In the Arkansas legislature, legislation that would regulate microchipping employees in Arkansas moves one step closer to becoming law. 

The proposal cleared its first hurdle by passing out of a House committee. 

State Representative Stephen Meeks is working to get ahead of the emerging technology. He told his colleagues the practice of microchipping employees is only happening in the United States, in Wisconsin, but when the technology comes to Arkansas, Meeks wants to make sure employees are protected. 

His bill would allow them to opt out of getting microchipped without the threat of being fired. 

One of Meeks’ constituents spoke against the bill. 

“I think small businesses that are not incorporated, that don’t have that corporate protection from liability or accountability as we should maybe call it,” said Paul Calvert. “I think they should be able to make any dumb rule they want to and impose it on their employees as a condition of employment.” 

Some of Meeks’ colleagues were also critical of the bill. One representative, Mary Bentley, said her constituents — and she herself — are in an uproar about this. 

But when it came time to vote on the bill, it passed with Meeks promising to clean up some of the wording via amendments on the Senate side. 

If passed by the full House and Senate, this would be the first state law in the country that regulates microchipping.