NARSOL’S Arkansas affiliate leader a regular at legislative sessions

By John Moritz . . . Carla Swanson sat waiting for nearly two hours Tuesday, watching as the House Judiciary Committee deliberated one bill after another.

The lawmakers discussed legislation affecting the implementation of the death penalty, then turned to a bill dealing with child custody laws. Members later took up two bills that would raise court fees. About an hour in, Swanson, who attends nearly every committee meeting to argue against proposals that would add restrictions on registered sex offenders like her son, heard the chairman call up one of the four bills she had been waiting on.

But before she had a chance to speak against the bill — which proposes to keep sex offenders from working at police and fire departments — Swanson watched as the sponsor pulled down the bill to fix a drafting error.

Swanson kept waiting.

The regular session of the Legislature has passed its two-month mark, and dozens of bills are on some committees’ public agendas. Some lawmakers and public advocates have begun to question whether more can be done to let people know more precisely when a bill they are interested in will be discussed.

In the Arkansas Legislature, committee meetings are generally the only place where members of the public, lobbyists and other officials can offer public comments on bills before they are sent to the floor of either chamber, where debate is limited to lawmakers.

When a bill is assigned to a committee, it is placed on that committee’s public agenda, which is published before each meeting. Any bill on the regular agenda has the potential to be considered at any committee meeting, but some bills linger for weeks or even months before the sponsor asks the committee to act on the bill. Only bills set for a special order of business — bills that tend to be more controversial pieces of legislation — have a set date for a hearing.

Of the more than 1,500 bills and almost 170 resolutions that have been filed since the Legislature convened in mid-January, just 31 have been scheduled for special orders, according to a full review of committee agendas by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. (A 2,049-page government reorganization bill, House Bill 1763, was originally filed as 16 separate bills, each of which received a special order of business, before being rolled up into one bill, which was also considered on special order. This newspaper’s count of bills that received special orders counts HB1763 once.)

So far, 515 bills have been signed into law.

Read the full article here at the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

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    • #53824 Reply
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      Jim

      The whole reason for the delays, the amount of bills that are being released, the time and notice of the reviews, and who and where someone can debate these laws is totally the shady work of the usa government. This government blows a smoke show second to no other country in the world. These hundreds of smoke screened laws are only “job security” for the useless and lazy lawmakers that we employ with our hard earned tax money. The more bs laws these lazy over paid people dream up creates years of endless work for these creeps. Just the facts!

    • #53823 Reply
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      Registered notoffender

      Thank you Carla for your patience and keeping up the fight. We will not let them punish us without letting them know how we feel about it.

    • #53856 Reply
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      Timothy

      How many laws does a state actually need? We’ve driving laws that requires both hands on the steering wheel yet we need another law prohibiting cell phone use while driving. Laws are only effective if enforcement follows. No human can know all the laws of is not possible precisely because we’ve far to many.

      • #53925 Reply
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        Billy

        LAWS ARE NOT MEANT TO BURDEN, OPPRESS THE PEOPLE BUT TO BE A TEACHER AND HELP !!!!
        OFFICERS WERE CALLED PEACE OFFICERS FOR A REASON, NOT TO ESCALATE OR PUNISH UNNECESSARILY OR HARASS, BULLY, INTIMIDATE OR OVER REGULATE OR EXCUSE THEMSELVES WHILE DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY HURTING OTHERS !!!!!

        • #53947 Reply
          Sandy Rozek
          Sandy Rozek
          Admin

          Billy, I have approved this, but please read the rules. Do not post in ALL CAPS. Thank you.

          • #55728 Reply
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            Mike

            Why is it the first time i posted only half of what i wrote you wouldnt even post but this guy put all of his post in caps an all you tell him is to follow the rules an you posted his post?

        • #54088 Reply
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          aurelius

          Ever since we allowed people with dual citizenship to be in our government we opened the floodgates for foreign interests to override our own, including the Constitution. You’re be surprised how many top government officials have dual citizenship.

    • #53994 Reply
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      Saddles

      That word “But” says it all. Billy you are right. Now what are they teaching? How to trap a sex offender with sex as a motive. Now thats as plain as one can get it. Thats like saying to a person ” assume the position” but what position do they want.

      Sandy is right about the Caps inless your shouting at someone. In the long run the advocates will find the ways and means to free help free a lot of people that are slaves to this sex offender registry. I’m sure doing away with a lot of this registry bit is in fashion for society as I can’t see the real justice in any of this truth or dare game.

      • #54285 Reply
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        Kendal

        There is a reason that position is hands against the wall, butt sticking out. Because innocent or guilty you are going to get it in the end….

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