Aug 9, 2022 - Politics

Day 1 recap: Arkansas' special legislative session

Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin ajourns the Arkansas Senate until Wednesday morning. Screenshot from Arkansas State Legislature

The third session of the Arkansas Legislature kicked off Tuesday.

Here's what happened:

1. Bills were introduced this week that align with Gov. Asa Hutchinson's wishes for the session.

  • HB1002 would cut taxes to 4.9% for individuals and 5.3% for businesses earning more than $25,000. It would also align the state's depreciation schedule with the federal schedule, and create income tax credits for some taxpayers.
  • SB2 would set aside $50 million from the state's $1.6 billion revenue surplus for school safety grants.

2. The first day of the session was anything but extraordinary: Both chambers convened at 11am, read bills, agreed to temporarily suspend rules that would slow the session, then adjourned.

3. Later, the joint budget committee heard from the education committee chair, Sen. Missy Irvin (R-Mountain View) about SB2. Budget members mostly questioned how the money would be allocated to ensure that smaller school districts receive equitable access.

  • The bottom line: Irvin noted that rules and regulations regarding the grant process will be determined by the state Department of Education based on recommendations from the School Safety Commission and that the Arkansas Legislative Council will eventually approve the guidelines.
  • The bill was adopted by the committee.

What's next: Both chambers reconvene Wednesday, Aug. 10, at 9am.

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