On Wednesday, the Arkansas Senate passed a bill that declares “Religion is essential.” H.B. 1211 passed with overwhelming and bipartisan support in the Arkansas House and Senate. It will now go to Governor Hutchinson’s desk to be signed into law.
The bill recognizes that religion and religious organizations are essential in Arkansas. Public officials have the authority to protect health and public safety, but the free exercise of religion is never to be suspended.
I want to express my sincere appreciation for those Arkansas Senate members and representatives who had the courage of their convictions to vote “yes” for our religious freedoms and practices.
Their action on this bill reflects the opinions of so many Arkansans who live in the workaday world. During the most pressings and difficult times, the practice of our faith is an essential source of strength which helps us to pass every test and to effectively address every challenge.
I applaud our leaders for their good work for our great state.