Sanders to freeze state hires and government regulations on first day as Arkansas governor

Newly sworn-in Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in her inaugural address Tuesday that she was signing an executive order to freeze new state hires and government regulations.

"We are limiting the growth of government before government limits the growth of individual liberty," she said on the steps of the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock.

Sanders also said she would sign an executive order "preventing the political indoctrination of Arkansas' school children."

"As long as I am governor, our schools will focus on the skills our children need to get ahead in the modern world, not brainwashing our children with a left-wing political agenda," Sanders said.

In a speech given earlier in the day before the House and Senate, Sanders pledged to start working on the state's problems in education "today" and said she wanted to be known as the "education governor.'

"I ask you to send me legislation that expands pre-K, improves literacy and gives students real-world skills they need to succeed in the workplace," Sanders told lawmakers.

Sanders said that parents should not be an "afterthought" in education and need a greater role, including the right to choose the best school for their child.

"When we give parents a choice, we give children a chance," Sanders said.

The governor did not give specifics but said she backed teacher raises.

"If you send me a bill that rewards our teachers with higher pay, I will sign it," Sanders said.

Sanders reiterated comments she made on the campaign trail about tax cuts.

"With family budgets still battered by inflation, let's deliver another historic tax cut and give the people of Arkansas the pay raise that they deserve," Sanders said. "Let's not surrender the competition for jobs to other states. Let's cut taxes and bring jobs right here to Arkansas. Let's also cut wasteful spending so we can continue to phase out the state income tax altogether."

Sanders is the youngest governor in the U.S. and the first female governor of Arkansas. She is the daughter of former Gov. Mike Huckabee and is the first daughter of a governor to also serve in a state's top elected position, she said.

"I'm not interested in making history because of who I am," Sanders said. "I want all of us to make history for what we achieve together over the next eight years."

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