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Senate News

Legislators Support Expansion of Broadband Networks

Arkansas legislators continue to support a statewide expansion of broadband service as quickly as possible, especially in areas where there is no Internet at all and in places where the technology is obsolete.

Federal Appeals Court has ruled in favor of the state Education Department

A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of the state Education Department, and against four south Arkansas school districts that want to be exempt from the state school choice law.

New Census Shows 3.3 Percent Population Growth in Arkansas

The number of people who live in Arkansas increased by about 95,600 over the past 10 years, a growth rate of 3.3 percent that brought the state’s population to more than three million people.

Legislative Council Approves $145 Million in Emergency Funding for Hospitals and Nursing Homes

The Arkansas Legislative Council approved a funding request of more than $245 million to help hospitals and nursing homes recruit and retain staff, and to cope with extraordinary expenses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The money comes from a massive federal act known as the American Rescue Plan.

Legislature Affirms Declaration of Public Health Emergency

Legislators gathered at the Capitol in Little Rock to affirm the governor’s declaration of a public health emergency for 60 days.

Legislation Requires Antidotes to Accompany Opioid Prescriptions

Act 651 of 2021 mandates that when a physician prescribes opioids, the physician must also prescribe naloxone, a drug that can quickly reverse the effects of an overdose.

Electronics and Computers Will Be Included in This Year's Sales Tax Holiday, the Weekend of August 7 and 8

This year computer and electronic equipment will be included in the Arkansas sales tax holiday. Every year the sales tax holiday is the first weekend in August. This year it will be Saturday, August 7, and Sunday, August 8.

Long List of New Election Laws Taking Effect

In the regular session of 2021 the legislature approved at least 25 new election laws that will go into effect on July 28. Some of the new laws will affect poll workers, county election commissioners and county clerks’ office. Others will affect voters the next time they cast a ballot.

DHS Installs New System to Apply for Benefits

The state Department of Human Services has installed a new system for filling out applications for social services. It is designed to be more user friendly, both for people applying for services and for staff at DHS county offices.

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