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.
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.