Legislative Updates – Pray for America's Leaders

Legislative Updates

Arkansas | May 4, 2021

Arkansas Governor Allows Bill That Bans Agencies From Training Employees Critical Race Theory

Arkansas | May 4, 2021

On Monday, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, allowed a bill that prevents government agencies from training employees on divisive concepts of race and sex to become law without his signature.

The law S.B. 627 prohibits agencies from teaching employees, contractors, or any other group “divisive concepts” during racial and cultural sensitivity training. These concepts include teaching employees that the United States is fundamentally racist or sexist, or that one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex.

The measure was introduced as an effort to push back on “critical race theory,” which is a doctrine that redefines America’s history by claiming the nation was built through the struggle between “oppressors” (white people) and the “oppressed” (everybody else). The doctrine parallels Marxism’s reduction of human history to a struggle between the “bourgeoisie” and the “proletariat.”…

(Excerpts from The Epoch Times)

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Arkansas | May 3, 2021

3rd Congressional District set to shrink, census number indicate

Arkansas | May 3, 2021

Northwest Arkansas’ 3rd Congressional District stands to lose about 76,000 constituents when the Legislature redraws the borders later this year, the most recent available estimates indicate.

The need to reduce the 3rd District surprises no one, U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, a Republican from Rogers, said Thursday. Northwest Arkansas’ growth during the past 10 years is an obvious fact and will continue, he said.

“Everybody saw it coming,” Womack said of the need to shrink the district’s boundaries. “I’ve had constituents in Marion, Pope and even Boone counties tell me they’d really like to stay, but they can see what’s happening.”

Harrison is the Boone County seat. Yellville is county seat for Marion County and Russellville for Pope County.

Those three counties are on the eastern side of the district. It is possible the district could lose territory on the southern side instead, where Fort Smith is, but any sizable reduction has to come from one of those two directions, Womack said.

That is where the people live who aren’t in the Washington-Benton county core, he said.

“Benton and Washington counties are going to be their own congressional district someday,” he said.

The U.S. Census Bureau announced Monday the official population count of each state and the number of House seats each state is entitled to for the next 10 years. The U.S. Constitution requires a census every 10 years. Seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are allocated based upon the population count in each state…

(Excerpts from Arkansas Democrat Gazette)

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Arkansas, Idaho, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia | April 28, 2021

State bans critical race theory in public schools

Arkansas, Idaho, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia | April 28, 2021

The Idaho State Legislature has become the first in the nation to put a bill on a governor’s desk that would ban Marxist-based critical race theory from being taught in public schools.

Arkansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Missouri, Texas and West Virginia are among other states considering bans on such teaching, which regards America and Western Civilization as inherently racist…

(Excerpts from WND News)

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Arkansas | April 22, 2021

Arkansas House approved a $2 million state income tax credit program to fund private schools scholarships for needy students

Arkansas | April 22, 2021

The Arkansas House on Wednesday narrowly approved a $2 million state income tax credit program to fund private school scholarships for needy students, sending the bill to Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

Senate Bill 680 by Sen. Jonathan Dismang, R-Searcy, passed in the House on a 52-40 vote, with two lawmakers voting present, after about an hour of debate. The bill needed 51 votes for approval in the 100-member House.

The legislation would create the “Philanthropic Investment in Arkansas Kids Program,” which would provide scholarships for about 250 students whose family income is less than or equal to 200% of the federal poverty level….

(Excerpts from Arkansas Democrat Gazette)

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Arkansas, District of Columbia, Florida, Missouri | April 15, 2021

U.S. Senators reintroduce legislation to ban the use of TikTok on federal government devices

Arkansas, District of Columbia, Florida, Missouri | April 15, 2021

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) led a group of Senate Republicans on Thursday in reintroducing legislation to ban the use of social media app TikTok on federal government devices, citing potential national security concerns.

The No TikTok on Government Devices Act would ban all federal employees from using the popular app on government devices. The legislation was previously introduced in 2020, and was unanimously passed by the Senate in August, but the bill never received a vote in the House.

“TikTok is a Trojan horse for the Chinese Communist Party that has no place on government devices—or any American devices, for that matter,” Hawley said in a statement Thursday. “My bill is a straightforward plan to protect American government data from a hostile foreign power, which, less than a year ago, passed the Senate unanimously.”

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“TikTok has repeatedly proven itself to be a malicious actor but Joe Biden and Big Tech refuse to take the threat of Chinese espionage seriously. It’s time for Congress to act,” he added.

Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) are co-sponsors of the legislation……

(Excerpts from The Hill)

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Arkansas, Michigan, South Carolina, Texas | April 13, 2021

Anti-Transgender Legislation Surging in States

Arkansas, Michigan, South Carolina, Texas | April 13, 2021

The possibility that the Equality Act which was introduced, as H.R. 5 may pass Congress, has caused many state legislatures to respond and pass legislation to create legal protections for their state constituents.

Most recently, the Arkansas General Assembly passed HB 1570, the Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act and was adopted into law recently after overriding Governor Asa Hutchinson’s veto.

In 2020,19 state bills were introduced to protect the vulnerable from gender experimentation and many more bills protecting children from the transgender rights lobby have been introduced in the 2021 legislative sessions of several states.

Texas introduced SB 1311 and Michigan SB 218 which are among bills broadly labeled SAFE Act bills or gender reassignment bills address the following three concerns according to the Family Research Council:

  • “Gender transition” is an experiment; no “treatment” can change a person’s genetic composition, and no studies have demonstrated long-term benefits.
  • The government should not force taxpayers to fund it, insurers to cover it, or children to be subjected to it.
  • The SAFE Act would provide legal remedies for minors who have been permanently disfigured and/or sterilized.

Most recently, a South Carolina Democrat, state Rep. Cezar McKnight, introduced the “South Carolina Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act”.  This measure would ban minors from being able to receive transgender surgeries or medical treatments.

The bill states in part: “…no person shall engage in, counsel, make a referral for, or cause any of the following practices to be performed upon a minor if the practice is performed for the purpose of attempting to alter the appearance of or affirm the minor’s perception of the minor’s gender or sex…”

IFA’s Pray for Americas Leaders webcast on April 15th will feature the author of Arkansas Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act and discussing this trend in state legislation. Pray with us Live on Thursdays at 12:15 pm ET —IFApray.org/LIVE or (713) 775-7430.

IFA Contributing Writer

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