Audio – 91st General Assembly
October 12th, 2018 • News

October 12, 2018

  • Three…two…one
  • From the beautiful and busy hallways of your historic state Capitol, this is Senator Keith Ingram.
  • From now until November 6 you will hear a lot about the five ballot issues that will be decided this year.
  • Several of the issues are highly controversial, and they will generate a lot of commercials on television and radio.
  • And because they’re controversial, there are lawsuits to strike them from the ballot. News reports about those legal challenges can be confusing.
  • Issue One would cap attorneys’ fees and the amounts that plaintiffs can be awarded in a civil case.
  • A circuit judge has ruled that the various sections do not relate to each other, making the overall impact unclear. For that reason he ruled that no votes should be counted, either for or against Issue One. However, that ruling is on appeal to the state Supreme Court.
  • Issue Two would require voters to present a government-issued photo ID in order to cast a ballot. It would establish in the Constitution many of the provisions of current law.
  • It’s much more difficult and time-consuming to repeal or change a constitutional amendment, compared to changing ordinary legislation. That’s why supporters of a photo ID requirement want it placed in the Constitution.
  • Issues One and Two were referred to the ballot by the legislature.
  • Issue Three would limit terms of elected officials even more than under our current term limits amendment.
  • The measure was stricken from the ballot by a special master appointed by the Supreme Court, who ruled that petitions lacked sufficient signatures. The Supreme Court will review the master’s findings.
  • Issue Four would authorize four casinos in the state. Two new ones would be in Jefferson and Pope Counties, the other two would be adjacent to the existing racetracks at West Memphis and Hot Springs. This ballot measure is being challenged in court.
  • Issue Five would raise the state minimum wage from $8.50 to $9.25 per hour in 2019, then to $10 per hour in 2020, and finally to $11 per hour in 2021. A special master has approved the measure for the November ballot, but the Supreme Court will review that ruling.
  • Depending on the Supreme Court, voters could decide five issues or just one. The ballots are already printed, so the question is whether or not any votes will be counted.
  • From the Capitol, it is always my great honor and sincere privilege to serve you as your state Senator. This is Keith Ingram.