Natural State Making National Headlines: A Week In Review

ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA)– A pop singer takes on Senator Tom Cotton, a Saturday Night Live skit, and a debate over religious freedom in the state legislature has put Arkansas front and center on the national stage all week long. The state took the national spot-light this week on multiple fronts, including everything from religious freedom, to the nuclear negotiations with Iran.

For a solid six days, the Natural State’s appeared in national headlines. The exposure started when “Saturday Night Live” took a shot at Arkansas republican Senator Tom Cotton. Cotton was portrayed as going behind president Obama’s back to send a negotiation letter to Iranian leaders.

Cotton took it all in stride, and called the skit clever. From the SNL stage to the state legislature all eyes were on Arkansas again, as house members attempted to pass their own religious freedom act. One University of Arkansas political analyst compares it to the integration of blacks into Arkansas all white schools in the 1950s.

“It would’ve been best we stayed out of the limelight altogether given what happened here 60 years ago, on a similar civil rights issue,” said Janine Parry, UA Political Analyst.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson asked lawmakers to recall and revamp the bill to better resemble federal law. He signed the new bill on Thursday. Before that happened Senator Cotton appeared on CNN, where Arkansas’s RFRA bill was a topic of discussion.

“It’s important that we have a sense of perspective about our priorities. In Iran, they hang you for the crime of being gay. They’re currently imprisoning an American preacher for spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ in Iran,” said Senator Tom Cotten.

Cotton’s comment caught the eye of pop star Miley Cyrus. Prompting her to tweet the senator’s phone number, encouraging her 19 million followers to call Cotton. By Friday morning the voice mailbox corresponding to that number was full.

Perhaps one of the biggest headlines to come out of Arkansas grabbing the attention of the world. Gertrude Weaver of Camden, Arkanas became the world’s oldest living person and is inviting the president to her 117th birthday party on July 4th.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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