December 7, 2021
House of Representatives
Formalities and Governor’s call
Shepherd [00:13:34] The House will come to order. Members, before we get started, I want to do something a little different because of the significance today. Today is the 80th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and I believe in just about an hour and 50 minutes will be exactly 80 years to the minute. And so I would just ask that you stand. And let’s take a moment of silence in remembrance of all those who lost their lives 80 years to go– 80 years ago today, and all those who lost their lives and sacrificed throughout World War Two. Thank you. I invite the members, staff, press and guests to stand to be led in prayer by Dr. Rex Horne, House chaplain and retired pastor of Emanuel Baptist Church in Little Rock, and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance to be led by Representative Lynn Jean.
Horne [00:14:48] Let’s pray together. Father, we are grateful for our country and for our state specifically. We are thankful for the men, the women through all the years and all the wars who have given their ultimate sacrifice for our freedom that we enjoy. And we must admit at times we take for granted. Help us to be a grateful people. Father, at this time we pray for the men and women of the House and also those in the Senate, that you would bless them, that you would help them in the work that is before them. And Father, we hope that we would also be people of great perspective and to realize that we only have a short time here, short time upon the Earth and even a long life is a short life. So we celebrate the season and we remember the words of the angels: Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill toward men. We remember the message that our Lord shared at Nazareth, his hometown, that I’ve come to preach good news to the poor, to the blind, to the oppressed and to set the captive free. May we in our homes, our churches, wherever we may be in this season, may we who are a part of public service keep in mind the greater good and be people of joy and peace and good will now and forever more. In Jesus name, amen.
[00:16:38] [Pledge of Allegiance]
Shepherd [00:16:44] Members please indicate your presence by pushing the yellow present button. Prepare the machine, Mr. Clerk. Cast up the ballot. Mr. Clerk. With 98 members present, the chair sees a quorum. Are there any requests for leave? Rep. Cavenaugh, for what purpose?
Cavenaugh [00:17:29] Leave. Leave for Representative Barker.
Shepherd [00:17:33] Is leave granted for Rep. Barker? So noted. Represent Boyd, for what purpose?
Boyd [00:17:38] Leave.
Shepherd [00:17:39] You’re recognized.
Boyd [00:17:40] Leave for Rep. Eaves.
Shepherd [00:17:42] Is leave granted for Rep. Eaves? So noted. Mr. Clerk, please read the proclamation from the governor.
Clerk [00:17:52] To all to whom these presents shall come greetings, whereas an extraordinary occasion has arisen, making it necessary to convene the 93rd General Assembly into an extraordinary session. And whereas since 2015, the state of Arkansas has implemented tax cuts to benefit Arkansas taxpayers. But amendments to the Arkansas income tax law can be enacted to provide additional personal and corporate income tax reductions, while at the same time providing financial security to the state of Arkansas. And whereas reclaimed or recovered fiscal year 2021, unexpended general revenue balances should be transferred to the restricted reserve funds for various projects and needs throughout the state of Arkansas. And whereas certain legislation passed during the regular session of the 93 General Assembly require amendments to correct drafting and other technical errors. And whereas the federal government continues to provide American Rescue Plan funds directly to state agencies and departments, which necessitates the General Assembly providing more appropriation to the Department of Finance and Administration distributing officer. And whereas an economic development project within the state of Arkansas requires legislation to expand recyclable tax credit and to allow for investments and incentives. And whereas amendments to legislation were necessary regarding the security personnel employed by the General Assembly.
Now, therefore, I, Asa Hutchinson, governor of the State of Arkansas, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by Article six, Section 19 of the Arkansas Constitution do hereby call an extraordinary session of the General Assembly to convene in Little Rock on December 7th, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. And I do hereby specify that the General Assembly is convened in such session to consider, and, if so advised, enact laws for the following purposes:
One, to amend the income tax brackets and rates for individuals to no lower than top rate of 5.5% for tax year 2020, 5.3% for tax year 2023, 5.1% percent for tax year 2024 and 4.9% for tax year 2025. To allow cliff adjustments to amend the income tax brackets and rates for domestic and foreign corporations to no lower than 5.7% in 20203, 5.5% for tax year 2024 and 5.3% for tax year 2025. To change the name of the long term reserve fund and to ensure that it is adequately funded to provide a nonrefundable– excuse me, yes– nonrefundable personal income tax credit of up to $60 for individuals having a net income of up to $24,700. To update existing income tax exemptions for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program and any successor program. To amend the elective pass through entity Tax Act. For the Chief Fiscal Officer to provide information to the public and the Bureau of Legislative Research whether the tax reductions for tax year 2024 and 2025 can take effect and to provide for other information regarding state general revenue funds. Funding to the index of standard deduction for inflation.
Number two, to transfer funds to the Restricted Reserve Fund, the General Revenue Allotment Reserve Fund and the Economic Development Quick Action Closing Fund.
Three, to make appropriations for the Arkansas– or excuse me– for the American Rescue Plan funds for the Department of Finance and Administration disbursing officer.
Four, to repeal the law concerning pharmaceutical discounts for insulin.
Five, to modify the Uniform Limited Liability Company Act to clarify the applicability of the Uniform Limited Liability Act and Related Business Statutes, and to confirm and retain limited liability status and limited liability protection on certain limited liability companies.
Six, to amend the law concerning the initial appointments of the Tax Appeals Commission.
Seven, to amend the Income Tax Credit for waste reduction, reuse and recycling equipment, and to allow for the use of income tax credits for by Qualified Growth Project and to clarify the distribution of the income tax credits.
Eight, to amend the law related to security personnel employed by the General Assembly.
Nine, to confirm gubernatorial appointees as required by Arkansas Code annotated subsection 10-2-113 and to provide–
number 10, to provide for the payment and expenses and per diem of the House of Representatives and the Senate for this extraordinary session. In testimony thereof, I hereunto set my hand and cause the great seal of the state of Arkansas to be affixed this third day of December in the Year of Our Lord 2021. Asa Hutchinson, Governor.
Shepherd [00:22:12] In accordance with the provisions of Article six, Section 19 of the Arkansas Constitution, no business other than that which is germane to the items in the call of the governor will be considered until all items in the call have been disposed of. Rep. Slape, for what purpose?
Slape [00:22:33] Motion.
Shepherd [00:22:34] Let’s hear your motion.
Slape [00:22:35] Mr. Speaker, I move we suspend for the duration of this special session house Rule 38 P through T setting minimum lengths of time for circulation of fiscal impact statements related to specific types of legislation.
Shepherd [00:22:51] That’s a proper motion. It’s not debatable. All in favor, say Aye. Any opposed? The ayes have it. The motion is adopted. Rep. Slape, for what purpose?
Slape [00:23:04] Motion.
Shepherd [00:23:04] Let’s hear your motion.
Slape [00:23:05] Mr. Speaker, I move that we suspend for the duration of this special session House Rule 41 A requiring bills to be on the desk for at least 24 hours before final passage and B prohibiting bills from being placed on committee agendas no sooner than the second calendar day following its filing.
Shepherd [00:23:22] That’s a proper motion. It’s not debatable. All in favor, say aye. Any opposed? The motion is adopted. Rep. Slape, for what purpose?
Slape [00:23:32] Motion.
Shepherd [00:23:33] Let’s hear your motion.
Slape [00:23:34] Mr. Speaker, I move we spend for the duration of this special session House Rule 60 A setting minimum lengths of time for notice of committee meetings.
Shepherd [00:23:43] That’s a proper motion. It’s not debatable. All in favor, say aye. Any opposed? The motion is adopted. The Speaker directs the clerk to notify the Senate that the House is in session ready for business. The Speaker directs the clerk to notify the governor that the House is in session ready for business. Members, with us today from the Arkansas State Police, we have Corporal Richie Whitley and Corporal Trey Keller. Both of them are out of the highway patrol administrative offices here in Little Rock. [applause] Read the bills, Mr Clerk.
Assignment of bills to committees
Clerk [00:25:13] House Bill 1001.
Shepherd [00:25:15] Without objection, read the bill a second time.
Clerk [00:25:16] House bill 1001.
Shepherd [00:25:17] Revenue and tax.
Clerk [00:25:18] House bill 1002.
Shepherd [00:25:20] Without objection, read the bill a second time.
Clerk [00:25:21] House bill 1002.
Shepherd [00:25:23] Joint budget.
Clerk [00:25:26] House Bill 1003.
Shepherd [00:25:28] Without objection, read the bill a second time.
Clerk [00:25:29] House bill 1003.
Shepherd [00:25:31] State agencies.
Clerk [00:25:32] House bill 1004.
Shepherd [00:25:34] Without objection, read the bill a second time.
Clerk [00:25:35] House bill 1004.
Shepherd [00:25:36] Insurance and commerce.
Clerk [00:25:40] House for 1005.
Shepherd [00:25:41] Without objection, read the bill a second time.
Clerk [00:25:44] House Bill 1005.
Shepherd [00:25:45] Public Health.
Clerk [00:25:46] House Bill 1006.
Shepherd [00:25:48] Without objection, read the bill a second time.
Clerk [00:25:51] House Bill 1006.
Shepherd [00:25:51] Revenue and Tax.
Clerk [00:25:52] House bill 1007.
Shepherd [00:25:54] Without objection, read the bill a second time.
Clerk [00:25:57] House Bill 1007.
Shepherd [00:25:57] Revenue and Tax.
Clerk [00:25:58] House Resolution 1001.
Shepherd [00:26:02] Without objection read the resolution a second time.
Clerk [00:26:04] House Resolution 1001.
Shepherd [00:26:05] Calendar.
Clerk [00:26:05] House Resolution 1002.
Shepherd [00:26:08] Without objection, read the resolution a second time.
Clerk [00:26:10] House resolution 1002.
Shepherd [00:26:10] Calendar.
Clerk [00:26:12] House resolution 1003.
Shepherd [00:26:13] Without objection, read the bill a second time.
Clerk [00:26:16] House Resolution 1003.
Shepherd [00:26:16] Calendar. Rep. Meeks, for what purpose?
Meeks [00:26:29] Motion.
Shepherd [00:26:29] Let’s hear your motion
Meeks [00:26:31] After the announcements, reading of the bills, transferring of the bills, placing the calendars on the desk, members remanding their own bills with their own amendments, members withdrawing their own bills, finalizing resolutions, reading communications and any remaining committee reports, I move that we adjourn until 10:00 tomorrow morning.
Shepherd [00:26:43] That’s a proper motion. It’s not debatable. All in favor, say aye. Any opposed? Motion is adopted. Members, before we move to announcements just to give you kind of an overview of at least the next couple of days. Joint budget is about to meet. I’ll let Rep. Jean make that announcement in just a second. And then after lunch, there will be certain committees that have had bills assigned will meet because they are A and B committees that need to meet and because the Senate is also meeting, there’s, there’s going to be, you know, several different meeting times this afternoon. So pay attention to the announcements. Also pay attention to the Arkleg website. Then tomorrow, we anticipate we’re going to convene at 10 a.m. and then anticipate having again committee meetings after lunch tomorrow afternoon, and then we’ll see what happens from there. All right. Any announcements? Rep. Jean, for what purpose?
Jean [00:27:38] Announcement?
Shepherd [00:27:39] Let’s hear it.
Jean [00:27:40] Joint budget will meet in 15 minutes in Big Mac A. We have three bills to consider.
Shepherd [00:27:45] Represent Fortner, for what purpose?
Fortner [00:27:47] Announcement.
Shepherd [00:27:48] You’re recognized.
Fortner [00:27:49] Rev and tax will meet at 3:00 in room 151.
Shepherd [00:27:53] Rep. Jett, for what purpose?
Jett [00:27:54] Announcement, Mr. Speaker.
Shepherd [00:27:54] You’re recognized.
Jett [00:27:57] Members, I know it was late getting the AEDC bill out. It should be sent out and everybody should have an email. Please check email for the bill. If you don’t have it, see me and I’ll make sure you get a copy.
Shepherd [00:28:08] Rep. Ladyman, for what purpose?
Ladyman [00:28:10] Announcement.
Shepherd [00:28:10] You’re recognized.
Ladyman [00:28:11] Public Health will meet at 2:30 in room 130.
Shepherd [00:28:16] Rep. Lowery, for what purpose?
Lowery [00:28:17] Announcement.
Shepherd [00:28:18] You’re recognized.
Lowery [00:28:20] House insurance and commerce will meet at 1:30 in Big Mac C. I believe we have just one bill to take up. It won’t take us long.
Shepherd [00:28:28] Representative Tosh, for what purpose?
Tosh [00:28:30] Announcement.
Shepherd [00:28:30] You’re recognized.
Tosh [00:28:32] State Agencies will meet at 1:30, room 151.
Shepherd [00:28:38] Rep. Meeks, for what purpose?
Meeks [00:28:39] Announcement.
Shepherd [00:28:40] You’re recognized.
Meeks [00:28:41] I need to meet with all the members of the 2nd Congressional District Caucus immediately upon dismissal.
Shepherd [00:28:53] The desk will remain open and upon completion of the items named in the adjourned resolution, the House will be adjourned until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow.