Governor Hutchinson vetoes 'mass picketing' and 'panic button' bills | Arkansas Blog

Friday, April 7, 2017

Governor Hutchinson vetoes 'mass picketing' and 'panic button' bills

Posted By on Fri, Apr 7, 2017 at 10:15 AM

click to enlarge VETOED: Trent Garner's anti-picketing bill.
  • VETOED: Trent Garner's anti-picketing bill.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson has notified the Senate of two vetoes:

* MASS PICKETING: Sen. Trent Garner's so-called "mass picketing" bill (SB 550) broadened the latitude for police to make arrests of demonstrators who might slow traffic or be perceived to be intimidating someone in a private residence. It was one of a wave of anti-demonstration bills nationwide by Republican legislators.

Hutchinson said existing law provides multiple means to cope with people whose demonstrations block traffic or access to homes and businesses. He said the bill was "overbroad, vague and will have the effect of restricting free speech and the right to assemble."  From the letter:

click to enlarge snip.jpg

I've asked Garner for a comment, but don't expect one. It passed the Senate with a bare 18 votes over a number of objections. It got only 58 votes in the House. Both votes are enough in either case for an override, but override votes have other dynamics and are not necessarily merely carbon copies of legislative votes. Rep. Kim Hammer couldn't muster an override for a bill of his that the governor vetoed on a state employee job survey procedure.

* PANIC BUTTON: He vetoed Sen. Larry Teague's SB 446, an $850,000 appropriation to pay for panic button alert systems in public schools. The systems are authorized by law at the choice of the school district. Hutchinson said the idea was presented for funding in 2016 as a pilot project by the Education Department and then used money from the attorney general's office in the current fiscal year.

Hutchinson said "it is now up to the local school districts to choose whether to pay for the panic button alert systems."


He's now vetoed four bills, including Hammer's and Sen. Scott Flippo's bill to prevent ABC agents from enforcing anti-gambling law.

UPDATE: The ACLU of Arkansas cheered the governor's veto (something the governor probably could have done without.)

“Governor Hutchinson did the right thing by vetoing this unconstitutional anti-protest bill,” said ACLU of Arkansas Executive Director Rita Sklar. “We’re also grateful to the many Arkansans who joined us in speaking out against this heavy-handed attempt to restrict the freedom of assembly and criminalize constitutionally-protected speech. This proposal to prosecute people who take to the streets to speak their minds is part of a dangerous trend that the ACLU will fight at every turn. The General Assembly should let this veto stand.”

Tags: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (11)

Showing 1-11 of 11

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-11 of 11

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • IHOP coming down, but .....

    I always scan the Little Rock City Board for items of interest this week and this one caught my eye: A zoning measure required by a proposal to tear down the IHOP at Markham and University.
    • Apr 30, 2016
  • Hospitality, restaurant groups oppose bathroom bill

    Add the restaurant and hospitality association to those opposed to Sen. Linda Collins-Smith's bill to keep transgender people out of public restrooms that match their gender identity.
    • Mar 16, 2017
  • LR speakers blast state board for double standard

    A series of speakers, beginning with Sen. Joyce Elliott, denounced what they saw as a hidden agenda favoring charter schools at the state Department of Education and asked the state Board of Education for return of local control.
    • May 12, 2016

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation