Sanders wants lawmakers to ban vaccine mandates; approve tax cuts

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders is calling lawmakers into a special session beginning Monday to discuss tax cuts, COVID-19 vaccine mandates and change some laws regarding public records.

The governor's proposed tax plan would reduce the top income tax rate to 4.4% as of Jan. 1. The top corporate tax rate would be 4.8%.

A tax credit of up to $150 for individuals and up to $300 for married filers for 2023 is also included, according to her executive order.

Sanders is also banning vaccine mandates for state employees, saying restrictions enacted in 2020 "trampled on our liberty."

"Back then a handful of bureaucrats shut down our schools, our churches, our businesses and forced masks on our kids and tried to implement vaccine passport," Sanders said in a news conference. "That will not happen again here in the state of Arkansas."

The governor said she will also ask the state health department to "publicize the potential risks related to the COVID-19 vaccine so that all Arkansans can make informed decisions about their health."

Sanders also wants the Legislature to block the release of some public records related to the security of state officials. The governor said the current laws put her family at risk

Democrats said Sanders is trying to "dismantle the rights of citizens to request public records" and had nothing to do with her security.

"Detailing the trips she’s taken in the past will in no way jeopardize her safety — it’s also required by the law that she’s attempting to gut," said Grant Tennille, chair of the Democratic Party of Arkansas. "To claim that the Freedom of Information Act needs to be changed to keep her safe is a ludicrous and brazen lie from a skilled politician who knows she’s been caught. The question now is simple: What is she hiding?"


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