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Week 6 Legislative Report 2021

Week 6 Summary of CFA Bill Analysis (see Details Below):

OPPOSE

SJR9 – Legislative Rulemaking Authority Over Courts – OPPOSE

 

SUPPORT

SB295 – Welfare Program Integrity – SUPPORT

HB1439 – Volunteer Health Care Act Expansion to Therapists – SUPPORT

HB1447 – Special Election Reform for Tax Elections – SUPPORT

HB1460 – Workforce Freedom – Uniform Licensing Rules Across the State – SUPPORT

HJR1019 – Election of Judges on a Partisan Basis – SUPPORT

 

 

Bill Details

SB295 – Welfare Program Integrity – SUPPORT

By: Scott Flippo (R – Bull Shoals) / Rep. Robin Lundstrum (R – Elm Springs)

This is a bill promoting welfare program integrity which is way over-due. It would provide greater integrity, especially in Medicaid eligibility determinations. The bill would require people applying for food stamps or Medicaid to only receive assistance after they are determined eligible. It would also require as a condition of receiving food stamps or Medicaid that they allow information about their income, citizenship, employment and resources of the applicant be received from a third party for eligibility determinations. This will allow accurate information in determinations and ensure benefits are reserved for the truly needy. The bill would require data runs for those winning the lottery or other gambling winnings that may make someone ineligible for assistance. The bill would also require monthly checks of death certificates to ensure dead people stop receiving benefits. For unemployment assistance departments must check other states data against their own recipients to see if people are “double dipping” and illegally receiving benefits from both states. It would also require checking prisoners who apply for and receive welfare benefits. The bill also requires reporting on a public website the number of fraudulent cases, improper payments and expenditure totals, how much money is recovered, and other stats on welfare program integrity. The bill would prohibit presumptive eligibility for welfare benefits that immediately begin paying out regardless of full eligibility and prohibit self-attestation for eligibility.

 

 

HB1439 – Volunteer Health Care Act Expansion to Therapists – SUPPORT

By: Rep. Aaron Pilkington (R – Clarksville)

This bill would allow therapists, counselors, and addiction specialists to volunteer under the Volunteer Health Care Freedom Act. The act provides limited liability coverage covered by the state in exchange for free healthcare services to low-income Arkansans. The bill would also increase the number of hours a person can receive continuing education credit for this volunteer time from the current max of eight hours, increased up to thirty-two hours total.

 

 

HB1447 – Special Election Reform for Tax Elections – SUPPORT

By: David Ray (R – Maumelle)

This bill (not to be confused with *HB1368-Special Election Reform on our Week 5 Report) would require that special elections for tax levies at the local level, including sales tax increases, are held at the primary election date, general election date, or in off-election years- in May or November. Special elections to raise taxes are much more successful when there is lower voter turnout on random special election dates. Passage rates decline dramatically when held at primary or general election dates when more people make their voices heard. The passage of this bill will ensure more voter participation and a better democratic process when it comes to special elections to raise taxes.

 

 

HB1460 – Workforce Freedom – Uniform Licensing Rules Across the State – SUPPORT

By: Richard Womack (R – Arkadelphia)

This bill would require licensing, including occupational licensing, be within the sole purview of the Arkansas General Assembly at the state level. It supersedes any law-making ability of localities to have occupational licenses that are inconsistent with state law. It specifically prohibits cities and counties from making any license, registration, or certification to conduct a trade, profession, or occupation. Regulating occupations will be only allowed at the state level by the state legislature. Since this bill reduces barriers to economic freedom, it is a good bill.

 

 

SJR9 – Legislative Rulemaking Authority Over Courts – OPPOSE

By: Sen. Bob Ballinger (R – Berryville)

This proposed constitutional amendment would allow the state legislature to overrule and rewrite any rules of procedure, evidence, or pleadings over any Arkansas court with a 3/5 vote of each chamber. This Constitutional Amendment would ensure special interests (who control politicians) would have a greater ability to determine outcomes in the Arkansas courts when these special interests are sued for bad behavior. This is a bad proposed constitutional amendment and should be rejected. It is assumed this bill will be used by its supporters as a negotiating tool with the Arkansas Bar Association (personal injury attorneys) in order to obtain their long sought goal of caps on damages (which some refer to as a price tag on human life.) This should be called the “Danger” Amendment as the possibilities and ramifications are limitless when the legislature may rewrite Arkansas court rules of evidence and procedure to save special interests.

 

 

HJR1019 – Election of Judges on a Partisan Basis – SUPPORT

By: Rep. Robin Lundstrum (R – Elm Springs)

This proposed constitutional amendment would require that judges are elected as partisan officials. Currently judges are elected without disclosing their party affiliation. This fact, along with the rule against answering questions about potential future cases during their campaign, leaves many people in the dark about where the judicial candidate stands on important issues. Under this amendment, candidates could still choose to run as an independent (as well as Republican, Democrat, or other party.) If a judicial candidate chooses to run as a partisan, this at least provides basic information to voters when selecting their judges.

 

 

Week 5 Summary of CFA Bill Analysis (see Details HERE):

OPPOSE

SB217 – Promoting Election Fraud Opportunities – OPPOSE

STATUS: Referred to Senate State Agencies

SB230 – Unlimited Assistance by Third Party Persons in Voting– OPPOSE

STATUS: Referred to Senate State Agencies

SUPPORT

SB231 – Stripping Felons of State Retirement Benefits – SUPPORT

STATUS: Referred to Joint Committee on Public Retirement

SB252 – Prohibiting an Office in China for Economic Development – SUPPORT

STATUS: There are special interests’ groups, including Tyson Foods, Farm Bureau, the Governor’s office, and AEDC, who oppose this bill and were successful last week in killing it in committee with the “No” votes of Senators Cecile Bledsoe, Jane English, Breanne Davis, and Clark Tucker. Senators Trent Garner, Bob Ballinger, and Jason Rapert supported the bill.

*HB1368 – Special Election Reform – SUPPORT

STATUS: Failed AGAIN on House Floor. Clincher Motion Adopted. Vote Breakdown:

 

Republicans Voting “No”:

Stan Berry

Frances Cavenaugh

Craig Christiansen

Bruce Coleman

Bruce Cozart

Carol Dalby

Marsh Davis

Gary Deffenbaugh

Brian Evans

Charlene Fite

Lanny Fite

Michelle Gray

Delia Haak

David Hillman

Joe Jett

Lee Johnson

John Maddox

Ron McNair

Johnny Rye

Stu Smith

Les Warren

Danny Watson

Jim Wooten

 

Republicans Refusing to Vote:

Ken Bragg

Les Eaves

Jack Fortner

Spencer Hawks

Lane Jean

Matthew Shepherd (*Speaker)

Dwight Tosh

 

 

HB1371 – School Choice Tax Credit Scholarships – SUPPORT

STATUS: Referred to House Education Committee

HB1428 – Repeal of Arkansas Works, Transition to Medicaid Fee for Service – SUPPORT

STATUS: Referred to House Public Health Welfare Labor Committee

HB1431 – Increased Sales Tax Exemption for Used Cars – SUPPORT

STATUS: Referred to House Tax and Revenue Committee

HB1416 – Work from Home Freedom – SUPPORT

STATUS: Referred to House City County Local Committee

HB1403 – Reducing the Top Income Tax Rate – SUPPORT

STATUS: Referred to House Revenue and Tax Committee

SJR3 – Allowing the State to be Sued – SUPPORT

STATUS: Referred to Senate State Agencies

 

Week 4 Summary of CFA Bill Analysis (see Details HERE):

OPPOSE

None this week.

 

SUPPORT

HB1254 – APRN as Primary Care Provider within Medicaid Program – SUPPORT

STATUS: Referred to House Public Health, Welfare, Labor Committee

HB1231 – Rejecting the 1619 Project in Public Schools – SUPPORT

STATUS: Referred to House Education Committee

HB1227 – No Minimum Wage While Off Duty for Truck Drivers – SUPPORT

STATUS: Signed by the Governor, Now Act 91

SB208 – Updated “Meeting” Definition for FOIA; Updated Groups Subject to FOIA – SUPPORT

STATUS: Referred to Senate State Agencies Committee

SB205 – Transparency for the Rainy-Day Fund – SUPPORT

STATUS: Passed Senate, Referred to the House

HB1316 – Phasing Out and Ending the Soft Drink Tax – SUPPORT

STATUS: Referred to House Revenue and Tax Committee

SB186 – No Collaborative Practice Agreement for APRNs after 1,000 Hours – SUPPORT

STATUS: Referred to Senate Public Health, Welfare, Labor Committee

 

Week 3 Summary of CFA Bill Analysis (see Details HERE):

OPPOSE

HB1030 – Ensuring Increases in Gas Tax RevenueOPPOSE

STATUS: Referred to House Revenue and Tax Committee; On Deferred List

HB1038 – Internet Sales Tax on Delivery ChargesOPPOSE

STATUS: Referred to House Revenue and Tax Committee

HB1045 – Defines Cigarette Paper to Include Vaping ProductsOPPOSE

STATUS: Referred to House Rules Committee

SB141 – Granting Power Over Election Changes to the Secretary of State During an EmergencyOPPOSE

STATUS: Referred to Senate State Agencies Committee

 

SUPPORT

HB1211 – Religious Freedom Protected During EmergenciesSUPPORT

STATUS: Signed by the Governor, Now Act 94

HB1215 – Full Practice Authority for Nurse MidwivesSUPPORT

STATUS: Referred to House Public Health, Welfare, Labor Committee

SB153 – Waiving of License, Permit, and Filing Fees for New BusinessesSUPPORT

STATUS: Referred to Senate Public Health, Welfare, Labor Committee

SB176 – Allowing Pharmacists to Treat Certain Health ConditionsSUPPORT

STATUS: Referred to Senate Public Health, Welfare, Labor Committee

 

Week 2 Summary of CFA Bill Analysis (see bill Details HERE):

OPPOSE

HB1139 – FOIA Exemption for Funeral Home InvestigationsOPPOSE

STATUS: Withdrawn by the Author

SB132 – Corporate Welfare Appropriation of $75 MillionOPPOSE

STATUS: In Joint Budget Committee

SUPPORT

HB1112 – Voter Integrity in Provisional BallotsSUPPORT

STATUS: Passed the House, Sent to Senate

HB1157 – Increased Deduction for Teacher ExpensesSUPPORT

STATUS: In Revenue and Tax Committee

HB1160 – Sales Tax Exemption for Used Cars IncreasedSUPPORT

STATUS: In Revenue and Tax Committee

HB1189 – No Special Interest Pay for Government WorkersSUPPORT

STATUS: In State Agencies Committee

HB1190 – Cost of Living Adjustments for Standard DeductionSUPPORT

STATUS: In Revenue and Tax Committee; Heard but no Vote Taken

HB1191 – Increase of Standard DeductionSUPPORT

STATUS: In Revenue and Tax Committee

HB1198 – Amending Supervision Requirements for Nurse AnesthetistsSUPPORT

STATUS: In Public Health Committee

SB117 – Hybrid Car $100 Fee RemovedSUPPORT

STATUS: In Transportation Committee

 

Week 1 Summary of CFA Bill Analysis (see bill Details HERE):

OPPOSE

SB2 – Massive Tax Increase for Redistribution of Wealth SchemeOPPOSE

STATUS: In Senate Revenue and Tax Committee

SB10 – Redistribution of Wealth through EITCOPPOSE

STATUS: In Senate Revenue and Tax Committee

SUPPORT

SB9 – Repealing of Car Wash Water Usage TaxSUPPORT

STATUS: Heard in Committee, No Vote Taken. In Senate Revenue and Tax Committee

SB15 – Emergency Powers Duration LimitedSUPPORT

STATUS: In Senate Judiciary Committee

SB17 – Liability Immunity Against COVID19 LawsuitsSUPPORT

STATUS: In Senate Public Health Committee

SB23/HB1055 – Self-Regulation for CO-OP OrganizationsSUPPORT

STATUS: In House Insurance and Commerce Committee

HB1011 – Repeal of Income Taxes for Those Making Under $22,000SUPPORT

STATUS: In House Revenue and Tax Committee

HB1063 – Expansion of Telemedicine to Phone CallsSUPPORT

STATUS: Passed House Committee, Sent to House Floor

HB1064 – Price Transparency for Medical ServicesSUPPORT

STATUS: In House Insurance and Commerce Committee

HB1066 – Beer Shipping Direct to ConsumersSUPPORT

STATUS: In House Rules Committee

HB1068 – Expanded Telemedicine UseSUPPORT

STATUS: Passed the House, Sent to the Senate

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