Governor Unveils Arkansas Special Session Agenda

May 20, 2015

Gov. Asa Hutchinson in a file photo from January.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says an effort to move up the state's primary, a change in the driving while intoxicated law and a reorganization of some agencies are also on the agenda for a special legislative session he's calling to take up an economic development project.

The Republican governor on Wednesday detailed the proposals that lawmakers are taking up when they convene next week for a special session focusing on an incentive package aimed at helping Lockheed Martin land a defense contract in Camden.

The proposals include moving Arkansas' primary from May to March, a change in the DWI law that officials say is needed to avoid losing some federal highway money. Hutchinson is also proposing merging some state agencies.

The session is set to begin Tuesday.

In a press release from the governor's office, Hutchinson said:

This limited agenda focuses on job creation and economic development, while highlighting government efficiencies that will ultimately result in savings to all Arkansas taxpayers.

Agenda items are as follows:

  • To consider an Amendment 82 “super project” at Highland Industrial Park in Calhoun County.
  • To consider reorganization of state agencies to provide efficiencies, better services and savings: merging the Arkansas Department of Rural Services (ADRS) with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC); merging the Arkansas Science & Technology Authority (ASTA) with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC); merging the Arkansas Building Authority (ABA) with the Department of Finance and Administration (DFA); merging the Division of Land Survey with the Arkansas Geographic Information Office (AGIO).
  • To make a minor fix to DWI law to assure continuation of federal highway funds. To ensure that state law aligns with potential changes in federal law regarding farm-equipment traffic on a new section of interstate highway.
  • To correct technical errors made to bills when amendments were engrossed.
  • To move the full Arkansas primary elections from May to March. To move the General Assembly’s fiscal session from February to April.
  • To honor Johnson County Deputy Sheriff Sonny Smith. To confirm Gubernatorial appointments.