The Boone County Quorum Court passed a hate-crimes resolution Tuesday night after the Harrison City Council passed a similar resolution last week.
Bryan Snavely, chairman of the Quorum Court's Law Enforcement Committee, said the resolution passed 8-1.
"I think it's time in Arkansas," Snavely said of the need for a state hate-crimes law. "In our time right now in the 21th century, I believe we're due for that."
Arkansas is one of three states that doesn't have a hate-crimes law, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The other two are South Carolina and Wyoming.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson has said he would sign a hate-crimes bill drafted by Senate President Pro Tempore Jim Hendren, R-Sulphur Springs, ahead of next year's legislative session.
On Wednesday, County Judge Robert Hathaway, Harrison Mayor Jerry Jackson and Bob Largent, president/CEO of the Harrison Regional Chamber of Commerce, participated in a ceremony signing the resolutions.
"The resolution demonstrates a unity we have had here and is a step toward the future for our county," Hathaway said at the event at the John Paul Hammerschmidt Conference Center at North Arkansas College.
"I am hoping now that our community can come together, respect everyone and move forward in one positive direction," said Jackson. "We have enormous opportunities ahead so lets work together to benefit all of us in Harrison and Boone County."
Largent read the resolution at the event, saying it promotes inclusiveness and mutual respect.
"Whereas the Boone County Quorum Court, the Harrison City Council and the Harrison Regional Chamber of Commerce join surrounding municipalities in declaring that our community is kind and loving.
"And whereas in a kind and loving community there is no place for racism, hate and bigotry, and we unequivocally denounce and repudiate all forms of racism, hate and bigotry when and where they may appear," read Largent.
"Now, therefore, be it resolved that the Boone County Quorum Court, the Harrison City Council and the Harrison Regional Chamber of Commerce, together with the support of our community, resolve to promote inclusiveness and mutual respect, denounces all forms of racism, hate and bigotry; and encourages the Arkansas Legislature to introduce and pass substantive, comprehensive hate-crimes legislation; and that the three bodies commit their support for the same."
Largent also read a letter received from Hutchinson:
"In four short paragraphs, the Harrison City Council and the Boone County Quorum Court have powerfully condemned racism, hate and bigotry," Hutchinson wrote. "With words that are simple and direct, the leaders of the city and county are sending the unambivalent message that the time has come for Arkansas to enact hate-crime legislation. I commend Boone County for affirming that we are at the point in our history that we must hold to a greater degree of accountability those people whose violent acts against another are borne of a hatred for their victim's race or religion."
Jackson said the City Council, Quorum Court and chamber will appoint three members each to serve on a joint "diversity inclusiveness committee."