The Republican-led Arkansas Senate Thursday passed Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ (R) Arkansas LEARNS Act, a comprehensive education reform plan that seeks to eliminate Critical Race Theory (CRT) in classrooms, increase the salaries of teachers, and broaden school choice in order to “empower parents.”
“We are one step closer to unleashing the boldest, most comprehensive, conservative education reform package in the nation — a blueprint for success for the rest of the country,” Huckabee Sanders tweeted.
Newly sworn-in Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) began her term of office by signing seven executive orders, including one that bans Critical Race Theory (CRT) and another that prohibits government use of the woke term “Latinx.”
In her inaugural address, Sanders announced education reform would be “the hallmark of my administration,” and that one of her immediate executive orders would be “preventing the political indoctrination of Arkansas’s schoolchildren.”
Half of the states in the U.S. no longer require residents to hold a concealed carry permit to carry firearms in public after Alabama, Indiana, Georgia and Ohio passed laws in 2022 removing permit requirements.
On Monday, Alabama began enforcing its permitless carry law, becoming the 25th state to do so, while Indiana, Georgia and Ohio also passed laws this year allowing residents to concealed carry firearms without a permit. Over the last two years 10 states have moved to permitless carry, including Utah, Montana, Iowa, Tennessee, Arkansas and Texas.
Republicans will soon take control of the House of Representatives, but with a margin so narrow it may prove difficult to achieve their legislative and oversight objectives. That margin might have been larger, were it not for egregious errors made by the U.S. Census Bureau in the 2020 census.
Come January, House membership will consist of 213 Democrats and 222 Republicans. A party must hold 218 of those seats to control the House. Thus, Republicans will have only a four-seat majority. That extremely narrow majority means that GOP leadership can lose any vote on any issue if only four Republicans defect and the Democrats stay united in opposition.
Failed 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said Friday America is now comparable to the Taliban in Afghanistan and Sudan after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, returning abortion decisions to the states.
“It’s so shocking to think that in any way we’re related to poor Afghanistan and Sudan,” Clinton said, according to Fox News, regarding abortion rights during the Women’s Voices Summit at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas. “But as an advanced economy as we allegedly are, on this measure, we unfortunately are rightly put with them.”
Second- and third-generation heirs of Walmart founder Sam Walton’s fortune have funneled millions of dollars into LGBTQ-related causes in their home state of Arkansas.
Among other things, these Walton-funded groups and the Walmart Foundation have sponsored local drag shows and story hours for kids; “teens only” events for LGBTQ-identifying youth; and other progressive causes such as diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in public schools and the state university in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Google agreed to a $391.5 million settlement with 40 states after an investigation found that the tech giant participated in questionable location-tracking practices, state attorneys general announced Monday.
Connecticut Attorney General William Tong called it a “historic win for consumers.”
Republican state treasurers are withdrawing $1 billion in assets from BlackRock’s control due to the asset manager’s alleged boycott of the fossil fuel industry, according to the Financial Times.
Republican South Carolina State Treasurer Curtis Loftus is pulling $200 million from BlackRock by the end of 2022, and Louisiana treasurer John Schroder said on Oct. 5 that he is divesting $794 million from the company, according to the FT. Utah treasurer Marlo Oaks said he removed $100 million in funds from BlackRock’s control, and Arkansas treasurer Dennis Milligan pulled $125 million from the company in March.
A federal judge in Tennessee ruled in favor of Tennessee, Arizona, and 18 other states in their effort to block federal guidelines on transgender athletes and school locker rooms.
The lawsuit, brought by Tennessee, challenged guidance from the United States Department of Education and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that would allow athletes who were marked as males on their birth certificates to compete in girls and women’s sports. The federal guidance also would have prohibited student shower and locker room access from being determined by birth gender and provided guidance on required pronoun use.
Twelve attorneys general filed an opening brief Friday in a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for changes made this year to energy and water efficiency standards for dishwashers and washing machines.
“These arbitrary washing machine regulations are unlawful, ineffective, and absolutely ridiculous,” Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, co-leader of a suit in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals against the DOE and Secretary Jennifer Granholm, said in a statement. “They should be hung out to dry as soon as possible.”
Twenty-one states have filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s continued mask mandate on public transportation, including on airplanes.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody are leading the effort. Moody filed the suit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida along with 20 other attorneys general. DeSantis said the mask mandate was misguided and heavy-handed.
A federal judge blocked a pro-life law Tuesday that would have banned almost all abortions in Arkansas, calling the law an “imminent threat” to women seeking abortions.
Judge Kristine Baker issued a preliminary injunction blocking authorities from enforcing the Arkansas Unborn Child Protection Act until she issues a final ruling, according to the Washington Post. The law was set to go into effect July 28.
The Department of Justice argued in court filings Thursday that transgender legislation passed in West Virginia and Arkansas is unconstitutional.
The DOJ filed statements of interest supporting lawsuits filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) against West Virginia’s House Bill 3293 and Arkansas’ “Save Adolescents From Experimentation Act,” otherwise known as the SAFE Act.
The West Virginia bill bans biological males at public schools from participating in women’s sports in middle school, high school, and college. The SAFE Act prohibits physicians from performing gender transition procedures, such as puberty blockers or “top” and “bottom” surgeries, on minors.