The bills flood in | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The bills flood in

Posted By on Tue, Jan 20, 2015 at 3:36 PM

If you think we need a full-time legislator, you need only read the daily bill filings to disabuse yourself of the thought. Some of the stuff that got dropped in the hopper today:

* PHYSICIAN SUPERVISION: Sen. Gary Stubblefield wants to omit physician supervision from nurse anesthetist's and broaden legal immunity for doctors who do consult. But more supervision is needed for doctors who give a pill to a woman seeking to end a pregnancy.

* PROPERTY RIGHTS: Sen. Jon Woods and Rep. Greg Leding would protect the "property rights" to use of a person's name, voice, signature and likeness, not only for the person, but for a person's family. This smells Razorbacky to me. Is a state law necessary?

UPDATE: Leding confirmed to the Democrat-Gazette that this is a bill prompted by the family of Frank Broyles, concerned about the potential use of his likeness for commercial purposes.

A lawyer who's studied the bill says it's mostly an unnecessary add-on to existing common law property rights. It also creates a new way for such rights to expire and creates a new administrative burden to create them. He views it as a limitation of an existing common law right and perhaps an unsuccessful attempt to limit federal fair competition law. In other words, it won't be without contention. 

* SOCIAL MEDIA: Rep. Nate Bell has a bill to amend the 2013 bill to prevent employers from requiring employees to disclose such things as passwords for social media accounts. UPDATE: A closer reading by the Democrat-Gazette and the ACLU indicates this bill is actually an effort to roll back social media protections passed in 2013. Particularly, Big Brother Bell would allow employers to require employees to include their bosses on their social media accounts and allow access to posting not publicly displayed. 

* TEACH FOR AMERICA: Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson proposes to give the organization $3 million in taxpayer money to help it train teachers. This is Wendy Kopp's nonprofit that has been praised for putting brainy college grads — often with little training or experience — into poor school districts. It has also been criticized for putting untrained teachers into needy classes and forcing experienced teachers out of them. To those who've criticized TFA's record, Kopp once said: Kopp spoke on a Seattle radio station, saying that people often misunderstand the function of TFA. “We’re a leadership development organization, not a teaching organization."  So why again does Hutchinson want to give them $3 million in scarce state dollars "to provide training and support for teachers."

Sen. Kim Hendren's bill to require teaching of cursive writing was on a committee agenda today, but didn't come up for consideration. It's early yet.

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