Senate State Agencies

September 29, 2021


Rapert [00:00:00] Committee have come to order. Alright, members, to my knowledge, obviously, you got every single bill I think that was filed that was put on– is on the agenda. And the way I’m going to handle this, if a member’s here that wants to bring this– bring the particular bill up for discussion again, and we will have discussion on that. And obviously, if there’s a point you get to and you want to make a motion, I will tell the committee that, based upon discussion right now, I think it would be wise for presentations of bills that seem to be building consensus and then allow us an opportunity for recess for discussion with the House. It will be fruitless for us to pass a bill out that is conflicting with the House. We have to come to some agreement. And, and so my suggestion would be that the committee be prepared, let’s put on the agenda– put up here for discussion that the actual bills that seem to have a consensus growing and then consider a recess so that I can consult with Chairman Tosh and we can visit about where we’re at. It would be great to be able to get a bill out of here today, in my opinion, so that we have something that’s going to be ready to go for the floor. But I do not have any indication of consensus on the other end on, on these maps at this time. So with that said, I have just had information that Senator Mark Johnson would not be presenting his bill. So you can strike that from your consideration today. Senator Hester, you’ve got 721. Do you wish to pause on that and–? OK, all right. We’ll pass over that. And all these I’ll keep on the agenda for the case that it gets to a point where we just don’t have a showdown. And so we’ll, we’ll keep them all steady. Senate bills from Senator Clerk. I don’t see him here. Senator Leding told me he would not be running his bills. Senator Tucker, I think you told me that you weren’t going to be running that bill. Or maybe you are? Are you going to run your bill? OK. I don’t see Senator Elliott either in the room. That leaves us with Senator Davis, which is, to be honest, that seems to be probably the most consensus coming that I’m hearing is for maps that you and Representative Dotson have been visiting on. So Senator Davis, if you’d like, why don’t you go up and present both bills or one bill, whatever you choose. I’d also like to say hello to Auditor Lea. It was very good to see her in here. All right. Thank you, auditor. 


Davis [00:02:55] We’re strong in Pope County. 


Rapert [00:02:57] All right. You’re recognized. 


Davis [00:02:58] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Senator Brianne Davis, District 16. So I’m just going to present Senate Bill 725. It is the map that splits Pulaski County. And so just briefly, it splits three counties instead of five. It keeps the row croppers in the delta together. It makes the 4th District more compact. It splits Pulaski County down the river and down 67-167. So it keeps Little Rock whole. It keeps North Little Rock whole, has those natural boundaries there. And it puts the smaller counties that have been split for decades together, and I think gives them a little bit more of a stronger voice. Counties like Newton County, which I represent, where 67 percent of their land, is owned by the federal government. And they have a hard time being able to get what they need from the federal government. So it’s important to me to ensure that they work together as one county in one congressional district. The deviations are very close there. A couple of the districts are at zero percent, one .1 percent and the other one at a negative .1. So at this time, we’re still working through just some concerns. So I’m not ready to ask for a vote on this bill yet. I want to take some time to work together and know that we’ve got to be on the same page with the House. And so I just wanted to present it in front of the committee so we could all look at it and refresh our memory on it from earlier this week. But I’m not going to ask for a vote at this time. I will take any questions. 


Rapert [00:04:34] And I want to say I appreciate your leadership on this and truly your leadership in consulting the House. This is a time where we really do need to collaborate, so I know you’ve put a lot of work into it. Members, do you have any questions for Senator Davis on the bill? Senator English. 


English [00:04:51] So I guess one of the questions obviously, taking North Little Rock, which is the part most of the city, a lot of the city, and their industrial, and part– and take part of Metroplan, all of their planning and stuff and putting it into another congressional district. So tell me how you decided that was the place to– out of all the 2nd Congressional District to cut down on the amount of voters. 


Davis [00:05:17] Well, as you recall, the first map that Rep. Dotson and I filed split Saline County a little bit above I 30. We were looking for a natural boundary there as well. And so based on feedback we got from members, we filed this bill. And what we did with Pulaski was we did everything we could to make sure that cities stayed together. So we didn’t draw a line down the middle of Little Rock or North Little Rock or Jacksonville and Maumelle or whatever. So we worked hard to keep cities together and then follow those natural boundaries like the river like 67-167. So that was the way that we looked at it and then also to get the numbers just right. So we tried a lot of different options that just didn’t fit, and that was the one that fit the best. 


English [00:06:06] So what if you didn’t– what if you lopped off White– part of White County? I mean, you have– how many people do you have to get rid of? 40,000? Is that what I’m seeing? 13,000 or something like that. 


Davis [00:06:22] It’s substantially more than that. We put Pope and Cleburne into the 2nd Congressional District, and Pope is at around 63,000. 


English [00:06:31] So if they weren’t in the Congressional District, that– Pulaski County could remain whole. 


Davis [00:06:36] Pulaski County would still have to adjust for population. I mean, the 2nd Congressional District would have to adjust for population. 


English [00:06:41] I mean, even if you dropped out Pope and Cleburne, they would still have to– 


Davis [00:06:47] Adjust for population, yes. 


English [00:06:48] So how many, how many people are in Pope County? 


Davis [00:06:51] 60– a little over 63,000. 


English [00:06:52] I beg your pardon. 


Davis [00:06:54] A little over 63,000. 


English [00:06:56] And how many in Cleburne County? 


Davis [00:06:59] I’m trying to remember. I don’t have my notes in front of me on that. 


English [00:07:01] So that seems to be more than the 43,000 that we have to drop off. 


Davis [00:07:07] Yeah. And we did– 


English [00:07:09] If you didn’t have that one county in there, then it would probably make things pretty even. 


Davis [00:07:13] Yeah, you would still have to adjust for population. And certainly if a member wanted to file a map that kept Pulaski County or, excuse me, the 2nd Congressional District exactly the same, they could do so. 


English [00:07:28] Okay. 


Rapert [00:07:29] Members, any other questions? Yes, Sen. Tucker. 


Tucker [00:07:34] Thank you, Mr. Chair. And you may have just said this, but I was– I couldn’t tell exactly what Senator English was asking. Of the portion of Pulaski County that’s in the 4th District, do you know what the number of people in Pulaski County is? 


Davis [00:07:51] I’m try– I don’t have my notes in front of me. I’m sorry I can get, I can get that number to you pretty quickly, though. 


Tucker [00:07:56] OK. And then Sebastian, Jefferson and Pulaski were the three counties that remain split in this map. Is that correct? 


Davis [00:08:06] That is correct. 


Tucker [00:08:10] So the– do you know what, what the number is? Is it– I’m just doing some quick math. But it would be about 7,300 people would constitute 1 percent of a deviation. If you move 7,300 people here or there, that would be up to 1 percent? 


Davis [00:08:29] I honestly think they do deviations a little different because our, our numbers– let’s see– yeah, yeah, that actually– I think–. 


Tucker [00:08:47] 7,500. 


Davis [00:08:48] That’s correct. Yes. Yes. Sorry, yep.  


Tucker [00:08:52] Ok. If you could, the number I’m most interested in is, is what the population is of the territory in Pulaski County that’s proposed to be put in the 4th Congressional District. 


Davis [00:09:03] I’ll find that out very quickly. 


Tucker [00:09:05] Okay, thank you. 


Davis [00:09:06] I can get to my notes in my phone. 


Rapert [00:09:08] OK. I think Sen. Hester. 


Hester [00:09:12] So Senator Davis, I just wanted to say, as I’ve, I’ve noticed that people on this committee, it seems that their, their counties and this redistricting mattered to some people. So you picked this committee. Senior English, it mattered. It mattered to Senator Ballinger and you anyway. I just wanted to say, I know this has been a very difficult and hard process. I know it was important to you and you thought, thought through it a long time ago and planned on being here to make sure your district wass represented well. I appreciate that. And anyway, I just wanted to say this is the second best map I’ve seen and I’m willing to support it. 


Davis [00:09:42] Thank you, Senator Hester. 


Rapert [00:09:44] All right, members, any other questions for Senator Davis? Seeing none. Oh, I’m sorry, Senator Bledsoe. 


Bledsoe [00:09:55] Thank you, Mr. Chair. I just want a little more clarification of how you split, you split– let me see, Pulaski. 


Davis [00:10:06] Yes. 


Bledsoe [00:10:07] Could you go over that again? I believe you said, but I want to be sure I understand. 


Davis [00:10:11] Yes, absolutely. And we did two things when splitting Pulaski. We tried to keep whole cities together. So we work to ensure where you see sort of like I call it the claw coming out, that is the city of Little Rock. We ensured that the city of Little Rock stayed together, and we worked to ensure that North Little Rock stayed together. The second thing we did was follow natural boundaries within Pulaski County. So outside of keeping those two cities together, we followed the river and then we followed 67-167. 


Bledsoe [00:10:46] All right. Thank you so much. 


Rapert [00:10:48] OK, members. Sen. Tucker. 


Tucker [00:10:52] Does that split Jacksonville? 


Davis [00:10:54] There is– Jackson– it does a little bit, yes. We were– because of where the interstate– like trying to keep that natural boundary, yes, it does split it a little bit. 


Tucker [00:11:03] Do you know if there are any other cities or towns that are split by 67-167? 


Davis [00:11:08] Not that I’m aware of that. So to be– 


Rapert [00:11:11] [00:11:11]I would interject. It doesn’t necessarily split it, but Cabot does have some city limits that’s on the other side of 67. There’s some development there with Cabot. Yeah. It’s a little north of that. 


Tucker [00:11:24] That would be entirely still within Lonoke County, though, right? 


Rapert [00:11:27] That’s right. I believe it’s right there after Jacksonville. But you asked if any were split by that area, sir? Yes, sir. 


Tucker [00:11:35] A poor question on my part– within Pulaski County as well. 


Davis [00:11:39] Yeah, yeah.  


Tucker [00:11:42] Ok. So Jacksonville is the only city or town within Pulaski County that you’re aware of that’s, that’s split into two different congressional districts by this map. 


Davis [00:11:50] Yes, there were some weird precincts with Sherwood that mix the two. And so it’s a little confusing to explain, but it– we kept whole precincts together, but the precincts were mixed. So you’ll find a little bit, like a couple voters that, you know, are in one and not in Sherwood but it’s just because of the way their precincts are a little different there, and we weren’t able to split the precincts. 


Tucker [00:12:15] Thank you. 


Rapert [00:12:17] Senator English. 


English [00:12:19] So when you look at 167, if you look east of 167, which is what you’re using as the boundary that’s North Little Rock to the east. And it goes all the way down to Faulkner Lake Road, up to the Lonoke County line, Pulaski County and Lonoke. And that’s all their industrial area. That’s all their new Amazon fulfillment center. That’s all the trucking. All that is in the area that you’re looking at growing out. That’s unacceptable. Sorry. 


Davis [00:12:58] Yeah. Well, Senator English, like I said earlier, I’m not asking for a vote on this yet because it’s important to me. I respect you a lot and, and the other– our– my other colleagues. And I know no math is going to make everyone happy, but we’re trying to work within the legal constraints that we have and the criteria to meet. And I certainly want to continue working on it to where we can get to a consensus where people feel more comfortable. 


English [00:13:22] Good. 


Davis [00:13:22] Yeah. 


Rapert [00:13:26] All right, members, any of the questions on on this map from Senator Davis? Sen. Davis, you have anything before we take folks that might want to speak for or against the bill? 


Davis [00:13:36] I’m good. Thank you. 


Rapert [00:13:37] All right. Thank you, Senator. Senator Mat Pitsch. Good afternoon, Senator. You’re recognized. 


Pitsch [00:14:03] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, committee members. As Senator Hester pointed out and Senator Davis previously, as big as this has become in my county, I probably should have taken state agencies as a selection and didn’t. So I’m here as a senator. I look at this. I just need the members of this committee and the Senate and the House– and I appreciate Senator Davis and Senator Ballinger and Senator Rapert meeting with me to try and find a resolution to this. We’re all here advocating. Sen. Ballinger’s advocating for Madison County. I’m advocating for Sebastian County. And there should be no question in anybody’s mind that the history in Sebastian County 10 years ago, they got divided. And they hated it when it got divided the last time. Different type of team doing that, but it hurt them and it hurt them bad. And they would tell you that. And they have told you that. 20 CEOs have signed a letter. Your county judge– our county judge. Two mayors have been down here at committee meetings and have said, we want to be in the 3rd District. We want to remain whole. And without fail, I’m here to advocate for that. If that’s a possibility, which we have that on some maps where a lot of the counties are put together, not divided up. I don’t think– you know, some people try to tell us, well, it’s good to be divided up. The problem with good to be divided up is you haven’t been divided up. We have for 10 years. And to ask a county who’s the fourth largest county in the state that you’re going to stay divided up for 20 years? At some level– I won’t name the legislator, but at some level I talked to a legislator recently who said my district got redrawn and the Democrats did that to me. And I said, Well, imagine that feeling, because that’s what we have, if your own party came back and did worse than that 10 years later. Because that’s what the people of Sebastian County are trying to relay through me and through their attendance coming to Little Rock. They’ve been down here the 20th, the 23rd and the 27th, and they’ll be down here again if you need them to, Mr. Chairman, because they put in writing their request. Please, we don’t want to be divided up. And I guess I can try and answer questions, but I’m not an expert on this. I’m here to represent my people, just like Senator Ballinger is for Madison County and Pope County with Senator Davis. We’re here to do the advocacy for our folks. And it’s clear what the advocacy for folks in Sebastian County is.


Rapert [00:16:53] Well Sen. Pitsch, I appreciate you coming and in, having discussed this with many of these stakeholders, lest anybody be ignorant of the fact, they need to know that you’ve advocated very, very strongly, not only in committee, but behind the scenes. And I understand that perfectly. The difficulty in all of this is finding who is going to be the place that cedes. I spoke up personally the other night in a caucus meeting about the fact it would be nice to keep Sebastian County whole if we could. But we know it’s a process. But I want to state this, so there is no question. You have fought tremendously hard and advocated for people in your community and your district, and that’s noble, and nobody will hold that against you for sure, sir. 


Pitsch [00:17:38] Can I, can I respond to that? 


Rapert [00:17:40] Of course, yes. 


Pitsch [00:17:41] I think part of what the frustration is is we are getting people telling my representatives and others that there are people in your home district that are OK with this. And we would chase down that rabbit trail. Well, who said that? Who told you that? Everybody in Fort Smith has put up a united front that they want to do this. And, you know, it’s pretty easy to say, well, Fort Smith’s been divided 10 years without realizing what that’s done to our county for the last 10 years. I’m OK and understand you have to maybe divide somebody. I think our folks are too. We just think it’s somebody else’s turn to be divided because we’ve been there. 


Rapert [00:18:21] And that’s reasonable. I understand. I think I’ve got some questions going up. I don’t know if you’ve got anybody down. Senator Garner, I see you first. 


Garner [00:18:29] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I kind of explained this, I think, to your county judge the other day. I’m, I’m 100 percent supportive Sebastian County being keeped– kept whole. I think that we can do that. The problem is, is y’ll want y’alls cake and eat it too with staying in the 3rd district. Because then there’s counties above that, I mean, geographically that you have to draw around to get down to your district to do that in the 3rd District. I’m not saying that’s good or bad, but I mean you– the very south tip of Sebastian County– say if we left Madison in the 4th or we did something like that, then you start playing games with people being closer. I mean, assuming they go with the 4th, assuming Bruce Westerman wins again [unintelligible] assumptions [unintelligible], they will be three hours away versus a hour away from the representation. So how can you justify keeping you together, which is a concept I agree, but then also say you need to be in the 3rd District in that nature? 


Pitsch [00:19:19] Well that’s a valid, fair question. I guess I would ask the question, we’re both lobbying for our folks, advocating for them, and we were in the 3rd. This is kind of like we were part of the team minus the the beat up we took 10 years ago to divide. And we felt like we’ve been active in the 3rd. We feel like we’ve done nothing in the 4th, and not to be charged with that, but I think that’s– I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but I was at your Madison County where they said being in the 4th, we’re so far away from the geographical center, it’s tough to get representation. You know, the reality of this equation is we’re going to pick winners and losers for the citizens of Arkansas. As Chairman Rapert said, somebody is going to win, somebody is going to lose. And I would rather tell less people that you have to be the same place you are now because there’s an entire county that was part of the 4th District that went into the 3rd. And all these people in Sebastian County who thought they were going to get whole into the 3rd because they suffered for 10 years without it are going, Well, how come they get to be in and we’ve got to go back to the way we’ve been. 20 years of being divided is a tough one. Geographical. I get it. But if we’re going to do geographical, we’re building an interstate between our county. That’s my day job. We’re building a port for our major businesses in Washington and Benton County. The geographic infrastructure ties are real, and there’s been a lot of work with our congressmen and our senators, all four counties on behalf. But our folks have always felt like we were, we were cut off at the legs, if you will, losing the south part. So again, you got, I think, Madison County– correct me if I’m wrong– but I believe they’re 17,000 or just under that are probably– if you go with us or if that’s the answer or going to like it, I would– I don’t want to do that to Madison County, but I’m ready for the 10,000 people to come from somewhere other than my county because we’ve been there for 10 years. 


Rapert [00:21:26] Members, by the way, I did ask the committee to pass out just to county by county population for you as we’re starting to get into trying to find the numbers. And so you’re right, Madison’s 16,521 on here. 


Pitsch [00:21:39] Does it have my county? Because I want to make sure I say it right. I think It’s 123 or 127.


Rapert [00:21:43] Sebastian County is 123,799. And Crawford County, by the way, is 60,133.


Pitsch [00:21:54] Well, I think my message is I want you to know that you’ve heard rumors that, well, some of you don’t care. I can pretty much sit here as the senator from at least 90,000 of those 127 that they want to be in the 3rd. That’s not a divisive thing that they want. 


Rapert [00:22:10] OK, Senator Ballinger, I believe I have you next, sir. 


Ballinger [00:22:14] Thank you, Mr. Chair. I– do you have some, some– I mean, like, from a policy standpoint, why is it better to, to split, you know, take a third of the population out of one county, small county than to take a few precincts out of a bigger county? 


Pitsch [00:22:30] Well, basically all Arkansans are created equal. Let me get close to the mic. All Arkansans, I think we all agree, are created equal. But a mayor of Hackett, Bonanza, Greenwood, Mansfield, cities that are in my Senate district would tell you they live off their state senator because they aren’t getting congressional representation. So when we say we’re taking a precinct, our history may be and I’ve heard others say, Well, you got two congressmen, that’s great. And I think it is when it’s local politics, but at the federal level, that doesn’t appear– isn’t our experience. What our experience is, is we deal with what the majority congressional district is and the rest just kind of get ignored and hope the state can take care of them. 


Ballinger [00:23:16] And so, I mean, I’m sorry that your experiences has, has been like that. You know, Madison County, being in the 4th has not meant that the congressman is not, not engaged and involved. But what I have found is it means it is more difficult for him to be engaged and involved and especially when the identity of Madison County, I mean, they are literally 20 miles from Congressman Womack, right? I mean, that’s– they are– it’s, it is part of the four county area. And so it’s really hard to, to– I mean, there was the Fayetteville finger that embarrassed everybody. That turned into a Madison County finger. And to me, it seems like, you know, it, it doesn’t make any sense to continue that silly process, especially if what we’re talking about is, is taking a few precincts out of a big county in order to make it where a rural county could be made whole. It just seems like that– from a policy standpoint seems like a mistake. I mean, obviously, I have, have my prejudices, but it seems like a mistake. 


Pitsch [00:24:13] Well, to answer that, I assume there was– that was led as a question. But as I hear that I give and I acknowledge that it’s your job to advocate, I think is the right word, at some level. I’m not only advocating for my county, just like you are, I’m advocating that we spent 10 years being divided where other counties haven’t. And we’re short, I believe, 10,000 people. And to find 10,000 people, if we have to divide, let somebody else divide because the citizens of Sebastian County have been divided. 


Ballinger [00:24:48] So are you opposed to Crawford County being divided since they’ve been divided for 5, 10 years?


Pitsch [00:24:53] That, that has been given to me. I think we ought to really ask you. You’re the congressman or senator there. But I do a bunch of business in Crawford County as I build ports and harbors and railroads and interstates through there that tie us to Northwest Arkansas. It kind of depends what you do. I would like to see the infrastructure stay in the same 3rd district. 


Ballinger [00:25:15] Sure. But you, you just said Sebastian County has been divided for 10 years. It’s somebody else’s turn. So are you opposed to any bill that would also divide Crawford County has been divided 10 years?


Pitsch [00:25:24] To be, to be fair and maybe argue your point, Crawford County was one of the other two that got divided last time, too. I mean, let’s understand they spent 10 years being divided, and as their senator, I have to believe you’ve heard from Judge Gilstrap and from the mayor of Crawford County that they didn’t care for that either. So that’s how I’d answer Crawford County. 


Rapert [00:25:46] OK, I don’t see anybody else that’s chimed in that they have a question for Senator Pitsch. If there is, let me know. Senator Pitsch, thank you for the comment. 


Pitsch [00:25:57] No, just willing to try and work and see if we can get to this. I appreciate the leadership of Senator Rapert, Senator Davis getting in a room and let’s see what we can do. I, you know, we’ve done our time being divided and we would request that we don’t have to do that again. 


Rapert [00:26:12] As I say, you’ve been a very effective advocate and we appreciate you coming and, and presenting comments. 


Pitsch [00:26:18] Thank you. 


Rapert [00:26:19] Thank you. Senator Davis, is there anything else? You’re welcome to say a few words. I will, just by way of the fact that this is a work in collaboration, the House has adjourned. They plan to go back at 3:15. And so I would say as soon as possible, this committee will be recessing so that we can have some conversations about some of the maps. And I don’t know if Representative Dotson, since he’s your co-sponsor, if he might want to give us any clue on any of that or not at this time. It looks like he doesn’t really have anything he wants to say at this time. But, but I wanted to let you know that we will recess as soon as we can. And Sen. Elliott has come. Be happy for her to come and state her bill and present that as well. But we’re not going to labor so that we have an opportunity for the chairs at a minimum to talk and then we’re going to come back in this afternoon. 


Davis [00:27:12] I just wanted to answer the questions that I couldn’t answer in my opening. In Pulaski County, we took around 105,000 and put them into the 4th Congressional District. And in Sebastian County, there’s approximately 10,000 of the population that is in the 4th. And that line remains pretty consistent with where the line is currently. Thank you.


Rapert [00:27:34] OK. Thank you very much, Senator Davis. Senator Elliott, are you still over there, ma’am? OK. Sen. Elliott, be happy for you to come and, and present and make comments on your proposal. And just so you know, Senator Elliot, all the rest of the bills were passed over. Everybody passed over them. And so you’re the only other bill beside Senator Davis today. 


Elliott [00:27:57] All right. Thank you, Mr. Chair. And thank you members of the committee. I know most of you have heard the discussion on this bill. So Mr. Chair, I don’t necessarily need to go through every single thing and answer any questions if people have questions. But I do just want to just officially be here to make the case based on what we’ve already discussed, anything you might want to discuss today, that I would like to see this bill considered along with others and given the same seriousness. And I think you need to hear that from me and not you– not let you assume that I don’t think you’re going to do that. So that’s really the main thing I want to say about the bill. This is an opportunity for us to do something that’s historic with this bill. And I just ask you to give it due consideration and I will answer any questions, Mr. Chair, if anybody has questions. 


Rapert [00:28:51] Thank you, Senator. Members, do you have questions on this particular bill? I don’t see any but, senator, you did an effective job the other day advocating your position and, and answered a lot of questions. A lot of comments were made, so thank you. And hold it. You never know. Just keep alive. You never know what might happen around here. So thank you. I’m with you. Members, if– do you have anything else? What I’d like to do is for members to, to please stand by for– and I would just say– I’m going to go ahead and state we’re sitting here 2:00. And since the house is going to go back in at 3:15, I’d say we do the same thing and give us an opportunity for the chairs to talk. And let’s see if there’s any consensus that begins to build between the two. And that ought to give us plenty of time to see if we can make it. And I thank you for your work. And so be ready to come back at 3:15. We’ll recess until that time. Thank you. 


[01:43:03]  [Recess]


Rapert [01:43:05] Committee, come to order. I have not been advised of any particular compromise that’s been made at this time. I’ve talked a little bit with the House. In my understanding, they were in the same position we were, trying to talk some things out. But obviously, members can make motions and make recommendations, whatever you’d like to do. What I’d like to do is go ahead and take up Senator Garner’s resolution. And then if there’s any discussion on the posture of the committee, we can do that. Senator Garner, you’re recognized. 


Garner [01:43:40] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I’ll be brief. As a Afghan war veteran, like many people probably in this room, I watched the withdrawal of Afghanistan from our troops in the last few months. And as somebody who served in Afghanistan and who’s seen the suffering and hardships of our brave men and women in uniform, I thought that withdrawal was inadequate, terrible and led to real human suffering of people that I knew personally and the people I served with, both in the Afghan National Army and interpreters. So I wanted to pass a resolution for the Senate of Arkansas and say we condemn the withdrawal of that and how President Joe Biden handled that and send a strong, clear message that in the future when we have foreign policy decision like this, they need to be handled differently. And we will be keeping a watchful eye on any determination that could come from the Biden administration or any other future administration. With that, I’ll take any questions. 


Rapert [01:44:43] Thank you, Senator Garner. Members, do you have any comments on the resolution or questions for Senator Garner? Seeing none, do I have a motion? Motion do pass from Senator Hester. Second from Senator Ballinger. All those in favor say aye. All opposed no. The resolution passedes. Thank you, Senator Garner, and we appreciate you for bringing this and appreciate the message as well. Members, Senator Davis, if you don’t mind, why don’t you give an update to the committee, maybe on some discussions and where you’re at? 


Davis [01:45:19] Thank you, Senator Rapert. I am working– I’m about to get with BLR and have another map drafted that makes some slight changes, just so we can look at two different maps and see where the committee is on that and if we can come to sort of, some sort of consensus. So the map I’ll be drafting, it will change just two things. It will make Sebastian County whole and– which is about 10,000 people. So it will, will draw a line in Crawford County that carves out about 10,000. So that’s the–. 


Rapert [01:45:58] All right. Members, any questions for Senator Davis? OK, seeing none, my conversation with Representative Tosh and, and other members a few moments ago was that they are not at necessarily a consensus either. They’re doing a ranked form. The only thing that’s similar to that is the way we’ve done constitutional amendments or some of them have in the past. They’ve got a bigger committee, so they’re trying to wrangle how they get to a map that they can get behind. It still appears to me that there’s a lot of work being done with Senator Davis and Representative Dotson, but I know others are in strong close down there on the other end. What would be nice for us to find some consensus. The fact that we don’t have it today and we’re as late as we are in the day, I believe what we’ll just do is go in and adjourn for the day, let these maps get out there. I really hope that you’ll share information, Senator Davis, as soon as you get it so that people can see it and begin thinking about it overnight. My understanding is we convene at 9 a.m. in the morning. I’m just going to continue to maintain a call of the chair for this committee so that as soon as we have anything that appears to be consensus, that we’ll try to, try to get in and take care of this and get it back out to the floor. So any questions? All right, saying none, we’re adjourned. Thank you.