Understanding the 3 Arkansas ballot amendments

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) --On the Arkansas ballot this year are three constitutional amendments.

Two are fairly simple, but one needs some explanation.

I sat down with State Representative Paul Bookout for an explanation of each amendment.

The first amendment gives Arkansans the constitutional right to hunt and fish and trap and otherwise harvest wildlife.

Bookout, "This is a pretty straight forward issue on whether or not the Arkansas citizens want to have that in the state constitution the right to hunt and fish and trap and that's what this issue deals with.

There are about 10 states in America that currently have an amendment like this in their constitutions. Bookout said Game and Fish representatives brought this amendment to the table.

Skipping Issue 2 for the moment; Amendment 3 deals with Economic Development.

Currently for new companies wanting to come to the state must meet 1 of 2 criteria under Amendment 82 If they want to receive E-D bond money

They have to invest at least 500 Million dollars or hire 500 new employees.

According to Bookout, the current amendment has kept companies from coming to Arkansas.

The new Amendment will change the criteria by dropping the 500 and 500.

Bookout, "More flexibility in being able to issue bonds to interested industries to come to Arkansas."

Issue Number 2 is the most complicated and the most misunderstood of all the amendment proposals. It could almost be the 3 allowed amendments unto itself.

Bookout, "The first thing it would to is raise the interest rates that retailers based in Arkansas may charge their customers. It would also raise the maximum allowable interest rates on local government bonds that are issued."

Also the amendment proposes how bonds would be issued for energy efficient projects and how the bonds would be paid back.

Not seen on the ballots themselves is the fact that Arkansas based businesses like car and furniture dealers could make their interest rates as high as 17% . That rate is higher than the current level. It is hoped that by raising the interest rate more people would be able to get credit.

Amendment 2 is quite complicated as it is written. And many across the state have found issue with it's complexity and language.

Bookout, "The second one may be challenged in the courts simply because  it is a little bit too confusing under one title." That would assuming that it passes on election day.

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