A Quick Update on the Legislature

February 15, 2019 | Posted in Arkansas Capitol | By

A lot is happening at the Arkansas Legislature. Here’s a quick look at some of the bills that have been filed and passed so far — including good bills, bad bills, and a few bills that simply are worth knowing about.

GOOD BILLS PASSED

S.B. 149 (Abortion): This good bill by Sen. Jason Rapert (R – Conway) prohibits abortion in Arkansas if Roe v. Wade is ever overturned. Read The Bill Here.

S.B. 156 (Free Speech): This good bill by Sen. Bob Ballinger (R – Berryville) and Rep. Dan Sullivan (R – Jonesboro) prevents public colleges and universities from infringing the free speech of students and faculty on campus. Read The Bill Here.

S.B. 168 (Pro-Life): This good bill by Sen. Cecile Bledsoe (R – Rogers) updates Arkansas’ Safe Haven Act. It lets a woman surrender her newborn to law enforcement personnel, fire department personnel, or medical personnel. Arkansas’ Safe Haven Act protects children from being abandoned, and it provides women with options besides abortion. Read The Bill Here.

GOOD BILLS FILED

H.B. 1399 (Pro-Life): This good bill by Rep. Karilyn Brown (R – Sherwood) prohibits public funds from being used to clone or kill unborn children for scientific research. Read The Bill Here.

H.B. 1439 (Abortion): This good bill by Rep. Robin Lundstrum (R – Elm Springs) and Sen. Jason Rapert (R – Conway) prohibits abortion in Arkansas after the eighteenth week of pregnancy unless the mother’s life or physical health is in serious jeopardy. Read the Bill Here.

H.B. 1453 (Abortion): This good bill by Rep. Clint Penzo (R – Springdale) and Sen. Kim Hammer (R – Benton) requires abortionists to give women information about perinatal hospice. Modern medicine has made it possible to test unborn children for deadly fetal abnormalities, and many children who test positive for these abnormalities are aborted. H.B. 1453 will help women choose options besides abortion in these situations. Read The Bill Here.

S.B. 278 (Abortion): This good bill by Sen. Gary Stubblefield (R – Branch) and Rep. Spencer Hawks (R – Conway) contains several regulations and requirements for abortion clinics, and it makes some improvements to Arkansas’ informed-consent law for abortion and Arkansas’ law protecting babies who survive an abortion. Read The Bill Here.

H.B. 1289 (Conscience): This good bill by Rep. Brandt Smith (R – Jonesboro) protects the rights of conscience of all healthcare workers and companies. This will prevent people and organizations from being forced to promote, participate in, or pay for medical procedures that violate their conscience — like abortion. Read The Bill Here.

S.B. 2 (Abortion): This good bill by Sen. Trent Garner (R – El Dorado) prohibits abortions performed because the baby has Down Syndrome. Read The Bill Here.

S.B. 3 (Abortion): This good bill by Sen. Trent Garner (R – El Dorado) requires abortionist to report complications arising from an abortion. Abortion carries a number of risks and consequences, and the reporting required by this bill will help Arkansas craft bett er pro-life laws in the future. Read The Bill Here.

BAD BILLS FILED

H.B. 1164 and H.B. 1290: These two bills by Rep. Aaron Pilkington (R – Clarksville) let pharmacists dispense oral contraceptives to women without a prescription from a doctor. Oral contraceptives carry a number of health risks — which is why women currently need a prescription from a doctor — and they can cause the death of an unborn child by preventing the unborn child from implanting and growing inside the mother’s womb. That’s why Family Council opposes both of these bills.
Read H.B. 1164 Here
Read H.B. 1290 Here.

H.B. 1150: This bill expands the list of “qualifying conditions” in Arkansas’ marijuana amendment, making it even easier for people to use so-called “medical” marijuana. Marijuana is a blight on our communities, and Arkansas’ marijuana amendment already is too vague and open-ended. Marijuana needs to be restricted — not expanded. Read The Bill Here.

HOW TO CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS

You can leave a message about legislation for your state senator by calling the Arkansas Senate during normal business hours at (501) 682-2902.

You can leave a message about legislation for your state representative by calling the Arkansas House during normal business hours at (501) 682-6211.

A Quick Look at the Arkansas Legislature

February 4, 2019 | Posted in Legislation, Legislature | By

A lot is happening at the Arkansas Legislature. Here’s a quick look at some of the bills that have been filed so far — including good bills, bad bills, and a few bills that simply are worth knowing about.

Good Bills

H.B. 1289: This good bill by Rep. Brandt Smith (R – Jonesboro) protects the rights of conscience of all healthcare workers and companies. This will prevent people and organizations from being forced to promote, participate in, or pay for medical procedures that violate their conscience — like abortion. Read The Bill Here.

S.B. 156: This good bill by Sen. Bob Ballinger (R – Berryville) and Rep. Dan Sullivan (R – Jonesboro) prevents public colleges and universities from infringing the free speech of students and faculty on campus. In other states, pro-life student groups have faced discrimination on college campuses, and universities have tried to squelch faith-based student groups. Arkansas State University in Jonesboro currently faces a lawsuit over a policy that relegates speech to certain “free speech zones” on campus; the policy has been heavily criticized, and many do not expect it to survive a legal challenge. S.B. 156 protects students and faculty from these types of restrictions. Read The Bill Here.

S.B. 149: This good bill by Sen. Jason Rapert (R – Conway) prohibits abortion in Arkansas if Roe v. Wade is ever overturned. Read The Bill Here.

S.B. 2: This good bill by Sen. Trent Garner (R – El Dorado) prohibits abortions performed because the baby has Down Syndrome. Read The Bill Here.

S.B. 3: This good bill by Sen. Trent Garner (R – El Dorado) requires abortionist to report complications arising from an abortion. Abortion carries a number of risks and consequences, and the reporting required by this bill will help Arkansas craft better pro-life laws in the future. Read The Bill Here.

S.B. 168: This good bill updates Arkansas’ Safe Haven Act. It lets a woman surrender her newborn to law enforcement personnel, fire department personnel, or medical personnel. Arkansas’ Safe Haven Act protects children from being abandoned, and it provides women with options besides abortion. Read The Bill Here.

Bad Bills

H.B. 1164 and H.B. 1290: These two bills by Rep. Aaron Pilkington (R – Clarksville) let pharmacists dispense oral contraceptives to women without a prescription from a doctor. Oral contraceptives carry a number of health risks — which is why women currently need a prescription from a doctor — and they can cause the death of an unborn child by preventing the unborn child from implanting and growing inside the mother’s womb. That’s why Family Council opposes both of these bills.
Read H.B. 1164 Here.
Read H.B. 1290 Here.

H.B. 1150: This bill expands the list of “qualifying conditions” in Arkansas’ marijuana amendment, making it even easier for people to use so-called “medical” marijuana. Marijuana is a blight on our communities, and Arkansas’ marijuana amendment already is too vague and open-ended. Marijuana needs to be restricted — not expanded. Read The Bill Here.

Other Noteworthy Bills

H.B. 1294: This bill by Rep. Jana Della Rosa (R – Rogers) gives officials discretion when prosecuting DUI cases. Some are concerned the bill may make it less likely that drunk drivers will be prosecuted. Read The Bill Here.

S.B. 190: This bill by Sen. Greg Leding (D – Fayetteville) creates a state license for genetic counselors in Arkansas. Genetic counseling gives some pro-life advocates pause, because it can be used to promote abortion — particularly in cases when the unborn baby may have Down Syndrome. Read The Bill Here.

How to Contact Your Legislators

You can leave a message about legislation for your state senator by calling the Arkansas Senate during normal business hours at (501) 682-2902.

You can leave a message about legislation for your state representative by calling the Arkansas House during normal business hours at (501) 682-6211.

Proposal Would Make It Easier to Use Marijuana in Arkansas

January 15, 2019 | Posted in Marijuana | By

Yesterday we shared a commentary from our friends at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview highlighting a New York Times op-ed about the growing public health threat posed by marijuana.

This week a bill was filed at the Arkansas Legislature making it easier for Arkansans to use marijuana under the state’s so-called “medical marijuana” amendment.

Currently, Amendment 98 to the Arkansas Constitution lets Arkansans use marijuana if they have any one of a long list of qualifying conditions.

H.B. 1150 by Rep. Doug House (R – North Little Rock) expands the list of qualifying conditions to add the following:

  • adiposis dolorosa or Dercum’s Disease
  • anorexia
  • Arnold-Chiari malformation,
  • asthma,
  • attention deficit disorder,
  • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • autism
  • bipolar disorder
  • bulimia
  • causalgia
  • chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
  • chronic insomnia
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • complex regional pain syndrome Type I and Type II
  • dystonia
  • emphysema
  • fibrous dysplasia
  • general anxiety disorder
  • hydrocephalus
  • hydromyelia
  • interstitial cystitis
  • lupus
  • migraine
  • myasthenia gravis
  • myoclonus
  • nail-patella syndrome
  • neurofibromatosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • posterior lateral sclerosis
  • post concussion syndrome
  • reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • residual limb and phantom pain
  • restless leg syndrome,
  • Sjogren’s syndrome,
  • spinocerebellar ataxia
  • spinal cord injury or disease including without limitation arachnoiditis
  • syringomyelia
  • Tarlov cysts
  • traumatic brain injury

If passed, H.B. 1150 would let people with COPD or emphysema smoke marijuana.

It would let parents give marijuana to their child if the child tests positive for ADD or ADHD.

It would let people with traumatic brain injuries use marijuana.

Of course, research does not show that marijuana is effective treating these conditions. However, research has shown that marijuana smoke contains more tar and carcinogens than tobacco, and marijuana-use is linked to a host of mental problems, including permanent loss in IQ and increased risk of schizophrenia.

In other words, it probably isn’t a good idea to let people with lung disease smoke marijuana, and it probably isn’t a good idea to give marijuana to people with learning disabilities or brain injuries.

Arkansas’ marijuana amendment already makes it very easy for people to use marijuana, but H.B. 1150 arguably makes it even easier.

You can contact your state representative about H.B. 1150 by calling the Arkansas House of Representatives at (501) 682-6211.