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The Winners and Losers of CPAC’s 2023 State Ratings: Arkansas



CPAC’s 2023 state ratings called Arkansas “a state overflowing with conservative policy”. Arkansas legislators earned their state this title with at least twenty bills that promoted and preserved freedom in the Natural State.  


Five of those bills took a strong stance in defense of Arkansas children and students. HB 1156 keeps gender specific areas separate in schools and prevents individuals from entering areas designated for the opposite sex. HB 1468 requires schools to receive the consent of parents before using different pronouns for their child. SB 199 went further to deem some gender transitioning procedures on minors to be malpractice and under certain circumstances, subject doctors to civil liability.  


SB 294 champions school choice and education integrity by outlining a plan to achieve universal school choice by 2025 and by allowing the removal of teachers who perform their responsibilities inadequately. SB 556 protects the religious freedom rights of students, preventing the discrimination of students based on their voluntary religious expression.  


Another four bills gave eviction notices to DEI and ESG initiatives in the state. HB 1307 requires the removal of state funds from financial institutions that invest according to ESG guidelines and discriminate against the energy and firearm industries. SB 62 reinforces this with a ban on the state entering contracts with such entities. HB 1559 eliminates implicit bias training for public school employees and prohibits the punishing of individuals who refuse to undergo implicit bias training. Lastly, SB 71 kicks state-sanctioned discrimination out of Arkansas by removing Affirmative Action initiatives from some state operations. 


Other notable accomplishments include reducing individual income tax and corporate tax rates in SB 8 (SS), removing municipal income tax with HB 1026, removing the option of ballot drop boxes with SB 258, and removing a provision that allowed for the licensing of abortion clinics through SB 138.  


Overall, Arkansas legislators said ‘No’ to woke and stood up for freedom in 2023. It was truly “a state overflowing with conservative policy”.   


View CPAC’s full assessment of Arkansas at CPAC.org.  

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