Passed: SB113, which would prohibit private insurance companies from covering abortions they offer in the state insurance exchange set up by federal health care reform and offers no exceptions for rape or incest. The bill now goes to the House Public Health Committee for debate. ACLU Arkansas says the "bill is NOT about ensuring tax dollars aren’t spent on abortion — the federal government already stipulates that no federal dollars can be spent on abortion in the exchanges (except in the case of rape or incest or to protect the life of the mother). This bill restricts what people’s private insurance premiums can be spent on."
The Wills rule: Jason Tolbert takes Speaker Robert Moore to task after reports that an ethics package, which has yet to be rolled out, would reduce the "cooling off period" - restricting the amount of time between the end of a legislator's career and when they could start lobbying - from one year to two. According to Tolbert, current legislators would also be exempted from the rule. Everybody acts like this is a bad thing, but look at it this way, maybe now people will vote for it. Brummett also weighs in on what's in store.
Ray-gun: Rep. John Woods, R-Springdale, offers up a resolution that would make Feb. 6, 2011, Ronald Reagan Day. My favorite quote about Reagan comes from Noam Chomsky, and this is a paraphrase. "The best thing you can say about him is that he probably didn't understand all the things that were being carried out in his name."