House of Representatives

Aug. 9, 2022

 

Shepherd I invite the members, staff, and guests to stand and be led in prayer by Dr. Rex Horne, House chaplain and retired pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Little Rock, and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance to be led by Representative Lane Jean. 

 

Horne Let’s pray together. Father, we pray your blessings upon the women and men who gather together in this special place, our Capitol, to do the business of the people. I pray that you’ll guide them and that they will, as always, give their best efforts. I would pray that we would all daily think about our obligations and our opportunity, our responsibility over personal preferences or our own opinions that we might value service over ourselves. And I pray that as we give our best, that we do the best each day, but that we also deal with great respect for our fellow colleagues, for every citizen of our state, and that we might be kind with conviction but with compassion. And, Lord, we just ask that you would continue to guide us and to help us to understand that day by day that it’s not a perfect journey and that we can always do better. So help us do our best today, but be open to what might be a better path in days to come. This is our prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

 

[Pledge of Allegiance] 

 

Shepherd Members, please indicate your presence by pushing your yellow present button. Prepare the machine, Mr. Clerk. Cast up the ballot, Mr. Clerk. With 97 members present, the chair sees a quorum. Are there any requests for leave? Representative Penzo, for what purpose? 

 

Penzo Leave for Representative Ray. 

 

Shepherd Is leave granted for Representative Ray? So noted. Representative Allen, for what purpose? Is leave granted for Representative Ferguson? So noted. Represent Murdock, for what purpose? 

 

Murdock Leave for Representative Flowers. 

 

Shepherd Is leave granted for Representative Flowers? So noted. Mr. Clerk, please read the proclamation from the governor. 

 

Clerk To all to whom these present shall come, greetings. Whereas, an extraordinary occasion has arisen, making it necessary to convene the 93rd General Assembly into an extraordinary session. And whereas, the State of Arkansas ended fiscal year 2022 with the largest surplus in Arkansas history, a total of more than $1.6 billion. And whereas, during the 2nd Extraordinary Session of the 93rd General Assembly, individual and corporate tax cuts were passed by the legislature that are to go into effect over the next several years. And whereas, the historic surplus demonstrates that the state can accelerate these individual and corporate tax cuts to provide income tax relief for taxpayers during this period of heightened inflation and personal financial insecurity. And whereas, the state’s financial stability, healthy reserve accounts and conservative spending policies, additional tax amendments can be enacted to provide further tax relief. And whereas, certain reclaimed and recovered fiscal year 2022 unexpended general revenue balances should be transferred to a restricted reserve fund for School Safety Grant Program to help ensure the safety of Arkansas students. Now, therefore, I, Asa Hutchinson, governor of the State of Arkansas, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by Article 6, Section 19 of the Arkansas Constitution do hereby call an extraordinary session of the General Assembly to convene in Little Rock on August 9, 2022, at 11 a.m. And I do hereby specify that the General Assembly is to, is convened in such session to consider and if so advised enact laws for the following purposes: one, to amend the income tax brackets and rates for individuals to no lower than a top rate of 4.9% effective January 1, 2022, and following tax years; to amend the income tax brackets and rates for domestic and foreign corporations to no lower than a top tax rate of 5.3% effective January 1, 2023, and the following tax years; to create a $150 nonrefundable tax credit for full, full year Arkansas residents, individual filers net income up to $87,000 with a phase out of the tax credit filers having net income of up to $101,000 for tax year 2022; to create a $300 nonrefundable tax income credit for full year Arkansas residents married filing jointly filers with a net income of up to $174,000 with a phase out of the credit for filers having net income of up to $202,000 for tax year 2022; to amend Arkansas law concerning the expensing and depreciation of property to conform with the most recent amendments to Internal Revenue Code Section 179 beginning in tax year 2022; and two, to transfer $50 million from the state surplus to a restricted reserve set aside account for the purposes of a school safety grant program; and three, to confirm gubernatorial appointees as required by Arkansas Code Annotated subsection 10-2-113; and number four, to provide for the payment and expenses for per diem for the House of Representatives and the Senate for this extraordinary session; and number five, to count– to call– this call is subject to amendment prior to the date and time by which the General Assembly shall convene. Now, in testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Arkansas to be affixed this 5th day of August in the year of our Lord 2022. Asa Hutchinson, Governor. 

 

Shepherd In accordance with the provisions of Article 6, Section 19 of the Arkansas Constitution, no business other than that which is germane to the terms– to the items in the call of the Governor will be considered until all items in the call have been disposed of. Representative Eaves, for what purpose? 

 

Eaves Motion. 

 

Shepherd Let’s hear your motion. 

 

Eaves Mr. Speaker, I move we suspend for the duration of this special session House Rule 38(p) through (t), setting minimum lengths of time for circulation of fiscal impact statements related to specific types of legislation. 

 

Shepherd That’s a proper motion. It is not debatable. All in favor, say aye. Any opposed? The motion passes. Representative Eaves, for what purpose? 

 

Eaves Motion. 

 

Shepherd Let’s hear your motion. 

 

Eaves Mr. Speaker, I move that we suspend for the duration of this special session house Rule 41, a bill– excuse me– it’s a, requiring bills to be on the desk for at least 24 hours before final passage and prohibiting bills from being placed on committee agendas no sooner than the second calendar day following its filing. 

 

Shepherd That’s a proper motion. It’s not debatable. All in favor, say aye.  Any opposed? The ayes have it. The motion has passed. Representative Eaves, for what purpose? 

 

Eaves Motion. 

 

Shepherd Let’s hear your motion. 

 

Eaves Mr. Speaker, I move we suspend for the duration of this special session House Rule 60(a) setting minimum lengths of time for notice of committee meetings. 

 

Shepherd That’s a proper motion. It’s not debatable. All in favor, say aye. Any opposed? The motion passes. Mr. Clerk, please notify the Senate that the House is in session and ready for business. Mr. Clerk, please notify the Governor that the House is in session and ready for business. Read the bills, Mr. Clerk. 

 

Clerk House Bill 1001. 

 

Shepherd Improperly introduced. 

 

Clerk House Bill 1002. 

 

Shepherd Without objection, read the bill a second time. 

 

Clerk House Bill 1002. 

 

Shepherd Revenue and Tax. 

 

Clerk House Resolution 1001. 

 

Shepherd Without objection, read the bill a second time. 

 

Clerk House Resolution 1001. 

 

Shepherd Calendar. 

 

Clerk House Resolution 1002. 

 

Shepherd Without objection, read the resolution the second time. 

 

Clerk House Resolution 1002. 

 

Shepherd House Management. Representative Meeks, for what purpose? 

 

Meeks Motion, please. 

 

Shepherd Let’s hear your motion. 

 

Meeks Mr. Speaker, after the announcements, reading of the bills, transferring of the bills, placing the calendars on the desk, members amending their own bills with their own amendments, members withdrawing their own bills, finalizing resolutions, reading communications, and any remaining committee reports, I move that we adjourn until 9:00 tomorrow morning. 

 

Shepherd That’s a proper motion. It’s not debatable. All in favor, say, aye. Any opposed? Motion is adopted. First, we’re going to move to some announcements. I’m going to make a few brief announcements. First, a few of our Arkansas State Troopers with us today are Corporal Richie Whitley and Corporal Trey Keller. And then I also see the director, Colonel Bill Bryant. They are with the Highway Patrol Administrative Office here in Little Rock. And then we’ve got one other. I’m going to let Representative Jean introduce the third one. 

 

Jean Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I got an announcement. This is Captain Brad Lann from Magnolia, Arkansas. Give him a big round of applause. Joint Budget will meet at 1:00. We’ve got two items. We’ll be over at Big Mac A. 

 

Shepherd Represent Fortner, for what purpose? 

 

Fortner Announcement. 

 

Shepherd You’re recognized. 

 

Fortner House Revenue and Tax will meet 15 minutes after adjournment of Senate Revenue and Tax. 

 

Shepherd Representative Wing, for what purpose? 

 

Wing Announcement. 

 

Shepherd You’re recognized. 

 

Wing House Management will meet upon adjournment in room 138. 

 

Shepherd Any other announcements? Members, just to give you kind of the tentative plan for the week, you’ve heard these announcements. Budget– well, first off House Management will meet upon adjournment. Joint Budget will meet at 1:00 this afternoon. Senate Rev and Tax is tentatively set for 1:30 this afternoon and then House Rev and Tax will meet 15 minutes upon their adjournment. We staggered those Rev and Tax committees so that we could– both ends could hear from the DFA officials and anybody else that’s there to testify. Tentatively– well, we’ve already adopted the motion, so we’re set to convene tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. and then we would anticipate having another Rev and Tax committee meeting following the House session tomorrow. And then hopefully we can come back in Thursday morning at 9 a.m. Obviously, this is all subject to whatever action we take over the next few days. But I know there’s been a lot of questions and I wanted to let everybody know that’s the tentative plan as we move forward. Any other announcements? All right. 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 9 a.m. tomorrow.