Arkansas Legislature

The latest news about the Arkansas Legislature.

The Arkansas attorney general's office is warning legislators not to explore alternative execution methods after the state's lethal injection protocol and execution secrecy law were found constitutional by Arkansas' high court.

The House Judiciary Committee considered Monday whether to approve a study on hypoxia- replacing the oxygen in a person's lungs with an inert gas like nitrogen- as a back-up method for executions. But the committee decided not to vote after a representative from the attorney general's office advised members to "let sleeping dogs lie."

Arkansas Advocates For Children And Families Executive Director Rich Huddleston.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Child advocates on Wednesday called on candidates and elected officials to place more of an emphasis on children’s issues during this year’s elections and in next year’s state legislative session.

Arkansas finance officials say the state's revenue in September again fell below expectations and the same month last year.

The Department of Finance and Administration on Tuesday said the state's net available revenue last month totaled $515.5 million, which is $500,000 below the same month a year ago and $16.7 million below the forecast. The state's net available revenue so far for the fiscal year that began July 1 totaled $1.3 billion, which is $4.3 million below the same point last year and $32 million below forecast.

Jonathan dismang
Talk Business & Politics

Arkansas Senate President Jonathan Dismang, R-Searcy, said it’s too early in the pre-session process to predict how large of a tax cut may be pushed in the next General Assembly, and he outlined a new agenda item he wants to see reviewed in 2017.

Appearing on this week’s TV edition of Talk Business & Politics, Dismang said until the state’s revenue picture becomes clearer and Gov. Asa Hutchinson puts forth his plans, lawmakers are in a wait-and-see mode.

10 commandments
Wikipedia

Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin says a state panel doesn't have the authority to reject placing a Ten Commandments monument at the Capitol, while three other proposed displays would still need legislative approval.

election vote
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

You may have heard about citizen-driven initiatives that will likely be on the ballot this year. There are measures to legalize medical marijuana, limit damages in medical lawsuits and allow three casinos to operate. But along with these, three amendments sponsored by members of the Arkansas General Assembly will be on the ballot this November.

telemedicine
www.rochester.edu

A rule allowing doctors and patients to establish a relationship using audiovisual technology was approved by a legislative subcommittee Tuesday. But the rule still would not let some telemedicine companies operate in Arkansas, so those companies will attempt to change the law in next year’s legislative session.

Arkansas Capitol
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A subcommittee of the Arkansas Legislature has given final approval to a rule allowing counselors to refer clients to another provider if they have religious objections to treating them. But critics say it could allow the denial of mental health services for LGBT people.

The Legislative Council's Rules and Regulations Subcommittee approved the proposal Tuesday by the Arkansas Board of Examiners in Counseling, which regulates about 2,800 counselors and therapists in the state.

File photo of Tim Jacob (left), of the group Restore Term Limits in 2014.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Organizers of a proposal to limit the number of years Arkansas legislators can remain in office say they’ve failed to gather enough signatures to put the measure on the November general election ballot.

Tim Jacob, a spokesman for the group Restore Term Limits told KUAR on Friday, the campaign is about 20-25,000 signatures short of the 85,859 signature threshold needed to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot. The deadline to turn petitions into the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office is Friday, July 8.

Arkansas Capitol
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A rule that would allow Arkansas counselors to refer patients to another provider over religious objections has been sent back to a subcommittee.

The Arkansas Legislative Council voted Friday to refer the rule with little discussion. State Rep. Andy Davis, co-chair of the Administrative Rules and Regulations Subcommittee, says the rule was not expected to be controversial, "but now that it is, we'll give them 30 more days to look at it."

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