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Arkansas attorney general approves FOIA amendment title

Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin speaks with reporters at Little Rock City Hall. Griffin headed efforts to delay a planned electricity shutoff at the Big Country Chateau Apartments by Entergy Arkansas.
Daniel Breen
Little Rock Public Radio
Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin on Wednesday approved language of an amendment title to enshrine FOIA in the state constitution.

Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin has approved the title of a proposed amendment to enshrine the Freedom of Information Act in the state constitution.

The proposal was put forth by Arkansas Citizens for Transparency (ACT). The group hopes to get a constitutional amendment put on the ballot in November called the “The Arkansas Government Transparency Act.”

The law would enshrine the Freedom of Information Act in the State constitution. This comes after Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders made moves to weaken FOIA last year.

Arkansas Citizens for Transparency is on their third attempt to get the proposal on the ballot. They failed their first two attempts, with the attorney general citing issues with vagueness.

ACT can now begin collecting the over 90,000 needed signatures from across the state to put the amendment on the ballot. They have to collect these signatures by July.

This comes a day after attorneys for ACT filed a lawsuit against the attorney general at the Arkansas Supreme Court. David Couch and Nate Bell allege that the attorney general violates the Arkansas Constitution by blocking citizen-led ballot initiatives.

On Tuesday, the attorney general also approved the title of an amendment to legalize most abortions in Arkansas.

Josie Lenora is the Politics/Government Reporter for Little Rock Public Radio.