Legislative Roundup: February 10

February 10, 2003
Posted at: 8:04 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The sponsor of a bill asked the House not to consider his bill today that would keep people from suing gun and ammunition makers because their products can cause injury or death.

The gun legislation would still allow people to sue if the weapon or ammunition was defective.

Sponsoring Representative Jim Medley said another legislator raised concerns that the language in the bill would unintentionally protect gunmakers who shoot someone, so he pulled back the bill to amend it and will return later. He said he expects the bill to have few problems in the House.

The Senate also approved House legislation today that creates a fund for weatherizing homes and for researching alternative fuels. The House passed the same legislation on Friday. Now both bills go to Governor Huckabee.

The measures would give public utilities the option of adding up to a $1 charge per month to residential customers' bills to pay for the program. Sponsors say that Entergy Arkansas, the state's largest utility, has committed to the program, and they hope others will do likewise.

The Senate also approved a bill requiring boaters to use kill switches if their watercraft are equipped with the devices. In 2001, a similar provision was part of a boating safety bill that failed in the Senate.

The measure provides for fines ranging from 100 dollars to 250 dollars. Engine kill switches are designed to stop the motor when a person falls from a boat or personal watercraft.

The bill returns to the House for consideration of Senate changes.

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