CFC ALERT: Call Your Legislators NOW!

Dear Friend,

Thursday is going to be a big day at the legislature and we need your help to make sure that legislators take care of our communities and our children.  Bills on several CFC priorities will be heard.

Please take time TODAY or early TOMORROW to CALL your LEGISLATORS on the following: 

Civil Rights

So called ‘Stand Your Ground’ legislation, HB1240, will be heard at 10am in the House Judiciary Committee (click for contact information), Room 149 at the Capitol. HB1240 lowers the threshold required by a citizen to justify using deadly force and removes a requirement that a person try to retreat from a conflict before killing in self defense.  Current law already protects people who truly must use deadly force to protect themselves and their homes from violent criminals.  Stand your ground laws in other states have proven to increase violent crime and racially biased violence. Call members of the House Judiciary Committee and ask them to VOTE NO on HB1240.

Economic

Legislation ensuring that workers know how much they got paid and the details of payroll deductions was defeated in the House Public Health Welfare and Labor Committee Tuesday. All HB1276 by Rep. Leding does is require employers to provide employees an electronic or paper pay stub at least once a month, or to former employees within 30 days of their final work date when they request one.  

Rep. Leding plans to try again TOMORROW.

We also expect a companion bill, HB1277, to run which ensures that workers will be paid within 14 days when their employment ends. Currently some unscrupulous employers take months to give their employees their final checks.  

Please call or email your members on the House Public Health Welfare and Labor Committee today and ask them to SUPPORT HB1276 and 1277!

Education

Please contact your members of the Arkansas House at this number, 501-682-6211 or find detailed contact information here and ask them to SUPPORT HB1515 and HB1485 to improve community engagement and improve special education in Arkansas.

We were stunned by the rejection of HB1515 on the House Floor, that simply required the State Dept. of Education to hold a community forum in each school district once every 4 years as part of their accreditation review. This is an efficient and simple means of ensuring some level of community input for school policy. The bill will be up for a second vote Thursday!  You can see the first vote on HB1515 here to see how your legislator voted -- many did not vote at all and a call or email from you could make all the difference!

HB1485 is also on the House floor TOMORROW. This bill creates a task force focused on improving Arkansas' special education system that is not performing up to our students and families' needs. We can do better! Yesterday, CFC member Shirley Renix, who is a mother of a special needs student, testified in support of HB1485, and it passed committee without opposition. However, we still need to let legislators know how important it is.

Both bills will be up for a vote on the House Floor THURSDAY AFTERNOON.

We are also continuing our request that you call Governor Hutchinson at 501-682-2345 and ask him to support a $16 million cost of living increase for quality pre-K.

The Governor left it out of his original proposal and legislators are now debating how to divide an expected budget surplus among tax cuts for high income earners.  Pre-K is PROVEN to be the most powerful tool we have to boost student reading and achievement for a lifetime.

If you want to receive email alerts about just one of the CFC's issues you can sign up for targeted alerts covering the issues you care about most HERE.