Something else (besides the breaking of the Petrino scandal) happened on April 5th: Republicans in the Arkansas House, poised to take control of the body for the first time since Reconstruction, unveiled their platform for the 2013 general assembly.
(We have previously outlined pieces of the platform.)
I encourage our readers to view the platform at www.ARHouse.org It is not the typical platitudes. It is a very detailed, substantive plan with many ideas that have been proven to be fundamentally sound & successful in other states.
SIMPLE is, of course, an acronym:
- S – Spending Restraints
- I – Income & Other Tax Reform
- M – Medicaid Sustainability
- P – Protecting Arkansas’s Future
- L – Legal & Regulatory Reform
- E – Educational Excellence
The entire press conference is not available in one YouTube clip, but since we are a Searcy-based blog, we will share our state rep’s comments. Here are Rep. Mark Biviano’s comments. I particularly appreciate the remarks about transparency:
I posted yesterday about Louisiana’s passage of a school voucher program. Republican leaders say the vouchers will be in place later this spring.
In that post, I used a quote from an article from The Town Talk, a Louisiana news organization.
In that same article, I found several disturbing quotes from one of the state’s Democrats, Sam Jones, in which he tries to draw a bizarre analogy about school choice & the death of Jesus. I’m not sure if this really got any coverage regionally or nationally, but it should have.
From the article:
“Are we going to be the first state to write a church a check? Think about it … I am appalled about how many religious denominations of schools ran up here to get this money.”
[Jones] reminded the House that Jesus said to “give unto Caesar what is owed to Caesar” but “the only time government dealt with him, they ordered his execution. This is a line we should not cross.”
I suppose Rep. Jones thinks the government should stay out of church affairs then? So it is safe to assume that he opposes Obamacare’s birth control mandate?
I draw attention to these comments for two reasons.
1. They’re outrageous & Rep. Jones deserves to be publicly shamed for these comments.
2. Supporters of school choice in Arkansas need to prepare for these types of outrageous, offensive attacks. Because come next January, when our own school choice battle kicks off, this will happen here. We need to be ready.
Just for kicks: Jones also added, “Every child is different and has different needs.”
Maybe he is a believer in school choice after all.
Here’s a list of our top stories from this week:
- Congressman Crawford called me. He told me his millionaire surtax plan would only break his no-tax pledge if he voted for it–and he does plan to vote for it, if it makes it to the floor of the House–but ‘it would be worth it.’
- KARK continues their assault on journalistic decency. This time, Coach Bobby Petrino was the victim. The Patriot offered heart-felt prayers to Mark Zuckerberg on Coach Petrino’s behalf, per the request of KARK.
- Obama is against judicial review! Except when it fits his agenda, of course.
- Arizona leads the way on education reform. They’ve set the bar pretty high for Arkansas & the rest of the country.
- 2nd episode of Patriot Talk released. A guest & I review the Obamacare Supreme Court hearings.
- Arkansas Business, other blogs pick up on our KARK story. Also, KARK’s news director lies to me, and I explain my outrage further.
- Remembering why we celebrate Good Friday. The day death died.
There was an interesting piece by Tom Womack featured in last week’s edition of Arkansas Business. Womack, the brand new president of the Arkansas Bar Association, focused on the lack of civics education in America’s public schools today.
He offered this shocking quote from former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor:
Today, at least half of the states don’t even require high school students to take civics; only three states require it in middle school.
Also mentioned in the piece: the National Center for Education Statistics recently found that only 27 percent of high school seniors were proficient in government and civics.
Womack continued, stressing the importance of educational reforms in order to preserve our nation’s fabric.
America’s future as a democracy depends on our understanding of constitutional self-government, the independence of our legal institutions and our commitment to justice.
The article concludes by listing some initiatives that the Bar Association is undertaking, including the publication of “18 and Life to Go: A Legal Handbook for Young Arkansans” with the goal of providing every Arkansas high school senior a copy. They have also implemented a statewide mock trial competition & working to put lawyers in classrooms, educating students about good government & the role of the judiciary.
Interestingly, Arkansas law does require civics education, which apparently makes us fairly unique:
Code Ark. R. 005 19 007: Standards for Accreditation of Arkansas Public Schools: Grades K-8 curriculum must include civic education. Accredited high schools must teach 1 unit of civics or civics/government every year. One-half credit civics or government required for graduation.
The Arkansas Patriot is a conservative organization dedicated to equipping citizens with the truth, insuring transparent government, and encouraging citizens to question their government boldly. Contact The Patriot at firstname.lastname@example.org