Tort Reform Off Ballot While Minimum Wage Increase Remains On, Arkansas Supreme Court Rules

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas Supreme Court has ruled that Issue 5, involving minimum wage increase, will remain on the ballot while Issue 1, the tort reform issue, will not remain on the November ballot.

Click here to read the full court opinion on Issue 5.

Here is a statement from Randy Zook, chair of Arkansans for a Strong Economy and president of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, on Issue 5 staying on November Ballot:

“We are disappointed with today’s decision by the Arkansas Supreme Court to leave Issue 5 on the November ballot, despite proponents’ sloppy petition effort…Our minimum wage is already higher than all of our surrounding states.  If it passes, this measure will be detrimental to our state’s economy, costing Arkansas jobs, increasing prices for Arkansas consumers, and ultimately hurting many Arkansas workers.”

Here is a statement from Arkansans for a Fair Wage on Issue 5 staying on the ballot: 

“It’s a great day for Arkansas voters. The Arkansas Supreme Court rightly decided to honor the
will of more than 80,000 voters who petitioned to add Issue 5 to the ballot this year. Our
proposal to gradually raise the minimum wage $11 an hour by 2021 will benefit 1 in 4 hard-
working Arkansans,” said Kristin Foster, Campaign Manager of Arkansans for a Fair Wage.
“Gradually raising the wage is overwhelmingly popular across Arkansas. It’s a common-sense
solution that will put more money in the hands of hard-working families and small businesses
who rely on consumer demand and boost our state’s economy. We are grateful that the
Supreme Court has reaffirmed that it should be up to Arkansas voters, not the Chamber of
Commerce, to decide on raising the wage in November.”

Click here to read the full court opinion on Issue 1. 

Here is a statement from the Arkansans For Jobs & Justice on Issue 1:

“Today, the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that the tort reform measure known as Issue 1 was improperly referred by the Arkansas legislature and the people’s votes will not be counted. This very ruling demonstrates the need for the reforms contained in Issue 1 that seek to restore the balance among our branches of government. Six members of the Court have once again reinforced, and indeed protected, their position as the ultimate and unchecked authority in Arkansas government. This kind of power demonstrated by the Court is without limits and has been wielded in an arbitrary fashion. There needs to be a continuing dialogue over whether such a situation is good for Arkansas and how we can improve our civil justice system to help our state compete to benefit all three million Arkansans.”

The decision to remove Issue 1 and keep Issue 5 was made on Thursday.

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