Friday, February 11, 2011

Morning Roll Call~ News You Need to Know

Majority Required to Raise Taxes
Thank you to Senator Jason Rapert (R-Bigelow) who has filed a constitutional amendment, SJR4 that would require a ¾ vote from both houses of the legislature in order to raise any tax.
As it stands, the amendment would require a ¾ vote from the Arkansas Senate and a ¾ vote from the Arkansas House in order to raise any tax, but would only require a simple majority vote in order to lower taxes or make changes to tax breaks and exemptions.
If passed this will be on the ballot for the 2012 election.

Legislators File "Good Government" Bill  
Arkansas hospitality and tourism officials are not happy about two proposed bills in the Arkansas Senate. These bills, SB180 and SB212 make it so cities and counties have to put A&P taxes to a vote of the people and revisit the tax every four years.
LOL... you can imagine the guys that run this show not being very happy about having to actually having to make a case to the folks footin the bill to raise taxes, what a novel idea.
To read more on this go here.

I invite you to join people from across Arkansas, some of America’s foremost free-market voices and top experts on grassroots mobilization, in a massive show of force for our shared belief in lower taxes and more limited government.that will gather on February 24th at the Second Annual Defending the American Dream Summit. 


Region8News9:01am via TweetDeck
County population changes in Arkansas

Local Wire: Fort Smith market share for Bank of the Ozarks drops 52%: Reducing deposits requiring collateral and...

New Lottery Bill headed to House Floor:

Up Monday in Senate TTLA Committee: SB129 - To Provide for Internet Broadcast of Senate Committee Mtgs :

The Underground World Of Prostitution In Bentonville:

Conditions on state highways improving: The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department reported Friday...

Census numbers show Pine Bluff population falls, Jonesboro rises M:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Morning Roll Call~ News You Need to Know


An omnibus bill aimed at controlling Arkansas' ever-growing prison population is nearing a first public viewing at the state legislature.

Last week, Talk Business provided a preview of the measure, which hopes to refine the state's criminal justice system in an effort to save nearly $1 billion. (Read More...)

UPDATE- Elimination of Lt Gov. and Land Commissioner

Yesterday I told  you about HJR1010 a resolution to eliminate the Constitutional offices of Lt. Gov and Land Commissioner. Lt Gov. Mark Darr gave a comment to Jason Tolbert:

“I believe most Arkansans are hopeful that we can put the partisan rancor of the last election behind us and start the business of governance in earnest,” said Darr. “It makes no sense to clothe partisanship in a facade of government ‘efficiency’. It is my sincere hope that we can all find a way to work together to meet the needs of the people of Arkansas in the areas of job promotion, lower taxes and transparency in government.”

Note: Neither of these bills would take place until 2019, when current office holders are term-limited.


Today the voices of average Americans are being drowned out by lobbyists and special interests. The result: policies that are threatening to destroy the American Dream – higher taxes and out-of-control government spending, job-killing regulations, and endless red-tape.
The good news to all of this is you CAN do something about it! You can send a powerful message to the politicians, special interests, and the mainstream media by taking part in the 2nd Annual Defending the American Dream Summit - Arkansas.
On February 24, you can join America’s foremost free-market voices, top experts on grassroots mobilization, and Arkansas’ largest gathering of grassroots leaders from across the state in a massive show of force for our shared belief in lower taxes and more limited government.
The Summit will take place on February 24 at:
Robinson Center Exhibition Hall
7 Statehouse Plaza
Little Rock, AR 72201
Confirmed Speakers Include:
Tim Phillips, President of Americans for Prosperity
Herman Cain, Radio Personality and Fox News Contributor
Dave Elswick, Arkansas Radio Personality
John Fund, Columnist with The Wall Street Journal
French Hill, CEO of Delta Trust & Bank
Chris Horner, Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute
Erik Telford, RightOnline and Featured Columnist for The Washington Times
Virginia Walden-Ford, Executive Director of D.C. Parents for School Choice
Multiple State and National Legislators
Summit Highlights:
The Latest Arkansas Budget Report
Book signings with Herman Cain and Grover Norquist
Question and Answer Sessions
Network with Leading Activists from Across Arkansas


4029news12:08pm via twitterfeed
Historic Snowstorm Becomes More Puzziling: (Image on our Super Doppler Radar around 8am February 9, 2011) This...

Ark. House committee rejects open carry proposal

thecitywire11:49am via twitterfeed
Local Wire: 170-page plus prison reform bill almost ready: Editor’s note: Roby Brock, with our content partner T...

Average Rate on 30-year Mortgage Hits 5.05 Percent

The business/investment community is calling Senators on Senate Revenue & Tax Committee to encourage them to vote...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

They've Got an Eye on You~ Medical Registry~

(Cue up spooky music) DOM-DOM-E-E-E…How would you feel about a national registry with your entire family’s medical information in it? States all over the nation are either already implementing or , as is the case in Arkansas, dealing with the issue of "expanding immunization registry" now. 

Today the Arkansas House put our state one step closer. They  passed 88-8, HB1317, filed by Rep Linda Tyler  (D-Conway), AN ACT TO EXPAND THE IMMUNIZATION REGISTRY TO BETTER PROTECT THE CITIZENS OF ARKANSAS.

Protect us from what? I wonder if the men and women that passed this one actually read this bill carefully and realized the implications of it's passage.

Here's some background. There was a similar bill filed in 2007, HB2025 by Rep Sandra Prater (D-Jacksonville). It was defeated in the House Public Health Committee.  One of the distinct differences in the two is that the 2007 version offered an "opt-out", the new and improved version, not so much.

Bills like this tend to give me the hebbie jebbies, and remind me of the book "1984" 

The Department of Health is the gatekeeper of the information, which according to the bill is not restricted to a particular use, not only that they are not required to share this data with the parents. I hear Scooby Doo in the background now going RUH? 

What about the doctor client privilege? In section 1 paragraph 2 it reads “Immunization records shall include data as specified by the department.”  What data? What specifications?

I am sure that this information would never be used by our government for any other reason than that intended.

What is even more disconcerting is the mandatory submission. Here is the verbiage starting on page 2:

 Duty of providers — Penalty.

A provider shall register with the Department of Health the intent to administer childhood immunizations to an individual under twenty-two (22) years of age under guidelines established by the department.
A provider shall report to the department the administration of a childhood immunization to any person an individual under twenty-two (22) years of age.
A provider may report the administration of adult immunizations to the department.

Not only will childhood immunizations be registered but this bill includes adult immunizations as well and the provider is the decider of submission not the adult. Sound like overreaching government? Does this help or hinder business? And just who do you think the “providers” will pass the cost of implementation and enforcement on to?

Unlike the 2007 version this bill implements a $25.00 fine for those who do not “participate”. Sound a little Stalinish? Who will enforce this? Will be have the immunization police or the registry squad?

This bill is now in the hands of the Senate Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee, might behoove the citizens of Arkansas to get in touch with these lawmakers and discuss the particulars of this bill.

If you care to read a little more here is an article in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette written on this topic in August of last year. Seems the Governor was also worried about privacy and cost.


Morning Roll Call~ News You Need to Know (okay afternoon)

Now 700 bills have been filed in the Arkansas 88th General Assembly, that is quite a jump from yesterday, 32 of those filed today. Might have to do with the filing deadline of Constitutional Amendments ends today.

There have been many of what are called "shell bills" filed. These are bills that legislators file with titles only and no body to be filled in later. 

TAX CUTS??!! YEA!   

Senator Gilbert Baker (R- Conway) has filed SB274, a $7 million cut in the sales tax on motor vehicles. 
This is a bill that is sponsored by both republicans and democrats, the  proposal would increase the sales tax exemption of cars from $2,500 to $5,000. 

Sen. Larry Teague (D- Nashville) also filed SB276  to cut the state's sales tax on groceries by a half-cent, which will cost the state about $15 million in general revenue. Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe has said the grocery tax cut is the only one the state can afford.

Then there is SB269 which was filed by Sen. Jake File (R-Ft. Smith). This bill would exempt manufacturers from having to pay sales and use taxes on fuel and energy used in their processes. 

For more details you can read the post by Talk Business here

Arkansas businesses to be put in a Full Nelson?

Sheffield Nelson that is... This is why party doesn't matter.

Former Arkansas Republican gubernatorial candidate and gas company executive Sheffield Nelson announced Monday that he plans to try to get a measure on the 2012 ballot that would increase the state’s  severance tax on natural gas to 7% which is from $54 million to $250 million per year. Currently, severance tax rates range from 1.25 percent to 5 percent.

Wonder what that will do to Arkansas families? I guess if you are a millionaire you wouldn't stop to ask that question.  Thankful this measure will have to go through our legislators and then be put to a vote of the people. I hope and pray that Arkansans will take the time to get informed and engaged on this issue.

Read more on it here from The City Wire.

Interesting Bill Filed

Tweets were flying across Twitter today concerning the filing of HJR1010 by Senator Robert Thompson (D-Paragould) and Rep. Keith Ingram (D- West Memphis).
This bill would eliminate the constitutional offices of Lt. Governor and Land Commissioner.  

Funny timing huh? Just sayin... 

lobbyup12:59pm via Web
HJR1010 - To abolish the offices of Lt Gov and Land Commisioner:

ArkansasOnline2:04pm via twitterfeed
Lawmakers propose ballot mesaures for 2012: Eliminating some of the state’s constitutional offices and restricti...

A Political Junkies Dream APP

 The guys over at LobbyUp have been extremely busy.  What started out as a list of legilators, committees, and state offices has morphed into the one stop shop for Arkansas Politics.
Check out their site and their smart phone app, it is ridiculous, in the best sense of the word! 


RobyBrock2:16pm via Web
Post-election: Causey practices law; Elliott at#ARLeg; Whitaker on job hunt after heart attack; Rankin back to music.

DavidMeeks9:40am via TweetDeck
HB1301 passes 89-0. Now discussing HB1317, an act to expand the immunization registry.#arleg

HB1299 passes, now discussing HB1301, it continues the Ark Commission On Eye and Vison Care. #arleg

Getting interesting insight from #ARLeg on hiways, prisons, and redistricting. Will report over next day or two.

Lawmakers propose ballot mesaures for 2012: Eliminating some of the state’s constitutional offices and restricti...
UPDATE: 2 State Senators recorded as voting "yes" for SB183... didn't #AFPAR #AFPhq

Local Wire: National Guard support State Police to help stranded motorists: Editor’s note: This story provided b...