The Arkansas Legislature has just completed week 11. We continue our work passing milestone legislation, and I am very excited to share with you our accomplishments for the week.
I’ll begin with celebrating those who serve us faithfully. HB1733 is a bill that ensures that firefighters who have served at least five years will be granted 1,456 paid leave hours and treatment for job-related cancers they may contract. Occupationally-caused cancer will not reduce accrued sick leave or annual vacation.
As an additional focus on Arkansas families, the House passed SB447 increasing the homestead property tax credit. SB447 will divert $8.2 million to the county voting systems grant fund from the property tax relief fund. This bill will also direct funds to the state’s long-term reserve. The increase will be from $350 to $375.
The House also passed SB448 prohibiting individuals from performing abortion procedures unless he or she is a licensed medical practitioner in the State of Arkansas. Individuals performing this procedure also must be Arkansas board-eligible or certified in gynecology or obstetrics.
In advancing legislation, the House Public Transportation Committee advanced SB534 designed to protect our constituents on the roadways. SB534 is an amendment to our existing distracted driver laws. Minimum fines will be set at $25 for first-time offenses and $50 for subsequent offenses. Maximum fines will be $250 for first-time offenses and $500 for subsequent offenses respectively.
Additional family legislation includes HB1802. The House Judiciary Committee advanced this bill so that child support awards would be based on payor as well as recipient incomes.
In community news, I would like to update you on legislation I have pinned for this session. Over the past two weeks, I have been working with my colleagues in the Assembly to move various bills and resolutions.
I first filed and presented HB1790. This bill will require school districts to provide digital courses to expelled students. HB1790 has passed the House and is currently moving through the Senate.
I have also filed HR1043, which has currently matriculated committee. HR1043 is legislation celebrating the life and accomplishments of Robert S. Moore.
Additionally, HB1950 has made it through committee and has been forwarded to the House. This bill establishes the John H. Johnson Memorial Holiday. I will keep you posted as I continue to work with my colleagues in passing this and other legislation.
Also, in community news, I like to share events that I attend in support of my constituents in District 11. I had a wonderful time stopping by the Spring break event at the West Dumas Life and Legacy Center. The “Hugs and Hot Dogs” Creative Economy Career Network event was designed to support youth in learning about education and careers in the arts and digital arts technology. It was my pleasure to join hosts, Rev. Arthur Hunt Jr. and the staff at the Legacy Center.
If you have questions about any legislation or the legislative process, feel free to contact me via email at [email protected] or by phone at 501-682- 6211.