Tolbert: Family Council Highlights State Legislature Key Votes

by Jason Tolbert ( 2 views 

The Family Council Action Committee rolled out a new website – the Arkansas Report – that highlights what they consider to be 24 key votes in the previous legislative session.  Jerry Cox, President of Family Council, presented the website at a luncheon at Larry’s Pizza in Little Rock on Wednesday.

“In 2013, Arkansas Lawmakers introduced 2,530 bills, and 1,520 became law. The sheer volume of legislation makes it difficult for most citizens to see how their elected officials voted on key issues,” said Cox. “By focusing on 24 key bills, we are helping citizens examine the votes of their elected officials without having to analyze thousands of votes cast. This list of bills is not intended to provide voters with a comprehensive picture of their lawmaker’s performance. Rather, it is designed to be a tool that voters can add to their array of resources they use as they evaluate their elected officials.”

Cox said the goal was to create a simple, easy-to-navigate website where Arkansas voters could see how their state representatives and state senators voted.  The list of bills includes some that Family Council actively supported or opposed, such as legislation related to abortion or religious freedom issues. But the website also highlights issues that Cox said are of interest to conservative and Tea Party groups that they often work with, including votes on the private option and on the bond financing for the steel mill in northeast Arkansas.

Family Council did not “score” any of the votes, meaning they do not state Family Council’s position on any of the bills, but just list a brief summary of the bill and how the legislator voted.

Cox did say that the list could be used in formulating future candidate questionnaires for upcoming elections.

The list was used in the questionnaire sent to all 7 candidates in the special State Senate District 21 election in the Jonesboro area.

They have not yet received responses, but are hopeful that most candidates will participate.  (Note – Rose Mimms with Arkansas Right to Life PAC tells me that they have also sent surveys and have heard back from Republican candidate John Cooper and Democratic candidates Ray Kidd and Gene Roebuck, all of which were 100% pro-life in their positions.)

The website – the Arkansas Report – can be found here.