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Arkansas State Government Principles and Platform

Preamble Principles

Regnat Populus – The People Rule

  1. The U.S. and Arkansas Constitutions are the fundamental framework for our government.
  2. God is the source of our rights.
  3. Individual freedom and liberty
  4. Sanctity of human life
  5. Right of private property
  6. Lower taxes spur economic growth
  7. The right to own and bear arms
  8. A strong national defense and securing our borders
  9. Three separate and co-equal branches of government
  10. Individual responsibility and initiative

Jan Morgan’s Policy Platform

Jobs

Government does NOT create jobs.  People create businesses and businesses create jobs.  Arkansas’ small businesses are the economic engine of our state, not government.  We should not pick winners and losers through corporate welfare programs that economists have shown do not produce the economic growth and jobs that they promise.  Instead of giving away taxpayer money to foreign or new companies to come here and compete with current Arkansas businesses, let’s provide tax and regulatory relief to our existing businesses.  Let’s have a free market decide which businesses rise and fall based on their merit, not by their political influence with the political establishment of the times.

Taxes

Arkansas continues to be one of the highest taxed states in the region.  Arkansas has the highest rate for individual income tax in the region, and we have the third highest combined rates of state and local sales taxes in the entire country.  We cannot continue to kick the can down the road with small, incremental cuts, no matter how “historic” they may be.  We need bold, large-scale tax reform that addresses lowering tax rates, making government more efficient, and shrinking the size and scope of government with less government spending.

Government Spending

Arkansas spends more per capita than the large liberal states of Illinois, California, or New York and is the 13th highest in the country.  The more money that government spends, the less money the people have of their own to spur economic growth.  Under Gov. Hutchinson, spending increases of almost $500 million have passed in the last three fiscal years.  Arkansas state government employs 119 persons per 10,000 residents, ranking 11th highest nationally.  Texas and Tennessee employ just 65 persons per 10,000 residents.

Because of the structure of the Arkansas Revenue Stabilization Act (RSA), Arkansas government will not spend more revenue than comes in.  Therefore, by law, we have a balanced budge.  This is not a choice.  However, the RSA also ensures that we spend everything that comes in. We can only address government spending by cutting taxes so that the government does not have the money to spend.  A reduction in the revenues, by definition, will force government to prioritize its spending habits.

Therefore, in order to reduce the size and scope of government, we should implement a tax-expenditure limit, putting a cap on the growth of state government spending from year to year.  This cap should be tied to inflation plus population growth.

Second Amendment

A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a Free State, the Right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.  (US Bill of Rights)

The citizens of this State shall have the right to keep and bear arms for their common defense. (Arkansas State Constitution, Article 2, Section 5)

Pro-Life

I am Pro-Life.  We must continue working to protect the unborn and ensure that groups like Planned Parenthood do not receive taxpayer money.

Education

Every education decision we make should be made with the students and parents first in our minds.  Arkansas’ children deserve world-class educations, regardless of their ZIP code.  We should continue supporting our public schools as well as School Choice options.  We should be open to every type of educational system available including homeschooling, distance learning, public school, private school, or charter school.

Transparency in Government

We the People deserve an open and transparent government in Arkansas.  The people deserve an accounting of all taxpayer money spent, and it should not be shielded by funneling it through private companies or nonprofits.

Arkansas has one of the best Freedom of Information Acts in the entire country.  We should guard against attempts to weaken it or carve out special exemptions.

We should require that all votes cast by legislators in committees be done so through recorded votes, and not group voice votes.

We should also add live-streaming and on-demand recordings that currently exist in the Arkansas House of Representatives to the full Senate Chamber, Senate committee rooms, and in all other rooms that the people’s business is conducted, including Big Mac Building rooms.

Rule of Law

I strongly believe that all legal proceedings should be conducted and adjudicated based solely on the United States Constitution, the Arkansas Constitution, and the statutory and case law framework of federal and state law, without reference to or influence by any foreign law.

I oppose Sharia Law.  Gov. Asa Hutchinson opposed and then refused to sign a bill that outlawed Sharia Law in Arkansas courts.

I oppose Sanctuary Cities.  Gov. Asa Hutchinson opposed efforts to restrict sanctuary campuses during this last legislative session.  Sanctuary cities are a real issue, and it is necessary to address them.  We should consider pulling state funding for sanctuary cities who refuse to uphold the rule of law.

Crime and Law Enforcement

We must support police officers and others who put their lives on the line to protect us.  Crime has continued to rise in parts of the state.  We must ensure we have the resources to protect the public.  This means prioritizing funding for our prisons, courts, and law enforcement over welfare programs and non-essential functions of government.  We cannot fail on keeping our people safe.  That is one of the primary purposes of state government.

Free Speech

We must protect the 1st Amendment rights of the people to engage in free speech and to freely assemble.  I believe the right of free speech includes the ability for our citizens to devote their resources to whatever cause or candidate they support.  We should protect the privacy of people and their free speech.  Transparency is for government, and privacy is for the people.

Healthcare

Healthcare is not a right; it is a service.  As a compassionate society, we will aid those truly in need; however, a government takeover of healthcare is detrimental to the entire healthcare system.  We need to re-focus our efforts and focus on the cost of healthcare.  Having health insurance one cannot afford is counter-productive.  People’s premiums continue to skyrocket, and we must address this issue.

I oppose the Obamacare Medicaid Expansion program previously called the Private Option and now called Arkansas Works.  We should end this program now, under our own terms, before this is forced on us by the Federal government.

Agriculture

The agriculture industry is the backbone of the Arkansas economy.  We must support our farmers and ensure we do not have burdensome taxes and regulations that will hinder their ability to provide the food and resources we all depend on.

Veterans

We should support and honor our veterans and their families.  They should not be used as a means to promote and pass other legislation unrelated to their needs.

General Improvement Fund

We should eliminate General Improvement Fund spending, as there should be openness and transparency in the spending of appropriated money.  We have seen too much corruption and abuse of this fund.  We support the needs of entities such as local fire departments.  Their needs should be addressed by less tax dollars going to the state so that more can stay at the local level.  All those seeking state funds for special projects should be subject to examination and oversight of the people’s elected representatives through the appropriations process.

Immigration

I support the training of the Arkansas State Police and local law enforcement agencies to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration laws.  Deportation efforts should be focused on those who violate our criminal laws.  I strongly support legal immigration and proudly welcome those legally in our state.  We encourage those who work hard and fulfill their obligations to community and country, and their assimilation into the social fabric of our great state.

Marriage

I support the traditional definition of marriage as a God-ordained, legal and moral commitment between one man and one woman.

Religious Freedom

I believe in our right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of our own consciences.  I support religious freedom for all peaceful religions.  Gov. Hutchinson flip-flopped on his support for a strong Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 2015, instead working to pass a watered-down version of the bill.

See also:

The Republican Party of Arkansas Platform 2016

The National Republican Party Platform 2016