Arkansas Gov. Sanders signs law loosening child labor protections

Arkansas Gov. Sanders signs law loosening child labor protections

Arkansas Gov. Sanders signs law loosening child labor protections

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) signed into law this week legislation that rolls back significant portions of the state’s child labor protections.

The law eliminates requirements for the state to verify the age of children younger than 16 before they can take a job.

Sanders believes the provision was “burdensome and obsolete,” spokeswoman Alexa Henning said in an emailed statement. Remaining state and federal regulations are still in effect, she said. Sanders signed the Republican-backed bill on Tuesday.

A cleaning company illegally employed a 13-year-old. Her family is paying the price.

Federal officials have pledged to crack down on child labor law offenses after regulators discovered hundreds of violations in meatpacking plants and after press reports emerged of children working in hazardous occupations around the country.

The Labor Department fined Packers Sanitation Services, a subcontractor for meatpacking plants, $1.5 million in February for illegally hiring children, some of whom sustained chemical burns after working with caustic cleaning agents.

Other states are also considering loosening child labor protections. A bill advancing in Iowa would allow 14- and 15-year-olds to work certain jobs in meatpacking plants and would shield businesses from civil liability if a youth worker is sickened, injured or killed on the job.

Republican leaders in Congress tapped Sanders, 40, the youngest governor in the nation, to deliver the GOP response to President Biden’s State of the Union address last month.

In her remarks, the former White House press secretary for Donald Trump accused Biden of caring more about “woke fantasies” than Americans’ economic concerns and called him “unfit to serve.” Several times she called Biden and the Democrats “crazy” as she painted a grim version of the country under their policies, asserting that Americans’ freedoms were at stake.

“In the radical left’s America, Washington taxes you and lights your hard-earned money on fire, but you get crushed with high gas prices, empty grocery shelves, and our children are taught to hate one another on account of their race, but not to love one another or our great country,” Sanders said. “Whether Joe Biden believes this madness or is simply too weak to resist it, his administration has been completely hijacked by the radical left. The dividing line in America is no longer between right or left. The choice is between normal or crazy.

For nearly two years, Sanders was Trump’s chief spokesperson, sparring with reporters over his policies and rhetoric. She also acknowledged having provided false information in his defense. The daughter of former governor Mike Huckabee used her high-profile job and family ties to realize her own political ambitions, becoming Arkansas’ first female governor.