Around the South for Apr. 21: AR, SC & OK

Arkansas: Cotton continues hawk role. US Sen. Tom Cotton (R), who made his reputation as one of the Senate’s leading opponents of the Obama Administration’s negotiations with Iran, last week told The Atlantic magazine that concessions to that country could “lead to the detonation of a nuclear device somewhere in the world, if not outright nuclear war.” Cotton’s high-profile stance for hawkish foreign and defense policies holds him in good standing with most of his Republican colleagues, but much less so among Democrats, reports the National Journal in a major profile of the Arkansas freshman senator ……. South Carolina: Haley, legislature on collision course. Last week the Palmetto State House of Representatives passed a bill calling for spending $400 million more per year on roads by increasing gasoline taxes. The bill also provides $51 million per year in tax relief, far less than Gov. Nikki Haley’s (R) call for $1.8 billion in tax cuts. The bill passed the House by 87 to 20, making Haley’s efforts to keep to her agenda difficult ……. Oklahoma: Fallin signs execution legislation. In response to a botched execution by injection a year ago – the subject became conscious after the injection – Gov. Mary Fallin (R) signed into law a bill that allows the use of nitrogen gas as a backup to lethal injections. Critics say the method is untested, reports NBC News, but Fallin said that nitrogen gas can be administered “effectively and without cruelty.” …….