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10 minutes | Feb 3, 2021
Feb. 2: SYG and the New-Old Patriotism
This episode wraps up the House Judiciary Committee hearing on SB24, aka the License to Kill, Kill at Will, not a Stand Your Ground bill. The bill failed in committee after 3 hours of heartfelt testimony from Arkansans, but Republicans are clinging to desperate tactics like an ex-boyfriend who refuses to accept you broke up with him.- 10 minutes
15 minutes | Feb 2, 2021
Feb. 1: Wasps in October
As we look to the House Judiciary Committee to save Arkansans from the stings of pernicious Senate bills, I take a minute to profile a few bills that passed on Feb. 1:- A bill that would disenfranchise voters without an ID- An unfunded $1-5 million mandate that would require women seeking an abortion to call a 1-800 number to speak with someone who would offer a wealth of services except an abortion- More on the child custody bill that would upend the court's ability to make decisions in the best interest of the child and make litigation way more expensive
8 minutes | Jan 28, 2021
Jan. 27: In Which Joint Custody is Favored Over the Interests of the Child
Sen. Alan Clark presented a bill to the Senate Judiciary Committee that would handcuff the court's ability to decide custody in the best interest of the child and instead set an almost insurmountable burden of proof in favor of joint custody. Judges and lawyers specializing in family law pointed out that this would mean that drug addicted mothers, sexual offender fathers, homeless parents, etc. would be presumed able parties for joint custody. If you're a parent, listen to this. This bill will increase the costs of divorce, the length of proceedings, and decrease child support available to the parent who is actually bearing the financial burden for the child.
5 minutes | Jan 28, 2021
Jan. 27: Spitballs in the Arkansas Senate
The revolt in the Arkansas Senate against Gov. Asa Hutchinson continued with obstructionist tactics and pettiness in full view.
19 minutes | Jan 27, 2021
Jan. 26: Grading Schools (or not) and Drama at the Plant Board
My goodness. Tuesday was a busy day in the Arkansas Legislature. Here's what we cover:Foregoing letter grades for schools this year due to a lack of dataDrama at the Arkansas Plant BoardUsing the best words: "Hard of hearing" instead of "hearing impaired"Senate revolt against the Governor continuesMaking sure kids don't go home from school hungryLand donations for school constructionRental protections for National Guard membersTaxing people who can least afford it
12 minutes | Jan 26, 2021
Jan 25: A Tempest in a Teapot and an Oddly Long Video
In my daily wrap-up of the Arkansas legislature, I start with quick recap of Sarah Huckabee Sanders' announcement for governor and what that means for the Republican primary. We also look at a couple of really good pieces of legislation:a resolution that encourages public spaces with televisions to turn on closed captioning for people who are deaf or have hearing lossa bill that requires counties to publish ballots on the Secretary of State's Voter View website prior to electionsThere was a tempest in a teapot as a few Senators flipped the bird to the governor's office over perceived slights during the pandemic by stalling an appropriation request for his office. We outline the two rules anyone bringing a bill before the House State Agencies Committee must follow. And we encounter a bill with an overlapping Venn diagram of prostitution and massage therapy. Yep. All that in 11 minutes.
11 minutes | Jan 25, 2021
Jan. 21 Part 2: In Which Sen. Rapert Needs a Dictionary
This is part 2 of the Jan. 21 wrap-up, which covers the House floor and afternoon committees. We're talking an abortion resolution, campaign finance bills, and a break for coroners.
17 minutes | Jan 22, 2021
Jan. 21 Part 1: Better Internet and Better Explanations (please!)
This is the first of two podcasts focused on Jan. 21 in the General Assembly. We look at what appears to be a super helpful bill that would allow cities to invest in better internet services for their communities. Also, you'll become a subject matter expert on self-storage units. It's what you've always wanted, right? We use the self-storage bill to illuminate why better, more objective explanations would make committee meetings run a lot faster.Finally, Arkansas realtors and home builders squared off over a licensing amendment.
20 minutes | Jan 21, 2021
Jan. 20: Drugs and Taxes
In a review of the events of the Arkansas Senate on Jan. 20, we'll look at a bill that would make operating a car wash a pretty much tax-free enterprise in Arkansas. That same bill opened up an interesting line of questioning on how DFA decides its position on bills and got legislators talking about how the tax burden is distributed throughout Arkansas - and where those taxes are coming from. The podcast also covers a discussion on reforming the state's prescription drug program, a reform that faces opposition from some major health insurers. Finally, it previews what's coming up tomorrow in the legislature, including a 2nd Amendment bill that seeks to give Arkansas sovereignty over the federal government regarding firearms and ammunition made here in Arkansas.
12 minutes | Jan 20, 2021
Jan. 19: How SYG Creates Ambiguity; and a House Wrap-up
Rather than ameliorate ambiguity, Sen. Bob Ballinger's Stand Your Ground bill seems to create it. I dive into the Catch 22 presented in this bill and how it takes us further from the principles of self-discipline and "Love thy neighbor" that are at the core of Arkansas. This podcast also follow's upon Jan. 19 activities in the House of Representatives. The following bills went back to the drawing board:- a too-broad sex offender bill;- a bill making it harder for residents to request a special school board meeting; - a bill changing oversight for special elections on school taxesRep. Carol Dalby's bill allowing Arkansans to donate their jury duty reimbursement to charity passed the House and goes to the Senate.
16 minutes | Jan 20, 2021
Jan. 19: Stand Your Ground Clears Senate
This podcast focuses wholly on activities in the Arkansas Senate for Jan. 19, where the Stand Your Ground bill made it through - though not without stirring speeches from its opponents. I also talk about a couple of changes to alcohol laws that made it out of committee and give my thoughts on the lack of respect that's keeping one Senator out of the committee rooms.
12 minutes | Jan 18, 2021
January 19: Preview
What's on the schedule for January 19th in the Arkansas General Assembly? Here are something things you can expect to see:a Stand Your Ground bill on the Senate floora pretty wild 2nd Amendment bill in the Senate City, County, and Local Affairs Committee a bill allowing residents to donate their jury duty reimbursement on the House flooran extension of the deadline to register vehicles in the House Transportation Committeea Senate bill that would allow retail liquor permit holders to deliver alcohol directly to consumer homesThat's just skimming the surface. If you have 12 minutes, you'll be totally caught up on what's in store in the legislature.
8 minutes | Jan 18, 2021
MLK Day Episode: Repealing Confederate Flag Day
Yep, that's right. Arkansas has a Confederate Flag Day. It's the subject of HB1203, an attempt to remove one of the remaining vestiges of a rabidly segregationist and anti-Civil Rights series of Arkansas legislatures from 1957-1959. In this podcast, I delve into the history of the day and the political climate in which it was created, as well as talk about other instances where the Confederacy is honored in Arkansas Code.
14 minutes | Jan 15, 2021
Jan 14: Covid Funding in Schools
January 14 wrapped up the first week of the legislative session. Committee meetings touched on an unexpected lack of utilization of federal Covid funds by the Arkansas Department of Education, a report on Covid vaccination by Dr. Jose Romero, and approval in committee of several court-related bills.
21 minutes | Jan 14, 2021
Jan. 13: Stand Your Ground
Day 3 of the 93rd Arkansas General Assembly was full of drama surrounding the Stand Your Ground bill, from a lengthy, but assured, committee hearing to a failed attempt to rush it through on the Senate floor. I look back at the shenanigans, as well as share my personal experience with Stand Your Ground, and in particular, the requirement to retreat.
13 minutes | Jan 13, 2021
Jan. 12 Recap & Jan. 13 Preview
Jan. 13 promises to be a doozy of a day in the Arkansas Senate, and I preview what's ahead with the physical deadly force bill in the Senate Judiciary Committee. We also look back at Governor Asa Hutchinson's speech to both chambers of the 93rd General Assembly and some initial reactions.
11 minutes | Jan 12, 2021
In the Weeds on Hate Crimes and Anti-Abortion Bills
In this episode, we're deep diving into two Arkansas Senate bills:SB 2, which creates a sentence enhancement for hate crimes and establishes an annual report on hate crimes in Arkansas and SB 3, which makes it a crime punishable by $100, 000 and up to 10 years in jail for physicians to perform abortions
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