The Arkansas Republican Party of Arkansas will meet on July 21st to, among other things, approve the 2018 state GOP platform. Last year, Conduit for Action pointed out how the platform had changed from 2014 to 2016. The most significant changes then were the removal of “limited government”, “the power of faith in God” and other principles form the beginning of the platform.
CFA has analyzed the proposed 2018 platform and how that compares to the current platform adopted in 2016.
Proposed Changes from 2016 to 2018 Arkansas Republican Party Platforms
Adding back in from the 2014 platform of “Our Principles” which include:
- The power of faith in God
- The sanctity of life
- Individual responsibility and imitative
- Individual freedom and liberty secured by a limited government
- Private property
- Lower taxes to produce economic growth
- Strong national defense
- The personal right to own and bear arms
- The equal and just enforcement of the law
- Separate and equal branches of government
Adding back in “limited government”
- On pages 2, 6, and 11 of the proposed 2018 platform they have added “limited” before government
Adding of “We believe in the power of faith in God”
- On page 2 they have added in this statement at the beginning of Paragraph three of the Preamble
Changing of Republican majority “with an opportunity” to majority “with a continuing responsibility”
- On page three they have changed the language to reflect they are no longer a “new” majority recognizing that the Republican party has now had a majority since 2013. Instead of previously saying they have “the opportunity” to enhance the state’s business presence they declare they have the “continuing responsibility” to do so.
- According to the American Legislative Exchange Council “Rich States, Poor States” report from Dr. Art Laffer, Stephen Moore, and Jonathan Williams:
Continued recognition that Government does not create jobs, businesses/people do
- The proposed platform keeps in the statement “People Create Businesses; Businesses Create Jobs; Government Does Not” and recognizes that “small businesses are the drivers of our economy.
Support for ballot initiative process
- New in the 2018 platform is the following statement: “In the spirit of our state’s motto, Regnat Populus, we support and encourage the use of the initiative process by the people to express their desires for implementation of reforms”
Removal of call for constitutional amendment for voter ID since one will be on 2018 ballot
- Because of the work of resolution sponsors Senator Bryan King and Representative Robin Lundstrum in the 2017 legislative session, the people will vote on requiring voter identification as part of the Arkansas Constitution this November. This will be Issue 2 on the ballot. The platform still signals support for voter ID but just updates the language
Applauding work of General Assembly for electronic filing of fundraising/expenditure reports
- After a 2017 bill required online filing of fundraising/expenditure reports the platform now reflects that rather than calling for those changes.
Continued support of expansion of income tax relief and other tax relief for all of our citizens
- Most small businesses and job creators in Arkansas have received little to none income tax relief in the past two legislative sessions. Cuts for middle income and low-income earners have passed
Continued support for American Laws for American Courts
- On page 8 the platform spells out continued support for American law, not foreign law in our courtrooms and justice system.
- In the 2017 legislative session, Representative Brandt Smith passed a bill supporting this. It was not supported by Gov. Asa Hutchinson and became law without his signature.
Added support for addressing the Opioid epidemic.
- Added the following on Page 8: “We applaud the efforts of government leaders to combat the scourge of opioid abuse.”
Other minor grammatical changes throughout
We appreciate that the issues raised by CFA in its previous articles highlighting the removal of principles and references to “God” and “limited government” have been addressed by adding back in those references and principles.
You can view the 2014, 2016, and 2018 (proposed) Arkansas Republican Party Platforms below.
2014 Arkansas Republican Party Platform
2016 Arkansas Republican Party Platform
2018 Arkansas Republican Party Platform (Proposed)