- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 25, 2015

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Legislation allowing Arkansas water providers to opt out of supplying cavity-fighting fluoride has failed again before a state Senate committee.

The proposal to allow local water providers to supply fluoride at any level below the state maximum failed before the Senate Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee on a 3-2 vote. The measure needed at least five votes to advance to the full Senate. The bill failed by the same vote before the committee earlier this month.

Republican Rep. Jack Ladyman of Jonesboro said the change in state law was needed to give local communities control over what is in the water.

The bill faced opposition from the state Department of Health and advocates who said the change would lead to more cavities and increased health care costs.

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