HB 4000, “Next Generation Internet Safety Act” passed committee and is on the way to the House, to be discussed Friday
By Makayla Howard
Franklin Red and Franklin Green met in committee, where both opposing and supporting lobbyists were heard. The Franklin Red caucus supports HB 4000, while the Franklin Green caucus opposes it. Mr. Secretary of the State of Arkansas (SSA), the lobbyist in support of this bill, believes that it will help teens with their electronic addiction. Ms. Thumbelina Facepalm was the lobbyists that presented against the bill. She says her reason for opposing this bill is, “Teenagers are in need of freedom more than ever.” Mr. Secretary of the State of Arkansas says,“60% of teens agree with parents that they spend too much time on ‘technology’”. When asked if he cared less for his children because he is supporting this bill, he replied, “This is what we call ‘tough love’ in the state of Arkansas.” There are many concerns Franklin Green has with this bill. Rep. Scott Smith asked, “ Why is the legislative body better able to set boundaries, as you mentioned with your child, than you the father are? Supporting a bill like this puts boundaries from outside the home. Why are these people more appropriate and able to do that?” In response to this question, SSA said, “What is the job of the government? … it is to give people the tools they need to succeed. Parents need help. This bill is trying to give their children the lives they deserve. That’s what this bill is for.” Lobbyist Ms. T humbelina Facepalm says, “It is a huge overreach of government in personal space.” Lobbyist Facepalm also says, “ What right do you have to take away that freedom from me and the youth of the rising generation?” Ms. Facepalm says that she is not a mother, so does not know first hand the frustrations of the parents in this situation. Rep. Bluescreen says that since Facepalm is not a mother, she is not qualified to make these statements about the content of the bill. Concluding the committee meeting, the votes to pass the bill out of the committee came to a tie. Committee Chair Rep. Chauvin broke the tie voting in favor of HB 4000 “Next Generation Internet Safety Act”.