Below is video of Rep. Linda Tyler (D-Conway) adjourning the House Public Health Committee immediately after a voice vote on HB1979, ignoring the request for a roll call vote.
HB1979 was a pro-life bill that would have prohibited abortion at state-owned or operated facilities like UAMS, except to save the life of the mother.
House Rules say that when I vote is taken, if two members of the committee raise their hands asking for a roll call vote, where committee member’s names are called and votes recorded individually, the chair of the committee should order a roll call vote be taken.
Here’s the problem: At least two representatives clearly asked for a roll call in that meeting. Rep. Mayberry (whose hand you see go up in the video) and Rep. Lea raised their hands and asked for a roll call. Rep. Tyler, however, declared she didn’t see two hands, and immediately adjourned the committee.
I personally think this is a case of the Chair seeing what the Chair wants to see (like when a Committee Chair declares a quorum is present for a meeting when less than half the committee is actually there). Voters need to let Rep. Tyler know that they disapprove of heavy-handed conduct like this in committee meetings.
The House Public Health Committee yesterday voted to pass HB1855, a bill that requires abortion clinics to be licensed and regulated by the Arkansas Department of Health.
Currently, there are at least two clinics in Arkansas that perform abortions, but are not regulated as abortion clinics. For years, a northwest Arkansas doctor performed abortions, but to our knowledge his clinic was never inspected or regulated as an abortion clinic by the Department of Health. HB1855 closes that loophole in the law by requiring any clinic that does 10 or more abortions in a month to be licensed and regulated as an abortion clinic.
Please call your representative at (501) 682-6211, and leave a message asking him or her to vote for HB1855 when it comes before the Arkansas House of Representatives.
Also, the House Public Health Committee voted down a good pro-life bill that would have prohibited abortion at state-run hospitals and medical facilities, except to save the life of the mother. The Attorney General’s office spoke against the bill, and the committee voted it down. Every pro-life bill at the Arkansas Legislature is important and needs to be passed. Please call the members of the House Public Health Committee today and this weekend, and ask them to vote for EVERY pro-life bill that comes before their committee. Their phone numbers are below. (more…)