Last week, I took an oath at the State Capitol to represent all the residents of District 11 with fidelity and honor. It was a privilege to participate in the swearing in ceremony of the 92th General Assembly with my colleagues from across our great state. After the investiture, our work as constitutional officers and public servants began.
On day one of the regular legislative sessions, Committee assignments (where the lawmaking process begins) were announced by the Speaker of the House, and I am pleased to be on the following Committees:
House Judiciary – This Committee reviews matters pertaining to state and local courts, court employees, civil and criminal laws, and similar matters.
House Aging, Children and Youth, Legislative and Military Affairs – This Committee has jurisdiction over matters pertaining to the aged, child custody, adoptions, problems of aging, children and youth, military, veterans, legislative affairs, memorials, other matters.
Joint Energy (Alternate member) – This Committee provides leadership in energy related areas which relate to the conservation, development and use of energy resources.
Legislative Joint Auditing (Alternate member) —This committee provides for the auditing of each department, institution, board agency and other units of the state government.
Although serving on the above committees, I plan to attend meetings/hearings of other committees dealing with education, agriculture, health care and other matters particularly relevant to citizens in District 11.
Over 200 bills have been filed in the Arkansas House this session. I encourage you to visit the House website to review these bills. A few bills have progressed, which I wish to bring to your attention:
• House Bill (HB) 1124 has advanced in the Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development Committee. This bill is drafted to address the shortage of large animal veterinarians in the state. The bill creates certifications for veterinary technologist and technician specialist.
• HB 1016 has advanced to one of the Committees I serve on, the Judiciary Committee. This bill reduces the waiting periods that a court may grant a petition to seal a criminal record from 90 to 30 days.
• HB 1182 has begun making its way through the legislature. This bill proposes to make distracted driving in a school zone a primary offense, meaning an officer can stop or detain a driver solely for using your phone and driving.
The full House convenes at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; and 10:00 a.m. on Thursday. Schedules are subject to change. Therefore, you should visit the House website. We also live stream every meeting and meetings are archived online at the House website.
This week, we celebrate and observe the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. During this time especially, I am reminded of his unyielding words of wisdom: “The time is always right to do what is right.”
With a good first start of the regular legislative session behind us, I am optimistic, and look forward to the work ahead, as we move forward to do what is right for our community and our state.
If you wish to contact me, feel free to email me at [email protected]