Major Issues Before the Assembly - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

84th General Assembly

Major Issues Before the Assembly

The status of major issues before the 84th General Assembly as of January 24:

EDUCATION REFORM

Legislation encompassing Governor Huckabee's public school
district restructuring plan has not been introduced.

  • HB1115, to create a special legislative committee to work in
    concert with experts to define what constitutes an adequate
    education in Arkansas by July 1. Unanimously passed the House
    Education Committee and awaits action on the House floor.
  • HB1023, to reorganize the state Board of Education to provide
    for House and Senate appointments and require the state Department
    of Education director to serve at the pleasure of the board.
    Awaiting hearing before House Education Committee.

TORT LEGISLATION

  • HB1038, the ``Civil Justice Reform Act of 2003,'' to limit the
    amount of damages in civil cases. Public hearing scheduled Thursday
    before the House Judiciary Committee.

GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION

  • SB45, to reorganize various state agencies into 10 departments.
    Awaiting hearing before the Senate Committee on State Agencies and
    Governmental Affairs.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

  • HB1179, the ``Consolidated Incentive Act of 2003,'' to
    consolidate and update existing incentives to base tax breaks on
    payroll rather than numbers of jobs created an average wages; to
    offer new breaks for research and development efforts and income
    tax breaks for new businesses in certain fields, such as
    agriculture or biotechnology; to offer incentives for counties to
    work regionally to attract new industry; to enhance incentives to
    locate in poor areas of the state. Awaits hearing before House
    Agriculture, Forestry & Economic Development Committee.

ELECTIONS

NOTE: All election bills await hearing before the House State
Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee

  • HB1016, to require training for all county board of election
    commissions prior to each regularly scheduled party primary.
  • HB1025, to move elections for nonpartisan judicial offices from
    the party primaries to the November general election.
  • HB1112, provide for uniform statewide early voting hours
    between 8 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 1:00 p.m.
    to 4:00 p.m. Saturday, ending at 6:00 p.m. on the Monday before an
    election.
  • HB1141, to set uniform statewide early voting hours for Monday
    through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and 10 a.m. until 2
    p.m. on the Saturday immediately preceeding the election, with
    early voting ending at 5 p.m. on the day before an election.
  • HB1155, to provide for early voting beginning 15 days before an
    election and ending at the time the county clerk's office regularly
    closes 5 days before an election, with early voting available
    between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2
    p.m. on Saturday.

ELECTRICITY COMPETITION

  • 1114, to repeal Arkansas' electricity deregulation law. Awaits
    hearing before the House Insurance and Commerce Committee.

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