Arkansas

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Arkansas House of Representatives Week 13 2020

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:

Law Enforcement

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 →

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Arkansas House of Representatives Week 12 2021

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:

Economic Development

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 →

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Arkansas House of Representatives Week 11 2021

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 →

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Arkansas House of Representatives Week 10 3-21-21

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 →

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Arkansas House of Representatives Update 3-12-21

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 →

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Arkansas House of Representatives 8th Week of 2021 Update

As we wind down the 8th week of the 2021 Regular Session, more than 270 bills have been signed into law. Next week, the House State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee will begin hearing proposals for constitutional amendments. According to Joint Rules, the House and Senate can each recommend one amendment, but it must be approved by a majority in both chambers. A 2/3 vote is required by both chambers to introduce a third proposed constitutional amendment. This week, the House passed more than 50 bills, including the following:

HB1061-This bill creates the No Patient Left Alone Act. Continue Reading →

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Arkansas House of Representatives Week 7 Update 2021

Little Rock, AR: In the 7th week of the 2021 Regular Session, the House passed bills addressing taxes, medical care, scholarships, the duty to retreat, and more. The following tax measures were advanced by the House:

·      HB1023-This bill excludes certain school fundraisers from the sales tax laws regulation special events. ·      HB1374-This bill amends the law concerning which sales by charitable organizations are exempt from sales and use tax. It allows an organization to exempt sales from up to 10 events. The previous limit was 3. Continue Reading →

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Water Damage Forces Miller County Courthouse to Move

Moving help continues to be needed. Damage posted 2-19 on the Miller County Facebook Page

Miller County, AR: According to Miller County Judge Cathy Hardin-Harrison, the contents of the entire Miller County Courthouse must be moved quickly to allow for repairs. During the recent snow and ice storm, the courthouse was damaged when water pipes burst throughout the building during power outages. The damage was most significant in the basement, first and second floors. Several pictures online have showcased the extent of the damage and local news outlets have carried the story. Continue Reading →

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Four States Retirement Group offers Solid Reasons to Consider a Fixed Index Annuity

Texarkana, USA: Carl Standridge of Four States Retirement Group considers fixed index annuity options a number one choice for people planning retirements. A fixed index annuity is a contract between you and an insurance company in which you make a lump-sum payment or series of payments and in return, receive regular income distributions at some point in the future. This type of annuity provides protection of principal in a down market, an opportunity for growth and the interest rate is guaranteed to never be less than zero. These annuities also offer a guaranteed minimum rate no matter if the markets suffer a loss. There are several benefits of a fixed annuity in addition to receiving a steady stream of income in retirement. Many fixed index annuities offer something called a nursing home waiver to help you offset these costs and avoid any surrender penalties when withdrawing funds in these types of emergencies. Continue Reading →

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Arkansas House of Representatives Update 2-20-21

From the workers clearing our roads to the utility employees doing their best to keep houses warm, we want to extend our deepest appreciation to our essential workers this week. The General Assembly took an extended recess due to the winter weather across our state. However, House members plan to be back at the Capitol on February 22. In the upcoming days, the House is expected to vote on two tax relief bills which were advanced by the House Revenue and Taxation Committee on February 9. SB236 would exempt unemployment benefits paid in 2020 and 2021 from state income tax. Continue Reading →

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