House Committee Eliminates Permit Process for Assisted Living Centers in Craighead County

FEBRUARY 11, 2005 - Posted at 8:08 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - At the urging of many older Arkansans, a House committee has agreed to eliminate a permit process required to open assisted living centers in the state's nine largest counties, including Craighead.

The House Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee endorsed that bill by Representative Will Bond of Jacksonville yesterday after its members amended it to pertain to only nine of Arkansas' 75 counties.

The bill would now apply to Benton, Craighead, Faulkner, Garland, Jefferson, Pulaski, Saline, Sebastian and Washington counties.

Industry representatives spoke against the bill, saying they had obtained financing to build new projects based on the assurance that the market would be limited by the permitting process.

But Billie Ann Myers, state president of the Arkansas AARP, said the existing assisted living centers don't meet the need and that Arkansas seniors should have more options.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)