Senate

August 9, 2022

 

Griffin The Senate will come to order. The Senate will come to order. Senator Teague is recognized. Where’s Senator Teague? 

 

Teague Right here. 

 

Griffin Senator Teague, you’re recognized. 

 

Teague May I have leave for Senator Flowers and leave for Senator Leding?

 

Griffin Without objection. Senator Pitsch. 

 

Pitsch Leave for Senator Sturch. 

 

Griffin Without objection. Madam Secretary, please call the roll. 

 

[All present except Senators Sturch, Flowers, and Leding on leave] 

 

Griffin Everyone please rise, including those in the gallery. The Senate will be led in prayer by Brother Danny Phillips. And I just wanted to say accompanying Brother Phillips is– we’re happy to have Senator Leding’s father and mother here with us. Brother Phillips, please lead us in a word of prayer. 

 

Phillips Let us bow our heads. Heavenly Father, we come this morning with Thanksgiving on our hearts. We come, Father, thanking you for all the blessings bestowed upon us. We realize, Father, that we’re living in perilous times. Heavenly Father, we realize that you still set high and you look low. We realize, Father, no matter how chaotic things are here, that heaven has a watchful eye, and heaven we will step in when it’s heaven’s time. Heavenly Father, we pray a special blessing for all of the members of this body, realizing, Father, that they have a tremendous responsibility to be able to make decisions and decide on different votes that affect so many lives. We pray, Father, their hearts be filled and led by the Holy Spirit with each vote and each decision made. Heavenly Father, we pray a special blessing for the entire world and all the world leaders would realize, Father, that there is nothing here that we can do without you. We pray a spiritual blessing for those in the hospitals and incarcerated institutions. We pray a special blessing for people everywhere, Father, who are suffering. And Heavenly Father, we pray a serious blessing that this Assembly will be what you would have it to be on this particular session, on this particular day. We ask these blessings and other blessings in your darling son, Jesus Christ’s name. Let us all say amen. Thank you. 

 

[Pledge of Allegiance] 

 

Griffin Senator Hickey, do you wish to be recognized? Senator Hickey will notify the House Representatives that the Senate is organized and ready for business. He will also notify the governor the Senate’s organized, extremely organized, and ready for business. Madam Secretary, please read the governor’s proclamation. 

 

Secretary To all to whom these presents 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 of a total of more than $1.6 billion. And whereas, during the second extraordinary session of the 93rd General Assembly, individual and corporate tax cuts were passed by the Legislature that are set 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, with the state’s financial stability, health reserve accounts and conservative spending policies, additional tax law amendments can be enacted to provide further tax relief. And whereas, certain reclaimed or recovered fiscal year 2022 unexpected general revenue balances should be transferred to a restricted reserve fund for a school safety grant program to help ensure the safety of Arkansas students. 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 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 tax rate of 4.9% effective January 2, 2022, and following tax years; to amend the income tax brackets and rates for domestic foreign corporations to no lower than a top tax rate of 5.3% effective January 1, 2023, and following tax years; to create $150 nonrefundable income tax credit for full time Arkansas residents and individual filers with net income of up to $87,000 with a phase out of the credit for filers having net income up to $101,000 for tax year 2022; to create a $300 nonrefundable income tax credit for full year Arkansas residents married filing jointly filers with net incomes 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 10-2-113; and four, to provide for the payment of expenses and per diem for the House of Representatives and the Senate for this extraordinary session; and five, this call is subject to amendment prior to the date and time at which the General Assembly shall convene. 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 the Lord 2022. Signed, Asa Hutchinson, Governor. 

 

Griffin Senator Hickey. 

 

Hickey Okay. Members, this is a motion I’m going to make on the suspension of a rule. Senate Rule 7.02(i) provides that no bill or resolution introduced and referred to committee may be considered by a committee until at least one intervening day occurs between the day of referral and the day the committee meets to conduct business. I’m making the motion to suspend the rule for the 3rd Extraordinary Session of the 93rd General Assembly. I’d appreciate a good vote. 

 

Griffin Any questions?

 

Rapert I got a question. 

 

Griffin Senator Rapert has a question. 

 

Rapert Senator Hickey, are you saying suspend when people have memorial resolutions and resolutions just honoring people or what is this? 

 

Hickey Well, our rule, our rule provides for any bill or resolution. So, yes, I mean, they will be heard– they will be able to be heard the same day that they’re put on the calendar. 

 

Rapert Okay. So it’s just suspending the waiting period? 

 

Hickey Yes, sir. 

 

Rapert All right. Thank you, Senator. 

 

Griffin Any other questions? All those in favor, say aye. Opposed? Ayes have it. Motion is carried. Any items at the desk? 

 

Secretary Yes, sir. Senate Bill 1 by Senator Dismang et al., to reduce Arkansas income taxes, to adopt federal law on depreciation and expensing of property, to create an income tax credit for, for certain taxpayers and declare an emergency. Senate Bill 1. 

 

Griffin Revenue and Tax. 

 

Secretary Senate Bill 2 by Senator Irvin et al, an act for the Department of Education school safety grants, appropriation and school safety set aside or contingency vote three-fourths set aside for the 2022*2023 fiscal year. Senate Bill 2. 

 

Griffin Joint Budget. Any other items? Any announcements? Senator Dismang is recognized. 

 

Dismang Members, Joint Budget will meet at 1:00 over at Big Mac today, and then Revenue and Tax will meet in the Old Supreme Court Chamber at 1:30. Thank you. 

 

Griffin What time we going to be in tomorrow? 

 

Dismang Jimmy, 9:00 tomorrow in the chamber? 

 

Hickey That’s correct. 

 

Dismang Yeah. And we’ll come back into session tomorrow at 9:00 in the chamber.  

 

Griffin Any other announcements? The Senate’s adjourned until 9 a.m. tomorrow subject to the clearing of the desk.