AR LegislatureElectionsPower and Control

Vaught speaks up for librarians, against government overreach

By March 16, 2023No Comments

DeAnn Vaught (R-Horatio) stood up for librarians and local control. Hats off to her.

DeAnn Vaught did what’s right today. Here at On AR Watch, most of our content is on elected leaders who misbehave or let us down — like when the House passed Sen. Dan Sullivan’s SB81 today. The bill would subject public school employees to criminal prosecution under obscenity laws for any books, ebooks, and educational resources in their library.

But Rep. DeAnn Vaught was a bright spot during the bill’s dim discussion on the House floor. The lone representative to vocalize disapproval of the bill, Vaught made compelling and rational arguments regarding the proposal’s blatant overreach. The General Assembly should not be passing state laws to address a few bad actors at the local level, Vaught said.

“When will we stop with the message that all superintendents, teachers, and now librarians have intentions to harm our children? That could not be further from the truth… We cannot regulate everything in the lives of Arkansans. We have to stop with the government overreach,” said Vaught.

It’s rare these days to see a Republican legislator stand with the principles of small government and local control; we’re pleased that Vaught surprised us on this account. But more so, we’re thrilled to see a member of the Arkansas legislature say she’s had enough with unnecessary and burdensome legislation.

It seems that at least one member of the legislature’s supermajority represented the people of Arkansas today.