Legislature to take up death penalty and arming teachers in fiscal session? | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Legislature to take up death penalty and arming teachers in fiscal session?

Posted By on Tue, Nov 19, 2013 at 5:11 PM

At his Nightwriter blog, Arkansas Legislative Digest's Benji Hardy reports on today's joint Judiciary committee meeting at the Capitol:

The joint Judiciary committee today discussed capital punishment and the controversy over allowing staff members in public schools to carry firearms. For unrelated reasons, key witnesses were not present to provide testimony, so the conversation was short. But Senate Chair Jeremy Hutchinson (R – Benton) suggested that the General Assembly address both issues by crafting statutory changes during the upcoming 2014 fiscal session. Add these to the growing list of substantive topics that the legislature may tackle during February’s abbreviated session (which is supposed to only concern budgetary issues): various details of the private option, concomitant complications to tax policy, a fix for the public teachers’ insurance system, and modifications to parole. 

Arkansas cannot carry out executions because it's unable to get the drugs that can be legally used for lethal injections. Hutchinson wants to address the issue in 2014. Hardy notes that one option is repeal, but that seems politically impossible, though Gov. Mike Beebe has said he would sign a repeal bill. 

Meanwhile, the committee also expressed interest in statutory changes relating to arming trained staff — including classroom teachers — as in the Clarksville school district's controversial policy. 

Hardy has more — you can read this excellent writeup here

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