Arkansas Legislature

The latest news about the Arkansas Legislature.

A bill that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks may still have a chance, even after the Governor vetoed it Tuesday.

Governor Mike Beebe may have vetoed Representative Andy Mayberry’s 20-week abortion ban, but not before singing the Hensley Republican’s praises for asking Lieutenant Governor Mark Darr not to sign it while the Governor was out of the state.

Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

Legislation to reduce the scholarship amount paid to students from the Arkansas Lottery is now going to the Governor for a signature.

The bill would set scholarships in tiers. Freshmen would receive $2,000, which would increase by $1,000 each year until senior year, topping out at $5,000.

The program currently pays $4,500 per year to four-year college students.

Two-year college students would be eligible for $2,000 per year, down from $2,250.

Governor Mike Beebe is heading back from Washington DC, and with him are answers to lawmakers’ questions about the state’s options for expanding Medicaid under the Federal health care law.

The Governor, a Democrat, supports expansion, but some Republicans want more flexibility in the plan.

Representative Charlie Collins of Fayetteville says he and his colleagues want to see more private insurance options.

U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman (4th District) speaking in 2013 at the Arkansas Capitol when he was a State Rep.
Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

The sponsor of a bill that would create a controversial state-spending cap says he will try it again in House committee Tuesday.

House Majority Leader Bruce Westerman, a Republican from Hot Springs, says he’s been researching successful spending caps in other states.

New Survey: Arkansans Divided On Concealed Weapons Bill

Feb 22, 2013

A survey released Friday by Talk Business and Hendrix College finds by a slight margin that most respondents support a bill that would allow weapons to be carried on college campuses by licensed faculty and staff. 

49% are in favor of the proposal, while 43-percent are against it.  Roby Brock with Talk Business Arkansas says it shows that gun rights issues remain a divisive topic.  

Governor Mike Beebe is neither vetoing, nor signing a law to make a list of concealed handgun permit holders a secret.

Instead, he’ll let the law take effect without his signature.

Matt DeCample, the Governor’s spokesman said Thursday that the Governor is against the law, because he says there hasn’t been any instances of permit holders being victimized due to their information being out there.

Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

A bill that would require voters in Arkansas to show a valid picture ID when casting a ballot is moving to a House committee after the Senate passed it this Wednesday.

Senator Bryan King, a Republican from Green Forest, sponsored the bill. He says it will make voters more confident in the voting process.

“We know that photo ID is an everyday part of life, that you have to use a photo ID to get on a plane, you have to use a photo ID to get a library card, it’s just an everyday part of life,” King said.

  The Arkansas House of Representatives is set to vote on two controversial abortion bans, possibly later this week, after a committee approved the legislation Tuesday.

One bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks, and the other would ban them after 12. Both bills have been amended to include exceptions for rape, incest and the health of the mother, but some say both bills go too far, infringing on women’s rights to control their reproductive health.

Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

  Arkansas now has a beefed-up statute designed to deal with human trafficking offenses after the Governor signed the Human Trafficking Act of 2013 into law Tuesday.

The bill will exempt victims of human trafficking from being prosecuted for prostitution and it stiffens penalties for human traffickers.

One of the bill’s sponsors, Republican Representative Missy Irvin of Mountain View, says the bill will help the fight against human trafficking in Arkansas.

Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

A bill to allow public university faculty and staff who have concealed handgun permits to bring their guns on campus passed a vote in the House of Representatives Friday morning.

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