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Legislature ready to tackle guns in church & drug testing

Monday, state leaders get back to work on new laws that could impact your life. Two big ones on the agenda this week: carrying guns in church and taking drug tests before getting unemployment benefits.
Monday, state leaders get back to work on new laws that could impact your life. Two big ones on the agenda this week: carrying guns in church and taking drug tests before getting unemployment benefits.

Monday afternoon, the Arkansas Senate is expected to pass the Church Protection Act of 2013 which would allow churches to decide whether to permit those with conceal carry licenses to bring guns inside their buildings.

The bill's sponsor says the church would also be allowed to decide who can carry a gun inside.

"If you're not allowed to conceal carry and there's a terrible situation, one of the responses that I've heard is to throw hymnals. And, this would allow people with concealed carry permits that are, you know, carrying other places, too, to allow them to possibly carry in church," says State Senator Bryan King.

If the Senate passes the bill, it moves on to the House.

Also this week, the Senate Committee on Public Health, Welfare and Labor will consider a bill which would require those who want to receive unemployment benefits to be tested for illegal drug use.

"There will be some cost. It's a random, it's going to be a random drug test, so the cost won't be significant. I actually think it will end up saving quite a bit of money because hopefully people will with that threat of being drug tested, they'll get clean at least long enough to find employment," says State Senator Jeremy Hutchinson.

Hutchinson is confident the Senate will pass the bill. He says it could face more challenges in the House.
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