by Max Brantley
The Arkansas House today passed SB 359 by Sen. David Johnson to require sufficient fluoridation of water supplies in Arkansas to prevent tooth decay. The vote was 56-35 with two present and others not voting. That completes action on the legislation.
Opposition continued. Several Republican legislators complained about cost, loss of local control of treatment decisions and dangers of treatment. Rep. Loy Mauch said it was an infringement on liberty and, quoting the Declaration of Independence, said fluoride was going to be imposed on people "without their consent." He read from the preambles to the state and U.S. constitutions. He compared the fluoride mandate to the British tax on tea in the colonies. "It's a local matter and it should remain a local matter," he said.