LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Legal Newsline)- The Arkansas attorney general Wednesday approved ballot language for a proposal that would require state agencies to verify those seeking government programs are legal U.S. residents.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, a Democrat, had denied the ballot measure twice, citing the "length and complexity" of the ballot title and language as reasons.
Specifically, McDaniel said ambiguities in the ballot language would have opened the measure up to legal challenge for being too complex.
Now that the measure has been approved, Secure Arkansas, which is spearheading the initiative, cannot begin gathering the required 61,974 signatures needed to place the initiative on the November ballot.
The proposal would require residents at least 13-years-old to sign an affidavit that they live in the United States legally to receive local, state and certain federal public benefits that are administered by state agencies or political subdivisions.
Those found to be lying could face perjury charges, under the proposal.
Verification of legal residency would not be required to receive emergency medical services, organ transplants, disaster relief, prenatal care and access to crisis counseling and short-term shelters.
From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.