December 8, 2021

House of Representatives


Formalities and Resolutions


Shepherd [00:00:24]  I invite the members, staff, press and guests in the galleries to stand and be led in prayer by the House chaplain, Dr. Rex Horne, retired Pastor Emmanuel Baptist Church in Little Rock, and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance to be led by Representative Lane Jean. 


Horne [00:20:08] Let’s pray, please. Father, we thank you for the beauty of this day. We thank you for the good women and good men who fill this House. We pray that you bless them today. Father, we thank you that you’ve made us similar in many ways and different in many ways. We thank you that in public service that these who come have the ability to talk, to dialogue, to seek to find a better way. We pray that you’ll bless them. And yet, Lord, we recognize as well as a part of our human experience, that there’s also fear that comes even in public service, fear that comes in our private lives. And we’re thankful that you’re faithful to meet those needs. I thank you today for the words of Isaiah who said for you to fear not. I’m with you. Be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you. Great is your faithfulness, and we’re so thankful. In Jesus name, Amen.


Shepherd [00:21:38] Members, please indicate your presence by pushing your yellow present button. Prepare the machine, Mr Clerk. Cast up the ballot, Mr Clerk. With 100 members present, the chair sees a quorum. Representative Fredrick Love moves we dispense with the reading of the previous day’s journal. Without objection, so ordered. Are there reports from select committees? Are there reports from standing committees? Read the reports, Mr Clerk. 


Clerk [00:22:31] Mr Speaker, We the Committee on Revenue and Taxation, to whom was referred House Bill 1006 and the House Bill 1007, beg leave to report that we have had the same under consideration herewith return turn the same with the recommendation do pass. Respectfully submitted Jack Fortner, Vice Chair. Mr Speaker, we the Committee on Revenue and Taxation, to whom was referred House Bill 1001, beg leave to report that we’ve had the same under consideration, herewith return the same with the recommendation do pass. Respectfully submitted, Joe Jett, Chair. 


Shepherd [00:22:57] There any unfinished business? Are there any executive communications? Members, we have a few guests with us today. We have with us the Sherwood Young ambassadors from Sylvan Hills High School. They’re the guests of Representative Wing, Representative Brown and Representative Ray. They are in the West Gallery. [applause] We also have with us from the great state of Oklahoma State Representative Dean Davis from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. The West Gallery. [applause]. 


[00:23:48] Mr Clerk, read House Resolution 1005.


Clerk [00:24:18] House Resolution 1005 by Representative Sheppard to congratulate the El Dorado High School Lady Wildcats golf team on winning the 2021 Class 5A State Championship. 


Speaker 3 [00:24:28] Speaker Shepherd, you’re recognized to present the resolution. 


Shepherd [00:24:31] Mr. Chair, I’d like for Rep. Barker to join me in the well. Members, it’s my honor today to present two resolutions for your consideration. The first is House Resolution 1005. It’s congratulating the El Dorado High School Wildcats girls golf team. They are the back to back state champions. They are coached by coach Chris Ezelle. They’ve had an outstanding run the last couple of years, and so I wanted to make sure that we honored them and I get the honor of presenting another resolution here in just a minute. But, you know, I think it’s a great opportunity for us to have these school groups and athletic teams here in the House to expose them to the House of Representatives. I know, like so many of you, that the lessons learned on the athletic field and otherwise have served me well here in the House and throughout life. And so today I ask that you join me in a favorable vote congratulating our girls golf team. They’re in the North Gallery here. And as I said, back to back state champions. 


Barker [00:26:09] I can’t really add a whole lot to that, except when I went upstairs to tell the ladies, as someone who’s been playing golf longer than I want to tell you because that would reveal my age, congratulations, and I hope you enjoy the game of golf for many, many years. 


Speaker 3 [00:26:30] The question before the House is the adoption of House Resolution 1005. All in favor, say aye. Opposed, nay. Resolution is adopted. Mr Clerk, read House Resolution 1006.


Clerk [00:26:51] House Resolution 1006 by Representative Shepherd to congratulate the Eldorado High School Wildcats football team on winning the 2021 Class 6A state championship. 


Speaker 3 [00:27:01] Speaker Shepherd, you’re recognized to present the resolution. 


Shepherd [00:27:03] Thank you, Mr Chair. Again, it’s my honor to be here presenting a resolution on behalf of the El Dorado Wildcats, the state champion in 6A. One of the things that I would say, I do enjoy having all the school school groups here, but I did share with them ahead of time that it got a little old always having to let my good friend, Representative Johnson present the Greenwood Bulldogs every year here at the Capitol. And so I’m glad to have El Dorado back here. But another thing that’s great about athletics is the friendships that you make on and off the field. And I know that from my time, many years, many, many years ago, there are many friends that I’ve made through athletics across the state of Arkansas. Let me tell you a little bit about this team. They finished the year– let’s see, I think it was nine straight wins in a row is my recollection. Won three straight games in the playoffs, obviously, and then concluded with the state championship this past Saturday. A number of tremendous individual performances. But I know that, that the team is what’s most important. And you know, let me say this, too, one of the things and one of the reasons why anybody that knows me knows that I’m a big supporter of El Dorado athletics. But when you look up there, that’s the face of El dorado, both here and in the North Gallery. It’s one of the greatest things about our community that brings us together, and that’s why I love to support the Wildcats. We’ve got a great coaching staff, Coach Stephen Jones here, just in his third year in El Dorado. This is only– he had a previous stint at Junction City. In the past five years, he’s played in the state championship game three times and won two state championships. But none of you other school districts get any ideas. I would also mention that he was just honored this past week by the American Football Coaches Association, which if anybody is familiar with that, that’s a huge nationwide organization. He was named one of the top 35 under 35, which was one of only two high school coaches in that group, so that was a tremendous honor. I’d also mention coach Philip Lansdale, our athletic director. Coach Lansdale has done a great job with our– with our program and appreciate his work. And I know we’ve got Superintendent Jim Tucker is somewhere up there. Okay.  And Mr. Tucker obviously provides great leadership to our school district, not only when it comes to athletics, but more importantly when it comes to academics. And so with that, I certainly would appreciate a very good vote. 


Speaker 3 [00:29:46] Speaker Shepherd has presented the resolution. The question before the House is the adoption of House resolution 1006. All in favor, say aye. Oppose, nay. The resolution is adopted. The morning hour is ended. Mr Clerk, read House Bill 1003. 


House Bill 1003


Clerk [00:30:37] House Bill 1003, by Representative Slape concerning security personnel employed by the General Assembly and to declare an emergency. 


Speaker 3 [00:30:44] Representative Slape, you’re recognized to present the bill. 


Slape [00:30:49] Thank you, Mr Speaker. And I’d like to thank Representative Gonzalez for pulling my slack yesterday for me when I was unable to make the committee meeting. And I thought, well, I owe Justin one. And then I thought, Oh no, I owe Justin one. So, but this, this bill concerns our sergeant at arms and giving him authority to be able to have, make arrest powers and what have you for us in this. It’s for his security and for his having qualified immunity under this. We’ve got some issues in it that we want to clean up that we can do in the next session. But what we need right now is because of his exposure to liability being the security officer for us. And this also will allow him to go around the state with us and be able to coordinate with local agencies to be able to take care of anything, any issues we may have problems with in our security. Anyhow, with that, I’ll take any questions. 


Speaker 3 [00:32:03] Represent McKenzie for what purpose? 


McKenzie [00:32:04] Question. 


[00:32:05] You’re recognized for a question. 


McKenzie [00:32:07] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Could you– because this language is very broad, so could you elaborate on what kind of changes we’re looking at making when we come back and also– well just do that.


Slape [00:32:18] Okay. Well, thank you. Appreciate it, Representative McKenzie. Because the one is it’s a certified officer. To clarify, it’s not somebody just yanked off the streets, that they have to meet all the standards that a regular police officer does. You know, it’s– unfortunately it’d be easier to hire and pay if we could just yank them off the street, give them gun, badge and go. But no, we’ve got to make sure that they are certified and gone through the process. 


McKenzie [00:32:49] Follow up. 


[00:32:49] You’re recognized.


McKenzie [00:32:50] So these are pretty broad powers here as well. So are we looking at making any changes in these broad powers? And personnel, is it just going to be one person or is this opening the door to perhaps a broader staff? 


Slape [00:33:04] Okay. It’s– yes, it’s going to be one person. And as broad powers, only when he is in service to the House will he carry the authority. With that, I ask for a good vote. 


Speaker 3 [00:33:22] Representative Slape has presented the bill. Would anyone like to speak against the bill? For the bill? Representative Slape is closed for the bill. Question before the House is the passage of House Bill 1003. Prepare the machine, Mr. Clerk. You’re voting on the bill and the emergency clause. Has everyone voted? Cast up the ballot, Mr Clerk. 96 yeas, 1 nay, and 0 present. The bill and the emergency clause is passed. Mr Clerk, read House Bill 1004. 


Vote on House Bill 1003


[Yes: 96, No: 1, Not voting: 3


No: McKenzie

Not voting: Shepherd, J Mayberry, Womack]


House Bill 1004


Clerk [00:34:07] House Bill 1004 by Representative Dalby to clarify the applicability of the Uniform Limited Liability Company Act, to confirm and retain the limited liability status and limited liability protection of certain limited liability companies and to declare an emergency. 


Speaker 3 [00:34:20] Representative Dalby, you’re recognized to present the bill. 


Dalby [00:34:25] Thank you, Mr Speaker. Colleagues, all this bill is doing is correcting a drafting error from the original bill that came through in the session. What happened? The original bill, the current– then current law expired at the end of July, but the new law didn’t take place until September 1. So this is fixing that gap and assuring the people who operated limited liability corporations during that gap period that they are recognized. I’ll be happy to take any questions. If not, I would appreciate a good vote and adoption of the emergency clause. 


Speaker 3 [00:35:01] Representative Dalby has presented the bill. Would anyone like to speak against the bill? For the bill? Representative Dalby is closed for the bill. The question before the House is the passage of House Bill 1004. Prepare the machine, Mr. Clerk. You’re voting on the bill and the emergency clause. Has everyone voted? Cast up the ballot, Mr Clerk. 99 yeas, 0 nays, 0 present. The bill and the emergency clauses pass. Mr Clerk read House Bill 1005.


Vote on House Bill 1004


[Yes: 99, Not voting: 1


Not voting: Shepherd]


House Bill 1005 


Clerk [00:35:39] House Bill 1005 by Representative Payton to repeal the law concerning pharmaceutical discounts for insulin and to declare an emergency. 


Speaker 3 [00:35:46] Represent Payton, you’re recognized to explain the bill. 


Payton [00:35:50] Thank you, Mr Speaker. And colleagues, merry Christmas. But I’ll tell you, I really want to thank each and every one of y’all for the support, enthusiastic support that passed this bill back during the regular session to try to bring some transparency and fair market value to the insulin products. We did not have– it did not have the effect that we had hoped it would have. I think maybe there are a couple of other options out there. If you remember back during the regular session we had, we had passed a bill out of the health committee that I asked you to refer back because the logistics of that bill seem to be overwhelming. I hope that in the future, as we find another solution to this problem, you will enthusiastically support that. 


There is a problem with the wholesale market on insulin, and the retail price is being artificially inflated. I invite any of you that are interested to go on the internet and look up the Grassley insulin report. The U.S. Senate done a two year study, and it’s a 90 page report. But you can read the last two pages, which are the conclusion, and it spells out very clearly what the problem is. The solution seems to be a little elusive at the moment. And I promise you, I’m going to continue to work on it. I know a few others that are helping in that. If anybody wants to be involved in trying to find the solution, I would welcome that participation. But this bill has proven not to be the solution, so we definitely need to repeal it before it goes into effect. It was set to go into effect soon. So it has an emergency clause, and I’d appreciate your good vote. Thank you. 


Speaker 3 [00:37:41] Representative Peyton has presented the bill. Would anyone like to speak against the bill? For the bill? Representative Boyd, you’re recognized to speak for the bill. 


Boyd [00:37:55] Thank you, Mr Speaker and colleagues. I rise today, not because I want to belabor what Mr Payton has said, but because I asked several of you– several of you personally to co-sponsor this bill. And I feel like I owe an explanation, and the quickest, most efficient way I can explain it is for me to be here in the well and, and do that. So just bear with me quickly and I’ll make my point. So let me explain. We knew based on market information, a certain long acting insulin cost a pharmacy approximately $250. There was a legal substitute that was available for basically $100. So that left a $150 difference. So there’s $150 that seemed to be going in rebates. So that $150 is even greater than the $100 that the substitute insulin would cost. So PBMs, pharmacy benefit managers, collect that money, that $150, and they redistribute it. We really don’t know how they were distributed. So what we were trying to do– our goal was to not collect the $150 and allow more transparency in the system. And unfortunately, we didn’t quite get the language right. 


So there’s a real-world example of what’s going on. So we received information from Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield that this bill was going to cost Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield $24 million. So let me rephrase that another way. That means that insulin requiring diabetics are subsidizing Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield $24 million. And there are other examples out there. So I’m not trying to pick on one entity. That’s just the one where the the information is there. It’s, it’s was shared with us all and the easiest to explain. So again, our goal was to not collect the money in the first place, create transparency and ultimately competition. Our language didn’t accomplish that. So again, please join me today in voting yes, but be ready to help our diabetics in the future with clarified language. Thank you. 


Speaker 3 [00:39:54] Representative Flowers, for what purpose? 


Flowers [00:39:56] Question. 


[00:39:56] You’re recognized for a question.


Flowers [00:39:59] I suspect that it might take some time, but I’m wondering is there correct language that could address this that might come back during the next session? 


Boyd [00:40:10] So I mean, I’m speaking on the bill at hand. It’s just– we’ve looked at it. The language is elusive, but we’re going to continue to look at it. And I hope that many members will join us in trying to figure out how we get it right. 


Flowers [00:40:22] Thank you. 


Boyd [00:40:22] Thank you. 


Speaker 3 [00:40:24] Representative Boyd has spoke for the bill. Would anyone like to speak against the bill? For the bill? Representative Payton. You’re recognized to close for your bill. 


Payton [00:40:34] Thank you. And I just, I just thought I’d clarify a little bit for Representative Flowers. Yes, we had two other ideas that we thought about pursuing during the regular session before we came– settled on this idea. And hopefully there are even more solutions out there. But right now, for me, the most prominent one would be to force those rebates through to the end payer. So if we get this repealed to where we can work on that solution, I think we have other other solutions and possibly will discover something new, but I’d appreciate a good vote. Thank you. 


Speaker 3 [00:41:10] Representative Payton has closed for the bill. The question before the House is the passage of House bill 1005. Prepare the machine, Mr. Clerk. You’re voting on the bill and the emergency clause. Has everyone voted? Cast up the ballot, Mr Clerk. With 99 yeas, 0 nays, and 0 present, the bill and emergency clause is passed, Mr Clerk, read House bill 1006. 


Vote on House Bill 1005


[Yes: 99, No: 0, Not voting: 1


Not voting: Shepherd]


House Bill 1006


Clerk [00:41:43] House Bill 1006 by Representative Jett to amend the law concerning the initial appointments to the Tax Appeals Commission and to declare an emergency. 


Speaker 3 [00:41:50] Representative Jett, you’re recognized to explain the bill. 


Jett [00:41:54] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Colleagues, this bill, if you guys remember back during the last session, we did a Tax Fairness Appeal Commission bill. It was two bills, both bills were rather lengthy. I think both bills were like 30 or 40 pages long. So what this bill does is really kind of cleans up some language that we found, some language inside the two bills, clarify the language and basically when the Tax Appeals Commission is set up, they’re on a 9– the commissioners will be on a 9-year term, if you will. But we did not want all three commissioners rolling off at the same time. So in the very first cycle of terms, one commissioner will serve three years, one will serve six years, one will serve nine years. So that way, when they cycle off, we’re not, we’re not losing all three commissioners at the same time. But between both bills– after we passed the bills out of this body, what we found was that there was a little bit of language in there that was kind of unclear how that the first round of commissioners coming off matches up with the second round of commissioners coming on. So basically all this bill does is clarify that language inside the bill. With that, I appreciate a good vote. 


Speaker 3 [00:43:02] Representative Jett has explained the bill. Would anyone like to speak against the bill? For the bill? Representative Jett is closed for the bill. The question before the House is the passage of House bill 1006. Prepare the machine, Mr. Clerk. You’re voting on the bill and the emergency clause. Has everyone voted? Cast up the ballot, Mr Clerk. With 99 yeas, 0 nays and 0 present, the bill and the emergency clause are passed. Mr. Clerk, read House Bill 1007. 


Vote on House Bill 1006


[Yes: 99, No: 0, Not voting: 1


Not voting: Shepherd]


House Bill 1007 


Clerk [00:43:41] House Bill 1007 by Representative Jett to amend the income tax credit for waste reduction, reuse and recycling equipment. 


Speaker 3 [00:43:49] Representative Jett, you’re recognized to explain the bill. 


Jett [00:43:53] Thank you, Mr Speaker. Colleagues, this has to do with the recycling tax credit. I think I’ve talked to just about every one of you here about this in the last day or so. But basically back in the 90th General Assembly in 2017, this body passed a recycling– manufacturer recycling tax credit for the steel mill. And so what this is, this is– this is– it’s kind of crazy because I was told not to talk about the project that’s going to come in. But yesterday, the Senate, in their good fashion, they just went ahead and spilled the beans for everybody. I think they wasn’t supposed to do that. But you know how senators are so. So I’m not going to really address the company coming in from the well. But what this does is this bill opens up another avenue. It kind of piggybacks on the existing bill that we have. And so we’re amending the existing bill to let a new, a new super project come in to the state of Arkansas, if you will. 


And it has monetized tax credits. It’s going to have $11 million worth of monetized tax credits. But the state can buy those back for 80 percent, which, which means the state will be on the hook for 8.8. But the cost analysis benefit, along with the tax credits and the other portion of it that’s coming out of–  Chairman Jean’s thunder coming out of budget, everything has a positive cost analysis. So the project’s going to bring in 700 jobs at 120,000 apiece. Then it’s going to have 200 jobs at 60,000 for 900 jobs, average of $109,000. There will be– there will be clawbacks put into, in place with the company talking about coming. I’m told that if we pass this today, the company, the company is– they’re ready to announce within a week. And I think they’re just waiting on a CEO’s signature from what I understand. 


This is shoring up manufacturing. We all keep hearing about the state of Arkansas is losing manufacturing in the state. This actually shores up the manufacturing in northeast Arkansas, which is desperately needed. It brings good jobs up there. So I think somebody asked– I tried to answer all the questions. Somebody asked me– I can’t remember who it was, but somebody asked me about the carry forward. So on the monetized tax credits. So we talked about the bill, the original bill coming into effect– I think it was Representative Collins might have asked this question yesterday– but the question was since they can carry these tax credits forward for 14 years, does it start back in 2017 or does it start now going forward? So the answer to that question, whoever asked me that question, it starts– if we pass this, it starts now and carries forward for the next 14 years. And that will be a cost of $154 million over the 14 year period. So with that, I think I probably pretty much covered everything, and I’d appreciate a good vote. 


Speaker 3 [00:46:48] Representative Jett has explained the bill. Would anyone like to speak against the bill? For the bill? Representative Jett is closed for the bill. The question before the House is the passage of. House Bill 1007. Prepare the machine, Mr Clerk. Has everyone voted? Cast up the ballot, Mr Clerk. 94 yeas, 4 nays and 0 present. The bill is passed. Mr Clerk, read House bill 1001.


Vote on House Bill 1007


[Yes: 94, No: 4, Not voting: 2]

No: Dotson, Penzo, Ray, Womack

Not voting: McCollum, Shepherd]


House Bill 1001


Clerk [00:47:31] House Bill 1001 by Representative Maddox to amend the state income tax, to change the name and funding of long term reserve fund, and to declare an emergency. 


Speaker 3 [00:47:40] Representative Maddox, you’re recognized to explain the bill. 


Maddox [00:47:46] Thank you. Thank you, Mr Speaker, colleagues. So it’s an honor to be here before you guys today. Just want to talk about this tax cut bill. A few things that I do want to discuss that I think we should all be excited about is this is the largest tax cut bill in the history of the state of Arkansas. So I think when we go home for Christmas, I think you’ll love and your constituents will really like to hear that if you work and if you pay taxes, your taxes are going to get cut under this bill. And that’s going to start next year. So I think that’s exciting. I think this is not only the largest tax cut in Arkansas, it’s also the most vetted tax cut bill there’s ever been. You’ve all had this bill for weeks. There’s over 70 co-sponsors, so I’m not going to go into great detail about it, but I am going to hit the highlights because it’s, frankly, kind of exciting. So I want to just talk about that– exciting to me anyway. 


So one thing it does that’s very important, it changes the name of the long term reserve fund to the catastrophic reserve fund. That’s done in the initial part of the act. And there are provisions in this bill that make certain that we keep 20 percent of net general revenue spend in that catastrophic reserve fund. As you know, now I think our net GR spend is around $6 billion. So we’re going to spend 20. We’re going to save 20 percent of that $6 billion in case of an economic downturn. So I think that is very fiscally prudent and very responsible. This is not, you know, slash and burn tax policy. This is fiscally responsible tax policy. Obviously, if there’s a downturn, we’ll have that to tap. 


This bill also does simplification of the tax code. I think a lot of you know, we have three tax tables in Arkansas. We have the most complex tax system in the entire nation. This goes from three tax tables to two. And that’s a good thing. That’s going to help us someday hopefully get it all into one tax table. So this is a simplification bill also. You know, something that came up yesterday in the committee was competition. And some people don’t think that people and companies look at tax rates when they decide to locate in states, and I completely disagree. I think if you talk to AEDC, they will tell you that tax policy is always one of the questions that’s asked when businesses are deciding whether to relocate to the state of Arkansas. It just is. The CEOs, the CFOs, they’re going to even look at the income tax policy for them and for their employees. It’s just something that’s asked. So anyway, I think that is important. 


One of the other exciting things is the income tax rate reduction. So the top rate in January of ’22 is going to go from 5.9 to 5.5, January of ’23  from 5.5 to 5.3. And then there are additional cuts in ’24 and ’25 to 5.1 and 4.9, respectively. Now those cuts are contingent cuts. Those cuts are contingent upon no transfers being made out of the Catastrophic Reserve Fund. So if we can’t find RSA and we have to make a transfer out of the catastrophic reserve fund to fund all of our essential government services, those later cuts do not happen. And I think that’s important to know. It’s not that those cuts are delayed. Those cuts just don’t exist. They don’t happen. So what we’re betting on, what I say is we’re betting on Arkansas. We’re betting on growth. We’re betting on the continued inbound migration that we’ve all seen. The last thing I saw was we’re number 10 in the country in people choosing to move here. I think that’s awesome. I don’t think enough people talk about that, about all the good things that we have going on. And we’re betting on growth, frankly. This is a pro-growth bill. 


What else does– the other highlights of this bill? Pass through tax entities. Those tax rates are going to be dropped to correspond with a personal rate. Your pass through tax entities are, of course, your Sub S Corps, your LLCs. I would argue that those, those companies are the vast majority of the businesses in the state by far. So this is going to be a also a small business tax cut. You can talk about that. 


And there is, and I’ve had some pushback on this part– well, I’ve had some pushback on all of this, frankly. But anyway, the corporate income tax rate is reduced from 5.9 to 5.7 in January of ’23. And there are also additional corporate rate tax cuts done, but those are also based on what you could call the trigger of nothing being transferred out of the catastrophic reserve fund. So there is a corporate income tax rate. I’ll be the first to say corporations are not evil. Corporations create jobs. Corporations pay taxes. Corporations decide where they want to locate and tax policy is something they look at. So I’ve had a lot of pushback on that. 


There is confusion I do want to talk about. There is a nonrefundable tax credit provision in this bill. It’s not refundable; it’s nonrefundable. So if you do not work or, excuse me, and you do not pay tax, you do not get money back in. It’s a nonrefundable tax credit. So there’s been a little distinction there, a little misinformation there. But I did want to address that. As I said earlier, this bill cuts the taxes for every Arkansan who works and pays taxes. And I think that’s exciting. I mean, I truly do think that when we try to set arbitrary lines and people who make X get a tax cut but people who make just a little more, don’t get a tax cut, there’s really no equitable way to do that. You know, that’s fine if it doesn’t punish you, just punish the other guy. And I think for too many decades in state and federal policy, we’ve done that. This bill cuts the taxes for everyone. 


One thing you’re probably going to hear, I’ll go ahead and address it now, is that this bill only cuts taxes for the wealthy. This bill does cut taxes for everyone. But what I would say is we do have some wealthy people in our state and they pay tens– some of them pay tens of thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands a year in taxes. So of course, when there’s a tax cut, they’re going to get more of a benefit than someone who’s paying just a couple hundred dollars or a few hundred dollars each year. That’s just how it is. So when you hear that, do keep that in mind. We have to have some, some equity there. 


You know, we were very responsible in this, I think, in that not only are we relying on DFA, not only are we relying on BLR, we also hired Moody’s Analytics to come in and just say, can we afford this? And if you didn’t watch, if you’re not on Rev and Tax and you didn’t watch their presentation, it’s very good and they unequivocally state we can afford this. So I think we’re being very fiscally sound, very fiscally prudent. I think this is great legislation. And with that, I have other things, but with that, I would stop and be glad to take any questions. 


Speaker 3 [00:55:00] Representative Godfrey, for what purpose? 


Godfrey [00:55:02] Question. 


[00:55:03] You’re recognized for a question. 


Godfrey [00:55:04] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Representative Maddox, can you talk a little bit about that low income tax credit, the $60 credit? I know that, you know, you’ve spoken with some of us in our caucus about taking care of all Arkansans and definitely including the low income earners. Can you tell me how much that $60 a year is per day per day? 


Maddox [00:55:24] Per day? No, I cannot. 


Godfrey [00:55:25] Follow up. 


[00:55:26] You’re recognized.


Godfrey [00:55:28] It’s 16 cents a day. And so I’m just wondering if you think 16 cents additionally a day is meaningful relief for Arkansans at that lower income earning zone, area or if you think there are other investments we can make that are more meaningful. 


Maddox [00:55:47] So good question. I didn’t know that was what it is per day. You know, one of the goals of the credit is to smooth out the tax cliffs and to not punish those around the $23,600 range. That’s what that is. But I do have some percentages and actual numbers for people who– I hate to characterize or categorize people as low or middle income, but just some numbers. The largest percentage tax decrease that everyone’s going to feel in this from a percentage basis is certainly the lowest to the middle income. The lowest taxpayer is going to receive a 64 percent decrease in their taxes. The next, and let’s just jump down to– let’s say, you know, let’s just get technical and someone, a tax paying family that are at the $50,000 range, you know. It’s going to be an extra $260 a year for them. So $260 a year, you know, maybe some people in here scoff at that. I don’t know. I don’t. I think if you talk to some folks in your district, they might feel that, that that’s a real amount that they would like. So certainly, obviously the more you make and the more you pay, you know, you will get a little more of the benefit. Thank you. 


Speaker 3 [00:57:15] Representative Maddox has explained the bill. Would anyone like to speak against the bill? For the bill? Representative Garner against. You’re recognized to speak against the bill. 


Garner [00:57:42] Thank you, Mr Speaker. I hate being up here, and I thank you for indulging me. We are what our experience makes us, and I appreciate you just listening for a minute about where I’m coming from. For 45 years, I’ve loved living in Arkansas. I graduated from here, married an Arkansas boy and raised my two boys to love the state as much as I do. I’ve advocated for the health, the education, the welfare for all Arkansans. I’m sorry. Through my work as a nurse practitioner and through my support of a variety of nonprofits throughout the years, I’ve done it striving for excellence. It wasn’t until I got to the Legislature where we started talking about adequacy in the programs that we’re dealing with. Granted, Arkansas is not a wealthy state, but we can still be extraordinary. All Arkansans can thrive. But not with this tax plan. Lower and middle income Arkansans will see very little benefit. In this plan, 20 percent of Arkansas earners will receive 73 percent of the income tax cuts. Those lucky enough to be in Arkansas’ 1 percent, those making $500,000 and more, will see their taxes decrease in average by more than $10,000. But most Arkansans will only see the decrease of $40 to $60, or the equivalent of a family dinner at a fast food restaurant. Concentrating tax cuts to serve the wealthy will benefit far fewer Arkansans than would using those dollars to fund popular programs that serve families and help grow our economies. 


What if we used that $600 million to strive for excellence instead of adequacy, which, in my opinion, we’ve yet to achieve in our budgeted programs? Shouldn’t we prioritize the support of families with infants and toddlers during early childhood, when children’s brains are developed 85 percent? Or after school and summer programs for those children needing extra help or a safe place to stay? Higher education budget has been relatively flat now for 15 years. We could pay for two years of community college or technical education for every Arkansas student. More than 3,000 disabled Arkansans are still on the waiting list for the Medicaid DD waivers, and it takes at least 10 years after you get on that list to receive services. Shouldn’t we prioritize those in dire need of these services? 25,000 Arkansans are homeless. Another 40,000 have fallen behind in their rent. Rural Southeast Arkansas and even our third largest city have raw sewage in their streets. Maybe we should prioritize housing and infrastructure. Postpartum depression is up. 13,000 children are in need of Arkansas social services. Every K through 12 teacher I’ve visited in the past, in the past four years says behavior and mental health issues are the biggest problems in their classrooms. From 2000 to this year, 2021, Arkansas’ suicide rate has increased 41 percent. We have teens, veterans, law enforcement officers and senior citizens. Suicides have all increased. Shouldn’t we prioritize mental health issues? 


This tax cut isn’t large enough to make a difference to low and middle income families. And my guess is that most of those 1 percent will hardly notice. But the $600 million could go a long way in developing programs that make certain Arkansas’ lives warrant so much more than adequate. I’m voting no on this bill because our Arkansas families deserve excellence, not adequacy. Thank you for listening. 


Speaker 3 [01:02:58] Representative Garner has spoken against the bill. Would anyone like to speak for the bill? Representative Jett, you’re recognized to speak for the bill. 


Jett [01:03:14] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Well, I didn’t really think about coming down here today to do this. I know there’s probably some angst from my colleagues across the aisle on this. I did want to share with you guys that we’ve been working on this thing for like three months, and this has been the largest vetted package in trying to make it fair across the board of any bill that I’ve been part of my 10 years here in Revenue and Tax. I know that probably don’t please– answer some of the questions. But part of the problem here is we keep hearing numbers that’s getting thrown out that are not accurate. 


I’m not going to get in here and start throwing numbers back to you guys because it makes me sound like I’m trying to point out some of my colleagues being misinformed on the numbers. But I think it’s also important to understand back in, let’s say, eight years ago, I think, when the governor came in, we did a low income tax cut– or middle income tax cut, I’m sorry. Two years later, we did a low income tax cut. Then we come back and we did a upper-income tax cut. And now our goal was on this package was to do a tax cut for all Arkansans, not pick and choose within– cherry pick, if you will, inside the tax code for people. And so we started on this project three months ago and we actually tore this up two or three times because what we found was there’s a lot of instances that we were not being fair to certain, certain people in certain tax codes. Most of the time, those were the folks that were paying in the bottom table or the bottom of the middle table. And so we started over again to make this as fair as possible. 


But I’d like to point out that at the end of the day, there’s over 104,000 folks that will no longer pay taxes. And that’s never been brought out. For the life of me, I don’t understand. To me, that’s a significant– we’re helping a significant population in the bottom table. 104,000 folks will no longer pay income taxes. I thought this body, it’s what we was all supposed to do is do away with taxes, not cherry pick who’s paying taxes, who’s going to pay taxes on the other side, take care of the people on the low income side, and we’re helping 104,000 folks. 


So I’ll just tell y’all that in my 10 years here, I have never worked harder. And Senator Dismang and myself, we’ve never worked harder trying to make this the fairest tax package that we could from the top to bottom. If you look through the package, for example, you know, the bottom– I’m going to try to stay away from numbers. But the misinformation on numbers being thrown around here– at the top bracket in the bottom table, I think that– I think that tax liability, if my memory serves me right is around $400. So, it’s simple math. Just divide $400 by $365 a day. And you say that’s not pennies here. Is it– are those folks paying as much as somebody that’s making $500,000 in taxes? Absolutely not. But the numbers I hear on the top side on, that keeps being repeated on the top side, somebody making above $500,000, at the end of the day, they’re not getting a $10,000 tax cut that we keep hearing about. What they’re doing, they’re going to get a $4,900 tax cut. So when you do the math from top to bottom, everybody is going to flow in anywhere from 8 to probably 14 percent. Now those numbers are not exact because I don’t have my notes in front of me because I was not planning on coming down to do this today. 


But my point is is the percentage based on what people pay in, what people pay in, is pretty constant throughout the whole spectrum. Could we, could we make it even? There’s no way in the tax code without making the tax code more complicated than what we have now. This is– I’m telling y’all– after we wooled this thing around for three months, and I understand some folks in this room, this chamber today, don’t want taxes at all. And I get that. I understand that and I respect that. So I just want everybody to understand that some of the numbers that we hear on both sides of it is– there’s– some of the numbers are not correct and that we tried, we diligently tried to do our best to try to make this even across from the bottom bracket, the bottom table to the top bracket and the upper table. So with that, I would appreciate a good vote. 


Speaker 3 [01:07:26] Representative Jett has spoken for the bill, would anyone like to speak against the bill? Representative Murdoch, you’re recognized to speak against the bill.


Murdoch [01:07:39] Thank you, Chairman, good morning. So what I want to talk about very briefly is not, Rep. Jett, what the bill does. I want to talk about what it does not do, who it does not address because really there is enough that can be done for both sides. So what I want to talk about is a balancing act that’s absent from this. You are doing something, but you’re not doing the things that can be impactful. That’s my issue with this. There are things that we can do with this, these dollars that have flowed into the state. The pandemic was tragic, but as many times, what my God does, he turns a tragedy into something that we can use as a blessing. He gave us an opportunity to do some things as it relates to those that are underserved and need help the most. The developmental disability group that we talk about so much for many years from this podium that we have not addressed with a stroke of a pen with a very minor, minor percentage of these dollars. It can go away. Why not? 


We should care about the people more than we do. I mean, even the higher wage earners, they are going to benefit because they pay more taxes. That’s the math. We’re not against that. But what about those that suffer the most? If you talk about that lower income group that is getting a very minor break in this, they need services. Some of them are in that developmental disability group that I’m talking about, and they got to go and take care of themselves and their children, their loved ones. It makes no sense that we have these many dollars and we still walk away from here with people having these needs, relatively speaking, that are minimal to the dollars. It’s kind of like if you get lucky and through some happenstance, your family or you come on some money of Auditor Lea says that you won the, the thing that she manages– something across the state where you can win a boon of dollars. I forget what it’s called. You know what I’m talking about. But my point is you get an influx and you have had a, a leak in your room or a leak in your home, and you weren’t able to fix that leak. But you become blessed with some dollars and then all of a sudden you can address the leak. What I’m saying to you all and to everybody is listening, why don’t we address those things ? Again, I’m not saying don’t help those that deserve tax breaks. I didn’t say that. But why are you eliminating and ignoring and just throwing pennies? 


Now I know we don’t want to– my my, my good friend, Rep. Jett said he don’t want to talk about numbers. But we’ve got to keep it 100. Numbers as a part of what we’re dealing with. Let’s do the math. So as been presented, and of course, now obviously, me and my colleagues, a lot of us weren’t in some of those meetings, so we don’t know exactly, probably, all of the numbers. But what we have been allowed to know is that the numbers for the smallest group is $40 to $60. That’s a minuscule benefit. And I was told on a call, and I want to reveal that that was something that really had to be fought to even give to the lower wage earners, to give them that $60. Rep. Hodges, you remember that call? They say that we had to fight. That was almost a deal breaker. Nobody wanted to give them anything. What does that mean? What does that say about us as individuals? 


Be careful, be careful, be careful, because we can be. Not necessarily from an income standpoint, but there is ways we can end up in situations and we need the grace of God, the mercy of man and someone to look upon us, care about us in a desperate situation. And all the time, we don’t cause that for our self. Sometimes we’re in a situation somebody else did it and we need help. It’s OK to do it responsibly. I know what the vote’s going to be. I know we’re not going to win, but this is what I’m charged to do and the people I represent, they need help. And I’m going to beg you. And as long as I come down here, I’m going to plead and beg for you to help the people that I represent and that even that you represent. I’ve heard many of you come to the podium to talk about those, and I’m focusing on those developmental disability, I’m focusing on that. 


I’m also caring about true educational adequacy. Please don’t start telling me, and I’ve been here longer than most, all but three of you all in this room. You can’t tell me about educational adequacy. It’s not happening in this state. We have not done that. When we talk about so we can, we can, we can dedicate more dollars to this. We could have done better. This plan does not do that. And all I’m saying is we could have done better. We should have done better. I cannot with good conscience, with the people I represent, vote for this knowing that we ignored so much that could have happened. At the end of the day, my good friend, my leader, said silence becomes consent. I’m not conceding. I won’t be silent. I will respect you. I will treat you with respect. But I will demand that you hear and do right by all people in Arkansas, not just the high, not just the low. All of us. God bless you. 


Shepherd [01:13:41] Representative Payton, for what purpose? 


Payton [01:13:44] Representative Miller has a question. I was standing for him. 


Clerk [01:13:47] Please. 


Shepherd [01:13:47] Representative Miller. You’re recognized for a question. 


Miller [01:13:53] Rep. Murdoch, I appreciate some of the things you said. Number one, I appreciate you representing your district. That’s, that’s admirable. I do have a question. When you bring up the developmental disability population that we– I know you and I have worked together on some stuff, but would you say that it’s, or would you, would you confirm that this body has passed out multiple times earlier this spring or this year back in the spring being the last when we passed out a Medicaid expansion program that creates a two class system, that all of those folks on the– all those folks on the, on the traditional Medicaid are being treated differently? And we’re not hearing the outcry when that is being debated that we’re hearing now over something that really, really is not germane. So that’s one part of my question. The next part is, is it true that general revenue has gone up $2 billion in our time here? And yet we’ve, we’ve done nothing as a body, but we’re going to cry about it now when we’re wanting to cut taxes. Could you elaborate on that a little bit for me? 


Murdoch [01:15:20] I can’t elaborate on what you said because the premise of what you’re saying, especially initially, I don’t agree with. So it would be hard for me to elaborate on a concept or a thought that I disagree with fundamentally. So I couldn’t elaborate on that first part. And as you talk about the $2 billion, so yes, it continues to grow and we as a body should be responsible and accountable for what we do with those dollars. And in many cases, those dollars have not, as I talked about educational inadequacy and as I talk now about specifically this population that we’re talking about, that has not been addressed. So that’s what we’re here for to address those things. 


Miller [01:16:06] Thank you. 


Murdoch [01:16:09] Thank you. 


Shepherd [01:16:10] Professor Murdoch has spoken against the bill. Would anyone like to speak for the bill? Rep. Ray, you’re recognized to speak for the bill. 


Ray [01:16:23] Thank you, Mr Speaker. Thank you, colleagues. I want to thank Representative Maddox for doing the hard work of carrying this bill, and I want to thank Representative Jett and Senator Dismang for their many months of work on this bill and everything that went into it. I’m excited to support this bill because it cuts taxes for every single Arkansas taxpayer that pays income tax. This bill is about growing paychecks by letting workers keep more of what they earn. In case you haven’t noticed, inflation in the past year has outpaced wage growth, and that is according to the federal government’s own numbers. So what that means is if you make the same amount this year that you made last year, you actually have less money this year in terms of purchasing power. This bill lets workers keep more of what they earn, and it doesn’t just help workers. You have to remember most of our small business entities pay the personal income tax in that bracket. And after 18 months of what the virus and the government’s response to the virus has done to our small businesses, I believe that they deserve tax relief. I hope you do as well. 


It’s been mentioned that this bill simplifies our tax code, which is true. We go from three brackets down to two. And that move primarily benefits folks in the middle and low income brackets. Importantly, this bill improves our competitiveness. We are in a constant competition with other states and yes, other countries for jobs, for new movers, for capital, for investment. We want all those things to come here to Arkansas, not go somewhere else. And I know it was brought out in committee yesterday. The point was made several times that competitiveness is more than, than taxes, and that’s true. Nobody disputes that. Competitiveness includes all sorts of things, from workforce to education to infrastructure to regulatory burden. All of those things, nobody would dispute that. 


But number one, this is a tax bill, and taxes are a big piece of the competitiveness puzzle. And secondly, we have invested in other areas. We spent– invested hundreds of millions of dollars in broadband, hundreds of millions of dollars in our roads and bridges. We’ve raised teacher pay in multiple sessions consecutively, and I suspect we will probably continue to. Are there issues that still need to be addressed? Yes, absolutely. But we can walk and chew gum at the same time. And this is important because in the world of competitiveness, you are always either moving forward or falling behind. There is no standing still. And that’s because other states are always improving. Other states are always making changes to get better. Just this year in 2021, 12 different states around the country have decreased their personal income tax rates, and six additional states have decreased their corporate tax rates. And three states, Ohio, Wisconsin and Arizona, I believe, have passed the largest tax cuts in the history of their state this year. Today, we have a chance to join that list and a chance to take a big step forward in terms of competitiveness. 


Now, the point has been brought up over and over that– the, the criticism that, the idea that this tax relief bill only benefits the wealthy. That’s not true. This tax bill benefits every single Arkansas taxpayer that pays income taxes, every single one. And the folks who make this point, they hope that you have a really short memory. They hope that you forget that earlier this session, we wiped out and completely eliminated the income tax on two years worth of unemployment benefits in perhaps the most historic year for unemployment claims. Now, who was that aimed at helping? It was aimed at helping people who are out of work and suffering because of the pandemic. They would want you to forget that earlier in this session, we passed an increase in the sales tax exemption for the used car sales tax. Who was that aimed at helping? That was primarily and specifically aimed at helping lower income Arkansans so that they can afford reliable transportation to get to and from work. 


Never in the history of our country have we lived in a time where the government has more actively and aggressively provided public benefits to people struggling economically. Never before in our history. In the past year and a half, just think about it, there’s been not one, not two, but three rounds of direct checks sent to Americans. There’s been $600 a week and $300 a week unemployment bonuses. There’s been a 30 percent bonus in food stamps. There’s been a suspension of the work requirement, an extra child tax credit, rent assistance. The list goes on and on and on. We live in a generous state and a generous country. OK. There’s no doubt about that. But we have to be a state that also rewards work, that rewards productivity, that rewards labor. If we don’t, our safety net will become a hammock. And there’s also sort of a whiff, a whiff of, of hypocrisy around this idea, the opponents saying that this only benefits the wealthy because just a couple of weeks ago, their buddies in Congress increased the SALT deduction from $100,00 a year to $80,000 a year. You know SALT stands for state and local taxes. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never paid $80,000 in state and local taxes in a year. I suspect most Arkansans haven’t, either. So who does that benefit? I’ll tell you who it benefits. It benefits ultra wealthy people in high tax states. It was essentially a giveaway to a lot of their donors in places like New York City and Silicon Valley. But did we hear anybody speaking out against that? I didn’t hear much here. 


This tax cut plan will benefit hardworking Arkansans. And these numbers, they represent real people. We’re talking about the truck driver who persevered during the pandemic, who, despite all of the labor shortages, spent long hours on the road to try and make sure that your shelves were stocked. We’re talking about the nurse who kept going to the hospital day after day as the COVID units filled up, who faced the virus, who did her job. This bill cuts her taxes. You can’t tell me that those Arkansans don’t deserve tax relief, and that’s what this bill delivers. So I’m excited to vote for this bill. It’s going to move our state forward and I ask you to join me. 


Shepherd [01:23:19] Representative Ray has spoken for the bill. Would anyone like to speak against the bill? Represent Godfrey, you’re recognized to speak against the bill. 


Godfrey [01:23:35] Thank you, Mr Speaker. Colleagues, I just want to quickly share, you know, you’ve heard from some of the colleagues on my side of the aisle, and it’s no surprise to all of us in this room that we do have just kind of a fundamental philosophical difference and disagreement about those tax cuts for the wealthy, that that part of the bill is problematic. But I do also want to speak to those lowest income earners. The $60 tax credit that’s proposed, it’s presented in a way as to, you know, provide this kind of fair and equitable relief to all taxpayers. And I just want to push back on that a little bit, and I appreciate the consideration and the intent of our constituents who are really struggling, who are really struggling to make ends meet and that we want to look at our policy options and find out ways to best support them.


And I just want to say that when we have the surplus, when we have hundreds of millions of dollars of policy options, 16 cents a day is just not the most meaningful way to provide supportive and empowering relief to these working families, to these families who are struggling to make ends meet. It’s, it’s not something that I am excited about. It’s not something I’m grateful for. I think there are so many other options that we have policy wise, other investments we can make that will more meaningfully everyday support and empower these working and struggling families. And so for that reason and others, I’ll be voting no. 


Shepherd [01:25:07] Representative Godfrey has spoken against the bill. Would anyone like to speak for the bill? Represent Mayberry, you’re recognized to speak for the bill. 


Mayberry [01:25:29] Thank you, Mr Speaker, I didn’t intend to come up here today, but it was mentioned many, many times in committee and then here on the floor, and I just felt like I really needed to address this. I am voting for this tax cut today because I think it helps everybody. We all need help. But one of the things that keeps getting brought up is that we have this developmental disabilities waiting list. And many of you know, when I came in 2015, that’s what I talked about most. And it’s still what I talk about all the time. When I came in, we had 3,000 people on the list. We still have 3,000-plus on the list, and we’ve even passed two things to help move people off that list. 


In 2017, my husband actually had the bill to move tobacco settlement money. And we moved 500 people off of that list. Pilkington, Rep. Pilkington also had a bill that created the pass premium, which then moved 700 people off of that list. Those are all good things. We have actually made some steps. But what happens is that list continues to grow because many people around the state don’t even put themselves on that list because they know they’re waiting 10 years. And it’s a lot of paperwork, so they don’t even bother. But once the list started to move, people started getting services, the list grew because they were saying, Oh, I better get on that list now. We’ve got a real issue. We’re going to move that list and it’s going to grow even more. 


I believe that we need to look for some solutions. We have a fiscal session coming up. I’ve asked BLR, they’ve been putting together a lot of information for me the past few months on the history of this. Some of you may not know that that list actually was completely eliminated during the Huckabee administration. We had no one on that list, but it was because of a court order that did it. Legislators had to drop everything and fix it. So I know it’s possible if we decide that we want to either use general revenue money that I believe still exists even with this tax cut. Or we look at some other sources like that Medicaid Trust Fund. I believe that there are other things out there and this needs to be a priority. And why? Because we are a pro-life state. And this is a pro life initiative. This is supporting people after they are born in the most fragile situations in their lifetime. And I hope that we can come together because this is a big topic and we can find a solution in this fiscal session to address some of it and maybe even in the next session to continue with it. 


It is more complicated from what I understand talking to DHS than just money. We have some other issues as far as getting people to actually service those families. I will continue working on this presentation and I will let all of you know when BLR has this presentation together so we can look at it collectively and come up with some ideas. I will be voting for this because I think that for the overall good of the whole state, this tax cut is needed. We need relief. Thank you. 


Shepherd [01:29:16] Represent Mayberry has spoken for the bill. Representative Vaught, for what purpose? OK, Rep. Mayberry’s still in the well. Rep. Mayberry has spoken for the bill. Rep. Vaught, for what purpose? 


Vaught [01:29:30] Motion. 


Shepherd [01:29:31] Let’s hear your motion 


Vaught [01:29:33] Motion for immediate consideration. 


Shepherd [01:29:36] That’s a proper motion. It’s not debatable. All in favor, say aye. Any opposed? The ayes have it. The question before the House is the passage of House Bill 1001. Prepare the machine, Mr Clerk. Has everyone voted? You’re voting on the bill and the emergency clause. Has everyone voted? Cast up the ballot, Mr Clerk. By vote of 82 yeas, 16 nays and 0 present, the bill and emergency clause have passed. Members, we’re moving to the yellow budget calendar. Mr Clerk, please read House Bill 1002. Rep. Jean, you’re recognized. 


Vote on House Bill 1001


[Yes: 82, No: 16, Not voting: 2

No: Allen, Clowney, Collins, Ennett, V. Flowers, Godfrey, D. Garner, Hodges, Hudson, Love, McCullough, Murdock, Richardson, Scott, Springer, Whitaker


Not voting: K. Ferguson, Magie]


House Bill 1002


Jean [01:30:50] Thank you, Mr Speaker. Colleagues, we have one item on the budget calendar today. This is House Bill 1002. This has come from Speaker Shepherd and there’ll be a companion bill that’s the very same thing tomorrow on the floor that will come, that comes out of the Senate. What this does is transfer $50 million and this is also on the project that we just passed on the 1007 that Rep. Jett– this is the special project over in Mississippi County, the steel mill. $50 million of the long term reserves, we’re moving it over to the General Reserve allotment account. And at that point, the chief fiscal officer, Larry Walters, will have up until March 31 to move this over to the Quick Action Closing Fund for Economic Development for this project. And what will this money be spent on? It will be able to be spent on infrastructure– water, gas, electric, roads and drainage for the project in Mississippi County. If it is not used, if the economics falls through, this money will stay in the general allotment and it will take a action of this body, the state legislature, to move it back into long term reserve or whatever we see fit to put it at. This is a project up in Mississippi County and I support projects, whether in Mississippi County, whether in Benton County, Chico County, Miller County or Pulaski County. Economic development for one part of the state is good for all of the state. Any questions on this? I’ll have the Clerk– Mr. Speaker have the Clerk read the bill for the third time. 


Shepherd [01:32:59] Read the bill, Mr Clerk. 


Clerk [01:33:00] House Bill 1002. 


Shepherd [01:33:05] Representative Jean has explained the bill. Would anyone like to speak against the bill? Would anyone like to speak for the bill? Representative Jean is closed for the bill. The question before the House is the passage of House Bill 1002. Prepare the machine, Mr. Clerk. You’re voting on the bill and the emergency clause. Has everyone voted? Has everyone voted? Cast up the ballot, Mr. Clerk. By a vote of 93 yeas, three nays and 0 present, the bill and emergency clause are passed. Mr Clerk, read the bills. 


Vote on House Bill 1002


[Yes: 93, No: 3, Not voting: 4]

No: Penzo, Ray, Womack

Not voting: Dotson, Miller, McCollum, Shepherd]


Reading of bills, announcements, adjournment


Clerk [01:33:50] House Bill 1010. 


Shepherd [01:33:55] Improperly introduced. 


Clerk [01:34:00] House resolution 1007. 


Shepherd [01:34:02] Without objection, read the resolution s second time. 


Clerk [01:34:04] House resolution 1007. House Resolution 1008. 


Shepherd [01:34:09] Without objection, read the resolution a second time. 


Clerk [01:34:11] House Resolution 1008. 


Shepherd [01:34:13] Calendar. 


Clerk [01:34:14] Senate bill 1. 


Shepherd [01:34:15] Without objection, read the bill a second time. 


Clerk [01:34:17] Senate bill 1. 


Shepherd [01:34:18] Revenue and Tax. 


Clerk [01:34:19] Senate bill 2. 


Shepherd [01:34:20] Without objection, read the bill a second time. 


Clerk [01:34:22] Senate Bill 2. 


Shepherd [01:34:22] Revenue and Tax. 


Clerk [01:34:23] Senate bill 3. 


Shepherd [01:34:25] Without objection, read the bill a second time. 


Clerk [01:34:26] Senate bill 3. 


Shepherd [01:34:28] Calendar. 


Clerk [01:34:30] Senate bill 4. 


Shepherd [01:34:31] Without objection, read the bill a second time. 


Clerk [01:34:32] Senate bill 4. 


Shepherd [01:34:34] Insurance and commerce. 


Clerk [01:34:35] Senate Bill 5. 


Shepherd [01:34:37] Without objection, read the bill a second time. 


Clerk [01:34:37] Senate bill 5. 


Shepherd [01:34:38] Calendar. 


Clerk [01:34:39] Senate bill 7. 


Shepherd [01:34:41] Without objection, read the bill a second time. 


Clerk [01:34:42] Senate bill 7. 


Shepherd [01:34:42] Public Health. 


Clerk [01:34:44] Senate bill 10. 


Shepherd [01:34:46] Without objection read the bill a second time. 


Clerk [01:34:47] Senate bill 10. 


Shepherd [01:34:47] Revenue and tax. Rep. Meeks, for what purpose? 


Meeks [01:34:55] Motion, please. 


Shepherd [01:34:56] Let’s hear your motion. 


Meeks [01:34:57] After the announcements, reading of the bills, transferring of the bills, placing the calendars on the desk, members amending their own bills with their own amendments, finalizing resolutions, reading communications and any remaining committee reports, I move we adjourn until 10:00 tomorrow morning. 


Shepherd [01:35:11] It’s a proper motion. It’s not debatable. All in favor, say aye. Any opposed? Motion is adopted. Are there any announcements? Representative Lowery, for what purpose? 


Lowery [01:35:22] Announcement. 


Shepherd [01:35:23] You’re recognized. 


Lowery [01:35:25] Insurance and Commerce will be meeting at 1:30 today to take up one bill and that will be in conference room C. 


Shepherd [01:35:30] Rep. Ladyman, for what purpose? 


Ladyman [01:35:34] Announcement. 


Shepherd [01:35:36] You’re recognized. 


Ladyman [01:35:36] Public Health will meet at 2:30 this afternoon in room 130. 


Shepherd [01:35:40] Rep. Fortner, for what purpose? 


Fortner [01:35:43] Announcement. 


Shepherd [01:35:44] You’re recognized. 


Fortner [01:35:44] Rev and Tax will meet at 3:00, room 151.


Shepherd [01:35:48] Rep.Tosh for what purpose? 


Tosh [01:35:49] Announcement. 


Shepherd [01:35:50] You’re recognized. 


Tosh [01:35:51] I know it’s on the agenda but state agencies is meeting, but we will not meet today. There is no meeting in state agencies today. 


Shepherd [01:36:00] Any other announcements? Represent Brown for what purpose? 


Brown [01:36:04] Announcement. 


Shepherd [01:36:06] You’re recognized. 


Brown [01:36:06] Colleagues in your mailbox, it was just put in there after we went into session today is a form. It’s a broadband form, it’s a broadband survey form. All of us are in favor of improving broadband across the state for all of our constituents. If you would, please take the survey. You can actually scan the QR code and do this online and please then share the link with everybody that you know and ask them to please fill it out. We’re trying to get actual household responses on the, the type of service they have or if they don’t have it. We’re trying to get that done for the study that’s being done on our broadband study. Thank you. 


Shepherd [01:36:58] Any other announcements? The desk will remain open as needed for the reading of the bills and upon completion of the items named in the adjourned resolution, the House will be adjourned until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow.