Favorite

Legislature handling substantive gun, ethics issues 

And handled them not too badly, so far.

As always, the legislature has found time for frivolity — a new state motto, Ronald Reagan's birthday, etc. — but it has dealt with substantive issues as well. And handled them not too badly, so far.

Last week, the House Judiciary Committee killed a bill that would have allowed handguns to be carried openly. This may have been the first time ever that the Arkansas legislature rejected a bill backed by the National Rifle Association. It's possible the NRA was not devoting full muscle to the bill, aware that the recent shootings in Arizona have made this not the ideal time to weaken gun laws, but it was on record for the legislation. House Judiciary walks tall. Matt Dillon would have approved.

The legislature rebuffs the anti-abortion lobby about as seldom as the pro-gun lobby. But the House Public Health Committee has, by adoption of a hostile amendment, apparently killed a bill that was intended to keep state funds from being used for abortions under the new federal health-care law. One anti-abortion legislator was so offended he wrote a letter accusing Governor Beebe of misconduct in connection with the bill. The governor, he charged, was guilty of having tried to influence legislators on a matter of public policy. Guilty of being governor — is that grounds for impeachment?

Both houses have approved legislation for modest reform in the area of legislative ethics. The bill would prohibit legislators from serving as lobbyists until a year after their legislative term ended, and would require the lawmakers to use the most economical form of transportation when attending out-of-state meetings. Should have been stronger, but even the longest trip to a legislative conference begins with a single step.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Most Shared

  • Conflicts of interest in the legislatures

    The Center for Public Integrity and the Associated Press collaborated for a project aimed at highlighting state legislators whose lawmaking might be affected by private business interests.
  • Industrial hemp pilot program coming soon to Arkansas

    One of the booths at this week's Ark-La-Tex Medical Cannabis Expo was hosted by the Arkansas Hemp Association, a trade group founded to promote and expand non-intoxicating industrial hemp as an agricultural crop in the state. AHA Vice President Jeremy Fisher said the first licenses to grow experimental plots of hemp in the state should be issued by the Arkansas State Plant Board next spring.
  • Cats and dogs

    I've always been leery of people who dislike animals. To my wife and me, a house without dog hair in the corners and a cat perched on the windowsill is as barren as a highway rest stop. We're down to three dogs and two cats, the smallest menagerie we've had for years.

Latest in Editorials

  • The end of an era

    We're sad to report that Doug Smith has decided to retire. Though he's been listed as an associate editor on our masthead for the last 22 years, he has in fact been the conscience of the Arkansas Times. He has written all but a handful of our unsigned editorials since we introduced an opinion page in 1992.
    • May 8, 2014
  • A stand for equality

    Last week, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel became the first elected statewide official to express support for same-sex marriage. His announcement came days before Circuit Judge Chris Piazza is expected to rule on a challenge to the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Soon after, a federal challenge of the law is expected to move forward. McDaniel has pledged to "zealously" defend the Arkansas Constitution but said he wanted the public to know where he stood.
    • May 8, 2014
  • Same old, same old

    Remarking as we were on the dreariness of this year's election campaigns, we failed to pay sufficient tribute to the NRA, one of the most unsavory and, in its predictability, dullest of the biennial participants in the passing political parade.
    • May 1, 2014
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

December

S M T W T F S
  1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Where cities go from here

    • So Florida says he was wrong the first time and the second time he says…

    • on December 10, 2017
  • Re: Cats and dogs

    • Dee-lightful column - and wonderfully written comments.

    • on December 10, 2017
  • Re: GOP contempt

    • If ineptitude and irrelevance had a poster boy, it would be Gene Lyons. He harangues…

    • on December 10, 2017
 

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