Connect with us


Gov. Sanders wants to keep lowering taxes and increase the number of jails in the second year



Little Rock, Arkansas – Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the governor of Arkansas, promised to reduce the state income tax and made significant improvements to the school system in her first year in office.

Sanders did, however, make headlines during the year for other reasons than her reforms to state legislation, such as the problems surrounding the jail system and a lectern.

Sanders joined us for a conversation on a variety of topics, but she concentrated on her administration’s efforts to “continue to drive people to Arkansas” and maintain the state’s competitiveness.

Expanding the economy and gradually eliminating the state income tax are two of her objectives. Even though she understood that it would take time to complete, she is “confident that we can continue chipping away at that [tax] until we get it to zero.”

“Arkansas has to compete in the global economy, so one of the first steps is phasing out that income tax,” Sanders said. “And you do that by making sure that every student in the state has access to a good quality education.”

The governor restated her belief that the foundation for Arkansas’s economic prosperity is education. Passing the 145-page LEARNS Act, which revolutionized the state’s educational system, was one of her priorities.

The bill required certain failing public schools to collaborate with charter schools, eliminated the Teacher Fair Dismissal Act, raised teacher pay to $50,000 annually, and established a voucher scheme known as “education freedom accounts.”

Those accounts use public funds to “cover private school tuition, fees, uniforms, and some other required expenses.”

Sanders champions LEARNS as “the most comprehensive transformational education package” and told us she wants every kid in the state to have “an opportunity to succeed.”

“That trying to shove kind of a one size fits all down their throats isn’t going to work,” she said, “and so making sure that opportunity for every student however they need to learn is accessible and really empowering parents to make those decisions is critical for our state’s long-term success.”

Not only has the voucher program drawn criticism, but the law has also been criticized for prohibiting critical race theory and for what it considers to be brainwashing.

Sanders responded to concerns over the law saying that she doesn’t want students “trapped in a failing school because of their zip code or how much money their parents make.” She thinks that the education freedom accounts will give families the ability “to decide how best in where their kids can be educated.”

Less than 5% of the pupils in the voucher program had previously attended a public school, according to the first state report on the initiative.

The developing dispute over increasing the number of beds in prisons was also discussed by the governor. She said that while there is money allocated to build a new prison, “we have to do a better job of holding people accountable.”

“We have existing space in our prisons, we want to open that up so that we are doing a better job of protecting our citizens and protecting the people of this state,” Sanders said.

The Protect Arkansas Act, which Sanders signed into law, altered the way violent offenders would be sentenced in addition to starting the process of building a new jail.

Those convicted of serious crimes in 2024 will not be eligible for parole, and in the following year, some crimes will require serving 85% of the sentence to be eligible for supervised release.

However, the state Board of Corrections objected to the temporary increase in the number of beds in the current jails because of personnel shortages and disagreements over authority.

Although the jail debate has persisted into her second year in office, Sanders stated that her main goal is to make Arkansas “the best place in the country.”

“We’re only going to continue to build on that success so that everybody gets to see what I do and wants to be part of what’s happening here in the state,” Sanders said.


Continue Reading

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *