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The 2017 Ratings of Arkansas See Falling Scores, Room for Improvement

July 19, 2017

WASHINGTON DC – The American Conservative Union Foundation (ACUF) has just released its ratings for the 2017 meeting of the Arkansas State Legislature. These ratings, a portion of the comprehensive and nationwide ratings released by the ACUF, are designed to reflect how elected officials view the role of government and are helpful in illustrating how both chambers of the legislature as well as individual members’ prioritize a wide variety of issue areas that directly affect Arkansans.

The ACUF has reviewed each piece of legislation voted on in both the Senate and House of Representatives to produce average scores for each chamber as well as individual scores for each sitting member.

Arkansas lawmakers took pen to paper on various issues during the 2017 legislative session including abortion, charter schools, voter ID laws, food and wine sales, concealed carry, and government transparency. The 2017 Arkansas State Legislature saw both chambers working closely together, passing a good number of bills in both the House and the Senate. Most notably, the legislature voted to:

· Ban “dismemberment abortion” procedures, with the exception of preventing a serious health risk to the mother;
· Instill a pilot drug testing program in state agencies for those eligible for federal welfare;
· Give charter schools a right of access to unused school facilities;
· Require a photo ID when voting in person and mailing an absentee ballot; and
· Strengthen Second Amendment rights on public college and university campuses.
Despite the two chambers working together to pass a handful of beneficial legislation this year, the average scores for the Arkansas State Senate and House both fell this year, suggesting the legislative body has room for improvement. The Arkansas Senate’s average score decreased by 2% points this year – from 59% in 2016 to 57% in 2017 – and the House’s score decreased by 3% – from 63% in 2016 to 60% this year.

To view the 2017 Ratings of Arkansas, click here.

For questions or media inquiries regarding ACUF state ratings, email Jackie Anderson, Director of Policy and Public Affairs for the American Conservative Union Foundation, at janderson@conservative.org.

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