Weekly Column from the Arkansas House of Representatives
February 3, 2023
In the 4th week of the 2023 Regular Session, the House passed bills impacting taxes, healthcare, education, and criminal justice.
Tax related bills that passed the House this week included HB1026 and HB1143.
HB1026 prohibits local governments from enacting an income tax.
HB1143 defines “homestead” for purposes of property tax exemption for disabled veterans, surviving spouses, and minor dependent children of disabled veterans.
The House also passed HB1127 which creates the Rural Emergency Hospital Act. This bill would provide a way for rural hospitals in the state to qualify for a new federal designation and be reimbursed at a higher rate for outpatient services.
Other healthcare related bills now advancing to the Senate include HB1042, HB1082, and HB1267.
HB1042 enhances coverage of prostate cancer screenings by directing the Insurance Commissioner to adopt any updated guidelines published by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.
HB1082 establishes the Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact in Arkansas.
HB1267 requires home caregivers to have a specific number of hours in dementia training.
On Wednesday of this week, the House passed three education bills.
HB1238 outlines enhanced transportation funding for school districts.
HB1156 states that public schools and open-enrollment public charter schools shall designate multiple occupancy restrooms for exclusive use by the male sex or exclusive use by the female sex.
HB1157 states that every public school and open-enrollment charter school shall provide parents with digital or hard copy information about local water safety education courses and swimming lessons offered for free or at a reduced price.
In addition, the House passed bills addressing criminal justice issues.
HB1004 amends the Sex Offender Registration Act by requiring the physical address of the sex offender, including the house or apartment number, to be made public. Currently, only the street name and block number are required.
HB1208 limits the time period during which restricted driving permits are valid for those on probation or parole to one year from the date it was issued.
We will continue to update you on the legislation advancing during the session. You can watch all committee meetings and House floor proceedings at arkansashouse.org.
Column courtesy of Representative Danny Watson