Audio – Senator Keith Ingram Reporting News From 91st General Assembly
November 29th, 2018 • News

November 29, 2018

  • The dust has barely settled from the statewide elections in early November, but already some groups have begun preparing ballot issues for 2020.
  • A Little Rock lawyer who worked on the successful medical marijuana campaign says that Arkansas could become the first Southern state to approve recreational marijuana.
  • Another group is working on a plan to redraw legislative and Congressional district boundaries to eliminate gerrymandering.
  • Another group wants to allow people to vote by mail. Finally, I would not be surprised if there is yet another attempt to tighten term limits provisions.
  • It is much too early to know any of the details about these proposals. But I will say this: I am glad the legislature enacted a series of bills I sponsored in 2013 and 2015 to clean up the signature-gathering process.
  • Those laws will be more important than ever, with the proliferation of out-of-state organizations pushing their special interests. A major cause for concern is that some of the groups with enormous amounts of money go to great lengths to camouflage their identity.
  • We need effective campaign finance and election laws, in order to insure transparency throughout the entire process, and to protect integrity of elections.
  • Because of new laws that I sponsored, paid canvassers must be trained, and they must provide up-to-date and accurate addresses to election officials. They must submit to criminal background checks, to determine if they’ve ever been convicted of election fraud, forgery or identity theft.
  • The new laws prevent special interests from flooding the Secretary of State with fake signatures, simply to buy extra time in order to meet deadlines.
  • A healthy democracy allows citizens to petition their government and change the laws by which they are governed.
  • At the same time, however, we cannot allow shadowy groups to spend mountains of money to buy their way into the Constitution.
  • It’s especially true when those groups are not required to report the source of their financing, and whether or not their money comes from foreign powers.
  • From the Capitol, it is always my great honor and sincere privilege to serve you as your state Senator. This is Keith Ingram.
      Click to Listen - Audio Recording from November 29, 2018