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Regnat Populus (Editorial)

Editorial
1 min read

THIS IS AN OPINION

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This Thursday is July 4, Independence Day, an appropriate time to remind readers of their power as Arkansas voters.

Several measures are seeking a place on the November ballot through petition efforts. The deadline is Friday for those gathering signatures on petitions to turn them in to the secretary of state.

Proposed constitutional amendments require 90,704 signatures and proposed initiated acts require 72,563. Last year, the Arkansas Legislature made it more difficult for citizen-inspired initiatives to reach the ballot, enacting Act 236. That means that petitions for such proposals now require signatures from residents of at least 50 of Arkansas’ 75 counties. Previously, signatures from only 15 counties were required.

We support the two proposals regarding government transparency: a constitutional amendment, the Arkansas Government Disclosure Amendment, and an initiated act, the Arkansas Government Disclosure Act. The amendment would make it harder for the Legislature to change our state’s Freedom of Information Act, one of the strongest in the nation. The act would create a state commission to help citizens with records requests and give courts the authority to penalize government bodies that don’t comply with records requests.

Let’s remember the official state motto of Arkansas: “Regnat Populus,” the people rule.

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