Lt. Gov. Rutledge: The Senate will be called to order. Are there any requests for leave at this time? See, none, madam secretary, please call the roll.

Secretary: Boyd, Bryant, Caldwell, Chesterfield, Clark, Crowell, Davis, Dees, Dismang, Dotson, English, Flippo, Flowers, Gilmore, Hammer, Hester, Hickey, Hill, Irvin, Blake Johnson, Mark Johnson, King, Leding, Love, McKee, Murdock, Payton, Penzo, Petty, Rice, Stone, Stubblefield, Sullivan, Tucker, Wallace.

Lt. Gov. Rutledge: Everyone in the chamber and in the galleries, please rise and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. The Senate will be led in prayer by Senator Ricky Hill.

Sen Hill: Thank you, Madam Chair, and congratulations. We’re glad to have you here and for your first day sitting in the seat. Please join me in prayer. Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for this day you’ve given us, lord. We thank you for this great state and this great country that you’ve allowed us to live in. Lord, we pray that you will be with us and watch over us, and we pray, Lord, that we’ll make godly decisions as we set forward in the endeavor for this year. We pray, Lord, that you’ll be with our Madam Chair, and we pray, Lord, that you’ll watch over her and help her make godly decisions on her results that we have from our issues that we face. We pray Lord that you’ll be with our military spread throughout the world. We pray, Lord, that you’ll bring those home safely to their families that have been deployed. We pray that you’ll watch over them and take care of them. We pray that you’ll be with the families who have been affected by deployment, Lord. We pray that you’ll watch over us and take care of us and lead, guide, and direct us in Your way. In Your name, we pray, amen.

Lt. Gov. Rutledge: Ladies and gentlemen in the galleries, welcome to the Arkansas Senate. It is our expectation that each of you will exercise proper decorum and govern yourselves accordingly during today’s proceedings. Without objection, the rules will be suspended, and the Senate will dispense with the reading of the journal. The morning hour has now begun. Are there any announcements or introductions at this time? Sender Tucker is recognized.

Sen Tucker: Thank you, Madam President. Colleagues, please join me in welcoming our doctor of the day today, Doctor Naveen Patil, and our nurses, who we all know well and will be with us this session, Miss Brenda Hewitt and Sherry Bernard.

Lt. Gov. Rutledge: Madam secretary, are there items at the desk?

Secretary: Yes, ma’am, Senate Bill 44 by joint budget, an act for the Department of Corrections Parole Board appropriation for the 2023-2024 fiscal year, Senate Bill 44.

Lt. Gov. Rutledge: Joint budget committee.

Secretary: Senate Bill 45 by joint budget, an act for the Department of Corrections Arkansas Sentencing Commission Appropriation for the 2023-2024 fiscal year. Senate Bill 45.

Lt. Gov. Rutledge: Joint budget committee

Secretary: Senate Bill 46 by joint budget, an act for the Office of the Governor Legislative Liaisons Appropriation for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Senate Bill 46.

Lt. Gov. Rutledge: Joint budget committee.

Secretary: Senate Bill 47 by Senator Boyd, to repeal the law that prohibits leaving a running vehicle unattended. Senate Bill 47.

Lt. Gov. Rutledge: Transportation. Is there any further business to come before the body in the morning hour? Seeing none, the morning hour has expired. We will now start the business agenda. Madam Secretary, please read.

Secretary: House Concurrent Resolution 1004 by Representative Shepherd and Senator Hester, providing that the House of Representatives and the Senate of the 94th General Assembly may recess on Thursday, January 12, 2023, and reconvene on Tuesday, January 17, 2023.

Lt. Gov. Rutledge: Senator Hester, you are recognized.

Sen Hester: That’s what it is.

Lt. Gov. Rutledge: Are there any questions? Seeing none, all those in favor signify by saying aye. Any opposed? Hearing none, the ayes have it. The resolution is concurred and returned to the House. Is there any other business to come before the body? Senator Hester?

Sen Hester: I guess I probably should have clarified that because, members, when we want to recess more than three days, we have to do this. And we’re not going to be here on Martin Luther King day Monday. So we needed to have that agreement that we’re going to recess for more than three days. So we won’t be here Martin Luther King Day.

Sen Chesterfield: Will we be here tomorrow?

Sen Hester: We will not be here– no. No. We’ll be here Thursday. Yes. Tomorrow is Thursday. We’ll be here. We will not be here Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday. So we’ll be back Tuesday. Okay.

Lt. Gov. Rutledge: Senator Mark Johnson.

Sen M Johnson: Thank you, Madam President. Just an announcement, Transportation will meet upon adjournment in the Old Supreme Court chambers. So it will just be an organizational meeting. Thank you, ma’am.

Sen Chesterfield: Madam Chair.

Lt. Gov. Rutledge: Senator Chesterfield.

Sen Chesterfield: Thank you, Madam Chair. This creates difficulty for those of us who are on A and C committees because Education is meeting upon adjournment, and now the C committee is meeting upon adjournment. So how do we deal with that? Because Senator English announced that we would have Education right after adjournment. Did she not? And now Senator Johnson is– It’s at 11:00? So let me have clarity then from Senator Johnson as to when specifically he wants– he wants it upon adjournment? I just need a little clarity. I’m on both committees. Thank you, Madam Chair.

Lt. Gov. Rutledge: Recognize Senator Mark Johnson.

Sen M Johnson: Thank you, Madam President. Senator Chesterfield, I don’t expect this meeting to last more than 5 or 10 minutes. It’s simply an organizational meeting. We do not have any bills assigned yet. So we’ll get through it pretty quick. And if Education, Senator English, is at 11, I know you’ll have plenty of time between the two. And I know early we’re having to work out some of the scheduling issue with the C committee, but thank you, ma’am. I hope that’s an adequate answer. Thank you.

Sen Chesterfield: Thank you. Thank you, Madam Chair.

Lt. Gov. Rutledge: Senator Hill.

Sen Hill: All the new members that we have, not anyone that has served in the House or in the Senate in the past, we’re going to meet for about five minutes at the Pro Tem’s office directly after this. So if you’re a new member, we’re going to meet there. Okay. Thank you.

Lt. Gov. Rutledge: Senator Penzo is recognized.

Confirmation of Gov. Sanders’ Cabinet Appointments

Sen Penzo: Thank you, Madam President. The Senate Rules Committee met yesterday afternoon to review the Cabinet Secretary nominations of Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders. The Rules Committee voted to recommend to the full Senate that we confirm all of the secretaries. Madam President, on behalf of the Rules Committee, I move that we confirm all the secretaries nominated by Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders. And I have a list on everybody’s desk.

Lt. Gov. Rutledge: Are there any questions? Seeing none, all those in favor signify by saying aye. Any opposed? The ayes have it, and they are all confirmed. Senator Blake Johnson, you’re recognized.

Sen B Johnson: Just an announcement. Senate State Agencies will have an organizational meeting tomorrow morning at 9 in the Old Supreme Courtroom.

Lt. Gov. Rutledge: Senator Hester, you are recognized.

Senate Rules discussion

Sen Hester: A few quick announcements. If you ordered coins and have not paid for them, your Senate coins, please see Anne or Sabrina today if you can. We’ve got a few left that haven’t done that. And then members, tomorrow we’re going to try to pass our Senate Rules. So there’s quite a few people with some amendments. So we’ll have those discussions. So if you have an amendment to our rules, be prepared to present those tomorrow. And if anybody’s got any questions about them– clearly, there’s some that may be presented that we don’t know about yet. Right? No one has to disclose that, but tomorrow we will start working through the amendments. And we know some of them, right, Amendment 24 to deal with ethics. So we’ll work through that. We know Senator Dismang has one to deal with commitments for campaign contributions during session. So if there’s any others, please get with us, and we can talk about it. If not, we’ll just talk about it tomorrow on the floor. Senator Dotson.

Sen Dotson: Yes, thank you. Is there going to be a list of the ones that you do know about sent out early?

Sen Hester: That’s good. If you have something you want to run, if you want to tell me, let me know and we’ll send something out this afternoon with the ones that we’re aware of.

Lt. Gov. Rutledge: Senator Hill, you’re recognized.

Sen Hill: You mentioned the coins just a second ago. What about our flowers? We always donate to the flowers. Are we going to do that still?

Sen Hester: So it is customary that each Senator turns $100 in, and we use that money if a member loses a loved one or if there’s a reason to send flowers. So we do that. So if any of you guys, we would ask that all 35 of us turn $100 in, and we use that as needed.

Lt. Gov. Rutledge: Senator Chesterfield.

Sen Chesterfield: Thank you, Mr. Chair, Mr. Pro Tem. When are we coming in tomorrow?

Sen Hester: We are coming in at 10 a.m. tomorrow.

Sen Chesterfield: Thank you.

Senate meeting times for the 94th General Assembly

Sen Hester: So moving forward, we expect on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday that we will come into session at 1 o’clock. On Thursdays, we’ll come in at 10 o’clock. Now, that’s kind of been customary in the past. I will continue to try that. But like I say, we’ve all done this enough, it can change on an hour’s notice, but you can expect to come in on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday at 1 p.m. in session, Thursday, 10 a.m.

Lt. Gov. Rutledge: Thanks, Senator. Senator Flippo, you are recognized.

Sen Flippo: Thank you, Madam Chair. Members of the City, County, Local Committee, I just want to let you know that we will be meeting– it says on the website, the Legislative website, we’re meeting at 10 a.m. It’ll be immediately upon adjournment tomorrow. So that is for members of City, County, Local Committee. Thank you.

Lt. Gov. Rutledge: Senator Hill, you are recognized.

Sen Hill: Insurance and Commerce is not going to meet until next week. We’re taking this entire week off. So we’ll get started next week fresh.

Lt. Gov. Rutledge: Are there any other announcements before the body? Seeing none, the Senate will stand in adjournment subject to clearing of the desk until 10 a.m. tomorrow, January 12, 2023.