I’m seeking from the governor’s office more elaboration on his statement today that his emergency declarations allowed him to override local efforts to limit commerce. He said t wasn’t right to have different rules for restaurants and bars in different cities.

Shades of the argument made for killing the Fayetteville civil rights ordinance. Can’t have one city allowed to treat LGBT people fairly when others won’t.

Support the Arkansas Blog with a subscription

We can't resist without our readers!

So far, I’m unaware of any attempted mandates.

Fayetteville this week adopted an ordinance that allows the city to regulate the number of people who gather in public and private places. Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. has imposed a late-night curfew that affects mostly after-hours clubs and has encouraged restaurants to switch from in-house dining to takeout.

Advertisement

In Hot Springs, a popular tourist destination, the board of directors adopted an emergency declaration that places several limits on government but makes no effort to regulate private business, except with government’s ability to set a curfew.

If not directly today, the governor seemed to reject state Rep. Denise Garner’s call for more aggressive action. She said she’d closed a restaurant of which she is a co-owner “until it’s safe.”

Advertisement

The governor said he expects businesses to act responsibly, to be safe and to keep contact to the minimum necessary to conduct business. Can he expect bar customers to do the same?

I’m still with Tom Cotton on this one. More drastic steps are safer steps, though economic consequences in the short-term will be worse.