Arkansas Legislature

The latest news about the Arkansas Legislature.

Arkansas Senate President Hopes Deal Soon On Tax Cuts

Mar 21, 2013

Arkansas Senate President Michael Lamoureux says he hopes to reach agreement by the end of the week with Gov. Mike Beebe and House leaders on a tax cut package.

Lamoureux told reporters Wednesday that legislative leaders are still discussing what would be in that tax cut agreement - but he hoped to have a deal soon. House Speaker Davy Carter has called on lawmakers to approve $150 million in tax cuts, while Lamoureux has said he thinks $100 million in cuts is more likely.

Davy Carter
Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

Arkansas House Speaker Davy Carter is wanting to see a written draft of a proposal to expand health coverage in the state by Friday.

Big River Steel CEO Hopes For Fall Groundbreaking

Mar 20, 2013

The developer behind a planned $1.1 billion steel mill in northeast Arkansas says he hopes to break  ground on the project this fall if everything goes as planned.

The Legislature still needs to approve $125 million in state financing for the proposed Big River Steel mill to be built near Osceola.

Developer John Correnti spoke Tuesday with Mississippi County officials regarding the project.

According to the Courier News, Correnti says he hopes to have a construction and operating permit by the end of April.

Arkansas Bill Criminalizes Killing Fetus From Conception

Mar 20, 2013

The Arkansas House has approved a bill that would criminalize the killing of a fetus from the moment of conception.

The bill now goes back to the Senate to approve an amendment adding additional exemptions, such as fetal deaths resulting from contraceptives or reproductive technology.

Supporters say the bill would make it easier to prosecute criminal cases involving the death of a pregnant woman.

Abortion rights advocates have said they're concerned the bill would lay the groundwork for further abortion restrictions in the state.


Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute says Arkansas lawmakers should avoid as much state responsibility involved with the federal Affordable Care Act as possible.

The health policy expert from the Cato Institute, a public policy think tank dedicated to promoting free market principles, spoke with lawmakers Tuesday in the Senate Insurance and Commerce Committee to discuss the state’s options regarding what to do with its health insurance exchange.

Nathan Vandiver

A bill to require Arkansas voters to show a valid photo ID before casting a ballot is on it’s way to the Governor after clearing its final hurdle in the Senate today.

The bill was already passed by the Senate, but it picked up an amendment in the House, so today’s vote was to adopt the amendment. The measure passed 22-12.

Each Arkansas Chamber To Work Toward $50M-$60M In Cuts

Mar 18, 2013
capitol steps

Arkansas House Speaker Davy Carter says the House and Senate are working to develop between $50 million and $60 million in tax cuts in each chamber.

The House on Monday passed the first of its proposed tax reductions, one that would benefit poultry and catfish producers. Carter, a Republican from Cabot, says there are still no specifics available on what state spending will be cut.

Carter says the spending cuts have to be considered in light of Gov. Mike Beebe's proposed budget and potential future spending needs.

Arkansas Senate Delays Vote On Voter ID Requirement

Mar 18, 2013

A vote on legislation that would require voters to show photo identification at the polls has been  delayed over questions about procedure.

The Senate on Monday delayed a vote on the voter ID legislation after a Democratic lawmaker questioned whether the Senate had previously approved the measure with the proper amount of votes.  

Similar concerns had come up in the House by Democrats who argued that the bill requires a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate.

Arkansas Raw Milk Bill Fails Before House Panel

Mar 15, 2013

A proposal to allow Arkansas dairy farmers to sell unpasteurized milk has failed to clear a House  committee.

The House Agriculture Committee on Friday voted 9-8 against the bill, which would have permitted the sale of "raw" goat and cow milk at the farm where it was produced.

Farmers would have been allowed to sell up to 500 gallons per month on average.  

Stepping Toward School Prayer

Earlier today the House Education Committee passed through legislation that mandates a “one (1) minute period of silence at the beginning of each school day.” The bill suggests students use this time to, “reflect,” “pray,” or “engage in silent activities.”