What are Sanders and Arleg trying to hide?
The FOIA allows Arkansas citizens to obtain certain public records and information relevant to the workings of government and expenditures that use our tax dollars. This week, lawmakers will help Governor Sanders hide this public information because they do not want to be held accountable for how they spend taxpayer dollars. It’s our money, and we should get to know how and why it’s spent.
Additionally, lawmakers will hold Arkansas Legislative Council meetings this week, which is a change in schedule for the Council. ALC is a powerful body that controls how the state’s money is spent and how certain legislation is implemented. We suspect ALC plans to sneak through LEARNS Act administrative rules this week to avoid hearing from constituents and public school advocates.
The bottom line: our top state leaders are conspiring to erase public accountability by changing laws and using sneaky procedures because it serves their political agenda — not the people of Arkansas.
We will NOT let them get away with it. Here’s what you can do:
- Sign our petition demanding lawmakers defend the state’s Freedom of Information Act.
- Personally email members of the House and Senate committees on State Agencies and insist they protect FOIA. Members will either approve or deny the anti-FOIA bills for their respective bodies. (details below)
- Support For AR People. We cannot do this work without your help. This week our team will juggle the special legislative session, Department of Education meetings, and the Arkansas Legislative Council proceedings. Become a monthly donor and help lead the fight for accessible, transparent state government in Arkansas.
Pro advocacy tip: keep emails polite, respectful, and to the point. Share your personal reason(s) for protecting our Freedom of Information Act.
Dear [Representative _____ / Senator ______],
I’m contacting you to share my deep concern over HB1003 and SB7, companion bills that will seriously harm Arkansas citizens’ right to see public information.
Arkansans across the political spectrum believe in and support the FOIA as an essential law. As you know, the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act is one of the most robust open-records and open-meetings laws in the country. The Attorney General’s site proudly proclaims this fact because the FOIA helps protect Arkansans and aids in the critical work of maintaining a transparent, accountable democracy.
As a voter of this state and an Arkansan you represent, I respectfully ask you to vote AGAINST HB1003 and SB7 and uphold the FOIA and my right as a Arkansas citizen to public information. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Sincerely,[Your name and city]