The Arkansas Senate channeled Arkansas Republicans in the U.S. House on domestic violence today with a preference for the tender feelings of landlords over battered women. It defeated a bill that drew not a single negative vote in the House.
All Arkansas congressmen voted against the Violence Against Women Act today, preferring to protect gun rights of domestic abusers over battered women.
The Senate today rejected a bill that would have allowed victims of domestic violence to leave a rental residence without paying penalties otherwise associated with early termination of a lease. Senators, led by Sen. Jimmy Hickey, worried about burdens on landlords. Needing 18 votes, the bill got only 13, with nine nays and 13 not voting.
Guns. Landlords. Battered women. Priorities. In that order.
Sen. Trent Garner, no surprise, was particularly vociferous in opposition to the bill. He demanded a roll call on a routine motion to expunge the vote and also angrily objected to an unsuccessful effort by Sen. Jonathan Dismang to put the bill on the calendar at the end of the day today for purpose of some amendments that Dismang said might clear up objections to the bill.
Hickey wanted more time for thorough study. Sen. Joyce Elliott said the issues he raised had been addressed in committee.
The bill, by Rep. Nicole Clowney, had passed the House easily — 91-0 — and even enjoyed some support from organized real estate groups. Not good enough for Jimmy Hickey or Trent Ganer or several others, many of whom acknowledged they were landlords.
The bill could be considered again in the waning days of the session. But if it’s amended it would have to go back to the House for concurrence and time then becomes a factor.
PS: Yes, men can be domestic violence victims too.