More information on the effort to repeal Act 137 (Intrastate Commerce Improvement Act)
A number of people at the April meeting expressed interest in signing the petition to repeal the Arkansas Intrastate Commerce Improvement Act, and a couple of people expressed interest in collecting signatures. Here is more information on the issue.
Signatures are now being collected in an effort to repeal Act 137, the Arkansas Intrastate Commerce Improvement Act. We have until July 20 -- 90 days from April 22 -- to collect the 51,000 signatures required to get the issue on the 2016 general election ballot. If the issue makes the ballot, then the law will not go into effect until after the 2016 election, and then only if it survives the challenge. If the required number of signatures is not collected, then the law will go into effect on July 20.
At the very least, a delay in the effective date of the Act will encourage and allow more municipalities to pass local ordinances in defiance of the Act, and the year and a half before the 2016 election will provide an opportunity to show that such local ordinances do not have a confusing or negative effect on the conduct of business in Arkansas.
It is worth noting that the law usurps local control by setting the state's civil rights law as a statewide standard -- some might say "substandard" -- that cannot be modified by local ordinance, despite local preference. Further, it prohibits local ordinances that protect citizens on the basis of age and veteran status, as well as on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Even conservative voters should be concerned that he law violates the highly valued precept of local control and prevents local protections for people who have served in the military -- protections not offered under state's civil rights law.
The Facebook page for Arkansans to Protect Local Rights is here:
The online form to sign up to volunteer is here:
Note that the more quickly the required signatures are collected, and the more signatures collected beyond the minimum required, the more consequence the effort will have.
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- David Franks
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