Arkansas Tort Reform Referendum

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As a dozens of interested parties gathered in the gallery and around the Senate chamber, tort reform supporters got just enough votes on Thursday to put a proposed constitutional amendment before Arkansas voters that would revamp how damages are awarded in lawsuits and give the Legislature authority to set rules for all courts.

The proposal must now survive a vote in the Arkansas House.

In a spirited 90-minute floor debate that delved into separation of powers, discussed the pros and cons of caps on punitive awards, and revisited a similar tort reform discussion in the early 2000’s, the Senate approved Senate Joint Resolution 8 by Sen. Missy Irvin, R-Mountain View, in a 21-10 vote with little margin for error.  MORE

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