Feb 17, 2023 - Politics

Arkansas' Capitol catch-up: Week 6

The Arkansas Capitol. Photo: Don and Melinda Crawford/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Friday marks the end of six weeks of this legislative session, which has been extended to April 7.

Here are some bills filed this week to keep an eye on:

SB270 would criminalize transgender adults entering bathrooms or other changing facilities that correspond with their gender identity when minors are present. It would be considered sexual indecency with a child for adults to use a facility designated to the opposite sex "determined by anatomy and genetics existing at the time of birth."

  • The bill includes exceptions, such as providing medical assistance or parents accompanying their children under 7.

HB1410 would repeal the law forbidding people under age 16 from working without a permit. The minimum age per federal law is 14.

SB271 would amend the law that defines loitering to omit "for the purpose of asking for anything as charity or a gift."

HB1413 would allow the Arkansas Challenge Scholarship to be applied to technical or vocational schools. It's currently used at two- or four-year colleges and nursing schools.

SB248 would create the Arkansas Challenge Plus Scholarship Program. The program would allow students who are eligible for merit-based Arkansas Challenge Scholarship to receive up to $4,000 more per year based on financial need.

SB264 would remove a requirement for the nine-member Arkansas Social Work Licensing Board to have at least two Black members.

What we're watching: So far, no bills for Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders' education plan have been filed.

  • The Senate Education Committee tabled a bill to raise salaries for classified school staff.

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