GIRLS Act, 2nd Amendment bills approved in legislature, abortion bill signed into law

GIRLS Act, 2nd Amendment bills approved in legislature, abortion bill signed into law
A series of bills received support Wednesday from the Arkansas legislature as the state's legislative session winds down. (Source: ABC/NBC)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) - A bill that would prohibit “members of the male sex” from participating in any interscholastic, intercollegiate, intramural or club athletic team or sport that is expressly designed for females, women or girls was approved Wednesday in the state House.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Missy Irvin (R-Mountain View) and Rep. DeAnn Vaught (R-Horatio) would create the Gender Integrity Reinforcement Legislation for Sports Act.

Under the bill, the following teams would be created - males, men or boys; females, women or girls; coed or mixed, the sponsors have said.

The bill would also allow the state’s Attorney General to seek a cause of action for injunctive relief and any other relief for a “covered entity that knowingly violates” the law as well as directors, officers, agents and employees of a covered entity that knowingly violates the law.

2nd Amendment Sanctuary State bill approved in House

The Senate voted 27-6 to approve HB1390, sponsored by Rep. Johnny Rye (R-Trumann).

The bill would require ratification for all federal firearms laws in the state of Arkansas.

“All acts, laws, orders, rules, and regulations of the United States Government, whether past, present, or future, that infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Arkansas Constitution, Article 2, § 5, are invalid in this state, shall not be recognized by this state, are specifically rejected by this state, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this state unless the act, law, order, rule, or regulation is ratified and approved by the General Assembly through normal legislative process,” the bill noted.

Abortion bill signed into law

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has signed a bill that would require victims of rape and incest to have first reported the crime to law enforcement before the victim could undergo an abortion past the state’s 20-week limit, according to the Associated Press.

Gov. Hutchinson signed SB463 Wednesday.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Blake Johnson (R-Corning) and Rep. Tony Furman (R-Benton), received approval from the state House and state Senate.

Gabo’s Law signed into law

A bill that would provide emergency medical care for injured police animals was signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Hutchinson.

HB1152, also known as Gabo’s Law, received overwhelming support in the legislature.

The bill was named in honor of Gabo, a Jonesboro Police Department K-9 that was shot five times at point-blank range in 2018. Gabo survived the shooting but died in 2020 due to an illness linked to his injuries.

Education tax credit bill approved in House

The House voted Wednesday to approve a bill that would create a tax credit for donations to organizations providing private school scholarships for students in grades K-12, content partner Talk Business & Politics reported.

The 52-40 vote on SB680 followed a vote in the Senate. The bill would create $2 million in tax credits for the donations, which would be given on a first-come, first-served basis.

Supporters say the bill will help nearly 250 students in the state and would help families in need. Lawmakers who opposed the bill say they believed it would hurt funding for public schools.

Revenue Stabilization Act unveiled

The Joint Budget Committee on Wednesday unveiled the state’s Revenue Stabilization Act for the 2022 budget.

The nearly $5.9 billion budget covers state funding, starting July 1 and going through June 30, 2022.

The committee will meet Thursday morning to amend the bill, with a possible vote on the budget Monday.

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