State Capitol action: ‘1619 Project,’ committee endorses abortion bill, lawmaker suspended for swearing


Arkansas panel rejects ban on ‘1619 Project’ in schools

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas House panel has rejected legislation that would have banned schools from teaching a New York Times project on slavery’s legacy.

The House Education Committee on Tuesday rejected the proposal, one of several attempts in Republican states to limit how race is taught. The measure targeting the “1619 Project” drew criticism from teachers, civil rights leaders, and the state’s top education official.

Similar bans have been proposed in Mississippi and Iowa, and critics have called it an effort to whitewash crucial parts of the nation’s history. The sponsor of the ban cited criticism by some historians of the project.

Arkansas Senate panel advances near-total ban on abortions

An Arkansas Senate panel has advanced legislation that’s aimed at forcing the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit Roe v. Wade by banning nearly all abortions in the state.

The Senate Public Health, Welfare, and Labor Committee endorsed the bill banning all abortions except for those to save the life of the mother in a medical emergency. The bill now heads to the full Senate.

The proposal is facing unlikely resistance from the attorney for a national anti-abortion group and the state’s Republican governor, who have expressed concerns about the measure. Arkansas is one of ten states considering such a ban.

Arkansas lawmaker off committees for 3 days for swearing

An Arkansas state senator has been suspended from serving on two committees for three days because she called a colleague a “dumbass” during a debate over a failed resolution.

The Arkansas Senate voted 25-4 to forfeit Democratic state Sen. Stephanie Flowers’ privileges on the chamber’s Judiciary Committee and the City, County, and Local Affairs Committee from Feb. 15-17.

The move came a day after the majority-Republican Senate censured Flowers over the remark she directed at GOP state Sen. Trent Garner during a debate over a proposed resolution that cited the country’s “ongoing positive record on race and slavery” and attacked Democrats’ history on civil rights issues.

The resolution was overwhelmingly rejected, with lawmakers from both parties criticizing it.

Arkansas Senate OKs health care religious objections bill

The Arkansas Senate has approved a measure allowing medical providers to refuse to treat someone because of religious or moral beliefs, a move critics say will allow LGBT patients to be turned away.

The majority-Republican Senate voted 27-6 in favor of the measure, which says health care workers and institutions have the right to not participate in non-emergency treatments that violate their conscience.

The proposal now heads to the House. Supporters of the bill said it would protect health care workers from being forced to perform something that goes against their conscience.

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