Though the Capitol is largely quiet this week, legislators continue to file bills for the coming session.
Rep. Aaron Pilkington (R-Knoxville) was busy today, filing eight proposals, including one to allow pharmacists to provide access to and administration of oral contraceptives; to require hospitals to disclose insurers’ reimbursement rates; some easing of rules on telemedicine, and a bill to exempt feminine hygiene products from the sales and use tax.
Sen. Jane English (R-North Little Rock) wants the law concerning student assessments for college and career readiness to include an assessment that leads to a nationally recognized work readiness certificate.
And what would a day be without some blood-thirsty work from Sen. Trent Garner (R-El Dorado)? He filed three proposals today including making trafficking in fentanyl and rape of a child capital crimes. The only capital crimes in Arkansas currently are murder and treason. The U.S. Supreme Court long ago ruled that rape of an adult couldn’t justify the death penalty. Then, in 2008, it reversed the death penalty in a Louisiana case for the rape of a child. It said the death penalty was disproportionate for any crime against an individual that didn’t involve the death of the victim. But courts stay busy considering the Arkansas legislature’s unconstitutional lawmaking.
The Death Penalty Information Center says as many as six states had laws that allowed a death penalty for the rape of a child before the Louisiana case was decided but none had an execution. It says two states, Florida and Missouri, allow a death penalty for certain drug trafficking crimes, but no one is on Death Row for those offenses.