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A bill that requires the Arkansas Department of Health to set up a hotline program for women seeking an abortion by 2023 passed both the Arkansas House and Senate last week. The Every Mom Matters Act, or EMMA, will require women to call a hotline that will be staffed with care agents contracted out by ADH, who will provide information about resources, both public and private, that the bill's sponsors say may lead to fewer abortions.

Courtesy / St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office

While opponents of Arkansas Senate Bill 24, also known as the Stand Your Ground Bill, took some time to celebrate Tuesday after the bill failed in committee, they quickly reminded themselves that the legislation can still be brough back for a vote.

Courtesy / Megan Godfrey

Rep. Megan Godfrey, D-District 89, has filed HB1342, also known as the Marshallese Law Enforcement Act. Currently, state law requires police officers to be U.S. citizens. If approved, the legislation would amend the law to include Marshallese residents who are in the country legally, but are not citizens.

J.Froelich / KUAF

The Saturday preceding Easter Sunday in Arkansas has been celebrated as Confederate Flag Day since 1957. But after the domestic terror attack on the U.S. Capitol in early January, where an insurgent paraded a Confederate flag through a federal building, state Rep. Andrew Collins, D-District 35, filed HB 1203 to repeal Confederate Flag Day.

 

Three candidates are already seeking the GOP nomination for governor in 2022. John Brummett, a political columnist with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, talks with Roby Brock, with our partner Talk Business and Politics, about the possibility other candidates might enter the race as independents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Courtesy / ABC This Week

This weekend, Governor Asa Hutchinson was on ABC's This Week to discuss vaccines and politics. He was asked about vaccine distribution as the country transitions from one presidential administration to another, as well as his thoughts on freshman GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green, R-Ga., who has come under criticism for her comments and actions before and during her time in office.

J. Froelich / KUAF

Arkansas Rep. Aaron Pilkington, R-Clarksville, is sponsoring a bill to exempt feminine hygiene products from sales and use taxes -- a bipartisan measure widely supported by both women and men, he says. But as the measure progressed through the legislature this week, Sen. Bob Ballinger, R-Ozark, took to Twitter calling Pilkington a "sissy" and threatened to kill the bill.

Courtesy / Andrew Collins

Arkansas House Bill 1202, a bipartisan measure proposed by State Rep. Andrew Collins, D-Pulaski County, amends Arkansas election law to establish statewide online access to sample election ballots via the Arkansas Secretary of State Voter View portal.

Courtesy / Talk Business and Politics

As lawmakers gather in Little Rock for the 2021 Legislative Session, our partners at Talk Business and Politics are hosting daily updates on what's taking place as bills get filed and voted on, or not. Roby Brock recently had a virtual conversation with Rep. Monte Hodges, D-Blytheville, who is the president of the Legislative Black Caucus, about taxes, hate crime legislation and bills that propose limiting what can be taught at Arkansas schools.

John Brummett, a political writer for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and Roby Brock, with our partner Talk Business and Politics, examine the first weeks of 2021 in Little Rock and Washington, D.C. Brummett says he doubts the national parties will be able to meet in the middle.

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