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 […]

Kansans for and against a constitutional amendment on abortion hold up signs in Olathe, Kan., in August 2022. The amendment, which would have stripped the right to an abortion from the Kansas Constitution, was resoundingly defeated in that month’s election. (Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)

Positive polling, past successes don’t guarantee victory for abortion rights at the ballot box

BY: - June 30, 2023

Polls show that most Americans, even in red states, oppose the strict abortion bans Republican state lawmakers have enacted in the year since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade. Emboldened by that fact, abortion rights advocates in multiple states might propose ballot initiatives for voters to consider in next year’s election, if […]

Rep. David Whitaker and Farmington School District officials smile for a photo beside a giant entegrity solar lightswitch

Bill sponsors, stakeholders reach compromise on Arkansas solar legislation

BY: - February 22, 2023

A press release mentioned in this story came from the Arkansas Advanced Energy Association. An editing error in an earlier version of the article gave an incorrect name. After a testy all-day hearing on an amended bill opponents say would kill Arkansas’ burgeoning solar industry, sponsors of House Bill 1370 reached late-hour agreement that is […]

State Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Jonesboro), at right, talks with Sen. Ricky Hill (R-Cabot) during a break in a November 2022 meeting. (Photo courtesy of Arkansas Senate)

The assault on diversity, equity and inclusion continues

BY: - February 1, 2023

Arkansas’ Republican overlords continued their assault on affirmative action and the very basis of righting past wrongs with the passage of Senate Bill 71 in committee on Tuesday. In doublespeak that George Orwell would have recognized, SB 71 sponsor Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Jonesboro) characterized the legislation as anti-discriminatory because its stated intention is “to prohibit […]

Voters will decide recreational marijuana amendment, Arkansas high court rules

BY: - September 22, 2022

The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled Thursday that voters can decide in November whether to make recreational marijuana legal in the state. In a 20-page decision written by Justice Robin Wynne, the high court concluded 5-2 “that the ballot title at issue is complete enough to convey an intelligible idea of the scope and import of […]