Please Call Your Representative

Your Arkansas Representative will likely vote on an important piece of legislation next week, and needs to hear from you right away.

House Bill 1228, the Conscience Protection Act by Rep. Bob Ballinger, affirms religious liberty in Arkansas. Arkansas is one of a handful of states with no amendment, law, or court ruling protecting the traditional understanding of the free exercise of religion. Over and over again we have seen Americans marginalized simply for wanting to live out their deeply-held religious convictions. Laws like HB1228 help protect our right to do just that.

Please call and leave a message for your representative at (501) 682-6211 expressing your support for HB1228, the Conscience Protection Act. To learn more about this act and why it is important, click here.

Pro-Life Bill Passes Arkansas House; Call Your Senator!

capitol3-1This afternoon the Arkansas House of Representatives passed a good, pro-life bill.

HB1076 requires a doctor administering an abortion-inducing drug (like RU-486) to be present during the procedure. The bill comes as evidence continues to mount that abortion-inducing drugs are not being administered in accordance with FDA protocols, and will help curtail the expansion of chemical abortions.

The bill passed the Arkansas House of Representatives with 83 members of the House voting for the bill; 4 voting against the bill; 7 representatives not voting on the bill; and 6 members voting “Present.”

You can see a breakdown of the vote here.

If your representative voted for HB1076, be sure to contact him or her to say “Thank you.”

The bill now heads to the Arkansas Senate. Please be sure to contact your state senator, and ask him or her to vote for pro-life bill HB1076. You can leave a message for your senator at the Arkansas Capitol Building by calling (501) 682-2902.

$10 million Budget Shortfall Looming for 2015 Lottery Scholarships

During the first six months of Fiscal Year 2015 (which began last summer) at the Arkansas Lottery the percentage of gross lottery revenue allocated for scholarships dropped to record lows.

Month Gross Lottery Revenue Paid to Scholarships % Gross Revenue
July $30,925,067.43 $5,928,447.99 19.2%
August 31,571,412.10 5,296,965.80 16.8%
September 30,710,493.31 4,317,227.10 14.1%
October 32,959,739.29 5,939,625.59 18.0%
November 30,617,278.28 5,577,035.16 18.2%
 December 34,507,731.54 5,474,318.77 15.9%
Total $191,291,721.95 $32,533,620.41 17.0%


Based on these figures, the Arkansas Lottery is on track to pay out roughly $65 – $70 million in scholarship money. That’s about $10 – $15 million less than projected for Fiscal Year 2015.

Last summer the Lottery Director told the Arkansas Lottery Commission that “the very conservative budget anticipated $81.2 million net proceeds to [college scholarships] for [Fiscal Year] 2015.”

The average state lottery allocates about 30% of its gross revenue for its intended purpose (e.g. education, college scholarships, etc.). However, the Arkansas Lottery is allocating, on average, 17% of its revenue for college scholarships. That’s the lowest percentage in its history, and one of the lowest in the nation.

This comes as the Arkansas Legislature considers bills that would overhaul the Arkansas Lottery–including legislation to change the way scholarships are allocated and abolish the Arkansas Lottery Commission by making the Lottery part of the Department of Finance and Administration.

According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the state is also considering eliminating eight lottery staff positions to reduce costs. The savings to the Lottery would total somewhere over $400,000 per year–about 1/25 of the money lottery officials need in order to make up for the estimated budget shortfall shaping up for the year.