One Arkansas initiative effort files signatures on day of deadline

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July 1, 2010


By Al Ortiz

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas: The deadline to turn in signatures for proposed measures to the Arkansas Secretary of State's office has passed, as initiative sponsors had until 4:30 p.m. to do so. According to the Secretary of State's office, only one group had filed signatures by the deadline, which was a group backing a measure to ban most illegal immigrants from receiving benefits given by the state. The measure was being spearheaded by Secure Arkansas. According to supporters, the ban would not extend to children under 14 years of age and illegal immigrants could still receive emergency care.

One other initiative effort that was expected to file signatures for a proposed measure, but did not, was a proposal to allow Arkansas Hotels and Entertainment to own and operate seven casino gaming establishments; one each in Sebastian, Pulaski, Garland, Miller, Crittenden, Boone, and Jefferson Counties. In addition, the bill would have implemented a 5 percent state tax on the casino revenue, not allowing city and county taxes.

In order to get a proposed initiated constitutional amendment on the ballot, at least 77,468 signatures must be obtained. For proposed statutes, at least 61,974 signatures must be collected. Now that signatures have been filed, the Arkansas Secretary of State must now review and verify the signatures collected before placing a measure on the ballot.

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