Sunday, May 26, 2024

2011 Legislative Preview: HB 1005

See here for explanation of what we’re doing.


Sponsor: David Sanders (R-31), no phone listed,

Purpose: To change Arkansas’s nickname from “The Natural State,” to “The Land of Opportunity.” [No, seriously, the first bill Sanders ever introduced was this one. I kid you not.]

Pros for Average Arkansans: None. Sanders’s reasoning, as stated in the bill is that the name should be changed because of “the future outlook for the development of business, industry, and agriculture in this state.” This seems especially ironic, considering how other Republicans (Ed Garner, David Meeks) rail about the unfair tax climate hurting Arkansas’s future business prospects and ability to attract news industries. On the other hand, I doubt many people disagree that one of the things Arkansas has going for it is nature — from the Buffalo River area to the Crater of Diamonds and from the Ozark Mountains to the Mississippi River, Arkansas is one of the few places in the country with so much land that is undeveloped and accessible to the public. Of the two nicknames, only “The Natural State” seems to reflect reality.

Cons for Average Arkansans
: Unnecessary cost. Someone is going to have to pay to change all the existing signs from “The Natural State.” Heck, even if you believe that the prospects for enticing new business and industry are high, there is still no need for the cost associated with this change. I cannot fathom a company that would come to Arkansas based on the state nickname. (Well, other than whatever company might benefit from the cost of changing the existing signs.)

Official BHR Position
: Oppose as unnecessary.

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