The Arkansas House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a resolution doing away with a seniority system for committee assignments.
By a vote of 75-to-23, with one member voting present, the House adopted rules whereby future committee members would be appointed by the House Speaker. The bill, HR1001, needed a two-thirds majority to pass. The resolution does not take effect until after the current House Speaker, Jeremy Gillam of Judsonia, has said he would leave the position in 2019.
It's likely over 2,000 bills will be filed during this legislative session and just over 300 have been filed so far. Legislation impacting special elections, a Blue Ribbon taxes task force, executions, and hand guns were filed on Wednesday.
KUAR will be keeping track throughout this legislative session. A round-up from Wednesday includes:
The Arkansas House Rules Committee advanced two bills Wednesday that modify the way the state will regulate medical marijuana.
The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment went into effect November 9, a day after it was passed by voters. The amendment specifies that rulemaking agencies like the Arkansas Department of Health and the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration have to finalize any applicable regulations 120 days after the amendment’s effective date. But HB1026, sponsored by Republican State Rep. Douglas House of North Little Rock, extends the 120 day deadline to 180 days, or from March to early May.
The speaker of the House would appoint committee members under a resolution passed Tuesday by the House Rules Committee, while legislators for the first time would be able to engage in campaign fundraising during fiscal sessions.