Updated: S.B. 304 Fails in Committee

April 3, 2019 | Posted in Arkansas Capitol | By

Yesterday around 6:00 P.M., S.B. 304, the bad sex-education bill by Sen. Will Bond (D – Little Rock) and Rep. LeAnne Burch (D – Monticello), failed in the House Education Committee.

This bill would make it possible for Planned Parenthood to worm its way into junior high and high schools across Arkansas under the auspices of teaching teen pregnancy prevention and sex-education.

After a lot of testimony and discussion, the bill received eight votes from the committee members; it needed 11 to pass.

During the meeting, Rep. Mark Lowery (R – Maumelle) offered a good amendment to S.B. 304 that would have prevented abortion-providers like Planned Parenthood from teaching the sex-education courses this bill authorizes, but the committee did not add his good amendment to the bill.

Thankfully, the bill ultimately failed to pass.

Below is a breakdown of how each representative voted on S.B. 304 (please note that some of the committee members who did not vote were absent from the meeting).

Voted FOR S.B. 304

Rep. Jon Eubanks (R – Paris)
Rep. John Walker (D – Little Rock)
Rep. Jim Dotson (R – Bentonville)
Rep. Jana Della Rosa (R – Rogers)
Rep. DeAnn Vaught (R – Horatio)
Rep. LeAnne Burch (D – Monticello)
Rep. Frances Cavenaugh (R – Walnut Ridge)
Rep. Denise Garner (D – Fayetteville)

Voted AGAINST S.B. 304

Rep. Stephen Meeks (R – Greenbrier)
Rep. Mark Lowery (R – Maumelle)
Rep. Dan Sullivan (R – Jonesboro)
Rep. Nelda Speaks (R – Mountain Home)
Rep. Mickey Gates (R – Hot Springs)
Rep. Brian Evans (R – Cabot)

Did Not Vote on S.B. 304

Rep. Gary Deffenbaugh (R – Van Buren)
Rep. Grant Hodges (R – Rogers)
Rep. Rick Beck (R – Center Ridge)
Rep. Fred Allen (D – Little Rock)
Rep. Reginald Murdock (D – Marianna)
Rep. Bruce Cozart (R – Hot Springs)

This was a hard-fought victory, and it would not have been possible without everyone who called, texted, and emailed their legislators about this bad bill. Hats off to everyone who helped defeat S.B. 304 last night!

Also, we’ve reviewed three decades-worth of data from the Arkansas Department of Health and the federal CDC that shows why sex-education programs like S.B. 304’s don’t work. You can read about that in our April update letter.

Updated

Here is how the House Education Committee voted on Rep. Lowery’s good amendment that would have kept abortion providers like Planned Parenthood from teaching sex-education under S.B. 304:

Voted FOR Rep. Lowery’s Good Amendment
Rep. Stephen Meeks (R – Greenbrier)
Rep. Mark Lowery (R – Maumelle)
Rep. Rick Beck (R – Center Ridge)
Rep. Dan Sullivan (R – Jonesboro)
Rep. Nelda Speaks (R – Mountain Home)
Rep. Brian Evans (R – Cabot)

Voted AGAINST Rep. Lowery’s Good Amendment
Rep. Jon Eubanks (R – Paris)
Rep. John Walker (D – Little Rock)
Rep. Jim Dotson (R – Bentonville)
Rep. Jana Della Rosa (R – Rogers)
Rep. LeAnne Burch (D – Monticello)
Rep. Frances Cavenaugh (R – Walnut Ridge)
Rep. Denise Garner (D – Fayetteville)
Rep. Bruce Cozart (R – Hot Springs)

Did Not Vote For or Against the Amendment
Rep. Gary Deffenbaugh (R – Van Buren)
Rep. Grant Hodges (R – Rogers)
Rep. Mickey Gates (R – Hot Springs)
Rep. DeAnn Vaught (R – Horatio)
Rep. Fred Allen (D – Little Rock)
Rep. Reginald Murdock (D – Marianna)

You can read S.B. 304 here.

You can read Rep. Lowery’s amendment to S.B. 304 here.

You can download an official copy of the roll-call vote on Rep. Lowery’s amendment to S.B. 304 here.

Video: Bad Bills Filed in Arkansas

March 28, 2019 | Posted in Video | By

Here are a few bad bills filed at the Arkansas Legislature so far this year.

Bad Legislation: Electronic Gambling, Alcohol, and Sex-Education

March 26, 2019 | Posted in Legislation, Legislature | By

A lot of really good legislation has passed at the Arkansas Legislature this year, but several bad bills have been filed as well. Here’s a quick look at a few proposals in play that would hurt Arkansas’ families and communities.

H.B. 1912 (Video Lottery Machines): This bill by Rep. Grant Hodges (R – Rogers) and Sen. Breanne Davis (R – Russellville) would legalize video lottery terminals under the Arkansas Lottery. Video lottery machines are more addictive than traditional lottery tickets, and the odds of winning typically are very low. This makes video lottery machines particularly harmful for people with gambling problems and for poor individuals who play the lottery out of desperation. In other states where these games are legal, bars and truck stops have set up miniature casinos by installing video lottery machines in back rooms. Family Council has opposed past efforts to legalize video lottery machines and other casino-style games in Arkansas, and we oppose H.B. 1912 as well. Read H.B. 1912 Here.

S.B. 492 (Entertainment Districts): This bill by Sen. Trent Garner (R – El Dorado) and Rep. Sonia Barker (R – Smackover) lets cities create “entertainment districts” where open containers of alcohol can be carried and consumed outdoors. Entertainment districts essentially are areas where public intoxication is legal. Under this bill, an entertainment district could be temporary — such as at an event or festival — or it could be permanent. Because of their association with excessive drinking, entertainment districts in other states have raised serious concerns about crime, DUI offenses, and public safety. The bill recently passed the Arkansas Senate and is currently before the House Rules Committee. Read S.B. 492 Here.

S.B. 304 (Sex Education): This bill by Sen. Will Bond (D – Little Rock) and Rep. LeAnne Burch (D – Monticello) requires every school district in Arkansas to offer “evidence based” health courses to 7th – 12th graders that include instruction on preventing pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases through abstinence and contraceptives. We know from experience that the kind of curriculum S.B. 304 mandates won’t actually teach students to be abstinent. Instead it will encourage students to be sexually active. Past “evidence-based” programs pushed by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama did not have a meaningful impact on teen birth rates or teen abortion rates. S.B. 304 simply continues these flawed policies. S.B. 304 is currently before the House Education Committee. Read S.B. 304 Here.