Baxter County may end holdout on Martin Luther King holiday | Arkansas Blog

Friday, October 6, 2017

Baxter County may end holdout on Martin Luther King holiday

Posted By on Fri, Oct 6, 2017 at 9:34 AM

The birthday of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. is a state and federal holiday and also observed by 74 of Arkansas's 75 counties. Holdout Baxter County may be about to join the rest of the world.

The Baxter Bulletin reports:

An ordinance making Martin Luther King Jr. Day a paid holiday for county employees was placed on its first reading Tuesday night by the Baxter County Quorum Court.

Ordinances must be read three times before justices of the peace may vote to accept them, meaning the proposal will probably be read again in November and a final time in December.
Baxter County, you may recall, has a contrary streak. It took a federal court suit to stop religious displays at Christmas on the courthouse lawn. Several operators in the county also have long resisted anti-gambling laws at private clubs. Also, a black dialect joke about lazy welfare recipients was a big hit at a Tea Party gathering in county seat Mountain Home a few years back.

Article doesn't indicate if the King holiday has broad support. Baxter County is solidly Republican. African-Americans made up about less than two-tenths of one percent of the county population in the last Census — roughly 66 among 41,000 people.

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