AR Legislature Week Three: Weekend Of Action

This weekend really matters. These are some of the last hours we have to stop Stand Your Ground from becoming the law of the land in Arkansas — we need you to organize with us this weekend. Meanwhile, some bad bills restricting voting rights, reproductive rights, and the parole re-entry system are advancing in the Legislature. But we’ve also got some good news for Arkansas Democrats…

Stand Your Ground: The Final Hours

This bill puts people at risk. It emboldens reckless individuals by giving them license to be judge, jury, and executioner over the lives of our loved ones. It escalates the risk in every encounter and makes it difficult for prosecutors to do their jobs keeping our communities safe. That’s why law enforcement is against it too.

We just need ONE more vote in the House Judiciary committee to stop this. Contact these State Representatives this weekend — and SHARE this information. 

TIP: Be Respectful & Share A Personal Story In Your Communications

We have some GREAT Democrats on this committee who we can all be proud to support. Check out this news coverage with Rep. Monte Hodges (Blytheville) then WATCH the committee meeting on Tuesday.

Voting Rights // Reproductive Rights // Parole & Debt Traps

VOTING RIGHTS: HB1112 by Rep. Mark Lowery (Maumelle) would exacerbate the state’s already stringent Voter ID requirement, making it harder for older Arkansans and those with disabilities to vote. It would take away the existing process for casting provisional ballots, forcing voters to come back a second time — even if the issue is because the county had an error with their absentee ballot system or their voter database. We shouldn’t make voters jump through an extra hoop to exercise their rights, especially if the issue is no fault of their own. This is in the House State Agencies Committee on Monday.

REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS: HB1195 by Rep. Jim Doston (Bentonville) is the latest attack against women and reproductive rights in Arkansas. Bentonville is at the forefront of so much in Arkansas, but its state Representative is woefully behind the curve. This bill would force women to recieve what may amount to coercive counseling — not unbiased, medically accurate, comprehensive information — before having an abortion. This bill has passed out of committee and heads to the House Floor next week. 

PAROLE & DEBT TRAPS: HB1114 by State Rep. Jeff Wardlaw (Hermitage) sinks Arkansas’s criminal justice reform efforts in the wrong direction.

Instead of reducing financial barriers to freedom for people who are trying to re-enter society, the Arkansas House just voted to increase parole and probation fees by up to 20 percent every single year. It now heads to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO: Arkansas’s incoming and outgoing County Party Officers. Many County Parties are holding their elections at this time. The DPA is committed to building our county parties. Sign up to volunteer today.