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Senate News

More Schools Get Approval For Virtual Classes in Fall

The state Board of Education has approved another round of plans submitted by Arkansas school districts that want the option of offering online classes in the fall.

At a special meeting, the Board approved 60 applications from school districts and charter schools.

State Office to Promote Outdoor Recreation and Tourism

As the Arkansas tourism industry recovers from the economic impacts of the pandemic, the governor announced the creation of a new Office of Outdoor Recreation. It will be in the state Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism, and over the summer the department will hire a director for the office to coordinate and promote stewardship of the outdoors in Arkansas.

Arkansas Medicaid Officials Seeking Federal Approval of ARHOME Changes

State Medicaid officials are asking the federal government for approval of ARHOME, the newest version of Medicaid expansion. They anticipate a decision in November or December.

Arkansas to Be Home of New Air Force Mission

The state will commit $17 million to extending a runway at the Ebbing Air National Guard Base in Fort Smith. The Air Force announced it would locate a new training center for pilots who fly F-35 Lightning II and F-16 Fighting Falcon jets.

Conservative Budgeting Produces Record Surplus

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.

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