Gov. Asa Hutchinson will be signing two controversial bills from state legislators into law.
On Wednesday, March 3, he signaled his intention to sign Senate Bill 24 and House Bill 1112 into law during a press briefing.
Senate Bill 24, also known as the Stand Your Ground bill, was passed by the Arkansas House of Representatives on Feb. 24 after making its way out of the Senate. The bill amends the state’s current self-defense law to remove the “duty to retreat” for individuals using physical deadly force. According to this legislation, individuals are no longer have an obligation to attempt to retreat when threatened and when they have a “reasonable belief that the personal against whom the deadly physical force is used is imminently threatening to cause death or serious physical injury.”
The House passed the bill by a 73 to 23 vote.
House Bill 1112 will amend the Arkansas Constitution’s Amendment 51 and the Arkansas Code concerning provisional ballot procedures, removing sworn statements as a method of casting provisional ballots when voters do not have required documentation or a picture identification card.
When the Arkansas Senate voted on the bill on Feb. 24, the bill passed by a 25 to 9 vote.
Both measures have sparked controversy during the legislative session. Hutchinson was asked about the bills on Tuesday during the COVID-19 weekly press briefing. He deferred commenting on the bills until Wednesday.