South Dakota voters sign a petition to put reinstating abortion rights in South Dakota on the 2024 ballot. (Courtesy: Dakotans for Health)

Abortion rights groups don’t support South Dakota ballot measure to restore abortion access

BY: - December 7, 2023

Some South Dakota abortion rights groups do not support a potential ballot measure that aims to restore those rights. The groups say they have concerns about the measure’s language and the way it was drafted. “We are not telling people to donate, or volunteer,” said Samantha Chapman, advocacy manager for the American Civil Liberties Union […]

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders shakes hands with Senate President Pro Tempore Bart Hester, R-Cave Springs, at a bill signing event Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023. House Speaker Matthew Shepherd, R-El Dorado, applauds. One of the bills Sanders signed was an amendment to Arkansas' Freedom of Information Act that exempts Arkansas State Police records regarding her security. (John Sykes/Arkansas Advocate)

Secrecy added to Arkansas public records law serves only those with secrets

BY: - September 15, 2023

This commentary was updated at 5:25 p.m., Sept. 16, 2023, to correct the day when the Legislature submitted the bill to the governor. This week’s hastily called — and unnecessary — special session of the Arkansas Legislature yielded some ugly changes to the state’s sunshine law but also provided a shining example of democracy at […]

A grocery clerk rings up a customer's purchases.

Millions more workers would receive overtime pay under proposed Biden administration rule

BY: - September 10, 2023

Salaried workers who have been ineligible for overtime pay would benefit from a proposed Biden administration regulation. The Department of Labor’s new rule would require employers compensate full-time workers in management, administrative, or other professional roles for any overtime worked if they make less than $55,068 annually. Currently, the salary threshold is $35,568. The change […]

Laws banning gender-affirming treatments can block trans youth from receiving other care

BY: - July 31, 2023

In some states, new laws banning gender-affirming care for transgender youth are dissuading health care providers from offering mental health services and other medical care that isn’t explicitly banned by those laws. In the first few weeks after Mississippi’s law went into effect in February, nurse practitioner Stacie Pace said she was fielding calls and […]

A transparently beautiful day above the Arkansas State Capitol dome. (Photo by John Sykes/Arkansas Advocate)

Lawmaker to take another swing at your right to know

BY: - March 24, 2023

Rep. Mary Bentley is pushing for county governments, city councils and school boards to be more like the Legislature. The Perryville Republican points to the ease with which she can get together with or call other lawmakers to talk about possible legislation or pending bills. The ability to confer with other lawmakers out of the […]