greg leding

Proposed law restricting school bathroom use will return to Arkansas House

BY: - March 13, 2023

A proposed law that would restrict bathroom use in Arkansas public and charter schools based on students’ gender assigned at birth passed the Senate with a 29-6 party-line vote Monday. House Bill 1156 would apply to multiple-occupancy restrooms and locker rooms, as well as rooms for students on overnight trips. It also requires schools to […]

Arkansas bill restricting transgender adults’ bathroom use will be amended, returned to committee

BY: - March 1, 2023

Arkansas legislators will amend a proposed law that would make it a crime if an adult “knowingly exposes his or her sex organs to a minor of the opposite sex” in a public restroom or changing room. Sen. John Payton (R-Wilburn), the sponsor of Senate Bill 270, pulled the bill from consideration on the Senate […]

Sen. Clarke Tucker, Sen. Breanne Davis

Education bill amendment filed ahead of House committee meeting

BY: - February 27, 2023

Rep. Keith Brooks (R-Little Rock), the House sponsor of the governor’s education bill, filed a six-page amendment late Friday following bipartisan calls for changes to the legislation. Senate Bill 294, also called the LEARNS Act, is the result of Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ campaign promise to make sweeping changes to the state’s education system. The […]

Sen. Breanne Davis of Russellville, lead sponsor of Senate Bill 294, which would enact the governor’s education program, looks at Education Secretary Jacob Oliva, right, as he answers questions about the bill during a meeting of the Senate Education Committee Wednesday morning, Feb. 22, 2023, in Little Rock. (John Sykes/Arkansas Advocate)

Arkansas governor’s education package advances to Senate

BY: and - February 22, 2023

The Senate Education Committee after more than five hours of testimony Wednesday approved Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ sweeping education plan over bipartisan calls for amendments. Dozens of teachers, students, parents and administrator groups testified at the occasionally tense hearing. Senate Bill 294, also called the LEARNS Act, is the culmination of Sanders’ chief priority to […]

Arkansas school bathroom use bill will be amended, sent back to committee

BY: - February 16, 2023

The bill that would restrict bathroom use in Arkansas public schools based on students’ gender assigned at birth will be amended and returned to the Senate Education Committee, Senate sponsor Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Jonesboro) said Thursday. House Bill 1156 was expected to receive a vote from the full Senate a day after passing the Senate […]

Bill restricting school bathroom use heads to Arkansas Senate

BY: - February 15, 2023

A proposed law to restrict bathroom use in public schools based on students’ sex assigned at birth passed the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday and will head to the Senate, the only remaining hurdle before going to the governor’s desk. House Bill 1156 applies to multiple-occupancy restrooms and locker rooms, as well as rooms for […]

Sen. Greg Leding

Committee tables legislation to increase funding for classified employee pay

BY: - February 15, 2023

The Senate Education Committee tabled a bill Wednesday that would increase per-student foundation funding in order to support a raise for public school districts’ classified employees. Senate Minority Leader Sen. Greg Leding (D-Fayetteville) is the lead sponsor of Senate Bill 149, which would increase per-student foundation funding amounts from $7,349 to $8,195 for the 2023-2024 […]

Sen. Dan Sullivan

Higher education free expression bill halted in committee

BY: - February 1, 2023

After an hour of debate among Senate Education Committee members on Wednesday, Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Jonesboro) pulled down a bill he said was designed to protect free expression on college campuses.  “The intent of the bill is to allow students to be expressive and we’re seeing a lot of bills now that seek to restrict […]

Sen. Greg Leding, Rep. Tippi McCullough

Democrats file legislation to increase pay for Arkansas teachers, school staff

BY: - January 26, 2023

Arkansas Democrats filed bills on Thursday to raise minimum salaries for teachers to $50,000 a year and for classified staff to $15 an hour. Sponsored by House Minority Leader Rep. Tippi McCullough (D-Little Rock), the Raising Arkansas’s Investment in Schools and Educators (RAISE) Act calls for an immediate $10,000 raise for all full-time teachers. The […]

Anti-drag legislation passes Arkansas Senate in 29-6 party-line vote

BY: - January 24, 2023

A proposed law that would limit where drag performances can occur will head to the Arkansas House of Representatives after passing the Senate on a party-line vote Tuesday. Senate Bill 43  defines a “drag performance” as at least one person “exhibit[ing] a gender identity that is different from the performer’s gender assigned at birth using […]

Drag performer Athena Sinclair, aka M.D. Hunter, speaks against a bill that would define "a drag performance" as an adult-oriented business during a senate committee hearing Thursday morning, Jan. 19, 2023. The bill’s primary sponsor Sen. Gary Stubblefield (R-Branch), left, listened to testimony from opponents and supporters of the bill before the committee passed it with a recommendation the full Senate adopt it. (Photo by John Sykes/Arkansas Advocate/01/19/2023)

Anti-drag bill passes Arkansas Senate committee, opponents rally outside Capitol

BY: - January 19, 2023

Dozens — including drag performers and transgender Arkansans — stood on the Arkansas State Capitol steps Thursday afternoon and sang “Seasons of Love” to the assembled crowd, an act of defiance against a proposed law approved by a legislative committee just hours earlier. The performance, organizers said, would be banned under Senate Bill 43, which […]

Rep. Tippi McCullough, Sen. Greg Leding

Arkansas legislative Democrats promise to fight, acknowledge bleak numbers

BY: - January 11, 2023

Democratic leaders know they don’t have the numbers to win many battles in the Arkansas Legislature, but they still plan to try to find common ground with Republicans and fight bills they oppose. Arkansas Democrats hold essentially no power as a group after Republicans solidified supermajorities in both the state House and Senate during November’s […]