by David Ramsey
The joint Judiciary committee today discussed capital punishment and the controversy over allowing staff members in public schools to carry firearms. For unrelated reasons, key witnesses were not present to provide testimony, so the conversation was short. But Senate Chair Jeremy Hutchinson (R – Benton) suggested that the General Assembly address both issues by crafting statutory changes during the upcoming 2014 fiscal session. Add these to the growing list of substantive topics that the legislature may tackle during February’s abbreviated session (which is supposed to only concern budgetary issues): various details of the private option, concomitant complications to tax policy, a fix for the public teachers’ insurance system, and modifications to parole.