In Arkansas, there are two ways to put a constitutional amendment on an election ballot.
First, an individual or group can draft a ballot measure and then collect the needed number of signatures.
The second way amendments are put forth is by the General Assembly. Article 19 of the Arkansas Constitution allows the General Assembly to refer up to three amendments for the next general election.
Last week, the House State Agencies began hearing proposed amendments. Topics addressed in the proposals range from term limits to inmate labor.
You can watch the presentations on the video library section of www.arkansashouse.org.
Meanwhile, in the seventh week of the session, the House passed the following legislation:
- HB1437 – This bill makes it a Class A misdemeanor if a mandated reporter fails to notify law enforcement of a serious threat made by an individual regarding violence in or targeted at a school.
- HB1356 – This bill makes it against the law for students to be shamed or stigmatized for not paying for lunch. It prohibits schools from providing a different meal or snack than other students, from requiring a wristband or hand stamp, or requiring the student to dispose of the meal. It also requires the Department of Education to implement a system of best practices in collecting for unpaid lunches.
- HB1416 – This bill removes the enrollment cap on school districts in which separation may occur.
- HB1413 – This bill states private school and home school students who enroll in an endorsed concurrent enrollment course in a public school should not be charged for the course unless the district also charges public school students.
- HB1491 – This bill mandates DHS dissolve the wait list for the alternative community services waiver program (Developmental Disabilities Waiver) within three years.
- HB1493 – This bill amends the Arkansas Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit. It lowers the minimum threshold for the credit from $25,000 to $5,000 of rehabilitation expenses in non-income producing properties.
- HB1439 – This bill prohibits abortions after 18 weeks’ gestation except in the event of a medical emergency.
- HB1304 – This bill amends the Arkansas Speed Trap Law. It requires Legislative Audit to include information to determine if a municipality is potentially abusing police power in the agency’s routine audit reports.
- HB1438 – This bill makes repeat offenses of voyeurism and video voyeurism a Class C felony.
- The House also passed a resolution this week extending the session until April 12.
As a reminder, you can watch all House proceedings at www.arkansashouse.org.