The state is on pace to have a record surplus of more than $1 billion, which is a strong indicator that the Arkansas economy is recovering from the negative effects of the pandemic.
American Rescue Plan to Send Billions in Federal Aid to Arkansas
State and local governments are preparing to receive a large infusion of federal aid, under the American Rescue Plan of 2021. Schools and universities in Arkansas also are receiving federal funds. The amount of federal funding is unprecedented. State government will get $1.57 billion. The 75 counties in Arkansas will get $586 million. Arkansas cities will get about $425 million. Each city’s allocation will depend on its population. Arkansas schools are set to receive $1.25 billion. Universities and colleges will receive $363 million.
Arkansas Offers Rent Relief to Tenants and Landlords
The state is now offering help to low-income families who have fallen behind on their rent because of financial problems caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Legislature Enacts Several New Pro-Life Laws
The Arkansas legislature enacted several new pro-life laws during the 2021 regular session.
Legislators Refer Three Proposed Constitutional Amendments to Voters
The legislature referred three proposed constitutional amendments to Arkansas voters. In next year’s statewide general election in November, voters will decide whether or not the three amendments are written into the state Constitution.
Legislators Bring 2021 Regular Session to an End with Extended Recess
The legislature brought the 2021 regular session to a close with a dramatic midnight meeting to approve a Sovereignty Act, which declares new federal laws invalid if they infringe on the right to bear arms.
Legislature Cuts Taxes While Balancing State Budget
Lawmakers completed work on tax cuts and prioritized spending by state agencies.
Legislature Enacts Numerous Changes to Arkansas Election Laws
The legislature has enacted numerous reforms to Arkansas election laws. The Senate Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs reviews all proposed legislation that address elections. So far this session, the committee has received 49 bills specifically affecting polling places, absentee ballots, voter fraud and the handling of elections.
Arkansas Prohibits Gender Transition Medical Procedures on Children
Arkansas became the first state in the nation to prohibit physicians from performing gender transition procedures on minors, either through surgery or hormone therapy.
Senate Approves Reform of Water Systems
The legislature has approved a broad reform of the laws governing water providers, a measure that sponsors have been working on for the past four years.