Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Duck! The legislature is meeting

Posted By on Tue, Feb 3, 2015 at 4:51 PM

NO RETREAT: Dwight Tosh filed a 'stand your ground' law on use of deadly force.
  • NO RETREAT: Dwight Tosh filed a 'stand your ground' law on use of deadly force.

From a quick scan of legislative proceedings:

* STAND YOUR GROUND: Former state cop and Republican Rep. Dwight Tosh has filed a "stand your ground" bill. It eliminates the prohibition of the use of deadly force if a person can avoid danger with complete safety. This is a license-to-kill bills. Dead men tell no tells, as experience in other states shows. Good prosecutors don't favor these bills, because they create new crimes and because existing self-defense laws have proved more than effective in Arkansas. When's the last time someone was convicted for shooting someone on their property and arguing self-defense? Given the gun happiness of this legislature, odds of passage are high.

* COLLEGE ACCOUNTABILITY: Sen. Alan Clark filed a bill to require a report compiling employment and earnings of college graduates, by institution.

* DELAY ACCOUNTABILITY: Rep. Mark Lowery introduced a bill to delay until at least 2017-18 a new test of educational achievement, the so-called PARCC test. Many in education think the change to the new test from the existing standard is likely to result in a plunge in scores at most schools.

* PUBLICLY FINANCED LOBBYING: State Sen. Eddie Joe Williams has introduced a bill to prohibit spending of state tax money on lobbying. This would be a massive lobbyist unemployment act if passed and rigorously enforced. Schools, colleges, cities, counties, state officials and more employ people who lobby the legislature. Somehow I don't think he means, for example, the governor's liaisons. And I wonder if he means all the chambers of commerce around the state that are on the receiving end of state turnback to cities who use it for nominal economic development work but also includes paying salaries to people who do political lobbying.

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