Gov. Hutchinson asks for changes to "religious freedom bill" - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Gov. Hutchinson asks for changes to "religious freedom bill"

Gov. Asa Hutchinson Gov. Asa Hutchinson
LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT) - Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson is asking lawmakers to make changes to House Bill 1228 or the "religious freedom bill."

During a news conference Wednesday, Hutchinson said the bill on his desk now does not mirror the federal bill that President Bill Clinton signed in 1993. 

He is asking for changes to be made to the bill and be sent back. He is also considering executive order to disallow discrimination in workforce for the LGBT community.

Hutchinson said his son asked him to veto the bill. 

"Let me make it clear this law under consideration does not extend discrimination, that's important," Hutchinson said Wednesday.

This comes one day after the bill was passed and sent to the governor's desk.

We reached out to many different businesses, mayors, schools and other community leaders for a comment on the governor's decision. Many refused to comment.

A Wynne business owner said he was not surprised of Hutchinson's decision to send it back for revisions.

"In today's world we think if we don't agree with a certain particular, once voice screams out really loud then we have to go back and check ourselves and that really shouldn't be what it's about," Josh Brodbent said. "I think he is caving to political pressure for future political aspirations. But ultimately I think they'll come back with something similar to what they already have."

President of Black River Technical College Eric Turner provided a written statement on House Bill 1228.

"Freedom of religion and expression are bedrock to American society—this is important to me both at the institutional level and personally," Turner said. "Nonetheless, the draft of HB1228 appears to be crafted in a way which threatens the very freedoms the legislation is intended to protect.”

The Jonesboro Chamber of Commerce said they currently have not taken a stance for or against the bill.

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