Arkansas House Passes Private Option Funding


The Private Option passed the Arkansas House of Representatives, Tuesday, following three weeks of debate, failed votes and frustration.Even up to the last few minutes, behind the scenes negotiations were shaping the future of Arkansas's {}Private Option. Shortly after it convened, the House took a recess, one last ditch effort to secure votes.Following a series of speeches by known supporters and opponents, was the first surprise. Rep. Kim Hammer (R, District 28), a steady no to that point, said he would break the impasse and vote yes.{}"There are people that will be hurt if I don't vote for this," Hammer explained to colleagues.{}Representative Skip Carnine (R, District 90) also switched sides. He originally supported the bill last year, but voted against it this year, until Tuesday, when he said the fight needed to continue in the regular session.."I don't think this is an end game. This is not going to stop the process of going forward and taking a look at the {}hard questions" said Rep. Carnine.The bill needed 75 votes out of a 100 to pass. It ended up with 76. Three legislators, Rep. Hammer, Rep. {}Carnine and Rep. Mary Slinkard, swapped their votes. House Speaker Davy Carter called the vote an act of political courage."I truly do believe that this is an example that is set for the rest of the country, so it's a proud moment for me and I'm proud of the members. It's just been a long process," said Speaker Davy Carter.