House of Representatives

Feb. 15, 2022

 

Shepherd [00:10:16] I invite the members, staff, press, and guests in the galleries to stand to be led in prayer by the House chaplain, Dr. Rex Horne, retired pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Little Rock and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance to be led by Representative Lane Jean. 

 

Horne [00:10:31] Let’s pray. Father, we thank you for this day, a beautiful day on the outside, noble work to be done on the inside. I pray that you’ll bless the women and men who are gathered to do the work of the citizens of Arkansas, and I pray that you’ll bless them in their effort. Thank you that you’ve given them the desire and the opportunity to serve the public interest and the public good. And, Father, I would pray that as we live our lives, that it might always be a life of service and that even though we pray so often that you would bless us and protect us and our families and our friends, may we also pray, empower us and send us and use us for the greater good. This is our prayer in Jesus name, amen. 

 

[00:11:21] [Pledge of Allegiance] 

 

Shepherd [00:11:42] Members, please indicate your presence by pushing the present button. Prepare the machine, Mr Clerk. Members, we had to restart the machine. So if you would indicate your presence by pushing the yellow present button one more time. Cast up the ballot, Mr Clerk. With 99 members present, the chairs sees a quorum. Are there any requests for leave? Rep. Payton, for what purpose? 

 

Payton [00:13:02] Leave– 

 

Shepherd [00:13:03] You’re recognized. 

 

Payton [00:13:04] — for Representative Miller.

 

Shepherd [00:13:05] Is leave granted for Rep. Miller? So noted. Rep. Frederick 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. 

 

Clerk [00:13:22] Mr. Speaker, we the committee on Joint Budget to whom was referred House Resolution 1017 and House Resolution 1018 beg leave to report that we have had the same under consideration and herewith return the same with the recommendation they do pass. Respectfully submitted, Rep. Lane Jean, Chair. Mr. Speaker, we your committee on Joint Budget to whom was referred House Bill 1002, House Bill 1003, House bill 1004, House Bill 1005, House Bill 1006, House Bill 1007, House Bill 1008, House Bill 1009, House Bill 1011, House Bill 1012, House Bill 1014, House Bill 1015, House Bill 1016, House Bill 1017, House Bill 1019, House Bill 1020, House Bill 1021, House Bill 1022, House Bill 1023, House Bill 1024, House Bill 1025, House Bill 1029, House Bill 1030, House Bill 1031, House Bill 1032, House bill 1035, House Bill 1038, House Bill 1039, House Bill 1040, House Bill 1041, House Bill 1042, House Bill 1044, House Bill 1046, House Bill 1047, House Bill 1048, House Bill 1049, House Bill 1051, House Bill 1052, House Bill 1053, House Bill 1057, House Bill 1073, House Bill 1077, House Bill 1078, and House Bill 1084 beg leave to report that we’ve had the same under consideration and herewith the same, return the same with the recommendations they do pass. Respectfully submitted, Lane Jean, chair. 

 

Shepherd [00:14:36] Are there reports from any standing committees? Is there any unfinished business? Are there any executive communications? All right, members, the– we’ll come back to the doctor of the day. Members, we have with us in the VIP gallery, we have Mr. Chris Mylum. He’s from the Arkansas National Guard. Captain Mylam’s awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Arkansas National Guard Service Ribbon, Arkansas Emergency Service Ribbon and the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge. He was selected as the 2020 National Guard Association of Arkansas Company Grade Officer of the year, the 2020 National Guard Association, the United States Theodore Roosevelt Leadership Award for company grade officers and was one of 28 company grade officers Army wide out of a 120,000 received the General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award in 2021. Captain Mylum is the guest of Representative Stu Smith. And in the East Gallery, we have members of Leadership Hot Springs. They are the guests of Representatives Warren, McGrew and Cozart. Mr Clerk, please read House resolution 1003. 

 

Clerk [00:16:53] House Resolution 1003 by Representative Wardlaw to authorize the introduction of a non appropriation bill to establish a funding mechanism to ensure solvency of the State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Program. 

 

Shepherd [00:17:06] Rep. Wardlaw, you’re recognized to explain the resolution. 

 

Wardlaw [00:17:08] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We’ve got a few of these to do, I guess. The first one sets up the reserve balances and sets up the triggers for when to raise and lower premiums. You can also raise and lower the plan so you don’t always have to go to premiums. We did put that in the bill because there’s things you can do with a plan to save money or to spend money. So that’s the first one. Mr. Speaker, I’d be happy to take any questions. 

 

Shepherd [00:17:38] Rep. McKenzie ,for what purpose? 

 

McKenzie [00:17:40] Question. 

 

Shepherd [00:17:41] You’re recognized for a question. 

 

McKenzie [00:17:42] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And I think this really is probably directed at the speaker, at the chair. I’m just trying to get some clarification. I know a little bit of discussion, and I missed part of it, but also for the people watching. So Amendment 86 that governs, dictates the fiscal session, on these resolutions that we’re going to hear, my question is since the language says that it will be– any non appropriation bill will be decided upon by two thirds of the members of each body. So my question is after we sent all those to res– to the Rules Committee yesterday, some came out. Some didn’t. I’m trying to discern how a committee of 15 would satisfy the guidelines, the language of Amendment 86, where two thirds of the body would have a vote. 

 

Shepherd [00:19:01] So, so the parliamentarian advises the committee process is an internal mechanism of the House, that the House utilizes. And so the vote today on the floor, should the resolution receive two thirds, would satisfy the constitutional requirements that would, assuming the Senate passes a similar resolution or an identical resolution, would then allow for the introduction of the bill. 

 

McKenzie [00:19:30] Follow up. 

 

Shepherd [00:19:31] You’re recognized. 

 

McKenzie [00:19:34] But rules of the House, they would be superseded by the constitutional guidelines, correct? 

 

Shepherd [00:19:44] Well, the Constitution is first and foremost. It supersedes everything else. I’m not following what the issue is, quite honestly, are you– I mean– 

 

McKenzie [00:19:55] The question is, if no other action is taken, then a certain subset of those resolutions would have been decided by 15 members. Now, if it had been a committee maybe of four, you could say two thirds. But two thirds of the members have not had an opportunity to vote on this. So I’m just trying to make sure that the procedure aligns with the Constitution, that’s all. Just asking for clarity. Thank you. 

 

Shepherd [00:20:22] Yeah, so, so it does take two thirds to pass the resolution, which is also the same amount it would take to pull a resolution out of committee. And so if there are two thirds of the membership that want to pass it, then it would stand to reason there likely would be two thirds to pull it out of committee. But I would also point out that this process has been utilized as long as there have been fiscal sessions in the House for the better part of 12 to 14 years. This is the seventh fiscal session. And in preparation for this session, the parliamentarian went back and researched the proceedings and how non fiscal bills and resolutions have been handled. And the way we’ve handled it thus far and the way we intend to handle it is consistent with the tradition and practice of the House, which has, to my knowledge, has not been challenged with regard to the constitutionality. But ultimately, in order for a bill to be introduced, there will be a two thirds– there would have to be a two thirds vote of the full body. 

 

Wardlaw [00:21:28] I’ll come back. 

 

Shepherd [00:21:31] All right. Rep. Wardlaw has explained the resolution. Would anyone like to speak against the resolution? Would anyone like to speak for the resolution? Rep. Wardlaw is recognized to close for the resolution. 

 

Wardlaw [00:21:47] So my brain was lack of oxygen. I ran all the way up here and I couldn’t breathe by the time I got up here, so that’s my fault. Sorry for that. But I did tell some members that I would clarify something in my opening bill, and I need to clarify that for the membership. I’ve also been asked to clarify it for the affected groups. There is no mention of Medicare Advantage plans in any of these bills, not one mention. The Medicare Advantage plan piece was adopted by Legislative Council in the February meeting. It was only adopted to, to put out an RFP to obtain an administrator for a Medicare Advantage plan to be the state’s plan. So we will not be turning our membership– and membership meaning our retirees, teachers or state employees out to purchase their own Medicare Advantage plan. That is the fear that we’re seeing in these emails. That is not what we’re doing. We’re going to form a Medicare Advantage plan that is a state plan, will be a mirror of the formulary that we have today, and it will be administered by an insurance company who wins the bid and offered to people 65 and older. They will have an option to opt out. So they can opt out during open enrollment to the original plan. There will be a cost difference there because the savings to the state in going to a Medicare Advantage plan is that we get to use federal dollars to pay those premiums. Obviously, there will be no federal dollars to be used on the mirror plan, so there will be a cost to that. Those members will pay that cost, that opt out. Mr. Speaker, appreciate the latitude. Appreciate a good vote on the first amendment. 

 

Shepherd [00:23:29] Rep. Wardlaw has explained the resolution. The question before the House is the passage of House Resolution 1003. Prepare the machine, Mr. Clerk. Has everyone voted? Has everyone voted? Cast up the ballot, Mr Clerk. By a vote of 97 yes, 0 nay and 0 present, the resolution is passed. Mr. Clerk, please read House resolution 1004. 

 

Clerk [00:24:06] House resolution 1004 by Representative Wardlaw to authorize the introduction of a non appropriation bill to clarify the definition of eligible inactive retiree and to modify the eligibility of retirees to participate in the Life and Health Insurance program. 

 

Shepherd [00:24:19] Rep. Wardlaw, you’re recognized to explain the resolution. 

 

Wardlaw [00:24:21] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This is the only bill that references the word retiree. I want to make sure to be clear, clear on that. I want to be careful. I don’t want to explain these bills in their entirety because obviously you’re going to hear that in committee and on the floor. The bill sponsor for this bill is Representative Evans, and I don’t want to take any sunshine away, but the word retiree is this bill only to require participation when that person is a working employee. So whether they’re a teacher or they’re, they’re a state employee, this requires a minimum of five years cumulative, not consecutive, cumulative through their career that they take state insurance when they’re healthy. With that, I’d be happy to take any questions. Thank you, Mr Speaker. 

 

Shepherd [00:25:07] Rep. Wardlaw has explained the resolution. Would anyone like to speak against the resolution? Would anyone like to speak for the resolution? Rep. Wardlaw is closed for the resolution. The question before the House is the passage of House resolution 1004. Prepare the machine, Mr. Clerk. Has everyone voted? Has everyone voted? Cast up the ballot, Mr Clerk. By a vote of 97 yes, 0 nays, and 0 present, the resolution is passed. Mr Clerk, please read House resolution 1005. 

 

Clerk [00:25:44] House Resolution 1005 by Rep. Wardlaw to authorize the introduction of a non-appropriation bill to establish coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of morbid obesity under the state and public health, life and health insurance program. 

 

Shepherd [00:25:59] Rep. Wardlaw, you’re recognized. 

 

Wardlaw [00:26:01] Thank you, Mr Speaker. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Representative Dotson will be carrying this bill. This bill is going to reestablish our bariatric surgery program. So one thing we learned during the last year and going through with our consultants was, we actually did see savings from the people that had a bariatric surgery. We saw about 45 percent savings overall from each person that were, that obtained the surgery. But one thing we were doing wrong is we only gave about 10 minutes on July– on January 1st for people to sign up for the surgery. Because the cap was so small, folks would sit up at midnight, key in real quick, and then the cap would be reached and all the folks would, would have to go home and wait for another year. We found out through studying this there are certain diagnosis that we shouldn’t be capping because the savings are so huge. 60 percent of diabetics are actually cured with the bariatric surgery. So we want to be sure that we optimize that and we take advantage of that. So that’s the reason we have this resolution. And with that, I’d be happy to take any questions. 

 

Shepherd [00:27:01] Represent Lundstrum, for what purpose? 

 

Lundstrum [00:27:03] Question. 

 

Shepherd [00:27:04] You’re recognized.

 

Lundstrum [00:27:05] Like the bill. What areas are going to be capped? Because we could just leave it open for anything. 

 

Wardlaw [00:27:11] So, we– in the bill, we left room for the department, employee benefits division, to write rules around how they would cap that. Those rules are subject to a legislative intent version. If you read the bill, it’s really strict legislative intent there so that we maximize savings. So when we see those rules come forth in the next few months, the Legislative Council ought to be able to answer a lot of that question. But we’re– we’ve– in the legislative intent, we’ve left it very strict that they have to optimize savings. So we don’t think that we’ll see an actual cap. What we’ll see is a very well driven road to a certain diagnosis that we go after and target for that savings, such as diabetes. 

 

Lundstrum [00:27:51] Follow up. So you don’t see this going up to a $10 or $15 million issue? You see this might be a 4 or 5. 

 

Wardlaw [00:27:59] I don’t, I can’t speak to the dollar because the savings is what we’re after. So I don’t know that there will be a cap on the dollar. It’s going to be a cap on the diagnoses of the patients. 

 

Lundstrum [00:28:08] OK, thank you. 

 

Lundstrum [00:28:15] Rep. Wardlaw has explained the resolution. Would anyone like to speak against the resolution? Would anyone like to speak for the resolution? Rep. Wardlaw’s closed for the resolution. The question before the House is the passage of House Resolution 1005. Prepare the machine, Mr. Clerk. Has everyone voted? Has everyone voted? Cast up the ballot, Mr Clerk. By a vote of 96 years, 0 nays, and 1 present, the resolution has passed. Mr Clerk, please read House Resolution 1006. 

 

Clerk [00:28:51] House Resolution 1006 by Representative Wardlaw to authorize the introduction of a non appropriation bill to modify the state and contribution to the state and public school life and health insurance program. 

 

Shepherd [00:29:02] Rep. Wardlaw, you’re recognized to explain the resolution. 

 

Wardlaw [00:29:05] Thank you, Mr Speaker. Back during the session– Representative Berry will be carrying this bill, by the way, so I got to remember to do that every time. Well, back during the session, I ran a bill that moved that cap from $450 to $550. We’ve always kept that cap in statute, which means that every two years we have to come here and we have to either remove that cap or we have to change it. When we looked throughout the years and other states around us, we’re really low on what we contribute to our employees’ insurance. So, we have no way of putting a CPI index on what we contribute to our state employees’ and our teachers’ insurance. In a few minutes, I’m going to talk about state insurance and the state teachers insurance public school fund and how we changed it to mirror this change. But what this is going to allow it to do is the board will be able to apply that medical CPI index that would then come to council so that we do have the final say so, so we could budget for that. But it will allow an index to be applied on an annual basis so that our state employees don’t have to sit and take the whole brunt of premium increases. So the state does take some of that hit. So that’s all this one does. I’d be happy to take any questions. 

 

Shepherd [00:30:23] Rep. Wardlaw has explained the resolution. Would anyone like to speak against the resolution? Would anyone like to speak for the resolution? Rep. Wardlaw is closed for the resolution. The question before the House is the passage of House Resolution 1006. Prepare the machine, Mr. Clerk. Has everyone voted? Has everyone voted? Cast up the ballot, Mr Clerk. By a vote of 96 yeas, 0 nay, and 2 present, the resolution has passed, Mr. Clerk, please read House Resolution 1007. 

 

Clerk [00:31:04] House Resolution 1007 by Representative Wardlaw to authorize a non appropriation bill to provide for legislative oversight of the state and public school life and health insurance program and establish the Employee Benefits Division Oversight Subcommittee. 

 

Wardlaw [00:31:19] Thank you, Mr Speaker. So in the past, we’ve let EBD come to us on a, basically a bi annual basis and ask us for a hundred million here, 60 million there and so forth. But we’ve never had a mechanism for EBD to report to us how the program’s going on a monthly basis. So we had a subcommittee set up for the health exchanges that ,that basically didn’t do any work in the last few years. So we’re changing that name to the EBD Oversight Subcommittee. We mirrored the reports that lottery and that marijuana oversight and those other oversight committees require from the agencies they oversee to come to here. One thing I will tell you is we went a little heavy on the reports for EBD. I think that’s very prudent for us to do, considering the amount of money that we’re putting over there and the amount of money that will be put over in the future. This is three quarters of a billion dollars, folks. We should watch this very closely. And that’s what this is going to do is allow us to watch it. We were told by our consultants that there’s a diabetes management plan that we could put in place that would save about $7.5 million dollars annually, but it was going to cost us on the front end. It’s one thing a few of us promised the second floor, and we promised the agencies we wouldn’t do anything that cost anything on the front end because right now we’re in the negative. We need to make some money. We need to save some money and then we can put in programs that we have to invest in to save money down the road. So one thing this committee will be charged with is studying the feasibility of the diabetic management program so that we have it ready to go into effect on 2025. There’s nothing in this bill that says it’s going into effect 2025, but it says we should have it ready. And I’ll be presenting this bill. So with that Mr. Speaker, I’ll take any questions. 

 

Shepherd [00:33:13] Thank you. Rep. Wardlaw has explained the resolution. Would anyone like to speak against the resolution? Would anyone like to speak for the resolution? Rep. Wardlaw is closed for the resolution. The question before the House is the passage of House Resolution 1007. Prepare the machine, Mr. Clerk. Has everyone voted? Has everyone voted? Cast of the ballot, Mr Clerk. By a vote of 98 yeas, 0 nays, and 0 present, the resolution is passed. Mr. Clerk, please read House Resolution 1008. 

 

Clerk [00:33:55] House Resolution 1008 by Representative Wardlaw to authorize the introduction of a non appropriation bill to establish a governing body for the state and public school life and health insurance program and to create advisory commissions. 

 

Wardlaw [00:34:08] Thank you, Mr Speaker. So this is probably the most complex in the whole package. I stood up here last session and we abolished the board that overseen EBD. We moved it over to the Board of Finance. I stood right here in this well and I promised you guys we would come back here and we would revisit this as soon as possible, and we would make sure that people that are affected by these boards would have representation on these boards. I can sit here and tell you today we’ve kept that promise if this bill passes. But what we did do and what we did learn is over the last year, the Board of Finance done an unbelievable job. They have a lot of well-educated, well-financed people on there that have done just an awesome job. So we kept them in place and we created two sub boards. Those two sub boards is where that representation will be fulfilled. We have a PSC board and we have a state employees board. On the PSC board, there will be three members appointed by the governor that will have finance backgrounds, actuary backgrounds, business backgrounds in this field, insurance backgrounds are the requirements. The other two members– there will be five members total. The other two members would be one active employee from the public school system and one retired employee from the public school system. The same will take place on the state employees board. We are allowing the Education Association to submit three names to the speaker and the pro tem to pick from. We’re allowing the State Employees Association to submit three names for them to pick from. They do not have to pick from those names, but we’re allowing those people to put forth some of their best. And that’s why we want their input. Those people represent a lot of folks in those two systems, and they should have input. So we, we, we allow for that in the bill. We’re also paying these people. And this is one of the things I’ve got a lot of questions from our members is why are we paying them? Well, frankly, people, they’re overseeing three quarters of a billion dollars. We want people that want to be there, want people that can do the job. So we did put forth $500 a month for their pay. It’s only for the sub boards. Board of Finance is not getting paid any more than they get paid for doing their normal job. We’re not paying them any per diem. The $500 is all they get monthly. They do get mileage to and from Little Rock. All these meetings will take place in Little Rock in a meeting place provided by EBD. The way the the chain of command will work is the two sub boards will see to day to day operations monthly. They will report to the Board of Finance. The Board of Finance is able to meet any time they need to considering business. They can meet quarterly, they can meet monthly, whatever the business demands. I see them meeting multiple times in the spring to set rates. I see them meeting multiple times during open enrollment to set the system. I don’t see them meeting on a regular basis as far as the Board of Finance. The Board of Finance, every decision they make will go to the subcommittee that we just adopted in the resolution. That subcommittee will have final approval to council on how those decisions are made. So any rate changes, any plan changes, anything will come straight to the Legislature for final approval. That pretty much sets up the governing board or body. With that, I’ll be happy to take any questions. Thank you, Mr Speaker. 

 

Shepherd [00:37:22] Rep. Wardlaw has explained the resolution. Would anyone like to speak against the resolution? Would anyone like to speak for the resolution? Rep. Wardlaw is closed for the resolution. The question before the House is the passage of House resolution 1008. Please prepare the machine, Mr Clerk. Has everyone voted? Has everyone voted? Cast up the ballot, Mr Clerk. By a vote of 96 yeas, 0 nays, and 1 present, the resolution has passed. Mr. Clerk, please read House Resolution 1009. 

 

Clerk [00:38:02] House Resolution 1009 by Representative Wardlaw to authorize the introduction of a non appropriation bill to amend the Public School Employees Health Insurance Program funding. 

 

Shepherd [00:38:12] Rep. Wardlaw, you’re recognized to explain the resolution. 

 

Wardlaw [00:38:14] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. If anybody in here thinks something’s easy, go mess with the matrix funding when it comes to education, please. So we started down that road and I went to Representative Evans and I said, You now have the Big Apple. So Representative Evans will be carrying this bill. When this started back in October, when I sat in front of you guys in council, I said we’d be setting up a categorical fund for this to go through so we could guarantee the funds will come back. We sat down with the Department of Ed and because we use a lot of federal dollars to pay different employees in the school, we wasn’t able to use categorical funding. Because to do that, we had to jump through all these different hoops with the feds to be able to get the match money. So we went back to the matrix. And when you look at Act 1170, Act 1170 set up the funding avenue for that money to go to the schools in the matrix and then come back to EBD. So when we looked at it, it was about 97 million being paid out to the schools. We were getting back about 118 to 120 million back. So the schools were paying more back. So we didn’t want to lose that because that’s good. That helps those teachers be able to pay their insurance. Most of that’s taking place in Northwest Arkansas, but it’s some taking place in other parts. There’s usually where there’s a high property tax value for that community. So we met with the Department of Ed numerous times and we came up with with a number. It’s around 300 and a little bit of change. So we took it from 161 in the matrix to that 300 mark. And I’ve been asked, how did you, how did you pay for that gap? So we’re able to pay for that gap by using the public school fund. So there’s no new general revenue going there. It’s through sales tax dollars is where that comes from. So we were able to get this set up and we were able to still allow the schools to pay more and we were allowed to make sure that all that money comes back to EBD. So that’s all packaged in Representative Evans’ bill, and we’d love to have the opportunity to present it. So appreciate a good vote. 

 

Shepherd [00:40:12] Rep. Wardlaw has explained the resolution. Would anyone like to speak against the resolution? Would anyone like to speak for the resolution? Rep. Wardlaw is closed for the resolution. The question before the House is the passage of House resolution 1009. Prepare the machine, Mr Clerk. Has everyone voted? Has everyone voted? Cast up the ballot, Mr Clerk. By a vote of 97 yeas, 0 nay, and 0 present, the resolution has passed. Mr Clerk, please read House Resolution 1010. 

 

Clerk [00:40:53] House Resolution 1010 by Representative Wardlaw to authorize a non appropriation bill to require a fiscal impact statement for any proposed legislation imposing a new or increased cost obligation for health benefit plans, including pharmacy benefits on an entity of the state. 

 

Shepherd [00:41:09] Rep. Wardlaw, you’re recognized to explain the resolution. 

 

Wardlaw [00:41:11] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. So Representative Dotson wanted the resolution where he gets to police us. This bill actually polices the members. So what it does, it sets up the employee benefits bills that will be filed, like whether you want to use step therapy, where you want to use bariatric surgery, or whatever you want to amend or whatever you want to say EBD should cover or not cover should require a fiscal impact statement and have a bill filing deadline. So when we looked in our rules, our rules required three quarter vote, three fourths vote to take up one of these bills outside of that session. Rep. Dotson thought it should be two thirds. So this bill would require two thirds vote to go outside of those deadline marks that are already in place in our rules and it’s already there in place for retirement, scope of practice– there’s a whole group of bills that we require bill filing deadlines and impact statements on. So with that, I’d be glad to take any questions. 

 

Shepherd [00:42:10] Rep. Meeks, for what purpose? 

 

Meeks [00:42:11] Quick question, please. 

 

Shepherd [00:42:12] You’re recognized. 

 

Meeks [00:42:13] So is this going to be a substantive law change bill or this is going to be a House rules bill that we’re working on? 

 

Wardlaw [00:42:19] Good point. Glad you brought that up. This is actually a statute change. So the way we do bill filing deadlines and rules is anytime you have a filing deadline and a subsequent vote to that, it’s in the statute. So Representative Dotson will have a rule change that he will present to Rules Committee after the package is adopted that would set up the joint rules between the House and the Senate on how that would take place going forward. So it would actually be a joint rule change, not a House rule change. Thank you, Rep. Meeks, because I would have forgot that. Any other questions? 

 

Shepherd [00:42:55] Rep. Dotson, for what purpose? 

 

Wardlaw [00:42:56] I knew it. He couldn’t help it. 

 

Dotson [00:42:58] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. So just, just so I’m clear on this, this bill, this–

 

Wardlaw [00:43:04] It’s your bill. 

 

Dotson [00:43:06] I’m aware. I didn’t want to have to come down and speak for it, so, you know, I need to ask you a question. This only changes the rule for teacher health insurance in these health insurance plans. It does not change the three fourths vote threshold for retirement bills and for scope of practice change. 

 

Wardlaw [00:43:25] That is true. That is true. Thank you, Mr Speaker. Appreciate a good vote.

 

Shepherd [00:43:32] Rep. Wardlaw has explained the resolution. Would anyone like to speak against the resolution? Would anyone like to speak for the resolution? Rep. Wardlaw is closed for the resolution. The question before the House is the passage of House Resolution 1010. Prepare the machine, Mr. Clerk. Has everyone voted? Has everyone voted? Cast up the ballot, Mr Clerk. By a vote of 90 yeas, 0 nay, and 1 present, the resolution is passed. The morning hour has ended. Members, the doctor of the day is Dr. Gloria Richard Davis of Little Rock and the Nurse of the Day is Miss Sherry Bernard. Mr Clerk, please read House Bill 1001. 

 

Clerk [00:44:42] House Bill 1001 by House Management, an act for the Arkansas House of Representatives of the 93rd General Assembly appropriation for the 2021-2022 fiscal year. 

 

Shepherd [00:44:52] Rep. Wing, you’re recognized to explain the bill. 

 

Wing [00:44:56] Thank you, Mr Speaker. Colleagues, this is simply the appropriation bill that we do at the beginning of each session that allows us to perform our functions in the House of Representatives and get all our bills paid. Happy to take any questions. Appreciate a good vote. 

 

Shepherd [00:45:11] Representative Wing has explained the bill. Would anyone like to speak against the bill? Would anyone like to speak for the bill? Rep. Wing is closed for the bill. The question before the House is the passage of House bill 1001. Prepare the machine, Mr. Clerk. Voting on the bill and the emergency clause. Has everyone voted? Has everyone voted? Cast of the ballot, Mr Clerk. By a vote of 96 yeas, 1 nay, and 0 present, the bill and emergency clause is passed. Rep. Jean moves that we re-refer House bill 1080 to committee. That’s a proper motion. Rep. Jean, you’re recognized to explain the motion. 

 

Jean [00:46:02] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Colleagues, this morning we passed out a number of appropriations out of Joint Budget. Staff has caught an error on House Bill 1080. Just like refer it back so we can get it corrected. Appreciate a good vote. 

 

Shepherd [00:46:18] Rep. Jean has explained the motion. Would anyone like to speak against the motion? Would anyone like to speak for the motion? Rep. Jeans is closed for his motion. The question before the House is the re-referral of House bill 1080 to committee. All in favor say aye. Any opposed. The ayes have it. Send the bill back to the committee. Mr Clerk, please read House Bill 1013. 

 

Clerk [00:46:44] House Bill 1013. 

 

Shepherd [00:46:46] Rep. Jean, you’re recognized to explain the bill.

 

Jean [00:46:50] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Colleagues, this is the general appropriation bill. In our constitution, we cannot do any business until we pass this bill first. Any questions? Appreciate a good vote. 

 

Shepherd [00:47:02] Rep. Jean has explained the bill. Would anyone like 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 1013. Prepare the machine, Mr. Clerk. Has everyone voted? Has everyone voted? Cast up the ballot, Mr. Clerk. By a vote of 97 yeas, 0 nay, and 0 present, the bill is passed. Rep. Meeks, for what purpose? 

 

Meeks [00:47:46] Motion, please. 

 

Shepherd [00:47:47] Let’s hear your motion. 

 

Meeks [00:47:48] After the announcements, reading of the bills, transferring to the bills, place the calendars on the desk, members amending 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 1 o’clock tomorrow afternoon. 

 

Shepherd [00:48:02] That’s a proper motion. It’s not debatable. All in favor say aye. Any opposed. The ayes have it. Any announcements? Rep. Jean. 

 

Jean [00:48:14] We have Joint Budget tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. Big Mac A.

 

Shepherd [00:48:18] Rep. Ferguson, for what purpose? 

 

Ferguson [00:48:19] Announcement. 

 

Shepherd [00:48:20] You’re recognized. 

 

Ferguson [00:48:22] Representative Nicks and I would like to invite everyone to a press conference if you’re here tomorrow morning at 10:00 for the Sultana Museum that is in Marion. And if you’ll notice in the display cases downstairs in the Capitol, it has– all four display cases have Sultana exhibits. So if you’re here, please join us. We’d like to have a crowd.

 

Shepherd [00:48:45] Rep. Lundstrum, for what purpose? 

 

Lundstrum [00:48:47] Point of personal privilege. 

 

Shepherd [00:48:49] You’re recognized. 

 

Lundstrum [00:48:49] To whomever left the chocolates and rose on the desk yesterday, thank you. 

 

Shepherd [00:49:04] Represent Wing, for what purpose? 

 

Wing [00:49:07] Announcement. 

 

Shepherd [00:49:08] You’re recognized. 

 

Wing [00:49:09] House Management would love to take credit for that, but it was not us. But House Management will discuss further items in a committee meeting 10 minutes upon adjournment in Mac B. House Management, Mac B. 

 

Shepherd [00:49:23] Represent Vaught, for what purpose? 

 

Vaught [00:49:24] Announcement. 

 

Shepherd [00:49:27] You’re recognized. 

 

Vaught [00:49:27] Prayer caucus will be in the morning at 7 a.m. in the Old Supreme Court Room. 

 

Shepherd [00:49:34] Any other announcements? If not, the desk will remain open as needed for the reading of the bills and upon completion of the items named in the adjourn resolution, the House will be adjourned until 1 p.m. tomorrow.