With a vote of 65-26 and 5 members voting present, the House passed SB622 on Monday.
This bill states that a person who commits a serious felony involving violence is subject to serve at least 80% of his or her sentence if the state proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the person committed the crime under an aggravating circumstance.
Aggravating circumstance under this bill means a defendant purposely selected the victim because the victim was a member of or was associated with a recognizable and identifiable group or class who share mental, physical, biological, cultural, political, or religious beliefs or characteristics.
The House also passed the following:
HB1160-This bill would increase the sales tax exemption on used motor vehicles. Currently, used cars sold for under $4,000 are exempt from sales tax. This would increase the threshold to $7,500.
HB1779-This bill requires the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to identify state agency positions that have been vacant for two or more years.
It also states that a state agency shall not fill or otherwise utilize a position identified by OPM without the prior approval of the Legislative Council or the Joint Budget Committee if the General Assembly is in session.
HB1831-This bill creates the Star Spangled Banner Act, which directs school districts to adopt a policy requiring public schools and state-supported institutions of higher education to broadcast “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the commencement of each school-sanctioned sporting event.
HB1832-This bill would require public schools to observe a moment of silence following the daily Pledge of Allegiance.
SB153-This bill states the initial licensing fees associated with the formation of a business in this state shall be waived for low-income Arkansans.
The House will convene on Tuesday at 1 pm.