A statue of Baphomet as a goat-headed figure flanked by two children could appear alongside the 10 Commandments at the state Capitol.
KFOR

A legal showdown could be brewing over whether a satanic monument should be allowed on the grounds of the Arkansas state Capitol.

Legislation now heads to the desk of Gov. Asa Hutchinson after the state Senate gave final approval Tuesday to the bill that would require any monuments to first be approved by the legislature before going to the Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission. Current law allows proposals to come through either entity, though they ultimately need legislative authorization.

State Rep. Robin Lundstrum (R-Elm Springs) presenting her bill in the House Public Health, Welfare, and Labor Committee.
arkansashouse.org

A drug testing program for Arkansans seeking help from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, or TANF, is one step closer to becoming law. A House committee on Tuesday passed the bill to extend a two year trial run indefinitely.

Since the new restriction on benefits was adopted 300 people have self-identified as illegal drug users on benefits forms. But only two to eight people have actually taken a drug screen and tested positive out of a program that benefits about 10,000.*

Republican Representative Robin Lundstrum considers that a success.

 Craig Wigginton (left) and Abraham Davis mosques vandalism
KATV, Channel 7 News

Police say two Fort Smith men have been arrested for vandalizing mosques in the western Arkansas city.

Police on Tuesday said 19-year-old Craig Wigginton and 20-year-old Abraham Davis are being held on felony charges of first-degree criminal mischief and that more arrests are possible.

Sgt. Daniel Grubbs has said profanities, swastikas and phrases such as "Go Home" and "Go Back to Your Country" were painted on the Masjid Al Salam Mosque and the Fort Smith Islamic Center in October.

The latest in a series of bills to exempt security details from the Freedom of Information Act has been filed in the Arkansas Legislature. Keeping information about the Governor’s Mansion secret from the public is the objective of Republican State Representative DeAnne Vaught of Horatio in southwest Arkansas.

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an attempt by Arkansas inmates to stop their executions over claims that their deaths would be "intolerably painful."

The nine inmates asked the justices to review an Arkansas Supreme Court decision upholding a law that keeps secret the source of the lethal injection drugs. Justices on Tuesday handed down decisions in the Arkansas case, plus several other death row cases nationwide.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge says she will ask Gov. Asa Hutchinson to set execution dates for the inmates whose appeals have been exhausted.

marijuana
npr.org

In a new survey, Arkansas voters made it clear they prefer the implementation of medical marijuana to allow for smoking cannabis and not waiting for federal law to allow for statewide usage.

A new Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College poll asked 440 Arkansas voters for their preferences on two debates occurring at the state legislature regarding medical marijuana’s implementation. Voters approved the measure last November by a 53-47% margin. In the latest survey conducted Tuesday, Feb. 14, voters were asked:

Arkansas Department of Education Building in Little Rock near the state Capitol building.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

A bill to open-up membership in the public charter school authorizing panel to anyone in the public – without requirement – sailed through the Arkansas Senate on Monday. Currently the panel that makes recommendations on whether charter schools should open, close, or expand is made up of Department of Education employees.

Senate Majority Leader Jim Hendren said establishing criteria for holding the posts is a burden on the state.

File photo. State. Senator Jason Rapert (R-Bigelow) with former State Representative Anne Clemmer testifying to a committee in 2013.
Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

A push to call for a convention of the states to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution to redefine marriage and abortion rights narrowly failed in the Arkansas Senate. Article V of the U.S. Constitution allows for states to join together to propose amendments. It’s never been used before, but speaking on the floor on Monday state Senator Jason Rapert said it’s the only tool he has left.

Rapert proposed two separate resolutions. The first would redefine marriage as between one man and one woman. The second would say life begins at conception and effectively ban abortion.

Arkansas Capitol
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A compromise struck between Gov. Asa Hutchinson and lawmakers would expand a plan allowing concealed handguns on college campuses to include some students and visitors, if they undergo training.

Supporters of the campus guns measure, the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Hutchinson's office said Monday they support an amendment to legislation requiring colleges and universities to allow concealed handguns.

Former Arkansas Razorback and five-time NBA all-star Sidney Moncrief is one of 14 finalists for basketball’s hall of fame. El Sid, or Sid the Squid as he was once known, took the Razorbacks to the Final Four in the late 1970s before going on to play for a decade with the Milwaukee Bucks and a season with the Atlanta Hawks. The Milwaukee squad was routinely good but not as good as the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers of that era.

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