December 9, 2021


[Roll call


Pledge of Allegiance]

Griffin: Sen. Dismang


House Bill 1002

Cornwell: [Reads House Bill 1002]

Griffin: Sen. Dismang.

Dismang: Members, this is a bill for the transfer related to the project– or the steel project.

Griffin: Any questions? Anyone wish to speak against? Speak for? This bill– any objection to rolling the vote? This bill has an emergency clause. It requires 18 votes and 24 for the emergency clause. Please roll the vote.


Vote on House Bill 1002

[Vote on House Bill 1002

Yes: 33, No: 0, Leave: 1

Yes: All except Hendren

Leave: Hendren]

Griffin: 33 yeas, 0 nays, the bill is passed. The emergency clause is adopted. Return the bill to the House. Moving on to the business agenda, Sen. Dismang.


House Bill 1001 

Cornwell: [Reads House bill 1001]

Dismang: Thank you. Members, there was just– there was just some comments yesterday. I mean, we’ve already rehashed the bill but I think there’s some items that may need some clarification. First, I think it was stated that the credit was refundable and non-refundable. It is non-refundable. It, there– it has nothing to do with a refundable tax credit, which, again, just means that that credit can’t exceed your actual tax liability. 

Second was related to foreign corporations. I think we talked about Nike and an ice cream company and maybe a sweatshop in China. And so I think it’s really important that we just make sure we understand who we’re talking about when we talk about foreign corporations. So this morning, I just looked at my district really quickly. And when you pull up our local page, essentially, all of our large employers in Searcy, Arkansas, are foreign corporations minus one or two. Just to run through that real quick, that’s Bryce Corp, which employs 450 people; Eaton Corporation employs 190 people; Land O’Frost employs 515 people; Cal-Maine Foods, 80 people; XPO Logistics, 140 people; Schulze and Burch, 185 people; Pontiac Coil, 80 people.  Those are all foreign corporations that are job creators in my district. I could move on and go outside of that. And Lennox Industries, who’s also in my district, has 1,700 employees. Vista Outdoor, which just helped us rebrand the Remington plant has 900 employees and growing. 

And so again, these are job creators. They are critical to our local economies. Without those major employers in my district, I don’t know what would happen. We definitely would have a strain on our local housing folks, our builders, our retail shops, our– you name it– service industry, restaurants, hotels. Across the board, there would be a ripple effect if those entities were not operating in my district.

To Sen. Garner, just to point out a few. We have Lion Oil, Murphy USA, Resolute Forest Products, Deltic Timber, Lockheed Martin, Aerojet, Evergreen Packaging. And that’s just to name a few of the foreign corporations that are job creators in your district. And if any of them would like to locate in mine, I am more than happy for them to do so because they are vital to our local economies. 

Griffin: Questions? Sen. Johnson– Mark Johnson.

M. Johnson: Thank you, Mr. President.

Griffin: One second. [Bangs gavel] Sen. Mark Johnson.

 M. Johnson: Sen. Dismang, I think I know the answer to this, but to clarify to those that might not understand the nomenclature. Foreign does not mean from another country. That means some organization or company that is incorporated other than in the state of Arkansas. Is that correct?

Dismang: That’s correct. It’s– you know, you have domestic corporations, which are those that have organized in the state of Arkansas, and foreign corporations, which are corporations that have organized outside the state of Arkansas but are still doing business in the state of Arkansas.

M. Johnson: Possibly in one of the other 49 states, more than likely.

Dismang: More than likely.

M. Johnson: Thank you, senator. Thank you, Mr. President.

Griffin: Any other questions? Sen. Garner.

Garner: But what I said yesterday was correct. Like, corporations like Nike are foreign corporations and they will receive a tax cut because of this bill. Is that correct?

Dismang: I’m not sure of any direct retail– I know there was a few, but I think most of them have closed of Nike outlets in the state of Arkansas. Beyond that, I’m not sure how there’s a nexus for us to charge Nike income tax. For instance, just as the example. And so, if there’s a foreign sweatshop in China that has a nexus back to the state of Arkansas, perhaps, and they would have to have employees or a location or something for that nexus and they could benefit from that income tax reduction. But I’m not really aware of how that would play out.

Garner: Well, I asked– just for clarification– I asked BLR staff. I know Tax and Rev, they have issues with some of their numbers sometimes, but I asked that specific question if corporations like that would be included, and they said there are examples in Arkansas within our tax code of those doing as well. So it’s very important to acknowledge that this money will be going to those out of state entities as well and that money will not be in Arkansas, when it could stay here through income tax. But I appreciate your clarification on that.

Dismang: The vast majority of our entities that are operating, major employers, are foreign corporations, and that was the point that’s being made this morning. Thank you. 

Griffin: Just to remind senators if you want to speak on a bill, come down here. Anyone want to speak against? Or for?  The senator is closed. Any objection to rolling the vote? Please roll the vote. 

Vote on House Bill 1001

[Vote on House Bill 1001

Yes: 29, No: 4, Leave: 1

Yes: Ballinger, Beckham, Bledsoe, Caldwell, Clark, Davis, Dismang, English, Flippo, Flowers, Garner, Gilmore, Hammer, Hester, Hickey, Hill, Ingram, Irvin, B. Johnson, M. Johnson, Pitsch, Rapert, Rice, Sample, Stubblefield, Sturch, Sullivan, Teague, Wallace

No: Chesterfield, Elliott, Leding, Tucker

Leave: Hendren]

Griffin: 29 yeas, 4 nays, the bill is passed. Emergency clause is adopted. Return to the House. Sen. Hickey. Oh, sorry, Sen. Sample. For what purpose? Are you going to handle the next bill?

Sample: I’m handling the next bill.

Griffin: Okay. Sen. Sample. 

Cornwell: Are we doing 1003?

Griffin: No, we’re on 2. Yeah, yeah. It was mislabeled up here on the–

House Bill 1003

Cornwell: [Reads House Bill 1003]

Griffin: Okay, one second, senator. I want to make sure– I know that the screen said HB 1001. I I just want to make sure that everything’s good down–

Sample: It shows 1003.

Griffin: It does now. It does now. But I mean before. I just want to make sure that Sabrina’s good. I don’t do anything without Sabrina saying that the computer–

Sample: I agree.

Griffin: Learned a long time ago who the boss is. She sits right here. We’re good? We’re good? Okay. Senator, please proceed. I thought I was crazy. I may be crazy, but I looked at it and I said, I thought we did that one.

Sample: Thank you, Mr. President. I’ll let you present this bill if you’d like.

Griffin: I didn’t hear you, but it doesn’t matter. Go ahead.

Sample: Members, House Bill 1003 is a bill that concerns security personnel. The House of Representatives have hired a full-time security person. They’re a retired federal law enforcement officer. This bill also gives the Senate the ability to do that, whether we do it or not. That person will have the responsibilities of full time law enforcement officers, and it will give them the ability to be certified in the state of Arkansas. And they will– they can go outside this building and accompany the person– members to different events if they so choose. And they will have statewide jurisdiction. I’ll take questions.

Griffin: Questions? Sen. Garner.

Garner: Yes, sir. Is this any substantial changes to this than what we discussed in committee, I believe, two days ago?

Sample: The changes we did– there wasn’t any changes made to it. We do have a promise that it will come back and be changed probably this Spring. 

Garner: Okay, thank you.

Griffin: Anyone wish to speak against? For? Okay. Sen. Garner’s going to speak against. Sen. Garner’s recognized. 

Garner: Thank you, governor. I generally agree with this concept and have no problem with the idea behind it. But there’s two poorly written parts of this section that really give me concern. First, if you look at it, it talks about getting certified training from the law enforcement academy. But it actually doesn’t say that. What it says is we can refer them powers to somebody as the same standard of having that level of training. There’s actually no requirement they be certified. So as we know you can hire just about anybody who will have the full authority and power of a police officer here in the Senate. They do not have to be certified. I mean, literally, if this passed, I could hire Lincoln the next day, and I guess he could be a certified police officer up here with a gun to protect us.

Secondly, the statewide jurisdiction. I would love to hear a greater explanation of why we need to give these local Capitol, Senate, and House members statewide jurisdiction. I don’t know about you, but I heard about a story many years ago. I can’t say if it’s verified or not, but I looked it up and there was a news story about it about a former speaker sending out police officers to pull people back for votes. And so the thought process that an uncertified police officer could come down to El Dorado, Arkansas, grab me and yank me out of my house with full statewide jurisdiction and pull me back up here with a gun is something I’m not going to support. Now if it was better written to focus more on us, and it was written so there’d be some sort of training and certification, I’d be much more open to it. But we’re referring a lot of power to people who do not have to be certified and can come to your house and get you if a future pro tem or speaker says that’s a good idea. 

Griffin: Anyone wish to speak for? Sen. Elliott wishes– if you want to answer Sen. Elliott’s question, come on back. Sen. Elliott’s recognized for a question.

Elliott: Thank you. Sen. Garner, I cannot discern or figure out how these new officers— whatever– I guess that’s what we would call them– how that group of people would intersect with the Capitol Police and who determines where the lines are. I couldn’t figure that out. Did you hear anything in the committee that could–

Garner: No, ma’am. I was not there yesterday because I assumed there would be updates to this, and apparently there wasn’t. That being said, I don’t infer anything from the bill written as is that would create those jurisdictional issues. Now I know we gave power to the governor to do sort of a task force if there’s an emergency situation like a riot, and that level of jurisdiction and the level of command probably would come up with that. But how that would work practically with the state Capitol Police, I could not say, ma’am. 

Elliott: Do you know if any particular thing has happened that would cause us to need this level of police that could not be handled by the Capitol Police?

Garner: The way I understand it from reading the news stories in preparation for this session is that the House has a member who is a former FBI agent who they want– who has the training, has the ability to refer those powers and could use that in more official capacity to protect the House members. And the Senate did it as a cautionary– not cautionary, excuse me– as a precaution in case we ever want to do it in the future. Sen. Hickey can speak about that more in the future. But as far as knowing if there’s some specific threat or something like that, I cannot say either, ma’am?

Elliott:  Alright, thank you.

Griffin: Anyone wish to speak for the bill? Oh, question, sorry. Sen. Irvin’s recognized for a question. Sen. Irvin.

Irvin: Thank you. Thank you for taking my question. As you know, we’ve had some incidents or I personally have had some incidents of threats and have had to have a Capitol Police escort. I think you know personally about that. I want to say thank you, actually, to you and many of the senators who helped in that situation. I was not in the committee, but from my understanding, is that really the intent behind this bill, though, is to try to give that level of protection when those of us have faced those threats to our person and then also to our homes. I know we have had several members that have had threats of their homes being violated and burned and their property destroyed because of folks that have disagreed with us. And so is that really the intention behind the legislation and you’re just voicing your concern about the way it’s written?

Garner: Yes, ma’am. To your first point, I think that’s a valid and very needed reason why you’d want to have a certified law enforcement officer just like we do in the back right now. I mean, those two men protect us right now. If someone bust in here with a gun, they’re going to do their jobs and they’re trained to do it. I have a [?] in my district so I know what those men and women go through down there. The problem I have is you don’t have to have men like that or women like that. You could have anybody, and they get the full power as if they’re certified by the way this is written.

To the second question, that’s a little bit more tricky if we should be sending security forces down to secure our own houses since you have local jurisdictions down there like El Dorado PD or Union County Sheriffs. I know I talk to Arkansas State Police when I get certain death threats and things like that, which happen pretty often in this job as you well can attest. So I don’t know if that would happen the same way with this thing. There was no discussion about that. I can’t speak about that, ma’am.  

Griffin: Sen. Teague, Sen. Teague, do you have– one second. Sen. Garner. Sen. Teague says he wants to ask you a question. Sen. Teague is recognized for a question.

Teague: You know, us term limited guys, where do we apply?

Garner: That is exactly why we need certified training. 

Griffin: Anyone wish to speak for? Against? The Senator’s closed? You’re closed? The senator’s closing.

Sample: Members, Sen. Garner is right. But, like I said, I have the word from the speaker that this bill will be corrected and brought up to that. But to Sen. Teague’s point, the House can maintain its standards on who they want to hire, and so I don’t know that you’d be even considered. But I would consider a good vote. Thank you.

Griffin: Any objection to rolling the vote?

–: Yes.

Griffin: I heard you. Madam Secretary, please call the roll.


Vote on House Bill 1003

[Vote on House Bill 1003

Yes: 19, No, 13, Present: 1, Leave: 1

Yes: Bledsoe, Caldwell, Clark, Dismang, Flippo, Flowers, Hickey, Hill, Ingram, Irvin, B. Johnson, Leding, Pitsch, Rapert, Rice, Sample, Sturch, Teague, Wallace

No: Ballinger, Beckham, Chesterfield, Davis, Elliott, English, Garner, Hammer, Hester, M Johnson, Stubblefield, Sullivan, Tucker

Present: Gilmore

Leave: Hendren]

Griffin: 19 yeas, 13 nays, the bill is passed. The emergency clause is not adopted. Sen. Dismang.


House Bill 1004

Cornwell: [Reads House Bill 1004]

Griffin: Sen. Dismang.

Dismang: Thank you. This is the date change we discussed earlier.

Griffin: Any questions? Anyone wish to speak against or for? Any objections to rolling the vote? Please roll the vote.


Vote on House Bill 1004

[Vote on House Bill 1004

Yes: 32, No: 0, Leave: 1, Present: 1

Yes: Ballinger, Beckham, Bledsoe, Caldwell, Chesterfield, Davis, Dismang, Elliott, English, Flippo, Flowers, Garner, Gilmore, Hammer, Hester, Hickey, Hill, Ingram, Irvin, B. Johnson, M. Johnson, Leding, Pitsch, Rapert, Rice, Sample, Stubblefield, Sturch, Sullivan, Teague, Tucker, Wallace

Leave: Hendren

Present: Clark]

Griffin: 32 yeas, 0 nays, the bill is passed. The emergency clause is adopted. Return to the House. Sen. Sullivan is already down here.

House Bill 1005

Cornwell: [Reads House Bill 1005]

Griffin: Sen. Sullivan.

Sullivan: Thank you. Folks, this is the same bill we ran through, I think, the other day. I just want to make sure we all understand how important this is. There are discounts that are available to certain parts of our population and discounts that are not available. We worked real hard to get that discount for all Arkansans and we will be coming back in future sessions to try to get that. With that, I’d appreciate a good vote. Thank you.

Griffin: Any questions? Anyone wish to speak against? For? The senator’s walked away and closed. Any objection to rolling the vote? I see none. Please roll the vote.


Vote on House Bill 1005


[Vote on House Bill 1005

Yes: 33, No: 0, Leave: 1

Yes: Ballinger, Beckham, Bledsoe, Caldwell, Chesterfield, Clark, Davis, Dismang, Elliott, English, Flippo, Flowers, Garner, Gilmore, Hammer, Hester, Hickey, Hill, Ingram, Irvin, B. Johnson, M. Johnson, Leding, Pitsch, Rapert, Rice, Sample, Stubblefield, Sturch, Sullivan, Teague, Tucker, Wallace

Leave: Hendren]

Griffin: 33 yeas, 0 nays, the bill is passed. The emergency clause adopted. Return it to the House. Sen. Dismang.


House Bill 1006

Cornwell: [Reads House Bill 1006]

Griffin: Sen. Dismang.

Dismang: This bill just creates the consistency on the appointments– the initial appointments and the latter.

Griffin: Any questions? Anyone wish to speak against or for? The senator is closed. Any objection to rolling the vote? Seeing none, please roll the vote, Madam Secretary. 

Vote on House Bill 1006

[Vote on House Bill 1006

Yes: 33, No: 0, Leave: 1

Yes: Ballinger, Beckham, Bledsoe, Caldwell, Chesterfield, Clark, Davis, Dismang, Elliott, English, Flippo, Flowers, Garner, Gilmore, Hammer, Hester, Hickey, Hill, Ingram, Irvin, B. Johnson, M. Johnson, Leding, Pitsch, Rapert, Rice, Sample, Stubblefield, Sturch, Sullivan, Teague, Tucker, Wallace

Leave: Hendren]

Griffin: 33 yeas, 0 nays, the bill is passed. The emergency clause is adopted. Return the bill to the House. You’re next, Sen. Wallace. 

I want to say something. We’ve got a lot of high school students here today, and some of them are watching attentively. And they may wonder why we are just running through votes with no one saying anything. And then on the others, you don’t do that and you allow people to say yes or no. Just so you know, it’s not that they’re not paying attention– they may or may not be, but that’s not what this is about. It’s simply– I said that in a 1983 interview in the newspaper. When it’s a noncontroversial issue that most people– maybe one or two won’t– but most people are going to be totally good with, then we roll the vote and it cuts the time down significantly and gives everybody, for the most part, a yes. And if they want to change it to a no, they do that by exception. And that just makes it a lot faster on things that there is general agreement on. I saw some of you puzzled, and I just wanted to explain that so that you know what’s going on. Sen. Wallace.

Wallace: Thank you, governor.

House Bill 1007 

Cornwell: [Reads House Bill 1007]

Griffin: Sen. Wallace.

Wallace: Thank you, governor. Members, this is the same bill. It’s just the House version of the Senate bill we passed yesterday 34-0. It deals with the tax credits for the economic development issue coming into Northeast Arkansas. With that I stand by for your questions.

Griffin: Any questions. Anyone wish to speak against? Oh, Sen. Hester has a question. Go ahead.

Hester: Sen. Wallace, yesterday you mentioned to us that you had personally met and know many people from the area that are working some of these jobs making more than $100,000 a year that did not get a college degree. Is that accurate?

Wallace: Yes, sir.

Hester: Then this is a great thing. It’s good for the district. Thank you.

Griffin: Any other questions? Anyone wish to speak against or for? The senator is closed?

Wallace: I am closed.

Griffin: The senator is closed. This does not have an emergency clause, just the only bill that does not. Anyone object to rolling the vote? Seeing none, please roll the vote.


Vote on House Bill 1007

[Vote on House Bill 1007

Yes: 33, No: 0,  Leave: 1

Yes: Ballinger, Beckham, Bledsoe, Caldwell, Chesterfield, Clark, Davis, Dismang, Elliott, English, Flippo, Flowers, Garner, Gilmore, Hammer, Hester, Hickey, Hill, Ingram, Irvin, B. Johnson, M. Johnson, Leding, Pitsch, Rapert, Rice, Sample, Stubblefield, Sturch, Sullivan, Teague, Tucker, Wallace

Leave: Hendren]

Griffin: 33 yeas, 0 nays, the bill is passed. 


Motion to extend the session

Rapert: Mr. President.

Griffin: One second. Let me finish. The bill is passed. Return to the House. Senator–

Rapert: Mr. President, I rise for a motion. 

Griffin: Okay. Sen. Rapert, what’s your motion?

Rapert: Mr. President, I move that the Arkansas Senate vote to extend the Second Extraordinary Session of the 93rd General Assembly according to the provisions of Arkansas Constitution Article 6 Section 19 and extend the session not to exceed 15 days for the purpose of considering legislation to create the Arkansas Human Heartbeat Human Life Civil Justice Act to regulate abortion in Arkansas and save the lives of unborn children. This is in accordance with the fact that we have now concluded all businesses that was on the call and is a proper motion.

Griffin: A couple of things– first of all, I have to announce– through procedure, I have to announce from here that we are finished with the governor’s business, and I don’t I– I don’t think I got that out. Let us finish the governor’s business, and then we’ll come back to you. And I’m going to recognize–

Rapert: Well, actually, Mr. President–

Griffin: The governor’s business is not finished. 

Rapert: Okay, well when the last bill that was called was cast up that concluded each bill that was on the call.

Griffin: I understand, but I have to say from– you’re going to get to make a motion either way.

Rapert: Alright. Okay.

Griffin: But I am supposed to say from, from this podium that we’re finished with the governor’s business. So let us wrap that up. Let me say it. I’ll come back to you, and then I’m going to come to you, Sen. Hickey. So let us finish it. I’ll announce it, go to you, then you, and– Sen. Sample, what purpose you– 


Motion to expunge emergency clause vote on House Bill 1003

Sample: I have a motion to expunge.

Griffin: So we’re not totally through yet. Okay. Go ahead, Sen. Sample.

Sample: I have a motion to expunge the bill– the– 

Griffin: The emergency clause.

Sample: The emergency– the vote by– that the emergency clause on House Bill 1003 failed.

Griffin: Okay. HB 1003. The bill passed. The emergency clause did not pass. We have a motion to expunge the vote on the emergency clause. All those in favor, say aye. Opposed? Ayes have it. Motion is carried. The vote on the emergency clause is expunged. Well, he– you’ve got to request that it be voted again.

Sample: Members, I request that we revote the emergency clause. This is something from the House. If we do this, this will allow the House to go ahead and have their officer certified. Without this, they’ve got to wait an extended period of time to have the man certified even though he’s a retired officer and been on the– with the FBI for years. There is a stipulation in there that he has to be certified by the state of Arkansas. Right now, we don’t have that process. And this will allow them to certify the officer.

Griffin: Okay. One second, Sen. Sample. So, this is a motion to vote, but– one second. Please stay– stay right there. You have a question on this, Sen. Johnson?

 M. Johnson: Yes, sir. My question, Mr. President, it is this– we, we expunged the vote. Is the vote on the emergency clause, which I assume is what Sen. Sample will bring up, is it debatable?

Griffin: The motion– we’re going to have a motion–

M. Johnson: Which passed.

Griffin: We’re going to have another motion, which he’s going to make to revote the emergency clause. He’s going to move to do that.

M. Johnson: But there will be an opportunity to debate the emergency clause?

Griffin: We’re not going to– yeah, once we get– yes. We’ll go through it just like we normally would.

 M. Johnson: Thank you, sir.

Griffin: But we’ve got to have a motion to vote it first. That’s got to pass first. Now we’ve got a motion to revote the emergency clause.

Sullivan: I move that we revote the–

Griffin: One, one second. [Bangs gavel] Sen. Chesterfield.

Chesterfield: Mr. Chair, Question for Sen. Sample. Sen. Sample, the issues raised by Sen. Garner– let me bite my tongue– are legitimate to me. 

Sample: They are valid reasons.

Chesterfield: And even a broken clock is right twice a day. This is scary to me. And I need some assurance that what you say is going to change, when will it take place so that the issues that are raised that are scary to me as far as overreach, when will those changes take place?

Sullivan: I’ve been told by the speaker of the House that if they have the opportunity they will make the change in the fiscal session.

Chesterfield: But in the meantime, we’re stuck with legislation that would give an individual the opportunity to come to my house and arrest me? Is that right?

Sullivan: They have hired that person– they’ve got to be hired by–

Griffin: Sen. Chesterfield– one, one second here. I thought your question was on the motion. His motion to revote has not passed yet. Let me get that passed, and then we can deal with the substance of the emergency clause.

Chesterfield: Thank you, Mr. Chair, I think my question is answered.

Griffin: Alright. Let’s just get this done. All those in favor to revote the emergency clause, say aye. Opposed? The ayes have it. We will revote it, but are there any questions now on the substance of the emergency clause? Sen. Garner.

Garner: Thank you. And so, I’m assuming that if we don’t pass this emergency clause that employee at the House may lose his job because we have such an emergency we have to get it done in a certain amount of time. Is that true?

Sample: I can’t speak for the House.

Garner: Man, I’d for anybody to have to lose their job waiting three or four months for an emergency clause, so I might support this.

Sample: Thank you.

Griffin: Okay, any other questions on the emergency clause? Sen. Hester.

Hester: Sen. Sample, it’s my understanding that the importance of this passing the emergency clause is for the immunity of that officer should he have to take action. 

Sullivan: You’re correct. 

Hester: He’s in the job where he does not currently have immunity until this bill passes.

Sullivan: Once he has certification, he will have immunity.

Hester: Yeah. Thank you.

Griffin:  Senator Chesterfield has a question.

Chesterfield: Thank you, Mr. Chair. This immunity gives him the opportunity to do what? 

Sullivan: To– this is just a for instance– say that the speaker or any member was walking to their car or to another building and was accosted, he has the ability to take and protect them, whether it is by physical force or even as much as drawing a weapon.

Chesterfield: Well, my concern is we have two gentlemen in the back who have that same authority. 

Sullivan: We do. But this is–

Chesterfield: So why is he so special?

Sullivan: This– I can’t– I can’t answer that. But this is to allow them to have that person or personnel on duty. If they went to a– like we had our retirement meetings out in other places, that would give them the opportunity to have a certified law officer there and support them if they needed some protection of some whatever.

Chesterfield: Well, let me just make my concern clear. The Senate has the ability to determine the security of the Senate. The House has the opportunity to determine the security of the House. So why is a joint motion necessary just for this person?

Sullivan: They put it in there just in case we, the Senate, wanted to hire a person like that. It goes back to Senator Garner’s question. They have to– somebody has to want to take and hire that person.

Chesterfield: Okay. Thank you, Mr. Chair. Thank you, senator.

Griffin: Sen. Ingram has a question.

Ingram: Just assure me the head of security in the House is not going to be John Bynes.

Sample: I cannot assure you of that fact, even though I think he would be an excellent person. He’s large enough. 

Griffin: Any other questions? Anyone wish to speak on this or against it? Sen. Mark Johnson wishes to–

Sample: I’m closed.

Griffin: Well, we’re going to give Sen Johnson a chance to talk. Sen Johnson is recognized opposing the emergency clause.

M. Johnson: Thank you, Mr. President. I know everybody got quiet when I brought my rulebook up here.  I voted against the bill and the emergency clause. If it didn’t have an emergency clause, I might have considered voting for it. I’m for security, folks.  Y’all know I’ve been around here a long time. I remember seeing people up in the gallery that, frankly, I was a little bit afraid of–  not these wonderful young people we’ve had today, but others a long time ago. 

I share the concerns of basically deputizing individuals to go anywhere in the state and do that. But I did want to mention something for Sen. Garner’s benefit. We have a rule that allows the President Pro Tem to create a committee of five members to compel the attendance of absent members. Now whether that means going all the way to El Dorado or to Crossett or to somewhere else in the state to compel attendance, it just means we have a way to stop a Texas-style boycott where they, we’re just not going to show up so you can’t do business. We have a way to address that. 

This is about certification of someone and giving– making them a law enforcement officer, which confers certain benefits.  And, Sen. Sample, I’m not against the idea of your bill. And I’m not against keeping the House from doing what they want to. I just sat there and thought, you know, if we had 90 days to take a look at this, then maybe it would be better than to make it instantly applicable when the governor’s pen lifts off the paper. I want to thank our two state troopers that are here today. I remember when that was all the security we had in the Capitol were state troopers. Now we have the Capitol Police. I appreciate them, and maybe we need these others. But I don’t think it rises to the level of needing it instantly. And I would appreciate a vote to not pass the emergency clause and allow this to become law in regular order after it’s been reviewed by the general public. Thank you, Mr. President.

Griffin: Anyone– spoke against. Anyone wish to speak in favor of the emergency clause? Okay, Madam Secretary– the senator’s closed? Sen. Sample, are you closed? Madam Secretary, please call the roll. 


Vote on House Bill 1003, emergency clause

[Vote on House Bill 1003

Yes: 24, No: 9, Leave: 1

Yes: Ballinger, Beckham, Bledsoe, Caldwell, Davis, Dismang, Flippo, Flowers, Gilmore, Hester, Hickey, Hill, Ingram, Irvin, B. Johnson, Leding, Pitsch, Rapert, Rice, Sample, Sturch, Sullivan, Teague, Wallace

No: Chesterfield, Clark, Elliott, English, Garner, Hammer, M. Johnson, Stubblefield, Tucker

Leave: Hendren]

Griffin: 24 yeas, 9 nays, the emergency clause is adopted. Transmit to the House. Now we have completed the governor’s call, and we’re going to go– we will eventually move to the resolutions. But Sen. Rapert is going to be recognized for a motion, then Sen. Hickey has requested to be recognized. You– Sen. Rapert you can repeat it all. I don’t know if people want to hear it all again or not. But Sen Rapert’s recognized for your motion. 


Motion to extend the session (2.0)

Rapert: Would you care for me to make the motion here or would you like me to do it from the well?

Griffin:  You can make your motion right there if you like.

Rapert: Members, I move that the Arkansas Senate vote to extend the Second Extraordinary Session of the 93rd General Assembly according to the provisions of Arkansas Constitution Article 6 Section 19 and extend the session not to exceed 15 days for the purpose of considering legislation to create the Arkansas Human Heartbeat and Human Life Civil Justice Act to regulate abortion in Arkansas, save the lives of unborn children, utlizing a civil cause of action. Being that all the businesses of the session on the call from the governor has been concluded, this is a proper motion, and I ask for a good vote.

Griffin: This is– I’m not going to repeat all the specifics, but the Senator has made a proper motion to extend the session. It requires two-thirds vote, and it is debatable because it is not a privileged motion. Sen. Hickey.

Hickey: I want to be recognized.

Griffin: Okay. Sen. Hickey, you’re recognized.

Hickey: From the well?

Griffin: You can be recognized– right there is fine.


Motion to adjourn sine die

Hickey: I’d like to make a substitute motion. 

Griffin: Okay. Please state the nature of your motion.

Hickey: Having concluded the business of the governor’s call, I move to adjourn the Second Extraordinary Session of the 93rd General Assembly sine die and give consent to the House of Rep to adjourn at the time of its closing. In addition to that, by doing that these resolutions that we have– I’ve had to think right here. But I believe what we’d do if you grant my substitute motion, we’ll go to a Committee of the Whole to take those up out of respect for the individuals who are here today and have traveled from great distances. 

Griffin: Okay.

Rapert: Mr.  President, I respectively object, and I do not yield the floor for my motion.

Griffin: Sen. Rapert–

Rapert: I’m still in the well–

Griffin: Sen. Rapert, your–

Rapert: –so I asked for clarification.

Griffin: Okay. Your, your motion is a debatable motion. So once you make the motion, I recognize individuals to begin the debate or for their– to be recognized. So his substitute motion is proper. I know a lot of people care on both sides, so I have studied this extensively, and I’ve talked to Steve probably more than he cares.  

So let me walk you through what the rules are here. Okay. So we have two proper motions. The first motion was the motion to extend. The second motion is the substitute motion. The motion to extend, as I indicated, is debatable, requires two-thirds vote. The second motion is a substitute motion, but the underlying substantive part of that is a motion to adjourn. Normally, normally, a motion to adjourn is not debatable. For example, had Sen Hickey just been the first to stand up and made a motion to adjourn, that would not be debatable. But because it’s a substitute motion, it takes on with regard to debatable or non-debatable–  it takes on the nature of the motion that he is replacing. So this one would be debatable But this is a privilege motion and takes precedence. So we will dispose of your motion and then we will go to Senator Rapert’s motion. Sen. Sturch.

Sturch: Mr. President, I have a parliamentary inquiry. 

Griffin: Please.

Sturch: I either am confused or we are all wrong. But did we ever take a vote on House Bill 1002?

Griffin: Yes, we did.

Sturch: Budget bill or regular agenda?

Griffin: That– it was–

Sturch: Very first?

Griffin: We did that. 

Sturch: Alright. Thank you.

Griffin: Yeah, there was a numbering issue that I made note of earlier. But–

Sturch: Okay, thank you.

Griffin: Sabrina says it’s all copacetic. Okay. So, Sen. Hickey, do you understand what I– does everybody– any questions on what I just said? Sen. Rapert? Any questions? Sen. Hickey? Any questions?

Rapert: I do have a question. Being that this substitute motion– being that this substitute motion underlies the primary motion, are you ruling that this would still only require 18 votes if the members act on that substitute motion?

Griffin: Yes. Well, no, no. This is not 18. This is a majority of those voting. 

Rapert: Okay.

Griffin: One second. I don’t want to say something I don’t– yeah, majority of those voting. Correct, Steve? Correct.

Rapert: Okay. Is it a proper motion if I make another substitute? I think it is.

Griffin: Okay. I think you could, but his– an adjourn motion– can he make a substitute to a substitute? Right, that’s what I was going to get to. You, you, you could– you could theoretically make another substitute motion. But if you look at the precedence under the rules, the adjournment motion is the highest precedent there is. So no matter what motion you make, we’ve got to take his up now. 

Rapert: And this motion being, you’ve clarified, just to make sure, that this is debatable?

Griffin: Yes. We are about to debate Sen. Hickey’s motion to adjourn. We will dispose of that, and then we will go to the motion to extend. Normally, a motion to adjourn is not debatable, but under the rules it takes on the nature of the motion it is amending. And because you went first with your motion, it takes on the non-debatable nature of yours– I mean the– sorry, the debatable nature of yours.

Rapert: Alright, thank you for clarification. Members know what this vote is all about and the issue is all about, and so I appreciate the opportunity for us to be heard.

Griffin: Sen. Hickey is recognized on his motion.

Hickey: Okay, members, you all heard my motion. And– but I do want to explain some things and try to answer some questions. I was actually hoping to do this. This is actually why I put this on the supplemental agenda. It’s been out there since day one. I filed that. It was Senate Resolution 1. So nobody would have any questions that I was going to walk down and make a motion to adjourn.

So, just a few things about this. I mean, this is the opportunity whenever you look at the thing in a macro standpoint the way everything is whether or not you want to stay in session or whether you do not. It’s not about any specific type of bill that’s already been filed, but I’ll go into that. What would happen if you do not pass the motion to adjourn? What we’re going to do at that point, after, of course, exhausting the Senate resolutions, is then we’re going to take those– the memorial resolution and the one for the ball team that’s here. What we’re going to do then is take everything else that’s been filed, and we’re going to start down through those. If we get a two-thirds vote on any one of those, that opens up the Senate to be here for up to an additional 15 days. 

Now, that particular one that you all vote for doesn’t have to be the same one that the House votes for that you normally would think it would, like it would be an identical one. That’s not correct. If they vote on any of theirs also, whether it meets ours or not, then they’re also going to be open. So that’s what– that’s what that would take. So let’s just say that happens. Because if it does, I think that all the members, even if you’re for this, they need to understand a few things so that they’d be able to prepare to do some stuff. 

Understand that if we extend up to the 15 days, that there’s no breaks in that. So in order words, if we– if us and House did that today here on Thursday, that’s day 1, tomorrow’s day 2. Saturday’s day 3, Sunday 4, and so on down the line. Now if you all say, well, I don’t want to be down here Saturday and Sunday, that’s okay if we vote that in here. But I do want you to understand is the clock doesn’t stop, that is still the days, and we’re only there for these 15. Another thing is what you all would have to know if you do that is that 15 days is also inclusive of any corrections or vetoes. You all know that most of the time whenever we do this, what we do is we’ll leave and then we’ll wait a few days and say we’re going to come back and sine die. The reason we do that, of course, is because the governor has 15 days– excuse me, the governor has 5 days to actually figure out if he wants to veto or if he wants to sign the bill or what he wants to do. So we wait that time in case he vetoes it to allow this body the opportunity to come back in and override that. What you would need to consider is that yours would also have to be– you would have to pass your bill– and if we’re open to that, that’s any bill that any member in the entire legislature wants to file. So if that was to happen, if that was to happen, here and the House, anyone of you could go file one, two or 10 or 20 bills, and we’ll start trying to hear those the best that we can. 

But again, what you would need to know– when you say, well, that’s the 10th day, that’s not exactly right. Because if yours was filed– if you got yours passed on the 10th day of this, we would all have to be sitting down here at 11:59 and 45 seconds and try to organize if that veto was done at that point. It also gets a little confusing here, and I know it’s going to get a little muddy. Although our clock would be running straight with the 15 days, the governor’s clock would be the same as normal and he’s not required to use Sundays, although we would in this case. So that actually puts another day in, so you’d have to have all your bills passed by seven or eight days. If you all were to decide to do that, we’ll have to go to work. 

One other thing that you have to know, and I have it laid on your desk. In the event that you do this, we have monies available, you know, to– with the staff, but I have an appropriations bill that’s laid on your desk that we would also need to pass, which would take 75% of the members in here to pass that appropriation. I will present it out of respect for the body if they want to do that. I would not be voting for that. So, it’s, it’s just another thing that we have to consider as far as that goes. And with that, I’ll try to answer any questions you all may have.

Griffin: Any questions for Sen. Hickey. Sen. Chesterfield.

Chesterfield: The question is for the chair. I’m unclear as to why the motion to adjourn is now debatable. 

Griffin: If you will– okay. Good question. I’m sorry that I didn’t make that clear. Give me an opportunity– 

Chesterfield: Please do.

Griffin: –to go in depth a little more. First of all, I just want to– so you don’t bug Steve all the time. There are a couple of great sources on this: Robert’s Rules and Mason’s Rules online. They’re all consistent. We generally use Mason’s as the foundation of our rules. If you’ll go to page– Senate rule page 44. And your question is why is a motion to adjourn now debateable. Until I did my further research and we discussed it extensively, you would think a motion to adjourn is not debatable, right? Well, this is not really a motion to adjourn. This is a substitute motion. Motion to adjourn is the nature, but in the rules it comes under substitute. And it says in the first line that a substitute motion is debatable, except it is non-debatable when the motion it’s trying to amend or trying to replace is not debatable. So if Sen. Rapert’s original motion would have been non debatable, then the substitute motion to adjourn would retain its non debatable character. But because– you got it, but a lot of other people are listening that may not. So, that’s the deal. Any other questions? Anyone wish to speak against? For? Sen. Pitsch.

Pitsch: Parliamentary question. Just so everyone in the room’s clear. This vote passes, what’s the threshold? Is it the people voting? 

Griffin: It’s a majority of those voting.

Pitsch: It still is– a substitute motion is still a majority of those voting. 

Griffin: This is a majority of those voting. If I say something wrong, Steve will correct me. Did you have a question, senator? Sen. Hammer.

Hammer: Could you restate the motion?

Griffin: This is a substitute motion to adjourn. A yes is in favor of that motion, and it just requires a majority of those voting.

Rapert: Mr. President, I have a question. 

Griffin: Okay. You want to speak. You have a question. Go ahead.

Rapert: The question– because this is a motion that he’s made to adjourn.

Griffin: This is sine die. This is a substitute motion.

Rapert: That substitute, then we’re finished. Everything’s finished. There– you can’t– the body’s done. We can’t even transact any more business–

Griffin: Ask your question. You’ll have an opportunity to speak on it.

Rapert: That’s what I’m asking. Is that clear?

Griffin: Yes, yes, yes.

Rapert: Okay, I want to make sure of that.

Griffin: We won’t just adjourn for lunch. We will be adjourned. [to Cornwell] Well, no he’s going to do those in– he’s going to move to do those in committee as part of the motion. [to Senate] Okay. No more questions. Sen. Clark wishes to speak against.

Clark: I’m voting against. I’m wearing jeans today. I only wear jeans on the last day of the session because I’m planning on going home. I didn’t have any doubt about how the vote was going to go. But I don’t find any of this to be transparent.

Griffin: Sen. Ballinger. Anyone wish to speak in favor? Against? Sen. Ballinger.

Ballinger: Thank you, Mr. President. I– you know, we’re going to take a vote here to decide to go home and not take up further legislation. The reason for that– and honestly, I think Sen. Hickey is, is trying to protect his members from a hard vote. And I don’t think that that’s a dishonorable thing to do. But the reality is the reason that they’re trying to do this is they’re afraid that the resolution will get a two-thirds vote.  Why would the resolution get a two-thirds vote? Because your constituents want us to vote for this. Because in Texas babies’ lives are being saved today and have been for 90 days. Every single day, babies are being saved, at least in Texas. You know what’s happening? They’re driving to Little Rock. Go stand outside that abortion clinic in Little Rock. Look at the tags. Texas plate, Texas plate, Texas plate, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Texas, Texas, Texas. They’re coming here to kill those babies. 

Look, I want to go home. I don’t want to be here. But I came up here to save babies as much as anything else. And, and that’s what your people want back home. That’s why if this– if we kill this motion to, to, to, to go home, to adjourn, that’s why that motion will probably get two thirds vote or real close to it. Because your constituents want you to vote for it. And I don’t– I mean, honestly, I think– as much as I want to be home, as much as I want to go Christmas shopping and spend time with my babies and go actually take care of stuff with clients and do all that stuff, I want to stay here because that’s why I came down here. I appreciate a no vote.

Griffin: For the motion? Against the motion? Sen. Rapert.

Rapert: Thank you, Mr. President. Members, as I said previously, this is a body of process, procedure. This is what we do. So I’m not mad at anybody for whatever their decision is. It’s a process. And this process for me is about standing up for what we said we wanted to do at the first of this year in the first session. We passed Act 309. We passed that. 27 of the members of this Senate actually passed Act 309. 76 members of the House passed this bill and we were proud of it. 

Two years ago we were named the most pro-life state in the entire nation as a result of what each of you prolife members has done– each and every one of you. And I’ve heard you speak about it in your districts. We’re proud of what we’ve done. We came in and passed SB 6, which was a total ban on abortion except to save the lfie of the mother, the strongest thing we’ve ever done. And a federal judge enjoined that. But what’s happened is since we did that action and they stopped our bill from saving babies’ lives, Texas passed the civil cause of action. That’s a strategy and new tool that we did not have available, that we didn’t know that we could really use. Adn can I tell you today that right now, right now, Emma’s Law, which we passed, has a substitute civil cause of action that is available right now. That substitute– that civil cause of action is available. I was confirmed that yesterday. So we have had this that we’re using in some form on another bill. Adn what I’m asking members to do is to do what we said we wanted to do at the beginning of the year. In many regards, frankly, it’s a technical correction. All it’s doing is replacing state action with a civil cause of action. Just as Sen. Ballinger stated, the state of Texas, they now say they’ve estimated over 3,000 babies have been saved in just over 90 days in the state of Texas.

But we’re not the first to come up and do this again. The State of Florida cited in Forbes has already followed suit with Texas to file the same sort of bill there. The state of Ohio has done that there. So my question to you, as I close my comments and ask you to vote against this substitute motion to adjourn and allow us to handle the business. We could be out of here in a couple of days if you want to. Absolutely. 

I’m going to say as I close my comments– the second provision of the Arkansas Republican platform says that we honor the sanctity of life. The first is faith in almighty God, and I look at the 27 of you that stood up for life and all I’m asking you to do is what we’ve done every step of the way now for 10 years. When we see a tool that can save lives, we stand and use that tool. When I got up this morning, I put in my pocket this rock from Jerusalem, the streets of Jerusalem that I’ve carried every day from 14. Why is it important to me? Number one, it says never leave a stone unturned. Well, why would I not use a tool that the state of Texas is using to save babies when I know the tool is there for us to use and quickly? The second thing is when I think about Jerusalem, it’s the most holy city in the entire world. We think God is the giver of life, and I do believe that and I know many of you do too. Then why not at Christmas, when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ as our savior who gave his life so that all of us could be saved, would we not take a couple of days to save the lives of unborn babies?

I appreciate your vote against this motion to adjourn and let us handle this business for the people of our state.

Griffin: Sen. Ingram, do you wish to be recognized?

Ingram: Yeah, point of clarification.

Griffin: Yes.

Ingram: Are we debating a specific bill or are we debating a motion?

Griffin: We are debating a motion.

Ingram: [unintelligible] there’s pros and cons on the issue that Sen. Rapert was talking about, and we could debate that for a long period of time. Could we stay on the motion to sine die?

Griffin: This chair gives wide latitude to Senators. You’re elected. If you want to read Dr. Seuss as some have done in other bodies, you can do that. You can talk about– it’s not my role to, when someone is speaking for or against a bill or for or against a motion, to tell them that they’re veering into the ditch or not veering into the ditch. So, I give wide latitude to pretty much everyone.

Ingram: I’d like to make a motion of immediate consideration. 

Griffin: Okay. Well, I want to look at something real quick. You can– you can make a substitute motion for immediate consideration, although I believe the precedent– let me talk to Steve for a second. [confers with Parliamentarian] Are you making that motion, Sen. Ingram?

Ingram: I ask if it would be allowed.

Griffin: It would be allowed because it would simply be to stop this debate and move on to the vote on the substitute motion. 

Ingram: I make a motion of immediate consideration. 

Griffin: You’ve heard the motion. It is a proper motion. All those in favor, say aye. Opposed? The ayes have it, and now we will vote on the– we will vote on the– we are going to vote on the substitute motion to adjourn to adjourn sine die. All those in favor, say aye. Opposed? The ayes have it. One, two, three, four, five, six. Madam Secretary, please call the roll.

Cornwell: We have a pair at the desk– Sen. Hendren, yes; Sen. Hester, no.


Vote to adjourn sine die

[Vote to adjourn sine die

Yes: 23, No: 11

Yes: Bledsoe, Caldwell, Chesterfield, Davis, Dismang, Elliott, English, Flippo, Flowers, Hendren, Hammer, Hickey, Hill, Ingram, Irvin, B. Johnson, Leding, Pitsch, Rice, Sample, Sturch, Teague, Tucker

No: Ballinger, Beckham, Clark, Garner, Gilmore, Hester, M. Johnson, Rapert, Stubblefield, Sullivan, Wallace]

Griffin: Sen. Garner, I think– hang on one second. This relates to the ballot and so it is proper for me to recognize Sen. Garner.

Garner: Correct. The question I have for the chair for the procedural part is Sen. Hendren requested leave earlier–

Griffin: Yeah, he should be– he should not be a yes.

Garner: Correct, I didn’t think you could pair–

Griffin: Did he– did he have a pair at the desk? Okay. He had a pair at the desk.

Garner: I understand that, but it’s the members of the majority of people here. He’s not actually here. Does the pair overturn that because he’s not here?

Griffin: One second. I think he has to be– I think it’s the majority of those voting, not those present. One second. Majority of those voting. Majority of those voting. It’s not– it’s not going to be dispositive either way, but it’s a majority of those voting. So there’s no requirement that he be present.

Garner: Alright, correct. Just wanted to make sure, clarification on the ballot. Thank you.

Griffin: Is this related to that? Because otherwise we’re moving on. You’re a yes. Okay, Sen. Hammer’s a yes. Anyone else? Cast up the ballot. 23 yeas, 11 nays, the motion carried. The Senate’s adjourned sine die.


[Adjourned to Committee of the Whole for adoption of memorial and ceremonial resolutions]