On Thursday, the House passed legislation aimed at protecting employees when it comes to microchip technology. HB1177 provides rights for employees including the right to refuse an implant, have it removed, and access to the data collected. The bill also ensures that the employer is responsible for costs incurred. The bill passed with a vote of 84-4.
In a vote of 97-0, the House passed HB1016. This legislation reduces the amount of time that a petition to seal a criminal record can be open before a court can act upon it. It reduces the time from 90 days to 30 days. The sponsor of the legislation explained this reduction could be beneficial to offenders who have served their sentence and are attempting to reintegrate into society.
The House also passed HB1076 which amends the Achieving a Better Life Experience Program. This program allows Arkansans with disabilities to save up to $15,000 in an account without impacting eligibility for many public benefits. HB1076 ensures that in the event of a death, the money in that savings account cannot be seized by Medicaid but can instead be transferred to a designated beneficiary.
The Education Committee passed HB1167 which allows students to apply their own sunscreen at school or on field trips. Currently, sunscreen can only be applied in school by a school nurse since the FDA considers it an over the counter medication.
The House Revenue and Tax Committee advanced HB1005. This bill seeks to clear up confusion for retailers regarding the sales tax on candy and soft drinks. The legislation requires DF&A to either provide a list of products to be taxed or not subject a retailer to penalties if the retailer demonstrates a good faith effort to collect and remit the tax payments.
The House will reconvene on Monday, January 28 at 1:30pm.