Covering the Capitol: Arkansas lawmakers considering legislation

The Arkansas 94th General Assembly is considering several pieces of legislation.
The Arkansas 94th General Assembly is considering several pieces of legislation.(Source: KAIT-TV)
Published: Feb. 14, 2023 at 11:29 AM CST|Updated: Mar. 23, 2023 at 7:49 PM CDT
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) - The Arkansas 94th General Assembly is considering several pieces of legislation.

Here is a look at the bills they are proposing (click on the specific bill to read the full details and its progress, including votes, through the legislature):

In the Arkansas Senate:

SB 66 Online Legal Age Verification: To create the Protection of Minors From Distribution of Harmful Material Act; to establish liability for the publication or distribution of material harmful to minors on the internet; and to require reasonable age verification.

SB 71 Equality Assistance: To prohibit discrimination or preferential treatment by the state of Arkansas and other public entities.

SB 81 Libraries and Obscene Materials: To amend the law concerning libraries and obscene materials; to create the offense of furnishing a harmful item to a minor; and to amend the law concerning obscene materials loaned by a library.

SB 195 Safe Haven Infants: To clarify when parents’ rights no longer attach regarding safe haven infants and to amend definitions under the laws regarding safe haven.

SB 199 Minors and Gender Transition: Concerning medical malpractice and gender transition in minors; and to create the protecting minors from Medical Malpractice Act of 2023.

SB 204 Justice for Vulnerable Victims of Sexual Abuse Act: To amend the Justice for Vulnerable Victims of Sexual Abuse Act; to remove the age limitation for a vulnerable victim to bring a civil action; and to amend the commencement date for a civil action.

SB 250 Ballot Counting: To amend the law concerning paper ballots; to amend the law concerning marking and counting paper ballots; to amend the law concerning the declaration of election results; and to declare an emergency.

SB 265 Hospital Pharmacies: To create the Hospital Pharmacy Continuity of Care Endorsement to allow hospitals to dispense outpatient medications for certain patients.

SB 294 LEARNS Act: To create the LEARNS Act; to amend various provisions of the Arkansas code as they related to early childhood through grade twelve (12) education in the state of Arkansas; to declare an emergency; and for other purposes.

SB 358 Delta Substances: To prohibit industrials hemp that contain certain Delta tetrahydrocannabinol substances; to include certain tetrahydrocannabinol in the list of Schedule VI controlled substances; and to declare an emergency.

SB 391 Championship Athletic Games An act concerning championship athletic games held between public schools and private schools; and for other purposes.

In the Arkansas House:

HB 1003 Farmer Tax Credits: To create income tax credits for beginning farmers and owners of agricultural assets.

HB 1048 Fentanyl WMD: To call on the United States government to declare fentanyl to be a weapon of mass destruction and to designate the Mexica drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations.

HB 1141 Defining “Consent”: To define the term “consent” regarding sexual offenses within the Arkansas Criminal Code.

HB 1174 Unborn Child Act: To add protections for unborn children by allowing prosecution when a person causes the death of an unborn child; to repeal laws that may allow a person to pressure a pregnant woman to get an abortion; and to declare an emergency.

HB 1307 “Woke” Businesses: Concerning the regulation of environmental, social justice, or governance scores; and to authorize the Treasurer of State to divest certain investments or obligations due to certain factors.

HB 1401 Cash Assistance: Regarding public assistance; and to amend the duration of cash assistance.

HB 1407 Voter Registration and Records: An act to create the Voter Registration and Secure Voter Records Act of 2023; to amend Arkansas constitution, Amendment 51; to amend the law concerning audits of voter registration information; to amend the duties of the secretary of state; and for other purposes.

HB 1410 Child Labor Laws: To revise the child labor laws; and to create the “Youth Hiring Act of 2023″.

HB 1411 Absentee Ballots: To amend the prohibition of the delivery of unsolicited absentee ballot applications to electors; and to amend the law concerning absentee ballots.

HB 1458 Vincent Parks Law: To create the Vincent Parks Law; to require instructors complete training on the recognition and management of certain health conditions; and to declare an emergency.

HB 1460 Substance Abuse Treatment: To authorize individuals with violence offenses to work with individuals receiving substance abuse treatment as peer support specialists or similar positions requiring a history of receiving behavioral health service.

HB 1468 Preferred Pronouns: To create the Given Name Act; to prohibit requiring employees of public schools and state-supported institutions of higher education to use a person’s preferred pronoun, name, or title without parental consent.

HB 1470 Reparations for Sex Victims: To amend the law concerning conditions for crime victim reparations for victims of human trafficking and child sex victims.

HB 1502 Sexual Solicitation of a Minor: To create the offense of sexual solicitations of a minor; to amend the law concerning the Human Trafficking Victim Support Fund; and to amend the law concerning the Safe Harbor Fund for sexually exploited children.

HB 1526 Breastfeeding Education: To require a health and safety course offered by a public school district or open-enrollment public charter school to include information regarding breastfeeding.

HB 1577 Rape Statute of Limitations: An act to amend the law concerning sexual offenses; to amend the statute of limitations for certain sexual offenses; to amend the law concerning sexual assault collection kits and anonymous kits; to require a statewide accounting of all untested sexual assault collections kits and resubmitted anonymous kits; to make conforming changes; and for other purposes.

HB 1605 Hemp Regulation: An act to provide regulation of help-derived products by the Arkansas Tobacco Control Board; and for other purposes.

HB 1631 Beer Definition: To amend the definition of “beer” to change the allowable alcoholic content and to include malt beverages; and to set the minimum container size of beer to be sold for off-premises consumption.

HB 1649 Student-Athletes: To amend the Arkansas Student-Athlete Publicity Rights Act.

HB 1661 Grocery Sales Tax Bill: To repeal the sales and use tax on food and food ingredients; and to exempt food and food ingredients from sales and use tax.

HB 1684 Abortion Exceptions: To amend the definition of “medical emergency” within the Arkansas Human Life Protection Act and the Arkansas Unborn Child Protection Act; and to add an exception to save the health of the mother.

HB 1951 Retail Pet Stores: To clarify the applicability of the Arkansas Retail Pet Store Consumer Protection Act of 1991; and to preempt certain laws concerning retail pet stores.

To email your Arkansas State Senator or Representative, click here.

Region 8 News will update this story as new bills are proposed.

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