Arkansas Politics Blog

The floor of the Arkansas Senate.
Arkansas.gov

The Arkansas Senate has given final legislative approval to a bill that allows for the prohibition of guns at collegiate sporting events, UAMS, the Arkansas State Hospital and public daycare facilities. The vote was 23-7. The bill was delivered to Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who has said he would sign it.

This edition of KUAR's Week In Review podcast tackles the winding down of the legislative session. Lawmakers retread the concealed carry debate and carve out an exception for athletic events, UAMS, and the state hospital despite NRA opposition. The online sales tax finally gets past a committee hurdle and the bathroom bill gets pushed aside for another time as does highway funding.

The Arkansas House of Representatives has again failed to pass a proposal calling for a U.S. Constitutional Amendment that defines a marriage as between one man and one woman. The proposal, sponsored by Republican Sen. Jason Rapert of Bigelow, received 50 votes in the House, one vote shy of passage. SJR7 had passed out of the 35-member Senate on a 18-9 vote.

A report released on Thursday by one of the nation’s top law schools concludes the state of Arkansas has ignored the mental states and legal representation of eight death row inmates scheduled to die next month. It’s the latest wrinkle in the state’s drive to kill eight inmates in 10 days.

State Sen. Gary Stubblefield (R-Branch) after his primary move-up bill failed to advance out of committee.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The Arkansas Senate has given final legislative approval to a bill that exempts certain personal information about law enforcement officers from the state’s Freedom of Information Act. The bill, sponsored by Rep, Robin Lundstrum (R-Springdale) allows law enforcement officers in the state to submit a request to their county assessor, recorder or clerk asking for their personal property records or tax records to be confidential for a two-year period.

State Rep. Dan Douglas (R-Bentonville).
Arkansas Times/Brian Chilson

A proposal for Arkansas to start collecting sales taxes from online retailers – like nearly every other state does – appears to be dead. A bill fell short in the House Revenue and Taxation Committee on Tuesday. It’s the third time this legislation session the measure has failed to advance.

Arkansans on death row have filed a lawsuit arguing the state’s 10-day timetable to execute eight inmates, with a controversial drug, amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. The motion for a preliminary injunction, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, asks for a stay in executions until the lawsuit is resolved.

Comedian Patton Oswalt making fun of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
ABC

Former Arkansas governor and two-time Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has never been one to shy away from the opportunity for a joke no matter how good his material.

Comedians Jimmy Kimmel and Patton Oswalt were able to find some humor in Huckabee's jokes on Thursday's episode of ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live show.

Patton Oswalt read Huckabee's Twitter jokes with a deadpan delivery offering hokey intros like, "Do you guys like listening to music?" and "traveling's weird."

UPDATE: Pence's visit to Arkansas has been canceled according to state GOP officials.

From earlier:

Vice President Mike Pence will be in Little Rock on Friday, on the heels of whatever happens in the U.S. House of Representatives to efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Arkansas Razorbacks
Univ. of Arkansas

The Arkansas Razorbacks loss to North Carolina in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament this week was hard to swallow for many Hogs fans. State Senators Keith Ingram and Jeremy Hutchinson, tongues firmly in cheek, determined the Arkansas Legislature should absolve the Hogs for their loss and instead officially condemn the officiating.

In a very real Senate Resolution filed on Thursday, sponsors state the Natural State has been devastated.

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