LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Wasting little time after her inauguration, Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed seven executive orders within hours of taking the oath of office.
The executive orders address various issues, emphasizing waste and government regulations. Social issues, such as critical race theory and the use of Latinx, are also addressed.
The orders are listed by the official titles:
Executive Order To Institute an Immediate Hiring and Promotion Freeze
The state is on a hiring moratorium for any Arkansas government job, either new or vacancy in an existing position, after Jan. 10. The hiring process is terminated for anyone being interviewed who has not yet received a formal offer.
If a department needs to hire, it must submit a request to the Department of Transformation and Shared Services for review by the Governor’s Executive Review.
This does not apply to federally funded positions or jobs with the Arkansas Department of Corrections or Department of Public Safety. Legislative and judicial branch hires are also exempt.
Executive Order to Reduce Government Rules and Regulations
All rules or rule changes will be submitted to the governor for approval before sending them to a legislative committee. Any regulation the legislature has not yet approved will be forwarded to the governor for review before execution.
Any place where this would conflict with Arkansas law is exempt.
A special clause was that any rule submitted by a department to the governor for approval must include two rules for repeal.
Executive Order to Limit Government Overreach, Reduce Bureaucracy and Review Previous Executive Orders
The state inspector general will review all previous executive orders to find any possible waste. The inspector general will also prepare a list of all outstanding executive orders.
All executive orders will be summarized, emphasizing those issued during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A report will be provided to the governor within 90 days.
Executive Order to Protect Taxpayers and Reduce Waste in the Department of Commerce Division of Workforce Services Unemployment Insurance Program
The Department of Commerce Secretary will review unemployment payments to reduce fraud, including cross-checking recipients with incarceration records. This will include checking for multiple claims from a single internet address or other ways an unemployment recipient may be gaming the system.
The governor will receive a quarterly report on the fraud-fighting efforts of the department.
Executive Order to Prohibit Indoctrination and Critical Race Theory in Schools
In this order, Sanders calls critical race theory an indoctrination that is “antithetical to the traditional American values of neutrality, equality, and fairness.”
The order directs the secretary of education will review that department, contractors, guest speakers and lecturers do not “indoctrinate,” which the order states violates titles IV and VI of the Civil Rights Act.
The education secretary is also expected to review policies to end “prohibited indoctrination.”
Executive Order To Protect State Information And Communications Technology From The Influence Of The Adversarial Foreign Governments
This order cites TikTok being owned by a Chinese company and concerns about information security through its data gathering.
Loading TikTok or the TikTok app on any state device is forbidden, including computers or phones. It also requires its removal on any device within 30 days.
The Arkansas Division of Information Systems will provide a report in 60 days on the potential impact of any application or service that could impact public safety. This includes applications on school and public safety computer networks.
Executive Order To Respect The Latino Community By Eliminating Culturally Insensitive Words From Official Use In Government
This order eliminates the use of the term “Latinx” in any Arkansas government document.
Latinx was coined to eliminate the gender reference in the words Latino or Latina.
The order gives 60 days to restore Latino or Latina to any government documents where the term Latinx had been used.
These orders go into effect immediately with the governor’s signature.