  • Rep. House (R-North Little Rock)
  • Rep. Ballinger (R-Hindsville)
  • Rep. Baine (D-El Dorado)
  • Rep. Farrer (R-Austin)
  • Rep. Petty (R-Rogers)
  • Rep. Drown (R-Dover)
  • Rep. Michelle Gray (R-Melbourne)
  • Rep. Copeland (R-Little Rock)
  • Rep. Tosh (R-Jonesboro)
  • Rep. Beck (R-Center Ridge)
  • Rep. Rushing (R-Hot Springs)

The Following Representatives Voted Against the Bill

  • Rep. Scott (R-Rogers)
  • Rep. Eddie Armstrong (D-North Little Rock)
  • Rep. Whitaker (D-Fayetteville)
  • Rep. Broadaway (D-Paragould)
  • Rep. Bennett (D-Lonoke)

The Following Representatives Did Not Vote

  • Rep. Vines (D-Hot Springs)
  • Rep. Talley (D-Hope)
  • Rep. Wright (D-Forrest City)
  • Rep. Shepherd (R-El Dorado)

The bill now goes to the entire House of Representatives for a vote.

Arkansas Senate Passes Religious Freedom Bill

This morning the Arkansas Senate passed H.B. 1228, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

This good bill is modeled on federal law as well as laws in 21 other states. It simply affirms the traditional understanding of the free exercise of religion and prevent religious liberty from further erosion.

The bill passed with 24 senators voting for it; 7 senators voting against; 2 senators not voting; and one senator voting “Present.”

The bill now goes back to the Arkansas House of Representatives for concurrence in the amendments made to it in the Arkansas Senate; after that, it will go to Governor Hutchinson, who has said he will sign it.

You can see how your senator voted here.

Pro-Life Parental-Involvement Bill Goes to Governor

Late yesterday afternoon the Arkansas Senate passed pro-life bill H.B. 1424.

This good bill strengthens Arkansas’ parental involvement laws concerning minors who seek an abortion.

Right now, Arkansas law requires abortion-providers to obtain parental-consent before performing an abortion on a minor; however, the law does not adequately ensure the person signing the parental-consent form is a parent.

H.B. 1424 inserts additional provisions into the law that will help verify the identity of the person signing the parental-consent form. This will help protect minors from exploitation by adults posing as their parents or legal guardians. It will also better ensure parents or legal guardians are involved when a young girl is seeking an abortion.

Parents have a vested interest in the health and safety of their children, and we believe when parents are involved, they are more likely to help their daughter understand abortion, its risks, and its alternatives–potentially saving the lives of unborn children.

The bill passed the Arkansas Senate, with 24 senators voting for it; 1 senator voting against it; and 9 senators not voting. It now goes to Governor Hutchinson to be signed into law.

You can see how your senator voted here.

You can see how your representative voted here.