On January 19, 2011, state Senator Jeremy Hutchinson, R-Little Rock, introduced Senate Joint Resolution 2 (SJR2), a proposed state constitutional amendment to make the independent state agencies accountable to the Arkansas General Assembly. Yesterday, Senator Hutchinson amended the bill to exclude the Arkansas Game and Fish from this proposed amendment.
In its original state, the resolution would have destroyed the separate government we know as the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission; however, SJR2 will now simply put the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department and the Lottery Commission under the governance of the state legislature. I have written about the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission many times in the past year, detailing how the agency has become an unelected government within a government, with control over vast areas of land in Arkansas.
However, there is still hope; there exists a shell bill, HJR1007, which can be built on to achieve the same goal as SJR2 would have done. Also, HJR1013, a bill introduced by Representative Larry Cowling, D-Foreman, will put the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission under the control of the state legislature. With luck, maybe one of these bills will accomplish the task needed to return the control of state lands to the people of Arkansas.
Last April, I wrote here and here about Arkansas’s gun control laws in times of emergency. This legislative session, Representative Bill Sample, R-Hot Springs, is attempting to do something about it.
SB115, a senate bill designed to prohibit the state government from disarming state citizens during times of emergency, was transmitted from the Arkansas State Senate to the House on Valentine’s Day, by a vote of 29-5 (there will more about those five votes at a later date).
This bill is a true recognition of the right to bear arms, and should be treated as such by the House of Representatives. How the state legislature treats its citizens during times of emergencies is the litmus test of its trust in said people.