Senate

Feb. 16, 2022

 

Griffin [00:06:33] The Senate will come to order. Senator Irvin, you wish to be recognized on a matter of leave? 

 

Irvin [00:06:39] Yes, leave for Senator Bledsoe. 

 

Griffin [00:06:44] Leave for Senator Bledsoe. Without objection. OK. Madam Secretary, is Senator Irvin going to– Senator Irvin are you leading us in prayer? I’m just making sure. Are you going to say the prayer later? Madam Secretary, please call the roll.

 

Secretary [00:07:09] [All present except Bledsoe]

 

Griffin [00:07:44] Everyone please rise, including those in the gallery. Senator Irvin is going to lead us in prayer. Let’s continue to remember the Bledsoe family in prayer. Senator Irvin. 

 

Irvin [00:08:01] Thank you. Dear Heavenly Father, we came to you humbly asking you for your divine presence, asking you for blessings for those people that we love, those people that are suffering through illnesses and through grief of different occasions with loved ones. Lord, we just ask that you would continue to guide us, be in our hearts, be in our minds and be on our lips and on our tongues. Let everything that we do shine your goodness, shine your love through us, for each other and for the citizens that we are elected to represent for our state. Lord, we ask you in the words of Saint Francis of Assisi, we ask you to make us instruments of your peace. We ask that you help us be your instruments of love. And where there is hatred, let us so love. Where there is injury, let us pardon. Where there is doubt, let us have faith. Where there is despair, let us bring hope. Where there is darkness, let us be your light. Where there is sadness, let us be your joy. Oh, Divine Master, grant that I may seek so much as to be thought so that we can console those that need to be consoled, to be understood as to understand and to be loved as to love with all of our soul. It is in giving that we receive and it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life through the sacrifice of your son, Jesus Christ. Be with us as we deliberate. Help us to be kind. Help us to be your light. Help us to be your love to each other, to our neighbors, to our families, to our friends. In your precious name we pray, amen. 

 

[00:10:01] [Pledge of Allegiance]

 

Griffin [00:10:17] Any announcements? Senator Hickey. 

 

M Johnson [00:10:25] Mr President.

 

Hickey [00:10:37] Thank you. 

 

Griffin [00:10:37] I’ll get you right after Senator Hickey. Sorry, Senator Johnson. I didn’t know you needed– you recognized. Do you need to be recognized, Senator Gilmore? Appreciate it. Senator Hickey.

 

Hickey [00:10:49] OK, members, I was going to ask that we– I’m making a motion to suspend Senate Rule 7I. What this is, is the intervening day rule that we, that you all are familiar with. So I make that motion. 

 

Griffin [00:11:02] Any questions on the motion? All those in favor say aye. Opposed. Ayes have it. The motion is adopted. 

 

Hickey [00:11:11] I also have another. 

 

Griffin [00:11:13] The Senator is recognized.

 

Hickey [00:11:14] OK. Members, I also move that the Senate lay on the table and disallow the calendaring of Senate Resolution 16, 12, and Senate Resolution 13 for the remainder of the fiscal session. 

 

Griffin [00:11:30] OK, you’ve heard the motion. It’s a non-debatable motion. Motion to lay on the table requires 18 votes. All those in favor say aye. Opposed. All those in favor say aye. Opposed. Get a deep breath. All those in favor say aye. Opposed. The ayes have it. The motion’s carried. Do we have five hands? 1, 2, 3, 4. We have five hands. Please call the roll. 

 

Secretary [00:12:12] Ballinger, no. Beckham, Beckham. Bledsoe on leave. Caldwell, Caldwell. Chesterfield, yes. Clark, Clark, no. Davis, yes. Dismang, yes. Elliott, yes. English, yes. Flippo, yes. Flowers, Flowers, yes. Garner, no. Gilmore, no. Hammer, Hammer. Hendren, yes. Hester, no. Hickey, yes. Hill, yes. Ingram, yes. Irvin, yes. Blake Johnson, yes. Mark Johnson, no. Leding, yes. Pitsch, yes. Rapert, no. Rice, yes. Sample, yes. Stubblefield, Stubblefield, no. Sturch, no. Sullivan, no. Teague, Teague, yes. Tucker, yes. Wallace, Wallace. [19 yes, 10 no, 4 not voting]

 

Griffin [00:13:49] Anyone wish to vote or change their vote over here? Over here? Senator Caldwell is aye. Senator Hammer is no. Anyone else? Cast up the ballot. 20 yeas, 11 nays, 2 not voting. The motion is carried, the resolution– to lay upon the table. Any items at the desk, madam Secretary? Oh, sorry. Senator Johnson has a– wished to be recognized. Senator Johnson. Sorry. 

 

M Johnson [00:14:22] Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. President, I’d like to move to withdraw Senate Resolution 17 from further consideration. 

 

Griffin [00:14:34] Without objection. 

 

M Johnson [00:14:35] Thank you. 

 

Griffin [00:14:38] Senator Gilmore.

 

Gilmore [00:14:43] Thank you, Mr. President. Members, I have a letter on your desk regarding the Forestry Caucus. This was emailed out to all of you and I appreciate the response from many of you, but I wanted to give one last chance before we announce and list who those members of the Forestry Caucus are. So if you would get with me today, text, email, whatever’s easy for you, just let me know your interests in wanting to be a part of that, and I would greatly appreciate it. Of course, this is something that will be for the interest of forestry and, and the forestry sector in the state of Arkansas. So we certainly appreciate your involvement. Thank you. 

 

Rapert [00:15:18] Mr. President, I have a question. 

 

Griffin [00:15:21] Senator Rapert’s recognized. 

 

Rapert [00:15:22] I have a question, and I don’t know if you need to seek the input from the parliamentarian. But obviously this move to squelch and silence the voice of members of this body when we had agreed to, there would be no more resolutions filed. This move is unprecedented that I’ve ever seen in the body, squelching the opportunity to even bring forth resolutions. Is there any alternative for us under the rules to be able to handle legislation?

 

Griffin [00:15:55] [00:15:55]Are you referring to the motion to lay upon the table?

 

Rapert [00:15:59] That’s right. 

 

Griffin [00:16:00] OK, well, that’s in the rules. I mean, we have motions to lay on the table– 

 

Rapert [00:16:03] I know that. I said is there an alternative? 

 

Griffin [00:16:06] You can get it off the table. 

 

Rapert [00:16:08] Yeah. And so but with this body generally up until the last couple of years has been pretty collegial that we allow members to bring forth their bills and simply vote up or down. So since we have enacted this other agreed to rule that we won’t have any new resolutions filed, I just wanted to ask of the chair or seek from the parliamentarian or Senate counsel, is there any other alternative for us other than just pull, pull it off the table? 

 

Griffin [00:16:39] Well, I’m hearing you talk about not being able to file other resolutions. I also heard you talk about the motion to lay upon the table. Those are two unrelated issues, so.

 

Rapert [00:16:51] Well, I’ve got, I’ve got plenty of questions, but what I’m saying, I just thought I would ask it openly here if there was other alternatives, other than, than a motion to pull it off the table? 

 

Griffin [00:17:01] OK, well, let me, let me say this. So, I’ve been here seven years. Sometimes it’s collegial, sometimes it’s not. We’ve had motions to lay upon the table routinely. We’ve had other times, you know. So I don’t think this is part of any particular theme. Under the rules that everybody in here approved, including yourself, to lay upon the table is 18 votes, not debatable. And if you’re going to pull it off the table, it’s 24 and not debatable. Am I missing anything, Steve? 

 

Rapert [00:17:40] Thank you, Mr. President. 

 

Cook [00:17:43] A motion to expunge that vote. 

 

Griffin [00:17:45] Yeah, but that also requires 24. So ultimately this body can do whatever the heck it wants to do and pursuant to the rules. Senator Garner. 

 

Garner [00:18:03] Yes, sir. Just, I want to ask leave for my father-in-law, Matt Stone, to be on the floor if that’s allowable. 

 

Griffin [00:18:18] Without objection. Senator Sturch.

 

Sturch [00:18:23] Mr. President, could I ask for a point of personal privilege? 

 

Griffin [00:18:25] Okay. Senator Sturch has got the floor. 

 

Sturch [00:18:32] Colleagues, I wanted to come down here early–. 

 

Griffin [00:18:35] Hang on one second. [Gavel] Take your chit chat off the floor while the senator is speaking. Senator Sturch, you’re recognized. 

 

Sturch [00:18:45] Colleagues, I wanted to take time while you’re still paying attention. I don’t have a way– I should say it that way– to get a lot of concerns off my chest. So today I wanted to take just a few minutes if you’ll give me some grace to do that. I’m not wanting this to be a lecture. I’m not trying to badger anybody. But I’ve only been here seven years as well. But in that seven years, I’ve seen a lot of changes. Some good, some not so good. So the question I have for you today after what we’ve seen, not just this session, but the last couple of sessions is what’s happened to us. What’s happened? What happened to senatorial courtesy? What happened to common respect among colleagues? I have seen more personal attacks here lately amongst colleagues, whether it’s in this chamber or outside this chamber than I’ve ever seen before. And I’ve never seen as much claims to moral superiority that I have recently. We’re all the time criticizing Washington, D.C., for the way they act. Yet it’s becoming harder and harder to see the difference between the Arkansas Legislature and Congress. Pride is at the center of a lot of our problems. You know, I’m a PK, too, and a PGK. And I’m the black sheep of my family because I went into politics. But I know the good book. Proverbs 16:7.  These are the six things that God hates. The first one is a proud look, a proud look. Why did God put it first in priority? Because it will destroy everything else, your testimony, your witness, your example. When I first got here, it was a badge of honor for a legislator to actually work behind the scenes to build consensus. If you could get the Municipal League and the Association of Counties to agree on something, you were doing something pretty good. Or if you could get two years and four year universities to agree to something, you were doing pretty good. We used to strive for that. We used to strive between groups to build consensus and then bring policy or work to make a policy better. What happened to that? What happened to that being a goal? Now it seems we don’t care to work with stakeholders to find the overall best policy. We would rather actually divide and conquer, it seems. We’re thinking now that the best way to get someone to, you know, come on our side is to try to discredit their facts or to not oblige their opinion. We accuse the other side of misleading other people or being ignorant or whatever it might be. Two lawyers don’t agree. Big surprise. It happens all the time. It happens in here. But I’ve never seen it to where people would actually personally attack or try to discredit the other side’s opinion. What I hoped was that we could simply have different opinions and work from there understanding that we all will have different opinions. We all serve different constituencies, but work from there. We should not claim moral superiority. We should not try to discredit the other side. I’m also reminded about what the Lord said about Pharisees. We should first try to communicate. Communication breakdowns are also rampant around here. But if we would first try to communicate our own views, our own opinions, maybe that’s a good first step, then find consensus. Finally, vote by your convictions. Vote on behalf of your constituents. We don’t have to attack each other or the other end of this building or anybody else. Vote your conviction. Vote what your constituents asked. It’s not against anyone, and it should not be politically charged. Maybe I’m in the minority. But when I walk through those doors, politics ends there. Several of you have endorsed my political opponents or helped them. But here, that doesn’t matter. Because here, I’m a policy maker. Here, my job is try to find the best job that I can or do the best job that I can for my constituents. We should be more concerned about doing our job than we are keeping our job. I’ll end with this. A couple of sessions back, I was working and I heard one of my colleagues bring a group of students in here, sat down in our chairs, and I believe the words were said, See, this place is not special. These people who serve aren’t great or better than average. And that bothered me. Because I understand to an extent what he was trying to say, but I can’t quite agree. This place is special. It’s where the people’s business is supposed to get done. It is a privilege and an honor to serve in the Legislature. My kids, if I’m ever blessed to have any, will not see their dad serve. But I will forever be part of this institution because I did serve, and it will still be the greatest honor of my life to be an Arkansas state legislator. I hope that you will agree as we move forward this next month to keep the right things in focus, to try to get back to the way it used to be as far as doing our job as a legislator, as far as respecting each other’s opinions and having that common courtesy that so often absent in today’s political climate. I thank you. Thank you, Mr. President. 

 

Griffin [00:26:05] Thank you Senator. 

 

[00:26:05] [Standing ovation from Senate] 

 

Griffin [00:26:05] Thank you, Senator. Senator Tucker, do you wish to be recognized? Senator Tucker and then we’re going to go to Madam Secretary. 

 

Tucker [00:26:12] Thank you, governor. Since I have the well, I just want to thank Senator Sturch for those brave words and I hope they fall on my own heart and on everybody’s heart who serves in this body. Thank you, Senator Sturch. That’s the quietest I’ve ever heard this chamber since I’ve been a part of this body, so thank you. I just want to do two quick announcements. One is to recognize our Doctor of the day, Dr. Gina Drobena, who’s a pathologist at UAMS, and our nurse of the day, Brenda Hewitt. Thank you, doctor and nurse, for being here with us. Welcome to the state Senate. And just another moment of privilege. I don’t see Senator Teague in the chamber at the moment. I’m not going to lead us, but I just want to recognize Senator Blake Johnson and wish you a happy birthday, senator. 

 

Griffin [00:27:13] I saw him. He purposefully waited for Teague to leave so we could get all, all the love without the song. He stuck his head in and left. I saw him. Oh, thank goodness. OK, Madam Secretary, any items at the desk? 

 

Secretary [00:27:31] Yes, sir. We your committee on Joint Budget to whom was referred Senate Bill 36, Senate Bill 69, Senate Bill 70, Senate Bill 71, Senate Bill 72, Senate Bill 73, Senate Bill 74, Senate Bill 75, Senate Bill 76, Senate Bill 77, Senate Bill 78, Senate Bill 79, Senate Bill 80, Senate Bill 81, Senate Bill 82, Senate Bill 83, and Senate Bill 84 by Joint Budget recommend do pass. 

 

Griffin [00:28:08] Calendar. 

 

Dismang [00:28:25] I make a motion to re-refer Senate bill 84 back to committee for purpose of amendment. 

 

Griffin [00:28:33] SB 84. You’re heard the motion. All those in favor, say aye. Opposed. The ayes have it. The motion’s carried.

 

Secretary [00:28:43] Senate Bill 89 by Joint Budget an Act for the Department of Human Services Division of Medical Services Supplemental Appropriation. Senate Bill 89. 

 

Griffin [00:28:51] Budget. 

 

Secretary [00:28:52] Senate Bill 90 by Joint Budget and Act for the Department of Education Public School Funds supplemental Appropriation. Senate Bill 90. 

 

Griffin [00:28:59] Joint Budget. Oh, no, we’re not. We’re going to go to the business agenda first. You want to go to business or budget, Madam Secretary? Budget? OK. Senator Dismang. Before he starts, just want to remind the folks in the gallery, we appreciate y’all coming and there have been some, been some new rules posted up there. Just appreciate y’all, welcome you here. And just appreciate y’all being respectful. Thank you so much for that. 

 

Dismang [00:29:41] Members, just real quick before she starts reading these, what we’re going to do, there’s going to be three parts. House Bill 1013, we’re going to vote separate. And then we’re going to batch all the Senate bills on Page 1 as one batch. And the second batch would be Page 2. So if you have a bill that you would like to pull out for separate consideration or whatever it may be, then go ahead and let us know that at this point. And I’ll just give you a, just a few seconds to kind of look through and see if there’s something you want to pull out. And so that first one will be on page 1. Does anyone want to pull out any of those bills for separate consideration? Are you OK with a batch? I’ve already told the lieutenant governor we’re probably going to pull SB 3 for a separate vote. And then on Page 2, are there any that you would like to pull out separate for those? All right. 

 

Griffin [00:30:37] Okay, I see no one wanting anything pulled out.

 

Dismang [00:30:39] OK, that’s great. 

 

Griffin [00:30:41] And they mentioned increasing SB 3, but I think we’re good where we are. 

 

Dismang [00:30:45] Fair enough. 

 

Secretary [00:30:47] House Bill 10 13 by Joint Budget the General Appropriation Act for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. 

 

Dismang [00:30:55] Be happy to take any questions. 

 

Griffin [00:30:57] Any questions? Is the senator closed? 

 

Dismang [00:31:01] Yeah, I’m closed. Appreciate a good vote.

 

Griffin [00:31:03] Roll the vote.

 

[00:31:37] [33 yes, 0 nay, 0 present]. 

 

Griffin [00:31:38] Anyone wish to vote or change their vote? Cast up the ballot. 33 yeas, 0 nays, the bill is passed. Return to the House. Now, batch one. 

 

Dismang [00:32:00] All right. And still, no one would like to pull any bills out? And then we’re good to go. 

 

Secretary [00:32:10] Senate Bill 2 an act for the Office of Governor appropriation for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Senate bill 3, an act for the Office of the Lieutenant Governor appropriation for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Senate Bill 4 an Act for the Arkansas Ethics Commission appropriation for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Senate Bill 5 An act for the Department of Corrections Arkansas Sentencing Commission appropriation for the 2022-2023 Fiscal Year. Senate Bill 6 an act for the Department of Corrections Parole Board appropriation for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Senate Bill 8 an act for the Southeast Arkansas College appropriation for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Senate Bill 9, an act for the Department of Labor and Licensing Workers Compensation Commission appropriation for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Senate Bill 10 an act for the Bureau of Legislative Research and the Legislative Council appropriation for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Senate Bill 11, an act for the Auditor of State Operations and Unclaimed Property Program appropriation for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Senate Bill 14, an act for the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission appropriation for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Senate Bill 19 an Act for the Office of the Prosecutor Coordinator appropriation for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Senate Bill 21 an act for the Arkansas Catfish Promotion Board appropriation for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Senate Bill 22 an act for the Arkansas Beef Council appropriation for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Senate Bill 25, an act for the Auditor of State continuing education of local officials appropriation for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Senate Bill 27 an act for the Arkansas Public Defender Commission appropriation for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Senate Bill 28, an act for the Department of Veterans Affairs appropriation for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Senate Bill 29 an act for the Department of Commerce Division of Aeronautics Appropriation for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Senate Bill 30 an act for the South Arkansas Community College appropriation for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. 

 

Griffin [00:34:43] Senator Dismang. Any questions? Senator Garner. 

 

Garner [00:34:48] Yeah, can we pull SB 2 out or is it too late to do that to process? 

 

Dismang [00:34:52] We asked for that earlier, asked for it twice. I mean, we can pull it out for a separate vote. That’s fine. 

 

Secretary [00:34:59] Which bill? 

 

Dismang [00:35:00] We just read it all across. I mean, we let her read through that entire thing based on a vote we were about to make. I mean, I’m not sure what’s going on or why, but I do know this has been at your desk. OK. 

 

Secretary [00:35:12] Which bill? 

 

Dismang [00:35:12] Senate bill 2, we’re going to pull out for a separate vote. So, members it’s going to be SB 3–. 

 

Griffin [00:35:18] Just to be clear, he’s under no obligation to do that. OK. But– 

 

Dismang [00:35:24] So members we’re going to batch and– we’ll first vote SB 2, then we’re going to vote SB 3, 4,  5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 19, 21, 22, 25, 27, 28, 29 and 30. Is everybody OK with that? 

 

Griffin [00:35:42] Any questions? Senator Garner.

 

Garner [00:35:44] Yes. If it’s appropriate, is it time to ask questions about specific bills within that batch? 

 

Dismang [00:35:50] Yes, I wish we’d done that back before, but yeah, you’re, you’re welcome to ask questions on the bills in that batch. 

 

Griffin [00:35:54] You got a question? 

 

Dismang [00:35:55] Go for it. 

 

Griffin [00:35:56] We’re proceeding, but he can ask the question. 

 

Garner [00:36:02] Ok. On SB 27, which is the deputy– excuse me with the public defenders– I know there’s been a bunch of discussion about their budget and anything like that. I would just like a simple update if that’s possible, since I’m not on the Budget Committee before I vote for it. 

 

Dismang [00:36:15] My understanding is they’re still working out what the fix needs to be, and there may be a request at some point future in this session or, you know, later in this session. But as far as, you know, needed change or requested changes, there were none by the public defenders. We’re moving forward with the appropriation that they– like I said, there may be a request to try to shore up some things later on in this session. But I don’t have the details of those yet. 

 

Garner [00:36:37] OK. Sorry to inconvenience everybody. 

 

Griffin [00:36:38] Any other, any other questions? Any objection to rolling the vote? 

 

Dismang [00:36:42] We’re going to vote SB 2 first, because it’s been pulled out of the batch. 

 

Griffin [00:36:48] 2, just 2 alone. And then we’ll do the rest. Any objection to rolling the vote? Please roll the vote. 

 

Secretary [00:36:58] [All voted for except Garner and senator on leave]

 

Griffin [00:37:35] Anyone wish to  vote to change your vote. Cast up the ballot. 32 yeas, 1 nay, the bill is passed. Transmit to the House. Now we’re doing the rest of that batch, starting at SB 3 going all the way to the bottom of the page to SB 30. Questions? Any objection to rolling the vote? Roll the vote.

 

Secretary [00:38:31] [All voted in favor except senator on leave] 

 

Griffin [00:38:33] Anyone wish to change their vote? Cast up the ballot. 33 yeas, 0 nays. The bills are passed. Return– or transmit to the House. The second batch. 

 

Secretary [00:38:46] Senate bill 31– 

 

Dismang [00:38:47] Yeah, before we read, I want to make– because I don’t want to– I mean, that’s a lot on you doing that reading was my biggest concern. But members, does anyone want to pull out or have any questions on Senate bill 31, 32, 37, 39, 42, 44, 52, 55, 56, 65, or 68? 

 

Griffin [00:39:15] Now’s your time. 

 

Dismang [00:39:16] Allright. 

 

Secretary [00:39:25] Senate Bill 31 an act for the Arkansas Supreme Court appropriation for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Senate Bill 32 an act for the SAU Tech appropriation for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Senate Bill 37 an act for the Department of Energy and Environment Arkansas Geological Survey appropriation for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Senate Bill 39 an Act for the University of Central Arkansas appropriation for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Senate Bill 42 an Act for the Department of Transformation and Shared Services Arkansas Geographic Information System office appropriation for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Senate Bill 44 an Act for the Department of Transformation and Shared Services Building Authority Division appropriation for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Senate Bill 52 an act for the Department of Commerce State Insurance Department appropriation for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Senate Bill 55 an Act for the Arkansas Minority Health Initiative of the Department of Health Arkansas Minority Health Commission appropriation for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Senate Bill 65 an act for the Department of Health, Arkansas Tobacco Settlement Commission appropriation for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Senate Bill 68, an act for the Department of Health Licensing and Regulation Boards appropriation for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Senate Bill 56 an Act for the Department of Health Arkansas Minority Health Commission appropriation for 2022-2023 fiscal year. 

 

Griffin [00:41:16] Any objection to rolling the vote? Please roll the vote. 

 

Secretary [00:41:22] [All voted in favor except senator on leave]

 

Griffin [00:41:53] Anyone wish to change their vote? Cast up the ballot. 33 yeas, 0 nays. Bills are passed. Transmit to the House. That’s the end of the budget calendar. Sorry about that. SR 21, Senator Hickey. Good to see Denise Hickey up in the gallery. Thanks for all your work the other night. Thanks. Thanks for all your work on the president pro tem dinner. It was outstanding. 

 

Secretary [00:42:32] Senate Resolution 21 by Senator Hickey to provide for an extension and sine die adjournment of the fiscal session of the 93rd General Assembly. 

 

Griffin [00:42:41] Senator Hickey. 

 

Hickey [00:42:43] Members, this is the standard resolution that we always run that, as you all know, the fiscal session is for 30 days. We always give us an additional 15 days. Every part of me does not want to even get close to using that. I think I’d appreciate a good vote. 

 

Griffin [00:42:59] Any questions? Any objection to rolling the vote? Please roll the vote.

 

Secretary [00:43:04] [All voted in favor except senator on leave]

 

Griffin [00:43:39] Anyone wish to change their vote? Cast up the ballot. 33 yeas, 0 nays. The resolution is adopted. Now, the next one by Senator Hickey, unlike– SR 21 required 27 votes. SR 22 only requires 18. We’re going to do that with a voice vote. Senator Hickey. 

 

Secretary [00:43:58] Senate Resolution 22 by Senator Hickey to authorize recesses of either or both chambers for periods of four consecutive days or longer. 

 

Griffin [00:44:09] Senator Hickey. 

 

Hickey [00:44:10] Thank you, Mr. President. Members, this is exactly what it says. This is the resolution that we always run where we can recess for periods of four or more consecutive days. We’ll actually be using this for this coming weekend because Presidents Day is Monday, and it’s the intentions to take that off, or take that day off. 

 

Griffin [00:44:31] Any questions? All in favor, say aye. Opposed? Ayes have it. Resolution’s adopted. Senator Ballinger 

 

Secretary [00:44:41] Senate Resolution 23 by Senator Ballinger to congratulate Mr. Patrick Wolf and the Department of Education Reform at the College of Education, Health Professions of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, for their many achievements. Senator Ballinger. 

 

Ballinger [00:45:01] Thank you, Mr. President. First, I guess, if you’ll look in the gallery to your left, my right, that we actually have Patrick Wolf and some of his colleagues have come up. They’ll be at the education meeting today. So we just want to commend them. I’m not going to read through the, the, the whole resolution, but I want to point out a few things. And I know that Senator Irvin, who is the chair of education, may have some things to say. But the Department of Education has been doing a lot of incredible work on a national level. The Ed Reform Department within the Department of Education at the University of Arkansas and have been getting a lot of recognition. And in fact, they’ve done a lot of work for us. They’ve done work for, for the governor’s office, the Department of Education. Several members have had them do some, do some research. And they’re put to work, but a lot of times they are working behind the scenes and they aren’t, aren’t really recognized. But just to be, be clear, some of the things that they’ve done is like they’ve had, they do various issues that they kind of take up and do research on. Several professors have different, different expertise, but they range from school choice to education policy, teacher quality, leadership, accountability, transparency. They’ve published, they have over 49 journal articles, 16 different book chapters, 51 different working papers on various topics, according to the database of academic analytics. So they basically track the citing. You know, they are the fourth most cited institution, you know, collectively between the professors out of any of them within that database. Professor Wolf actually pointed out that’s a higher ranking the basketball team has right now. Looks pretty good. But, but, you know, the resolution goes on, but the point is that they are doing incredible, great work. And, and I just want to make sure that the institution gets, gets recognized for doing that work and just appreciate. So I’ll let Senator Irvin say anything she wanted to.

 

Griffin [00:46:51] Senator Irvin. 

 

Irvin [00:46:53] Thank you. Members, we are going to hear from them today. That’s why we’ve called an education committee meeting this afternoon. It will be actually after insurance and commerce meet, so a little bit of a delay. But we wanted to utilize this time for us while we’re already here to go ahead and hear from these great reformers that we have at the University of Arkansas. So we talk about the Razorbacks all the time, but we can’t ever forget the professors that are on the campus that are doing a lot of great work in a lot of different areas. And so we’re just happy to have you guys with us today and to be able to recognize you in this way. 

 

Griffin [00:47:28] Any more comments, Sen. Ballinger, Sen. Irvin? 

 

Ballinger [00:47:30] Just real quick. I just, I thank you guys for this. And it is an opportunity, and they’ve worked really hard for a very long time and committed and really had an impact for education reform very broadly. And I just appreciate them and this is kind of a small way that we can show that appreciation. I’d appreciate a good vote. 

 

Griffin [00:47:47] You’ve heard the resolution. All those in favor say aye. Opposed. The ayes have it. The resolution is adopted. Any other items at the desk? Any announcements? Senator Hickey and Senator Pitsch, y’all can fight it out. Senator Hickey. Senator Pitsch. Senator Hickey. Senator Pitsch. I’m going to start auctioning this off here in a minute. 

 

Pitsch [00:48:23]  I don’t have any money in my pocket, so I’ll go first. 

 

Griffin [00:48:27] I wasn’t going to ask for money, but go ahead. 

 

Pitsch [00:48:28] Announcing Senate Insurance and Commerce, as Senator Irvin alluded to, we’ve got two that are meeting right after in room 171. But we’re going to go down there quickly, Insurance and commerce, get organized and get– we’ve got four bills to, to analyze, but then we’ll get them to education right after. 

 

Griffin [00:48:47] And remember, we got Joint Budget 9 a.m. tomorrow and we’ll be back in session tomorrow at 1 o’clock. Senator Hickey, subject to Senator Hickey’s change. 

 

Hickey [00:48:58] Well, unless you all object, with the budget chairs and talking to the House, I think that we could probably come in at 11 if you all are OK with that. 

 

Griffin [00:49:09] OK. All right. Going to be at 11. Is Joint Budget still at 9? 

 

Dismang [00:49:15] It’s at 9  and it’s members’ own. So just be prepared if you’ve got something you’re looking to run. And there will be a continuation of the Rules Committee meeting, and that will be at 8 o’clock tomorrow. 

 

Griffin [00:49:32] OK. The Senate’s adjourned subject to the clearing of the desk.