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Senate Committee to Debate Raw Milk Bill

LITTLE ROCK — A number of proposals are up for debate as lawmakers return for week four of the 87th General Assembly, including bills to remove the statute of limitations on rape, allow permit holders to carry concealed handguns into church, and to authorize the sale of unpasteurized milk.

On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee is expected to discuss House Bill 1048, by Rep. Dawn Creekmore, which would add rape and first-degree sexual assault to murder as the only crimes in Arkansas law with no statute of limitations, meaning no time limit on when charges can be filed.

Rape and first-degree sexual assault currently have a six-year statute of limitations.

Also Tuesday, the committee is expected to consider HB 1237 by Rep. Beverly Pyle, R-Cedarville, which would allow Arkansans with permits to carry concealed handguns to take them to church.

The measure would remove “any church or other place of worship” from the list of places that a person with a license to carry a concealed handgun is not allowed to carry a gun under state law.

“Because of so many things that’s happened across the nation in our churches, so many incidents and deaths, this is something that needs to be addressed before something … happens in our state,” she said.

The panel’s agenda also includes HB 1010 by Rep. Donna Hutchinson, R-Bella Vista, intended to protect public school children from sex offenders.

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