American Family Association of Arkansas

 

PO Box 9076, Jonesboro, AR 72403

Phone: 870-932-5065 – Fax 870-910-0464

E-mail: blhester@m34u.net

 

Comparison of Votes by Lt. Governor Candidates

 

American Family Association posted on the web several months ago the way every state legislator voted on 18 bills that were important to families that  the AFA represents. The percentage of votes in favor of AFA’s position for each legislator on each bill was scored. AFA does not advocate the election or defeat of any candidate, and does not endorse any political party.  The votes did not fall along party lines on  these issues which AFA scored.  The Scorecard is for informational purposes for citizens who do not have the time or the resources to research this information and  will be helpful for those who agree or  disagree with AFA's position. It is interesting to note that AFA agreed with the legislative body in the way it voted about 70% of the time  Below are the AFA scores for the  five legislators who are now running for Lt. Governor.  (They are listed in alphabetical order with Senators first)

 

Republican Senator Jim Holt                                     100%

Democratic Senator Tim Wooldridge                          70%

Democratic Rep. Jay Martin                                        65%

Democratic Representative Mike Hathorn                See note below

Republican Rep. Doug Matayo                                   79%

 

            Note:  Rep. Hathorn was not in legislature during the 2005  session but was in the session covered below.  Republican Chuck Banks and  Democratic Drew Pritt are also candidates for Lt. Governor, but they have no voting records since they have not been legislators.

 

There are several candidates in the race for Lt. Governor.  The above list are the ones that have recent voting records.  See this link for several pages of detail reports. http://www.wpaag.org/Leg%2005%20Votes%20on%20Family%20Bills2.htm   The list of bills used are included at the end of this document. 

 

 Senator Holt was the only senator (of 35)  to receive a 100% rating.  There were 20 representatives (of 100) who scored higher than Representative Doug Matayo and 8 who scored the same as Matayo.  There were 7 senators who scored above Senator Tim Wooldridge (of 35) and 8 who scored the same at Wooldridge.  There were 37 who scored above Rep. Jay Martin (of 100) and 14 who scored the same.  A summary of these bills can be found at the end of this article.  Rep. Hathorn was not in  the legislature during this session.   For more detailed information see this link. http://www.wpaag.org/Leg%2005%20Votes%20on%20Family%20Bills2.htm

 

Comparison of  Lt. Governor Candidates Voting Record

On Significant Bills in the 2003/2004 Educational Sessions

 

            Below are significant bills that American Family Association thought to be key legislation in the 2003 and 2004 educational sessions.  Following the legislation is the way each candidate voted on it.  Two of the bills  below that relate to education  were in 2005 session. These votes did not fall along party lines. For example,  Republican Senator Jim Holt voted AGAINST  all these measures and Republican Representative Doug Matayo voted FOR all of them.  Rep. Mike Hathorn was in this session so his votes are recorded below.          

 

(1) HB1525 by Democratic Representative Joyce Elliott.  Did not pass.  It  would have given scholarships and in-state tuition to illegal aliens.   This bill violated federal law according to many lawyers’ interpretation.  HB1525  which would have given illegal aliens unfair advantages over our legal citizens. Legal citizens would have in many cases had to pay more for their college tuition than illegal aliens if this law had passed.  Three dozen students have filed a class action suit  in California against an almost identical bill there that passed. (This bill did not pass the Senate  but did pass the House.) Holt – Against;    Wooldridge – For;      Hathorn – not in this session;     Martin – For;      Martin – FOR;       Matayo -   For.

 

 

(2) Act 1467 by Republican Representative Beth Green (2003) took over the curriculum in Arkansas.  Now government bureaucrats  from the Arkansas Department of Education  visit every school in the state and check the school’s  plans and  the teachers’ lesson plan books to make sure they are teaching what the state curriculum and to make sure  that the districts are implementing ALL  aspects of the government controlled plan.  (The curriculum standards being imposed on the teachers by these ADE bureaucrats have consistently earned mostly D’s by  prestigious educational organizations like the Fordham Foundation.  The Fordham foundation gave Arkansas an F  in 2005  on their math standards and curriculum.  The teachers have been forced to give up their superior curriculum standards developed by experienced teachers in the district and implement the state's.  Link to Fordham's report where Arkansas received an F: http://www.edexcellence.net/doc/mathstandards05FINAL.pdf    See page 41 in particular for Arkansas.

     The word consolidation was used 36 times in this bill.  Act 1467  can consolidate schools  immediately when a school fails to meet ADE requirements or take over the school administration or other drastic measures, all of which take away the citizens’ freedom.  Holt -  Against;      Wooldridge – For;        Hathorn – For;        Martin – For;      Matayo – For.

           

(3) Act 90 by Democratic Representative Betty Pickett ( House bill 1009 in 2003) which took over all the school buildings in Arkansas and created a financial and bureaucratic nightmare (Fewer than 10 states in the nation have Facility Departments.)    On Nov. 30, 04, the Educational Facilities Committee released the long awaited figure of  2.3 billion [4.5 billion for five-year projection] for the cost of  providing adequate and equal facilities for all schools in Arkansas according to outside experts.  (ADG article  June 22, 05 by Cynthia Howell.)   To put that $2.3 billion dollar figure in perspective, it would probably take a 2% sales tax increase for 10 years to pay for that amount.  Quotes  from a newspaper article indicate the extensive bureaucracy and financial involvement. "The new Commission on Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation on Tuesday tentatively approved a 500-page manual that is expected to guide the planning, design and construction of Arkansas schools for years to come.  In Ohio they started with one employee in the Facilities Department and now they have 50.     Holt -  Against;      Wooldridge – For;       Hathorn – For;      Martin – For;     Matayo – For.

 

 (4) Act 84, SB 57,  2003by Democratic Senator Shane Broadway, provided for a 10 million dollar study for facilities that was one of the biggest boondoggles we have ever experienced in Arkansas.  Randall Fischer, former Facilities Director in Ohio who pled guilty to ethics charges in Ohio, was one of the subcontractors on this facilities study.  And there were numerous errors in the study.  Agriculture barns on some campuses were evaluated as school buildings and repairs or replacement estimated high enough to buy a barn and a farm.  Then there were numerous estimates for specific repairs that superintendents and journalists pointed out like the 110 doorknobs that needed to be replaced at Brookland where the replacement cost was, according to these experts, $439 apiece.  The  superintendent found them for $75 each.  The 10 million dollars were basically wasted since the report had no credibility.    Holt -  Against;     Wooldridge – For;      Hathorn – For;      Martin – For; Matayo – For 

 

(5)  SB91 (Now Act  98)  gave $107 by  million (2003-2005 biennium) supplement to ADE to add up to 32 new government employees and other things. They supposedly consolidated the schools to save money, but this gift of  $107 million to the ADE would pay for 1037  superintendents at  $100,000 for a year.  In  comparison to this $107 million to ADE, $22 milllion paid the salary for every superintendent in the state in 2003.  $107 million would hire 1070 superintendents for a year.   They raised the salary of the  Director of  the Arkansas State Department of Education , Ken James, to $204,620 in fiscal 2006 and $208,599 in fiscal 2007 from about $123 thousand as his former salary.     In a superintendent survey in 2003,  93% of superintendents said, "Any increase in the number of state department employees would not be a good investment of the state’s money for quality education in Arkansas."  There was an incredible 50% return on this superintendent survey sent to all superintendents in the state - about 312 superintendents at the time ftp://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/bills/2003s2/public/SB91.pdf

Holt -  Against;     Wooldridge – For;      Hathorn – For;      Martin – For;     Matayo – For

 

(6) Act 60  by Democratic Represenative Will Bond consolidating those schools having an enrollment of less than 350.  At least 31 campuses have now been closed under that so called administrative consolidation bill and approximately 10 entire campuses have been closed.  Forced  consolidation takes away the people’s freedom and local control;  studies do not indicate larger schools are better academically, and numerous studies show consolidation doesn’t save ANY money .  Arkansas already had some of longest, worst bus rides in the nation according to studies.   More than 32 schools in Arkansas had bus rides of  3 to 3 ½ hours before this consolidation bill was passed. Holt -  Against; Wooldridge – Against;       Hathorn – Against;    Martin – For;    Matayo – For

 

Note:  These legislators voted the same way for  the consolidation bill consolidating schools having an enrollment of less than 500 which failed.  However, Senator Tim Wooldridge voted for the countywide school superintendent bill in 2005  which passed the Senate but didn’t get out of House Education Committee, so there are no votes for the House on this Countywide School Superintendents.. 

 

(7) HB 1289 by Democratic  Representative Robert Thompson , now Act 1397,  gave the schools the right to close isolated school districts.   When the consolidation law was passed, legislators assured the opposition over and over  that these isolated campuses would not be closed. They even wrote that provision  into the law. However, almost before the ink was dry, these same legislators came back and voted to allow isolated campuses to be closed.  If and when these isolated campuses are closed, students in many of these schools will have to ride the bus 31/2 to 4 1/2 hours a day.  Representative  Ragland told the House that the closure of one financially troubled school in his district would require students to be bused 62 miles to another school. Holt – Against;    Wooldrdige – Didn’t vote;     Hathorn – not in this session;      Matayo - For

Below is the list of bills which the  American Family Association used to  base their numerical ratings (listed at top of this document)  in 2005

Again go to this link  http://www.wpaag.org/Leg%2005%20Votes%20on%20Family%20Bills2.htm or to www.wpaag.org to “Legislative Issues Tab” for detailed information on specific bills and specific votes by legislators on these bills.

 

 Abortion & Pro-Life Bills

1. HB 1033  by Republican Rep. Jeremy Hutchinson & Sen. Critcher  of Little Rock:  Requires parental consent before performing an abortion on a minor. - PASSED

2. HB2782 by Democratic Rep. Joyce Elliott of Little Rock:  Would have forced doctors, hospitals and all health clinics to inform and provide the "morning-after pill," a drug that in some cases works as an  abortifacient to women who have been raped.  The bill provided no conscience clause to opt out. DID NOT PASS

3. SB74 by Republican  Sen. Shawn Womack of Mountain Home:  Before performing an abortion past the 20th week, doctors must advise the mother that unborn babies feel pain. PASSED

 

Marriage Protection, Homosexuality, Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)

4. SJR 17  by Democratic Sen. Sue Madison of Fayetteville:  Would have made Arkansas the 36th state to ratify the federal Equal Rights Amendment.  DID NOT PASS

5. HB1119  by Republican Rep. Bob  Adams and Senator Jim  Holt.  Would have prevented  unmarried couples (including homosexuals) from adopting children or being foster parents.  DID NOT PASS

6. HB1136  by Republican Rep Ragland.  Would have required  marriage in all Arkansas Textbooks to be defined as being between male and female. DID NOT PASS

 

Religious Liberty

7. HR 1005  by Democratic Rep. Buddy  Blair:  Purportedly reaffirmed the concept of separation of church and state. DID NOT PASS

8. HB1488  by Rep. Glidewell:   Authorized the "IN God We Trust" License Plate.  PASSED

9.  HB2971 by Republican Rep. Bill  Pritchard: Would have prohibited interference with student-led and student-initiated prayers at public school functions within the state of Arkansas.  DID NOT PASS

 

Immigration - Illegal Aliens

[Family Bills Because of Priority. Illegal aliens often receive better insurance and medical care  the minute they step into our country than people who have worked here all their lives receive.  The monetary and safety cost to citizens is astronomical.  Thirty-three percent of all incarcerations (combining state, local, and federal) in the US are illegal aliens.  The cost for one federal prisoner is $25,000 to $50,000 per year according to which study you use.]

10.  HB 1525 by Democratic Rep. Joyce  Elliott:  Would have provided state-funded college scholarships and/or in-state tuition to the children of illegal aliensDID NOT PASS

11.  HB1012 by Republican Jeremy Hutchinson:   An act to authorize enforcement of federal immigration laws by certain police officers. PASSED

12.  SCR9  sponsored by Senate Ed. Committee:  Resolution to encourage Congress and the President to create an expedited naturalization process for undocumented minors and to exempt the minors from prosecution when the minors come forward for naturalization.  PASSED

 

Consolidation

[Family issue because many children would have to have longer bus rides -up to 4 1/2 hour round trips.  Students in at least 36 schools in Arkansas ride at least 3 hours a day and several schools have rides  longer than that.  Parents would have to start their days earlier in the morning, and some students already catch the bus in the dark and get off in the dark.  Students would not be able to participate in extracurricular activities and parents would not be able to attend events at the school.  In addition, there would be a lot less involvement of parents in decision making.]

 

13.  SB 132 by Republican  Senator Ruth Whitaker:  Would have created countywide school districts.  DID NOT PASS

14. HB1289 by Rep. Democratic Robert  Thompson:  Allowed a school district to close an isolated school area following an annexation or consolidation. (Rep. Ragland told the House that the closure of one financially troubled school in his district would require students to be bused 62 miles to another school.)  PASSED

 

Alcohol

15. HB 1768 by Republican Rep Key:   Allows the detention and arrest of minors who try to purchase alcohol with a false I.DPASSED Now Act 1535

16. SB1174 by Democratic Senator Terry Smith and Rep. Ledbetter - Would have allowed public drinking  of alcohol in entertainment districts. DID NOT PASS - It passed but was vetoed by the Governor

 

Gambling

17.  SB999 by Democratic  B. Johnson:  Allows cities or counties by local option election to authorize additional forms of electronic games of skill at horse racing or greyhound racing parks in their communities.  PASSED

 18.  HJR 1004 by  Democratic Rep. Buddy Blair of Fort Smith:  A proposed state constitutional amendment to establish a state lottery. DID NOT PASS

 

Bob Hester, State Director

American Family Association of Arkansas

P. O. Box 9076, Jonesboro, Arkansas 72403

bhester@m34u.net

Phone: 870-932-5065

Cell: 870-932-243-5612

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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