Last Wednesday, the House Committee on State Agencies voted down HB 1292, which would have denied state benefits or services to any undocumented residents except in life-saving situations. The bills flaws — denying prenatal care to pregnant women whose children, when born, would be U.S. citizens; requiring all Arkansans to file notarized affidavits of citizenship when applying for anything; violating some federal-law provisions; etc. — were well documented. It was, quite simply, a terrible bill designed to push the Tea Party agenda to the detriment of Arkansas and Arkansans.
As he was getting battered during the committee meeting, Rep. Jon Hubbard (R-Jonesboro) offered little in the way of a cogent argument to support the measure, going so far as to offer to pull the bill down to make substantive changes. The committee refused to allow him to pull the bill down, and the “do pass” motion failed on a voice vote and on a roll call (8 for, 9 against, with 11 needed to pass).
I mention all of this nearly a week later because, since voting against the bill, the following legislators have taken some heat from constituents. Politics, much like restaurant service and those “How Am I Driving?” stickers on 18-wheelers, only seems to draw comments from those who are unhappy. For that reason, I’d just like to take a second to thank the following House members:
Rep. Larry Cowling email@example.com 870-542-7453
Rep. Clark Hall firstname.lastname@example.org 870-829-3382
Rep. Jim Nickels email@example.com 501-833-2424
Rep. Tracy Pennartz firstname.lastname@example.org 479-285-4800
Rep. Johnnie Roebuck email@example.com 870-403-4382
Rep. Tiffany Rogers firstname.lastname@example.org 870-830-3953
Rep. Linda Tyler email@example.com 501-329-8644
Rep. Butch Wilkins firstname.lastname@example.org 870-972-5503
I encourage any constituents of the above lawmakers to offer up similar thanks. Let them know that you are paying attention, and you appreciate the vote.