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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 19:22:00

Citizens First Congress to deliver petition urging HB 1228 veto to Gov. Hutchinson tomorrow

The Arkansas Citizens First Congress and Public Policy Panel will be delivering their petition against HB 1228 to Gov. Asa Hutchinson tomorrow at noon. They'll be joined by Human Rights Campaign and are inviting anyone and everyone to join them at the Capitol for the delivery of the petition and a continuation of the past few days of rallies

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 18:27:00

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon calls for Gov. Asa Hutchinson to veto HB 1228

On its "Walmart Newsroom" Twitter feed, the world's largest private employer has released an official statement calling on Gov. Asa Hutchinson to veto HB 1228, the "religious protection" bill just granted final passage by the House that would potentially encourage discrimination against LGBT people in Arkansas.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 17:38:00

The long shot veto watch open line

Here's an open line. Tuesday's video is on its way, but between events at the Capitol and getting this week's issue to press, we're a little behind — so, over to you.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 17:27:00

Hundreds at the Capitol protest HB 1228

Hundreds of protestors were on hand at the Capitol today to protest HB 1228, which passed out of the House and will head to the governor's desk.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 17:05:00

Arkansas State Chamber urges governor and legislature to maintain "business-friendly" reputation — but does not call for HB 1228 veto

The State Chamber is out with a tepid statement on HB 1228. They ask the governor and legislators to ensure that "Arkansas maintains its rightful and hard-earned reputation as a business-friendly place where success is an opportunity available to all." But they don't mention HB 1228 explicitly or take a clear position.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 16:45:00

Former AEDC Director Grant Tennille: "We are watching a re-run."

As we enter the final days of the legislative session, Arkansas finds itself, once again on the wrong side of history, using the power of government to enforce discrimination and division based on religion.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 16:17:00

HB1228 heads to the governor's desk; what's next?

There were a few fireworks, but Rep. Bob Ballinger's so-called "religious conscience" bill, HB 1228 — which critics argue would establish additional protections for discrimination against gay people — will head to the governor's desk after the House concurred in Senate amendments.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 14:07:00

LIVEBLOG: House concurs on Senate amendments to HB1228, bill passes

Liveblogging the debate over HB 1228.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 13:54:00

Funny or Die creates commercial for Indiana tourism

The website funnyordie.com has helpfully created a commercial to promote Indiana tourism in the "Religious Freedom" era. Take heed, Arkansas.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 13:32:00

Civil Rights icon on HB1228: 'I refuse to allow discrimination to cloak itself in a shroud of faith.'

A very moving op-ed out today at the Advocate.com from former NAACP chair, Southern Poverty Law Center founder and civil rights leader Dr. Julian Bond, who has been speaking out against so-called "Religious Freedom" bills in Arkansas and Indiana for a few days now. This is a man who knows what it's like to be discriminated against based on proclaimed religious belief. He didn't stand for it in the 1960s, and he's fighting hard against HB1228 now.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 13:20:00

Governor exploring possibility of compromise on HB 1228

Could a compromise be brewing on HB1228, the so-called "religious conscience" bill that opponents argue would offer additional legal protection for discrimination against gay people? Here's the latest scuttlebutt.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 13:05:00

Bill that may have hindered public photography vetoed by Hutchinson

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has vetoed SB 79, a bill that was intended to "protect the names, voices, signatures, photographs, and likenesses of the citizens of the state from exploitation and unauthorized commercial use without the citizen’s consent." After the bill was sent to the governor's desk, photographers in Arkansas and elsewhere reacted with alarm and requested a veto.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 11:58:00

Little Rock Chamber of Commerce: HB1228 "is bad for business and bad for Arkansas."

Business likes customers. It needs employees. Legislation that looks an awful lot like it's designed to protect discrimination against folks that might be customers or employees...well, that's not so good for business. Belatedly, the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce has come out with a statement expressing opposition to HB1228, the so-called "religious conscience" bill from Rep. Bob Ballinger that has been condemned by various companies in and out of the state.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 11:49:00

Gap, Levi Strauss join companies, business leaders calling for HB1228 veto

Yesterday, iconic blue jeans maker Levi Strauss & Co. and known purveyor of jeans Gap Inc. issued a joint statement condemning Arkansas's anti-gay House Bill 1228 and similar legislation recently signed into law in Indiana, saying of the laws "they must be stopped."

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 11:31:00

New bill would make pointless, cruel letter sent to mislead poor Arkansans slightly less misleading

Rep. Donnie Copeland's bill to mislead poor people in the service of a meaningless gesture will get a slight tweak, a little lipstick on his grandstanding pig.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 10:59:00

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola urges Gov. Asa Hutchinson to veto HB1228: "too divisive"

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola's letter to Gov. Asa Hutchinson asking him to veto HB1228: "Any piece of legislation that is so divisive cannot possibly be good for the state of Arkansas and its people."

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 10:51:00

Hell with books, the rich need a tax cut

In its wisdom, the 90th General Assembly has decided that tax breaks for the rich are more important than the literacy. The legislature has cut state library funding by 18 percent, or around $1 million, to help pay for a state tax break on capital gains from 30 percent to 50 percent (and to zero on gains more than $10 million).

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 06:22:00

Another good bill dies: Maternity leave for state workers blocked by Senate committee

A bill by Rep. Clarke Tucker (D-Little Rock) to provide six weeks of paid maternity leave to state employees has foundered in the Senate Public Health committee.

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Monday, March 30, 2015 - 23:54:00

Former Speaker Davy Carter encourages Arkansas House to vote against HB 1228

This afternoon on Twitter, the Cabot Republican wrote, "Respectfully, I would like to publicly encourage the members of the @ArkansasHouse to vote against #HB1228."

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