FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The special legislative session continues in Little Rock as lawmakers continue to hear concerns from citizens about changes to the state’s Freedom of Information Act laws.
After introducing Senate Bill 9 Monday night, the state agencies and government affairs committee heard from dozens of people on the proposal today.
Tuesday in committee Republican state senator, Bart Hester gave examples of government records he believed the public shouldn’t see. After he spoke, Democratic state senator Clarke Tucker, voiced the worries of how this can impact Arkansans.
He felt this would benefit the rich rather than more Arkansans. Senators’ remarks were followed by testimonies from 28 people.
People on both sides of the aisle voiced their concerns regarding what was said and how they felt about the new FOIA bill. Out of the 28 people, most said the bill should not be passed.
Republican state representative Julie Mayberry filed a separate FOIA bill in the house today, titled House Bill 1010 but no actions have been taken on it at this point. The bill is focused primarily on protecting information regarding the security of the governor, the mansion, the capitol building, and the grounds.
The special session is scheduled to end after Wednesday, but since the FOIA bill hasn’t even made it out of the Senate committee yet.
We’ll be watching to see if the session will be extended.
Just after 6 p.m. on Tuesday, senators filed Senate Bill 10 of the FOIA law. The changes include an edited-down version of security provisions and a retroactivity clause.