From when you can drive in the left lane to regulating autonomous cars, the 93rd General Assembly made several changes to laws regarding our roadways. This week, we want to update you on these upcoming changes. Act 1090 states a vehicle shall not be driven upon the left lane of a multilane highway, except as follows:
(1) When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction under the rules governing that movement. (2) When all other lanes for traveling in the same direction are closed to traffic while under construction or repair. (3) When all other lanes for traveling in the same direction are in disrepair or are in an otherwise unsafe condition. Continue Reading →
BENTON, ARK— Doyle Webb (R-Benton), former Republican Party of Arkansas chairman, chief of staff to the late Republican lieutenant governor Win Paul Rockefeller, and state senator announced his candidacy for the office of Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas in 2022. Webb released the following statement:“After numerous calls from Arkansans across our state I have decided to offer myself as a candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas in 2022. Serving the people of Arkansas and the Republican Party has been my life’s work. I believe I am the most qualified candidate in the race, but I will not take Arkansan’s support for granted. I will be running a full-time campaign over the next year and a half, getting to every corner of the state I have come to know so well. Continue Reading →
The House is now in an extended recess for the 2021 Regular Session. While we have completed the vast majority of our work for the year, we will return in the fall to address congressional redistricting.
The Governor has indicated he may call a special session around that time to address additional tax cuts. Legislation passed so far this session has reduced taxes by $84 million for the current fiscal year and is projected to cut another $197 million in taxes for Fiscal Year 2022. The vast majority of those tax cuts come from two pieces of legislation drafted to respond quickly to the economic situation created by the health emergency. Act 154 exempts unemployment benefits paid in 2020 and 2021 from state income tax. Continue Reading →
This week, the Joint Budget Committee advanced two bills outlining the proposed budget for the next fiscal year. The Revenue Stabilization Act prioritizes and categorizes state spending. It is typically one of the last bills passed every session. This year, the RSA is outlined in two identical bills SB702 and HB1949. The proposal disburses $5.84 billion in general revenue. Continue Reading →
This week, the House passed several bills which will increase various tax credits and exemptions.
Those bills include the following:
HB1157 would double the income tax deduction for a teacher’s qualified classroom expense from $250 to $500. HB1513 creates an income tax credit for up to $3,500 for retired law enforcement officers who work cold cases for Arkansas State Police. HB1196 would provide a sales and use tax exemption for water used by a poultry farm. HB1054 allows for sales tax exemptions of isolated sales at special events. HB1555 allows the Division of Heritage to issue up to $8 million in historic rehabilitation income tax credits each year. Continue Reading →
By the end of the 13th week of the 2021 Regular Session, more than 600 bills were signed into law. This week, the House voted in favor of a bill temporarily changing the deadline for filing and paying state income tax. SB593 extends the deadline this year to May 17, aligning the date with the recent extension issued for filing federal income tax. The also House voted in favor of the following bills addressing law enforcement, mental health, alcohol sales, and education:
HB1865-This bill requires all law enforcement officers in the state to complete annual training related to a law enforcement officer’s duty to intervene if the law enforcement officer observes the use of excessive force by another law enforcement officer.
HB1680-This bill states law enforcement agencies must assist a law enforcement officer involved in a critical incident in obtaining services that may help the officer recover from psychological effects. Mental Health
HB1689-This bill will create an Arkansas Legislative Study on Mental and Behavioral Health. Continue Reading →
Close to 500 bills have been signed into law so far during the 2021 Regular Session. There are still several hundred bills making their way through the legislative process. In the 12th week of the session, the House passed the following bills regarding economic development, education, and elections:
HB1788-This bill would allow a municipal improvement district to enter a partnership with a private sector company to provide broadband internet service. SB163-This bill creates the Arkansas Military Affairs Council Act and establishes the Military Affairs Grant Program. The council will work with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission to promote and support military installations for state and local economic development. Continue Reading →
The 11th week of the session was an abbreviated one as the General Assembly took a recess for Spring Break. Before members left the Capitol, the House Public Health, Welfare, and Labor Committee advanced a new version of the Medicaid expansion program.SB 410 establishes the framework for a new program called ARHOME which stands for Arkansas Health & Opportunity for Me. Currently, more than 300,000 Arkansans receive services under the Arkansas Works program. However, the federal government is moving to end the work requirement, and the current waiver expires at the end of this year. ARHOME would continue to offer low-income families private insurance, with incentives for taking advantage of career and work opportunities, education and skill development, and health or other activities that will lead to long-term economic independence. Continue Reading →
In the 10th week of the 2021 Regular Session, the House passed several bills focusing on improved education. Once enacted, these bills would increase funding for our public schools, raise teacher salaries, and require every high school student to complete a computer science course. HB1677 raises the foundation funding amount for public schools from the current $6,899 per student to $7,182 per student for the next school year. It increases the amount for the 2022-2023 school year to $7,349 per student. The bill also outlines enhanced funding amounts for school districts where a large majority of students qualify for the national school lunch program. Continue Reading →
More than 320 bills have been signed into law during the 2021 Regular Session. There are several hundred bills still making their way through the legislative process. This week, House members voted on legislation impacting education, healthcare, voting, and much more. The following bills passed the House during the 9th week of the session:
HB1633-This bill requires a city of first class to establish a city police department and provide the department with proper resources. HB1416-This bill is intended to encourage home-based entrepreneurship. Continue Reading →