LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KARK) — The state of California has added five more states, including Arkansas to the list of places where state-funded is banned.
The state’s attorney general said its because of laws that discriminate against the LGBTQ community.
In 2016, lawmakers banned non-essential travel to states with laws that discriminate against the LGBTQ community.
17 states are now on a list of forbidden state employee travel, except under limited circumstances.
Governor Asa Hutchinson talked about the ban during his press conference.
“The fact that they mandate their state employees not to come to Arkansas is not a significant factor and I think they could spend their time doing something a little bit different.”
Arkansas was the first state to prohibit physicians from providing gender-affirming healthcare to transgender minors, regardless of the wishes of parents.
“I vetoed one of the bills so it’s not that I’m in agreement with all the actions that were taken. That becomes only punitive to California when they take that kind of action restricting their participation in conferences or sharing ideas that might occur in Florida or Arkansas,” Gov. Hutchinson said.
State leaders in the Natural State reacted to the announcement.
“I warned this could cause our state some economic opportunities and we’re talking about California now but who knows what other states or entities aren’t coming to Arkansas because of these kinds of bills that have been passed,” Tippi McCullough said.
“I wasn’t surprised about the news, actually happy about it,” Senator Trent Garner said. “We don’t need their government employees coming to Arkansas and infect our state with their terrible policies.”
It’s unclear what effect this ban will have but the State Chamber of Commerce said it comes off as a political stunt and shouldn’t impact business here.