All in for diabetes?
I note with distress that Sens. Dr. John Boozman and Tom Cotton voted against the price cap on insulin. Pregnant women have a 2 percent to 10 percent risk of gestational diabetes. The effects on both mother and fetus can be catastrophic.
Nice work, gentlemen. Pro-life and pro-diabetes.
CHARLES R. FEILD
Re the recreational marijuana amendment: As a citizen of Bentonville, I am seriously concerned about the Arkansas Board of Election Commissioners' decision to not certify an amendment that is clearly supported by a large number of Arkansans. I believe the board lacks factual basis, and those appointed are woefully unqualified to weigh in on the business of cannabis. This is an outrageous violation of democracy.
The actions of the board will motivate Responsible Growth Arkansas to pursue litigation which, in turn, will waste precious taxpayer resources. The board has made an egregiously bad decision that usurps the informed Arkansan, and ultimately, citizens will prevail.
And to the seven board members--Secretary of State John Thurston (chairman), Commissioner Sharon Brooks (Sebastian County clerk, governor's designee), Commissioner James Harmon Smith III (Democratic Party designee), Commissioner Bilenda Harris-Ritter (Republican Party designee), Commissioner Wendy Brandon (Senate president pro tem designee), Commissioner William Luther (speaker of the House designee), and Commissioner Jamie Clemmer (governor's designee): Your record of going against the will of the people has been noted, and I, along with fellow like-minded Arkansans, will work to expose those who go against the democratic process. See you in court.
Waste, fraud, abuse
Addressing the Republican state convention in July, Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she would increase state revenue and thereby begin to allow the phasing out of the state's individual income tax, by cutting waste, fraud and abuse out of state government.
Has Ms. Sanders been away from Arkansas for so long that she does not know the state government has been solidly in Republican hands these past eight years? The governorship, all major state offices, and the General Assembly have been held or controlled by Republicans. Why, then, do we have so much waste, fraud and abuse in our state government as Ms. Sanders asserts?
If she is sincere, she might have to drain the swamp of a lot of existing Republican office-holders. They are ones she has implied are responsible for all the waste, fraud and abuse in our state government.
Aid workers, teachers
Going into the special session of the General Assembly, I have seen little discussion of cutting the sales tax. This tax affects low-income citizens out of proportion to the rest of the population. They have to spend a larger portion of their income on day-to-day expenses like food, rent and transportation. There is less "wiggle room" in their budgets to meet changes like the rise in gas prices or unexpected illness. They would benefit most of any segment of the population from lowering this regressive tax.
Politicians are very eager to provide tax benefits in order to attract industry to our state. The high-income taxpayers on the other end of the scale will profit from their investment of money. There's nothing wrong with that. But the workers should profit, too. The workers in those industries are as important to our economy as the plants, roads, and utilities they need. They deserve to benefit from their work, by taking home more of their earnings.
Speaking of the special session, it is disgraceful that the General Assembly appears to be unwilling to commit to increasing the salaries of our educators. It is well known that our standing in the national rankings is very low. I believe this is both a cause and a result of the indifference of many Arkansans to science, history, medicine, and other essential elements of education.
Teachers have been through an exhausting and frustrating period shadowed by the covid pandemic. That on top of controversies regarding the content and methodology of their profession has soured many good teachers and provoked many resignations from the ranks. Arkansas needs to recognize the value of educators, if not at the level of their value of coaches or county judges, at least to the extent of a decent salary and the respect of their communities.
Integral to survival
I'm turning 69 years old soon, and like many seniors, my health requires medication to keep up. I have hypertension and many of my family members have died from heart attacks. Not only do I take one blood pressure pill per day, but I take a second one, a different type. If Medicare didn't cover the medications that keep me alive, I wouldn't be able to survive.
For years, drug companies have set excessive prices for the medications many seniors depend on.
This past week, Democrats in the Senate passed an historic bill that will finally lower the price of prescription drug costs by enabling Medicare to negotiate prices.
Medicare keeps me alive. I feel safe. I feel validated. Seniors everywhere should have that representation and access.