House District 32 primary race has Smith taking on incumbent Ladyman

by George Jared ([email protected]) 200 views 

Incumbent Rep. Jack Ladyman, R-Jonesboro, is fighting off a primary challenge from former legislator Brandt Smith in the House District 32 contest to be held Tuesday, March 5.

Talk Business & Politics asked each candidate to answer a series of questions. Ladyman’s answers are below, while Smith opted to not participate.

Q: What specific changes do you think need to be made to the LEARNS Act to make it more effective moving forward?

Ladyman: I don’t have any major changes that I would suggest to the LEARNS act at this time. It’s too early in the process. I think we need more experience before we suggest changes. The one thing that needs to be reviewed is how do we reward more experienced teachers with higher salaries. What are the guidelines and details to do that?

Q: Do you support making the FOIA a part of the state constitution and if not, what changes need to be made to the laws? If a constitutional amendment isn’t the answer, then what protections need to be installed legislatively to protect our citizens rights when it comes to knowing how the government is operating and spending its citizens’ tax dollars?

Ladyman: I don’t think the FOIA law should be in the constitution because I think the law will need to be modified on a regular basis. If it is in the constitution it is set in concrete and very difficult to change. I think changes will need to be made over time to control excessive FOIA requests as well as to increase transparency where possible.

Q: What are some personal legislative priorities for you if win the primary and the general election?

Ladyman: My priorities are continuing to work on the Northeast Arkansas Regional Airport Study. This would be a major economic boost to the area. A lot of our tax dollars are going across state lines to surrounding states because we don’t have the infrastructure. I also want to finish the project to build new residential facilities at the Human Development Center in Jonesboro and to implement the DHS 10-year Plan to rebuild the other three HDCs in the state. I also want to introduce bills to improve mental health. We need to get people off the street that have mental issues and wind up being homeless. I also will introduce legislation to protect our low energy rates and reliability.

The winner between Ladyman and Smith will face Democrat David McAvoy and Libertarian Eric McGee in the general election in November.