State Sen. Stephanie Flowers has announced her intention to seek re-election to the Arkansas Senate, District 25, which includes parts of Arkansas, Desha, Jefferson, Lincoln, Monroe and Phillips Counties.
Flowers, who is running as a Democrat in the March 3, 2020 primary, served in the Arkansas House of Representatives for six years, from 2005 through 2010. She was elected to the Arkansas Senate in 2010. She has been an attorney in private practice for 37 years.
“It is an honor to be able to speak up and stand up for the needs and desires of all Arkansans. It can be a struggle to fight for what is right but that’s exactly what I intend to do for the people in my district,” Flowers said in a news release announcing her intention to seek relelection. “I will continue to fight for our children and schools, to build roads in rural Arkansas, to support veterans, and to keep our communities safe.”
Flowers is the assistant president pro tempore of the Arkansas Senate for the 4th Congressional District and vice chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. She is a member of the Joint Budget Committee, the Senate City, County, and Local Government Affairs Committee, the Senate Children and Youth Committee, and Joint Energy. She also serves on the Legislative Council, which meets in the interim between sessions.
Flowers has sponsored legislation to support education, such as Act 1507 of 2013 to expand the ability of schools to hold events, and Act 1475 of 2009 to make safety inspections of school facilities more thorough which led to the “School Dude System.” She also sponsored Acts 1002 of 2011 and 1423 of 2013 to make parental involvement plans more user-friendly and effective.
She was the lead sponsor of Act 658 of 2005 to protect the interests of veterans when a financial institution is their guardian, and in 2017 she co-sponsored legislation to create a monument on the state Capitol grounds honoring Gold Star families who have lost a loved one who died while serving in the military. Flowers has sponsored bills to fund after school programs, drug abuse treatment and services for juveniles caught up in the justice system. They include funding for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Southeast Arkansas College, Southeast Arkansas Economic Development District, Rural Services, the Heritage Department, literacy programs and senior citizens centers.
This year, Flowers co-sponsored Act 416 which provides additional revenue for the maintenance and repair of highways, streets, and bridges in the state; and Act 488, a $3 million appropriation for grants for scholarships, personal services and operating expenses for historically black colleges and universities.
Flowers received national attention during the 92nd general assembly when she passionately argued against a controversial “stand your ground bill”, debated and live-streamed in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The video was seen 22 million times over various social media.
The bill was ultimately defeated. “It clearly is not necessary as current Arkansas law provides for one’s right to defend against deadly force when there is no ability to safely retreat,” Flowers said.
Flowers was awarded the Chairman’s Heritage Award by the Democratic Party of Arkansas, and the Social Justice Pioneer Award by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., for her stance against the bill.