LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas Republicans are split over whether one of their own should resign.
St. Rep. Mickey Gates, R-Hot Springs, is accused of failing to pay taxes since 2003 and owing more than $250,000 in taxes, penalties and interest.
The Republican Party of Arkansas and Gov. Asa Hutchinson are waiting for due process to run its course, but Attorney General Leslie Rutledge called on Rep. Gates to resign the day after his arrest.
Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin sides with Rutledge, becoming the highest-ranked official to publicly call for his resignation.
Griffin told Capitol View host Jessi Turnure that Gates is a friend, but the charges would keep him from doing his job effectively.
“We need to be able to reform our tax code,” Griffin said. “If you are a legislator who has this sort of problem, how can you speak with moral authority on the issue of taxation? The answer is you can’t.”
Griffen also spoke about the future of the state’s Medicaid work requirement and Internet sales tax.
St. Sen. Trent Garner, R-El Dorado, announced his new “Second Chance” criminal justice reform proposal, with a personal twist.
As a teenager, Garner watched his mother slowly die from cancer while his father was serving overseas in the military.
“After she passed away, that pain changed me,” he said. “When I was 16 years old, I hit rock bottom. I was pulled over under the influence of marijuana.”
Sen. Garner also spoke with Turnure about his chamber’s ethics overhaul and his continued call for the impeachment of Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen.
Watch the full episode above.
Capitol View airs Sunday mornings at 8:30 on KARK, right before Meet the Press.