Joint Budget committee

March 2, 2022

 

Dismang Quorum. We’re going to go, go ahead and get started with the Special Language report. Just a quick note– Senator Hester, are you going to present that report today? Okay. And I visited with Senator Hester about this briefly, but Item A1 is actually a revision. That’s going to be handed out here in a minute. So what we’re actually going to be considering would be 2 through 7. With that, you’re recognized, Sen. Hester. 

 

Hester Mr. Chairman, the Special Language subcommittee of Joint Budget Committee met upon adjournment on both sides of the House and Senate on Tuesday, March 1, in Mac A and makes the following recommendations. The Special Language in the six amendments on the report was reviewed or recommended for approval to be admitted into the corresponding bills in the amendments are released for the subcommittee back to the Joint Budget Committee. I move adoption of the report A2 through 7.

 

Dismang Members, are there any questions on Items A2 through 7? Allright, seeing none, we’ve got a motion to adopt. We’ve got a second. Any discussion? Seeing none, all those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed. Motion carries. And then Personnel subcommittee report. Is that going to be– Rep. Wooten, you’re recognized to present the report. 

 

Wooten Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The Personnel committee met again this morning at 7:30 here in Big Mac A. The committee reviewed the listed Governor’s Letters, which were several and rather voluminous. We also– a letter from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and their subsequent amendments and release them back to the Joint Budget Committee as adopted. The committee also reviewed regular business Items 8, 9 and 10. And I’d be happy to entertain or answer any questions if any member has it. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

 

Jean Members, do we have any questions? We have a motion to adopt the report and a second. Any discussion? All in favor say aye. Any opposed. Report is adopted. Mr. Anderson. We going to C? Okay? Members, we’re going to pass over by the member’s request on Items 1, 2 and 3, and we’re heading towards Item 4, which will be the amendment to Senate Bill 63. And Rep. Ray. 

 

Dismang Thank you. Representative Ray, you’re recognized. 

 

Ray Okay, thank you, Mr. Chair. This is the same amendment that was presented yesterday. It’s adding $3 million to the Succeed scholarship program. I just want to briefly clear up two points that were raised yesterday. First, I want to be very clear, this is not the same program that was passed in the past legislative session. This is for the Succeed scholarship program that was passed back in 2015 and has been operating and in place for several years. I think there’s some confusion that, you know, the students enrolled in this program are playing football at Pulaski Academy or something. That is not the case. The people who are– the students that are participating in this program are students with disabilities, students in foster care. A lot of these students have autism. Some of these students are at Easter Seals Arkansas with muscular dystrophy. They’re students with cerebral palsy. They have dyslexia, dysgraphia. They have serious learning issues that this program helps address. The second thing I want to clear up is there was some argument made that we should wait until BLR issues this biennial report. The biennial report’s already been issued from 2020. You’re welcome to go and read that report. I would encourage everybody to do it. There’s nothing in that report that gives me any pause or concern about the program. If anything, it strengthens my support for this amendment. So with that, I would ask for a good vote on the amendment, because, as I explained yesterday, there’s going to be approximately 200 children who are not going to be able to persist in this program if we don’t do something to address the loss of one time funding and the funding adjustment from, from the foundation funding. Thank you. 

 

Dismang Thank you. And I appreciate the clarification. And just one quick question. I want to make sure we, again, we are understanding who we’re talking about and where the majority of these scholarships go. Who are the two biggest schools that receive students for this scholarship? Organizations. 

 

Ray Yeah. So my, my understanding is it’s the Hannah School in Little Rock, which primarily specializes in children with dyslexia, and Easter Seals Arkansas, who takes students with a wide range of disabilities. I’m sure most folks are familiar with Easter Seals. 

 

Dismang All right, thank you. Representative Wooten, you’re recognized. 

 

Wooten Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have a question for Representative Ray, if I may. 

 

Dismang Yes, sir. 

 

Wooten How do you know that none of this money– that none of this money is being used in football? How do you know that? 

 

Ray Well– 

 

Wooten How do you know that? 

 

Ray How do I know that no student is playing– no student who’s enrolled is playing football? 

 

Wooten How do you know that it’s not being used in athletics? And on top of that–

 

Ray Yeah, I’ll be happy to–

 

Wooten –how do you know– how do you know how many dyslexia and autism and other children– this is a pure play– this is a pure play on compassion and making people feel bad because they voted right yesterday. And I don’t appreciate that. But I want you to tell me how you know– 

 

Ray Okay, I’ll– 

 

Wooten –that none of this money is being used for football. And then how do you know how many– tell me how many students that have autism and who they accept anyone who makes an application? 

 

Ray Sure, I’ll be happy to address your question, Representative Wooten. So the funds that go into the Succeed scholarship program are used to pay tuition. Tuition typically encompasses academic measures. So now, I’ll be happy to– no, I’ll be, I’ll be very clear–. 

 

Dismang Representative Wooten. Representative Wooten, I believe he’s trying. 

 

Ray Yeah, I’ll be– if you’ll just give me an opportunity to answer your question, Representative Wooten. I specifically said that there are some folks who may be under the illusion that these students are playing football at Pulaski Academy. Okay. These students who participate in the Succeed–

 

Wooten How do you know that? 

 

Ray Well, for starters, Pulaski–

 

Wooten Just answer the question. 

 

Ray Well, for starters, Pulaski Academy is not an approved school under the Department of Education.

 

Wooten [talking with microphone off] 

 

Dismang Sir, sir, sir. Representative Wooten, Representative Wooten. He’s entitled to answer your question. You may not like the answer, but he is entitled to answer the question without interruption. And so we’re going to, we’re going to let him answer the question. You may not be satisfied with his answer, but he’s answering the question to the best of his knowledge. 

 

Ray So the, the funds for this, for the program go to pay for tuition. Can I promise you that there’s no student out of the 640 that participates in football? No, I cannot promise you that. But I would not begrudge any student the opportunity to participate in an extracurricular activity at a school, at a school that they are duly enrolled in. And these students have to meet the criteria of the program. Like I said, these are students with autism. These are students with dyslexia, dysgraphia. Many of them are in foster care and so they have social and emotional needs that are not specific to– that are not– that are different from– than some students. And so I hope that answers your question. 

 

Dismang Hit your mic. 

 

Wooten Follow up. How– Okay– how many, how many students– do not the public schools provide care for these? I happen to know that they do. 

 

Dismang I’ll, I’ll answer that question, Representative Wooten. 

 

Wooten And I really– 

 

Dismang Representative Wooten, I’m going to answer that question. I had a conversation with a superintendent not too long ago that was complaining about the disabled students and the fact that they didn’t receive enough funding for them or that it took away from the care and the needs of the other children in the– in the, in the school. And I think we just listed earlier– the two top recipients of this program are schools that are specialized to help people with needs. And they’re great programs. I don’t think anyone in this room would contest those programs. 

 

Wooten I certainly do not. 

 

Dismang And if you’ve got the means, then you can send your kids to those schools. And this allows those that do not have the means with disabilities to be able to get the care that they need, the education that they deserve. I understand what you’re saying and I know we’re all on opposing sides on this, but we’re going to keep it. I mean, this isn’t about football or whatever.

 

Wooten It hasn’t– my, my objection to this, Mr. Chairman, has nothing to do with football. He brought that up. I can’t tell you it hadn’t crossed my mind, but I did not bring that up. Representative Ray brought that up. So I’m not here today– I’m concerned about public education. I am concerned about the 445,452 other kids that are not benefiting in this program. And I know I may very well probably be fighting a losing battle with the new administration in the governor’s office coming in. But I’m telling you, we owe it to the public schools. We owe it to the superintendents to fund it. And I’d like for you to call the Department of Education up, if you would, because I have a question for them relative to this. 

 

Dismang Okay, I’m going to put you back in the queue. We’re going to take any other questions that we have. When we bring the department up, we’ll do that. So I’m going to hit your mic and put you at the bottom of the queue, and you’ll be recognized for a question with the department. Senator Chesterfield. 

 

Chesterfield Thank you, Mr. Chair. My question, too, is for the department. 

 

Dismang Okay. Could we have someone from the Department of Education come up? In what particular area or do you just want someone from the department? 

 

Chesterfield The Big Dog. 

 

Dismang Okay. 

 

Key Johnny Big Dog Key. Department of Education. 

 

Chesterfield That’s the Johnny Key I know. Thank you so much. Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thank you, Secretary Key. When children are in the public schools, their parents have certain legal rights, do they not, if their program– if the needs of their children are not being met? And then I’ve seen, too, that you are changing the rules for special ed, so their children are basically being placed in regular school– I mean, regular classrooms. Is that not happening right now? 

 

Key So the first part of your question, yes. Through federal law, not just state law, but federal law, the IEP process puts parents by definition as a member of the IEP team. It is a team of educators and other providers, depending on the needs of that student. And parents are to be included in that, those discussions and those decisions. As for the work that we are doing on inclusive practices, it is, it is not completely overturning the special attention and meeting the special needs of students, but it is utilizing the power of core instruction to help those students achieve better. And then their other needs are supplemented by the other services in the schools. 

 

Chesterfield I had the pleasure of working in a CBI school, community based instruction where children were in diapers, children could not speak, children were autistic, but they were all educated in a public school setting. Are those things not available right now? 

 

Key Yes. 

 

Chesterfield They are available right now. So there’s nothing that Succeed, this program, provides that cannot be provided in regular public schools. Is that correct? 

 

Key Theoretically. I mean, I can’t speak for every private school. I don’t know what they offer. 

 

Chesterfield You don’t know what every one of them does. But in reality, our schools are charged with educating every child, would you agree? 

 

Key They are. Yes, ma’am. 

 

Chesterfield Thank you. Which is why I have real concerns when we keep talking as if these children have no place to go. That is a major concern of mine, and that’s why I’m opposed to this legislation. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

 

Dismang Thank you. Representative Mark Johnson, you’re recognized. No, who’s that?

 

M Johnson Thank you for the demotion, Mr. Chairman. 

 

Dismang Sorry. 

 

M Johnson I mean, I know some people are trying to get me out, but please don’t join them. My question was going to be for Representative Ray, but I’d rather direct it to the Big Dog if I could. Mr. Secretary, and, and this is partially in response to Senator Chesterfield’s comment. But having seen this up front, having visited facilities such as and including the Hannah School, I know that at least in the situation of dyslexic children, there has been some tremendous progress made in the last few years. And sad to say, in my opinion, the public schools are a little behind the curve on reaching these children. I know this because I’ve studied it carefully because my daughter, who, thank God, has a college degree, but that she was actually discovered to be dyslexic when she was in college. And the best treatment she has had has been a program similar to what’s at the Hannah School that she actually completed this program last year. So I’m not asking you to say that there aren’t other, not just other programs, including some in public schools, but also other methodologies. If you would clarify that for me on how to approach this. It’s just that having dealt with this for many, many years and actually seen some I’m going to call them New Wave solutions that look at brain science in some ways that haven’t in the past. But, I know I’m just– from the dyslexia, and I don’t know about the other disabilities. And I know kids have needs. But we worked so hard and identified that if you can’t read the third grade, you’re going to go on a trajectory that could lead you to Tucker or Cummins. And if you’re on the other trajectory, it’s going to lead you hopefully to a good paying job in a trade or even to college. Is that a fair description of this specialized need that these minimum number of scholarships could meet? 

 

Key Yes, those are options. Hannah School, while relatively new within the last five or six years or so, and they do offer those specialized, specialized services and approaches to dyslexia. There are others. Easter Seals, for instance, provides support in very specific, specific needs. And Access is another that has multiple locations. So yeah, there are specialty schools that fit in this category that the students can attend with this program. 

 

M Johnson Would it be safe to say, Mr. Secretary, that the, that this meets a niche that is not always provided in the general education system of the state? 

 

Key Well, again, I think it’s– just to reiterate my previous response, there are special needs of certain students and there are schools that have been developed through the years that target those specific needs in addition to providing the well-rounded education. 

 

M Johnson Okay, thank you, Mr. Secretary. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

 

Dismang Thank you. Senator Hill, you’re recognized. 

 

Hill I’d like to make a motion for immediate consideration. 

 

Dismang We’ve got a motion for immediate consideration. It’s not debatable. All those in favor signify by saying aye. And those opposed. The Motion carries. All right, so up we are on a– we need three hands. Let’s call the roll. Let’s start with the House. No, we adopted the motion for immediate consideration. We’ve got to motion to vote by dividing the House. We had three hands. We’re going to start by chamber. We’re going to start with the House. 

 

Anderson Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This is for amendment on Senate Bill 63 to add additional Special Language to Department of Education bill. Going through the House first. Representative Shepherd, yes. Representative Eubanks. Not seeing Representative Eubanks. Representative Barker, yes. Representative Holcomb. Representative Kenneth Ferguson, no. Representative Flowers, no. Representative Jett. Not seeing Representative Jett, second alternate Representative Tollett, no. Representative Payton, yes. Representative Hodges, no. Representative Tosh. Representative Cavenaugh, yes. Representative Gazaway. Representative Love. Not seeing Representative Love, First Alternative Representative Collins. Not seeing Representative Collins, Representative Ennett, no. Representative Magie, no. Representative Eaves. Representative Wooten, no. Representative Scott, no. Representative Springer, no. Representative Boyd. Representative McCollum, yes. Representative Fortner, no. Representative Coleman, yes. Representative Penzo, yes. Representative Garner, no. Representative Lee Johnson. Second alternate Representative Cloud. Representative Wardlaw, yes. Representative McNair, no. Representative Womack, yes. Representative Evans, yes.  

 

Dismang Motion fails. Members, that means Senate bill 63 is ready. Do we have any questions on Senate Bill 63? We’ve got a motion do pass as amended. We have a second. We’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed. Let’s do that one more time. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed. Motion carries. 

 

Anderson Mr. Chairman, 

 

Dismang Senator Hester, do you need anything? Okay. And then Representative Johnson. Yeah, I’ve got a couple of things here. Representative Wooten, you need a–. 

 

Wooten A question to ask the chair. Well, how are they going to handle this with the Revenue Stabilization Act? Is it going to have to be amended in order to be able to do this? I understand that– 

 

Dismang You were successful today, Representative.

 

Wooten Do what? 

 

Dismang You were successful today. There will be no change to RSA, and there wouldn’t have been a change to RSA if it had passed, but you were successful today. 

 

Wooten Alright. 

 

Dismang Representative Johnson. Who is that? Okay. Got it. No one’s at the chair. And we will have one, one more piece of Special Language here in just a minute, but we’re going to move on to the Senate packet. Senate Bill 12. Senate Bill 12. Page 1 in your packet. Arkansas Game and Fish. Are Game and Fish– do we have any questions? Any comments? Seeing none, I need a motion do pass as amended. I have a motion. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed. Motion carries. Page, page 1, Senate Bill 16. Any questions? Any comments? Seeing none, I’ve got a motion do pass. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed. Motion carries. Page 2, Senate Bill 17. Any questions? Comments? Seeing none, motion do pass. We’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed? Motion carries. Page 2, Senate Bill 18. U of A Medical Sciences. Any questions? Comments? Seeing none, I’ve got a motion do pass. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed? Motion carries. Senate Bill 20 on Page 3. Education, public school, academic facilities. I’ve got a motion do pass. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed. Motion carries. Page 3, Senate Bill 23. Administrative Office of the Courts Court personnel. I’ve got a motion do pass as amended. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed. Motion carries. Page 4 Senate packet, Senate Bill 26, Auditor of the State, Deputy prosecuting attorneys. I’ve got a motion do pass. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed. Motion carries. Page 5, Senate Bill 34, DHS Division of Aging Adult Behavioral Health Services. Any questions? Comments? Seeing none, I’ve got a motion do pass as amended. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed. Motion carries. Page 5 again. Senate Bill 35 ASU Newport. I’ve got a motion do– Senator Irvin. 

 

Irvin I’ll wait till business is over. It’s for an announcement. 

 

Dismang Okay. All right. And just, if you can get– well, you can wait and hit your button. All right. Senate Bill 35 ASU Newport. Questions? Comments? Seeing none, I’ve got a motion do pass. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed. Motion carries. Page Six Senate Bill 40 Energy and Environment Liquefied Petroleum Gas Board. Questions or comments? Seeing none, I’ve got a motion do pass as amended. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed? Motion carries. Page 7 Senate Bill 43 Parks, Heritage and Tourism Capitol Zoning Commission. Any questions or comments? Seeing none, I’ve got a motion do pass. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed? Motion carries. Page 7 Senate Bill 46 U of A Community College Batesville. Questions or comments? Seeing none, I’ve got a motion do pass. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed. Motion carries. Senate Bill 47 on Page 8. U of A Community College at Morrilton. Any questions or comments? Seeing none, I’ve got a motion do pass. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed. Motion carries. Page 8 again. Senate Bill 48 ASU Three Rivers. Questions or comments? Seeing none, I’ve got a motion do pass. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed? Motion carries. Page 8 again. Senate Bill 50 DHS Developmental Disabilities. Any questions or comments? Seeing none, I need a motion do pass as amended. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed. Motion carries. Page 9. Senate Bill 51 DHS Children and Family Services. Any questions or comments? Seeing none, I’ve got a motion do pass as amended. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed? Motion carries. Moving to Page 9, Senate Bill 53 DHS Childcare and Early Childhood Education. We’ve got a motion do pass as amended. We’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed? Motion carries. Senate Bill 54 on Page 9 DHS Medical Services. We got a motion do pass as amended. We’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed? Motion carries. Senate Bill 57 on Page 10 DHS Youth Services Division. I’ve got a motion do pass as amended. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed? Motion carries. Senate Bill 58 on Page 10. Education, Higher Education. I’ve got a motion do pass as amended. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed? Motion carries. Members, Senate Bill 59, Page 11 U of A Fayetteville Operations. Representative Wardlaw, you’re recognized. 

 

Wardlaw I’ve got a motion.

 

Dismang You’re recognized for a motion. 

 

Wardlaw This is not like the other 10 I just made. I need a motion to expunge the vote in which Representative Ray’s amendment failed previously. 

 

Dismang We’ve got a motion to expunge the vote by which Representative Ray’s Amendment failed. We’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed. Motion carries. Senate Bill, Senate Bill 59. U of A Fayetteville Operations. Page 11. We’ve got a motion. Any questions or comments? Seeing none, I’ve got a motion do pass. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed? Motion carries. Senate Bill 60 on page 11. U of A system. Any questions or comments? Seeing none, I’ve got a motion do pass. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed? Motion carries. Senate Bill 61 on Page 12, U of A Division of Ag. Any questions? Comments? Seeing none, I’ve got a motion do pass. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed. Motion carries. ASU Jonesboro, Senate Bill 62. I’ve got a motion do pass. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed? Motion carries. Representative Wardlaw, you’re recognized. 

 

Wardlaw Another motion. 

 

Dismang Alright, you’re recognized for a motion. 

 

Wardlaw I got a motion to expunge the vote in which Senate Bill 63 passed out of committee previously. 

 

Dismang All right, thank you. That’s proper motion. We’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed. Motion carries. All right, we’ve got a roll call. And the motion was to expunge the vote by which Senate Bill 63 passed out of committee. Department of Ed. 

 

Ingram What is the necessity– I mean, the vote for the amendment was expunged. So that can be brought back up in front of the body. 

 

Dismang That’s correct. 

 

Ingram What is the purpose now to expunge the vote on 63? 

 

Dismang Because we had a vote to go ahead and send out Senate Bill 63. And so for us to consider that amendment in this room, we would have to expunge the vote by which Senate Bill 63 was passed out. 

 

Ingram You could always recall it. Thank you, sir. 

 

Dismang We could. All right, Senator Chesterfield. 

 

Chesterfield I ask for a division of the body. 

 

Dismang I’ve already asked him to call roll, and he was calling roll. And I gave latitude to answer a question. We’re going to move on. 

 

Anderson Senator Elliott.

 

Chesterfield Don’t I have a right to ask for a division of the body on the roll call? I have a right to ask for a division of the body on the roll call if I can get three hands. 

 

Dismang All right, we need to see three hands. All right. Do it by Chamber. Yeah, we’ll do the House first. 

 

Anderson Representative Shepherd. First alternate Representative Barker, yes. Representative Eubanks. Second alternate Representative Dalby. Representative Holcomb. Representative Kenneth Ferguson.  Representative Flowers, no. Representative Jett. Representative Tollett, second alternate, no. Representative Payton, yes. Representative Hodges, no. Representative Tosh. Representative Cavenaugh, yes. Representative Gazaway, yes. Representative Love. First alternate Representative Collins. Second alternative Representative Ennett, no. Representative Magie, no. Representative Eaves. Representative Wooten, no. Representative Scott, no. Representative Springer, no. Representative Boyd. First Alternate Representative McCollum, yes. Representative Fortner. Second alternate Representative Cloud. Representative Fortner voted no. I apologize. Representative Coleman, yes. Representative Penzo, yes. Representative Garner, no. Representative Lee Johnson. Now second alternate Representative Cloud. Representative Wardlaw, yes. Representative McNair, no. Representative Womack, yes. Representative Evans, yes. Representative Kenneth Ferguson is a no. 

 

Dismang Alright, motion fails. Alright, we’re going to move to the House packet. All right, members, House Packet Page 1, House Bill 1010 Corrections, Community Correction. Any questions or comments? Seeing none, we’ve got a motion do pass as amended. We’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed? Motion carries. Page 1 House Bill 1018 Energy and Environment Environmental Quality. Any questions or comments? Seeing none, we need a motion do pass as amended. I’ve got a motion. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed? Motion carries. Page 1 House Bill 1026 Public Safety Operations State Police. I need a motion. I’ve got a motion do pass as amended. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed? Motion carries. Page 3 House Bill 1043 Secretary of State. Any questions or comments? Seeing none, I’ve got a motion do pass. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed? Motion carries. Page 4, House Bill 1045, U of A Little Rock. Any questions or comments? Seeing none, I’ve got a motion do pass. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed. Motion carries. Page 4 again. House Bill 1054, U of A Medical Sciences. Any questions or comments? Seeing none– all right, where was I? Was I on House Bill 1054? 1054. Allright, 1054. Senator Hammer, if you can wait, I will recognize you when we get there. I need a motion do pass. I’ve got a motion. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. Try it one more time. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed. Motion carries. House bill 1056 DHS Secretary’s office. Any questions or comments? Seeing none, seeing none, I’ve got a motion do pass as amended. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed. Motion carries. Page 5.House Bill 1058 DFA. Questions? Comments? We’ve got a motion do pass as amended. We got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed? Motion carries. Page 6, Parks, Heritage and Tourism Division of Heritage, House Bill 1060. Again, any questions? Comments? Seeing none,I need a motion do pass as amended. I’ve got a motion. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed? Motion carries. House Bill 1061, U of A Fayetteville Ag Biosciences Institute. Any questions or comments? Seeing none, I’ve got a motion do pass on House Bill 1061. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed. Motion carries. House Bill 1062 on Page 7, ASU Jonesboro Bio Sciences Institute. I’ve got a motion do pass. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed. Motion carries. House Bill 1063 ASU Mountain Home on Page 7. Any questions or comments? Seeing none, I’ve got a motion do pass. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed. Motion carries. And that brings us to DHS. Senator Hammer, you are recognized for a question if we’ve got someone from DHS here to answer. 

 

Hammer You got anybody in the room, please? It’ll be short. 

 

Dismang And if you could, just recognize yourself for the committee. And you’re recognized for your question, Senator Hammer.  

 

White Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mark White, Department of Human Services. 

 

Hammer Hey, Mark, thank you. I just wanted to hear you answer because something occurred to me a while ago. Somebody made a comment to me about it. And that’s why I want to ask you this question. The carryover fund that you had from last year’s programs that were unspent, was there a reason why that was not looked at as a source of funding for the positions and the increase of cost created by the positions that were asked for instead of us using general revenue paid for it? 

 

White And I’m sorry. I may have, I may have missed something there. In terms of the Medicaid increases on physician rates? 

 

Hammer No, on, on the salary positions that we granted through here. Given the amount of carryover funds that you all have in all the programs over there, why– was that looked at as a first source of revenue to be used to cover what you’ve requested in increase in the budget, either through positions or other means, as opposed to coming to us for general revenue? 

 

White I see what you’re asking. Yes, sir. We, to the extent we can use, you know, existing funds, certainly, we’ll look to that first to cover those costs. But I would say that in terms of our overall SGR request, it is, it is unchanged. And so it’s left where we made the request back in the biennium, back in the general session last year. We did seek to move some money around within the agency, but the overall amount is unchanged. 

 

Hammer All right, thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chair, for that. 

 

Dismang All right. Thank you. Members, do we have any of the questions on House Bill 1064. All right, we don’t have any additional questions. Any comments? Seeing none, I’ve got a motion do pass as amended. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed? Motion carries. All right. There’s a little bit of confusion, I think, on Senate Bill 63. The first thing that happened, there was a motion just to expunge the vote by which the amendment failed. Okay. But to be able to– we’ve already sent the bill. I mean, we’ve already passed out the bill. So then secondary to that, there needed to be a motion to expunge the vote by which we passed out Senate Bill 63. That vote failed, which means the bill is still in a passed out state, which means it’ll be coming to the Senate on a supplemental calendar today. So just for members to know, that, that bill is no longer here for us to be able to debate. On Senate Bill 63, that debate will occur in the chambers at this point. All right, members, that takes us to House bill 1065, ASU Mid-south. Any questions or comments? Seeing none, I’ve got a motion do pass. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those in favor signify– I just need one or two votes. It’d be great. All right, thank you. All those opposed. Motion carries. Page 8. House Bill 1066, U of A Community College at Hope Texarkana. All those in favor– or we need a motion do pass as amended. We’ve got a motion. We’ve got– sorry. We need a motion do pass. Got a motion do pass. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed. Motion carries. Page 8 House Bill 1067 Education Division, Division of Career and Technical Education Public School. Again, that’s House Bill 1067. Page 8. Any questions or comments? Seeing none, I’ve got a motion do pass as amended. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed. Motion carries. Page 8, U of A, House Bill 1069. Any questions or comments? Seeing none, I’ve got a motion do pass. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed. Motion carries. Page 10. House Bill 1071, U of A Community College at Rich Mountain. Any questions? Comments? Seeing none, I’ve got a motion do pass. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. Motion carries. House Bill 1072 on Page 10, U of A Phillips Community College. Any questions? Comments? Seeing none, I’ve got a motion do pass. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed? Motion carries. House Bill 1074 on Page 10, DHS Division Provider Services quality assurance. Any questions or comment? Seeing none, I’ve got a motion do pass as amended. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed? Motion carries. U of A Pulaski Technical College, House Bill 75 on Page 10. Any questions? Comments? Seeing none, I’ve got a motion do pass. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed. Motion carries. Page 11, House Bill 1076 U of A Fort Smith. Any questions? Comments? Seeing none, I need a motion do pass. We’ve got a motion. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed? Motion carries. Last one. Page 11, Education, School for the Blind and School for the Deaf, House Bill 1080. Any questions? Comments? Seeing none, I need a motion do pass as amended. I’ve got a motion. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed? Motion carries. Okay, members, we talked a little bit ago, we had one Special Language Item that passed out yesterday that needed a little bit of an adjustment. That is coming to you right now. And I need a motion to suspend the rules to take up this language, which replaces A1. I’ve got a motion. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed. Motion carries. While this is being passed out, Rep. Wardlaw, you are recognized to present your amendment. 

 

Wardlaw Mr. Chairman, would you like me to go ahead and present or wait till they get a copy or how do you want me to handle that? You’re the boss.

 

Dismang I’m good with you going ahead. 

 

Wardlaw All right. So yesterday, we passed this out. We met with the Association of Counties. There was an undue amount of work to be done on vehicles that had been assessed already. So what we did is we added in, if you guys will look under Section 19 number 2, it says if a vehicle’s value– a used vehicle in 2022 assessed value has decreased and the county assessor is not required to notify the taxpayer. So what that means is they will not have to send out a notice as long as the value has decreased. That is the only change and that should help with the workload to our county assessors. With that, Mr. Chairman, I’d be happy to take any questions. 

 

Dismang Representative Cavenaugh, you’re recognized for a question. 

 

Cavenaugh I have a question. This is strange. So if it decreased, and the taxpayer has a statement that says they owe more and they pay more, are they getting their money back? 

 

Dismang So–

 

Wardlaw They, they— you want to do it or you want me to do it?

 

Dismang No, you stuttered there for a minute, so I was nervous. Go ahead.

 

Wardlaw I mean, she’s right here. She could have asked me this. You assess it this year. The bill actually doesn’t go out till the next year. So the value should be fixed in the computer before that bill goes out to the taxpayer. So there shouldn’t be a difference in the bill when the person comes in to pay their taxes in that tax year. 

 

Dismang All right, thank you. Members, do we have any other questions or comments on the amendment? Seeing none, I’ve got a motion to adopt. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed? Motion carries. All right, members, with that adoption of that amendment, House Bill 1028 is ready to go. Do we have any questions or comments? And this is Department of Finance Administration Regulatory Division appropriation. Any questions or comments? Seeing none, I’ve got a motion do pass as amended. I’ve got a second. All those in favor signify by saying aye. All those opposed? Motion carries. I just now realized something. All right, members, we have Special Language– I think we had set that for 30 minutes upon conclusion of this committee. If you’re on Special Language, you’re here right now doing your job, and what I’d like to propose is we just take a five minute recess and allow staff to kind of get their bearings and then we’re going to come back in and begin Special Language. And you are recognized. 

 

Wardlaw Motion. 

 

Dismang Motion. 

 

Wardlaw To expunge in which Senate Bill 63 passed out of this committee. 

 

Dismang We’ve got a motion to expunge the vote by which Senate Bill 63 passed out of this committee. I’m not sure that we’re going to get anywhere with that motion, Representative. And so I think there’s some probably work to be done on the floors. So thank you. I’m not going to recognize that motion. And with that, like I said, we’re going to take a 5 minute break. If you’re on Special Language, please come back. Let’s conclude our business. With that, thank you for your time this morning. We are adjourned.