Archive for the Local Government Category

Libertarian Party Replies to the State Of The Union

Posted in Activism, Current Events, Government, Life, Local Government, Philosophy, Politics, State with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2013 by Ronin

Local Corporatism, Congressional Retirements, Eminent Domain, and Human Trafficking; Just A Small Part of Arkansas Politics

Posted in Activism, Commentary, Current Events, Government, Life, Local Government, News, Politics, State with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 6, 2013 by Ronin
English: The Arkansas House of Representatives...

English: The Arkansas House of Representatives Chamber: The House is equipped with an electronic voting system. On each desk is a panel of buttons; red for a “no” vote, green for a “yes” vote and yellow for a “present” vote. The vote is displayed on large boards at the front of the chamber. The stained glass dome in the House is original to the room. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

TO REPEAL THE AUTHORITY OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTS TO PAY TAXPAYER FUNDS UNDER SERVICE CONTRACTS FOR ECONOMIC AND INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT SERVICES.
Bill Number HB1145 PDF
Act Number
Status House — Read the first time, rules suspended, read the second time and referred to the Committee on AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT- HOUSE

Due to the sheer number of Bills and the limited amount of time, I will only address those that jump at me, such as this bill from the Arkansas House of Representatives. It’s simply a repeal of local government’s engaging in corporatism.

TO ALLOW CERTAIN MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO OPT OUT OF MEMBERSHIP IN THE ARKANSAS PUBLIC EMPLOYEES’ RETIREMENT SYSTEM AND TO DECLARE AN EMERGENCY.
Bill Number HB1177 PDF
Act Number
Status House — Read the first time, rules suspended, read the second time and referred to the Committee on PUBLIC RETIREMENT & SOCIAL SECURITY PROGRAMS-JOINT

I would like this better if it removed all of the legislators from the Retirement System. It’s a temporary part-time job, no retirement benefits for you.

TO LIMIT THE POWER OF EMINENT DOMAIN FOR PROPERTY OWNERS’ IMPROVEMENT DISTRICTS.
Bill Number HB1192 PDF
Act Number
Status House — Read the first time, rules suspended, read the second time and referred to the Committee on JUDICIARY COMMITTEE- HOUSE

The best I can understand this bill is that it strips utilities of the power of eminent domain, however the district the utilities are in can condemn and use eminent domain on areas already in use by the utility.

ESTABLISHING THE HUMAN TRAFFICKING ACT OF 2013; CONCERNING THE OFFENSE OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING.
Bill Number HB1203 PDF
Act Number
Status House — Returned by the Committee with the recommendation that it do pass as amended 1

Apparently this is an issue in Arkansas. Who knew? It is something to be dealt with. To keep from overwhelming everyone I’ll cut it off at that and pick up the rest tomorrow.

Senate Bills 65 to 93, School Choice, Improving Education, Capital Punishment, Statute of Limitations for Pedophiles and Active Shooters in Schools

Posted in Activism, Commentary, Current Events, Government, Local Government, News, Politics, State with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 4, 2013 by Ronin
Title capital punishment

Title capital punishment (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You wouldn’t believe the number of Bills the Arkansas Legislature has filed. I’m screening them as it is, and will have to screen them more to keep up. So without further ado…

  • SB65 would make it possible to move your kid to a neighboring school district without moving if you don’t like the district they’re in.
  • SB66 would waive some rules and regulations for school districts that meet certain criteria. What is a district of innovation? I’ll let the Bill speak:

District of innovation plan.
(a) A public school district shall develop and submit a district of innovation plan to the Commissioner of Education to become a district of innovation.
(b) A district of innovation plan shall address, without limitation:
(1) The goals and performance targets for the district of innovation, which may include:
(A) Reducing the achievement gap among one (1) or more groups of students by expanding learning experiences for academically low-achieving students;
(B) Increasing student learning through the implementation of highly rigorous standards for student performance;
(C) Increasing student participation at each grade level in curriculum and instructional components within selected schools of innovation;
(D) Increasing the number of college and career ready students; and

(E) Motivating students at each grade level by offering more curriculum choices and student learning opportunities to parents and students in the district of innovation.

  • SB73 lays out the chemicals used and how they are used in an execution.
  • SB92 deals with the statute of limitations. Previously it was unlimited for murder. Now this will enable you to be charged for any sexual offense with a minor no matter how far back it happened.
  • SB 93 is to authorize a study on the best way to deal with an active shooter situation in schools. I’d suggest shoot back, but that’s just  me.
SB65 TO AMEND THE PUBLIC SCHOOL CHOICE ACT OF 1989. J. Key
SB66 TO IMPROVE EDUCATION IN ARKANSAS BY CREATING DISTRICTS OF INNOVATION. Elliott
SB73 AN ACT REGARDING THE ADMINISTRATION AND METHOD OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT. Hester
SB92 TO AMEND THE LIMITATIONS PERIOD FOR CERTAIN SEX CRIMES INVOLVING MINORS.   Hickey
SB93 TO REQUIRE A STUDY OF THE READINESS AND CAPABILITIES OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS FOR PREVENTING AND RESPONDING TO ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST STUDENTS AND SCHOOL PERSONNEL AT SCHOOL.   L. Chesterfield

Senate Bill 2 to 13; Voter I.D, College Millage Increases, Taxes, Disasters, Sex Offenders and Telling PeTA To Back Off

Posted in Activism, Commentary, Current Events, Government, Local Government, News, Politics, State with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2013 by Ronin
Vote Oregon!

(Photo credit: jugbo)

Now we’ll look at a select few of the Arkansas Senate’s Bills. So far over 150 have been filed.

  • SB2 will be a hard fought bill.

(d)(1) Except as provided in subdivision (d)(2) and subsection (e) of this section, any person desiring to vote in this state shall:

(A) Present proof of identity to the election official when appearing to vote in person either early or at the polls on election day; or
(B) When voting by mail, submit with the ballot a copy of a current and valid photo identification or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter.
(2)(A) A person who is a resident of a licensed nursing home, licensed residential care facility, licensed assisted-living facility, or any licensed facility that provides long-term medical or personal care is not required to provide proof of identity before voting.
(B) A person not required to provide proof of identity under subdivision (d)(2)(A) of this section shall provide documentation from the administrator of the facility attesting that the person is a resident of the facility.

And if you don’t have ID it will be noted and you’ll be given a provisional ballot and will be counted when the voter returns to the county board of election commissioners by 12:00 p.m. on the Monday following the election and: Provides proof of identity; or executes an affidavit stating that the voter cannot provide proof of identity because the voter: is indigent; or has a religious objection to being photographed; and  the voter has not been challenged or required to vote a provisional ballot for any other reason. Now I like this idea, since I have to show an ID to buy a gun, and politicians send people to war to kill and die all the time, and coerce and threaten violence on the voter and non-voter alike. It’s not something to be taken lightly.

  • SB4 deals with special elections for millage increases, with the paperwork provided by the Board of Elections for that county and the college foots the bill for the election.
  • SB5 is short. Here:

SECTION 1. Arkansas Code § 26-61-103 is amended to read as follows:

26-61-103. Levy of tax.
There is levied on all timberlands in this state an annual tax of fifteen cents (15¢) twenty cents (20¢) per acre to be collected in the manner provided in under this chapter for deposit into the State Treasury for credit to the State Forestry Fund as special revenues to be used for the maintenance, operation, and improvement of the Arkansas Forestry Commission in its statewide program for the detection, prevention, and suppression of forest fires.

  • SB10 is now Act 4 and appropriates $10,000,000.00 for Disaster Assistance Grants.
  • SB12 prohibits Level 3 and 4 sex offenders from being around kids at the pool or playground. My question is how would you know?
  • SB13 keeps you from being investigated by PeTA or the Humane Society.5-62-128. Improper animal investigation.
    (a) A person who is not a certified law enforcement officer who knowingly conducts an investigation, including collection of evidence into alleged claims of criminal conduct involving an animal by another person or entity, or coerces a person to surrender his or her personal property through threat of criminal investigation or prosecution related to alleged claims of  criminal conduct involving an animal by another person or entity upon conviction is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.
    (b) A person who is convicted under this section also shall be liable for a civil penalty of five thousand dollars ($5,000) per incident as well as the loss of any state-issued license to operate.

These were the biggest Bills I wanted to highlight due to the large number of Bills filed now. The Legislature would be out of session by the time I was done.

 

SB2 AN ACT TO REQUIRE THAT A VOTER PROVIDE PROOF OF IDENTITY WHEN VOTING AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE ISSUANCE OF A VOTER IDENTIFICATION CARD. B. King
SB4 TO ASSIST COMMUNITY COLLEGES IN ACQUIRING FUNDING FOR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS; TO SPECIFY THE PROCEDURE FOR INSTITUTING MILLAGE ELECTIONS; TO MAKE TECHNICAL CHANGES TO CLARIFY THE LAW; AND TO DECLARE AN EMERGENCY. B. Sample
SB5 TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR THE ARKANSAS FORESTRY COMMISSION AND TO INCREASE THE TAX LEVIED UNDER THE FOREST FIRE PROTECTION TAX ACT OF 1969. B. Sample
SB10 AN ACT FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION – DISBURSING OFFICER SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION. Joint Budget Committee
SB12 TO PROHIBIT LEVEL 3 OR LEVEL 4 SEX OFFENDERS FROM BEING AT A SWIMMING AREA OR CHILDREN’S PLAYGROUND CONTAINED WITHIN AN ARKANSAS STATE PARK; AND TO DECLARE AN EMERGENCY. Irvin
SB13 PROVIDING LEGAL PROTECTION TO ANIMAL OWNERS AND THEIR ANIMALS AND TO ENSURE THAT ONLY LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES INVESTIGATE CHARGES OF ANIMAL CRUELTY.   J. Hutchinson

Arkansas House Bills 1032-1044; Unemployment, Guns, Going Green, Abortion, Fluoride, Taxes, Charter Schools, Budget, Eminent Domain and More.

Posted in Activism, Commentary, Current Events, Government, Local Government, News, Politics, State with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2013 by Ronin
unemployment

unemployment (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

Last bit of looking at the House Bills. As you can see Denny Altes is a busy man. Let’s see what he’s proposing.

  • HB1032 would require anyone on unemployment to attend a meeting every two weeks to make sure they looked for work, and their plans for the next two weeks on the job hunt. I have two thoughts on this initially: it’ll cut down on abuse of the unemployment rolls and all those meetings will get expensive.
  • HB1033 is another bill on unemployment. This one will require employers to withhold 0.5% of your wages for unemployment. Right now it’s the businesses paying that particular tax.
  • HB1034 is a bit vague. Looks like it deals with lobbyists but I am unsure.
  • HB1035 I covered here last week.
  • HB1036 would force you to use either a paper bag or buy a “green” reusable bag you bring from home, after you bought it from the store.

8-9-704. Single-use carryout bag – Prohibition.

A store shall:
(1) Not provide a single-use carryout bag to a customer; and
(2) Make reusable bags available for purchase by a customer.

As you can imagine I disagree with this. While the reasoning is valid, the execution takes away the freedom of choice.

  • HB1037 takes the ban on late-term abortions and moves it up towards in the middle of the second trimester at 20 weeks. This will make for interesting committee hearings.
  • HB1038 tackles the issue of flouridiztion. It doesn’t ban it, but allows you to wait until you have money to pay for it, unless you serve a city with a population between eighty thousand (80,000) and less than one hundred thousand (100,000).
  • HB1039 exempts from sales and use taxes farms, ranches, poultry houses, etc. within the limits defined in the bill.
  • HB1040 takes oversight from the state’s Department of Education over Charter Schools and gives it to the newly formed State Public Charter School Commission. The State Public Charter School Commission is established as an independent state commission with statewide jurisdiction and authority under the Arkansas Quality Public Charter Schools Act of 2013. My question is how soon will this be politicized and charter schools become watered down?
  • HB1041 is a step in the right direction as far as the state budget is concerned.

(B) The general revenue expenditures for each fiscal year do not exceed the lesser of the following:

(i) An increase of three percent (3%) over the total  general revenue expenditures of all state agencies and institutions of higher education for the previous fiscal year; and
(ii)(a) The average rate of change of the state gross domestic product for the preceding three (3) fiscal years.

  • HB1042 deals with eminent domain by only getting private property by coercion for only government agencies, parks, utilities, pipelines and this disturbing tidbit, other common carriers. What’s that? The plus, city hall can’t take your land so a Walmart can be built there.
  • HB1043 would give a reward to someone who uncovers substantial waste that can be cut, saving the state money. Maybe they’ll let me keep more of my money since the cuts would be made? I’m not holding my breath.
  • HB1044 would reimburse anyone using their private vehicle for state business for 42¢ a mile instead of a percentage.

Whew, I’m done with the House Bills for now. Any of these disturb you?

 

HB1032 TO REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT OF WORKFORCE SERVICES TO CONDUCT REEMPLOYMENT INTERVIEWS TO DETERMINE ELIGIBILITY FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS.   D. Altes
HB1033 TO REQUIRE EMPLOYEE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION FUND.   D. Altes
HB1034 TO AMEND THE LAW CONCERNING PERSONS REQUIRED TO FILE A STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL INTEREST.   D. Whitaker
HB1035 TO ALLOW TRAINED AND LICENSED STAFF AND FACULTY TO CARRY A CONCEALED HANDGUN ON A UNIVERSITY, COLLEGE, OR COMMUNITY COLLEGE CAMPUS UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES.   D. Altes
HB1036 TO ENACT THE REUSABLE SHOPPING BAG ACT; TO PROHIBIT A STORE FROM PROVIDING A SINGLE-USE CARRYOUT BAG TO A CUSTOMER; AND TO ENCOURAGE THE USE OF REUSABLE BAGS.   D. Altes
HB1037 AN ACT TO CREATE THE PAIN-CAPABLE UNBORN CHILD PROTECTION ACT AND TO DECLARE AN EMERGENCY.   Mayberry
HB1038 TO PROTECT CERTAIN WATER SYSTEMS AND TO EXEMPT CERTAIN CITIES FROM CHEMICAL ADDITIVE REQUIREMENTS.   D. Altes
HB1039 TO CREATE AN EXEMPTION FROM THE SALES AND USE TAX FOR UTILITIES USED BY QUALIFYING AGRICULTURAL STRUCTURES AND QUALIFYING AQUACULTURE AND HORTICULTURE EQUIPMENT.   Wardlaw
HB1040 TO CREATE THE STATE PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL COMMISSION.   Biviano
HB1041 TO LIMIT THE INCREASE IN GENERAL REVENUE EXPENDITURES FROM YEAR TO YEAR; TO CREATE A NEXUS BETWEEN THE AMOUNT OF GENERAL REVENUE EXPENDITURES AND THE GROWTH OF GROSS GENERAL REVENUES; AND TO DECLARE AN EMERGENCY.   Westerman
HB1042 TO AMEND THE LAWS CONCERNING EMINENT DOMAIN.   Bell
HB1043 TO AMEND ARKANSAS LAW TO PERMIT A REWARD TO A STATE EMPLOYEE WHEN A REPORT UNDER THE ARKANSAS WHISTLE-BLOWER ACT RESULTS IN A SAVINGS OF STATE FUNDS.   Bell
HB1044 TO ENACT THE “MILEAGE REIMBURSEMENT FAIRNESS ACT”.   Bell

 

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