House members are now reviewing the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2022. The Revenue Stabilization Act (RSA) categorizes and prioritizes state spending. It is typically one of the last items passed every session. We have posted the proposal HERE.
Meanwhile, the House passed more than 20 bills today including the following:
SB564-This bill creates the Arkansas Tutoring Corps Act. It allows the Department of Education to develop a program to identify qualified tutors and a curriculum to support elementary students in reading and math. The bill states that data suggests that learning loss suffered as a result of the pandemic will be substantial, particularly for the state's most vulnerable students.
SB629-This bill will allow a school district with declining enrollment to receive both declining enrollment funding and special needs isolated funding.
SB680-This bill creates a tax credit for eligible contributions made to a scholarship-granting organization under the Philanthropic Investment in Arkansas Kids Program Act. This legislation would allow a student who has an annual family income less than or equal to 200% of the federal poverty level to receive an educational scholarship that covers all or part of the tuition and fees at a private school.
The scholarships would equal 80% of foundation funding for students in K-8 and 90% of foundation funding for high school students. The total amount of tax credits awarded in a year shall not exceed $2 million.
SB450-This bill states that members of the male sex are prohibited from an interscholastic, intercollegiate, intramural, or club athletic team or sport that is expressly designated for females, women, or girls. The bill also states the Attorney General may bring a cause of action for injunctive relief and any other relief available under the law against an entity that does not comply.
HB1761-This bill states that a public school or an open-enrollment charter school shall not express, depict, or teach about race or ethnicity in a manner that prevents or inhibits fair and open discourse that employs reason as a guide for deliberation in the exchange of ideas and opposing points of view.
SB248-This bill creates the Food Freedom Act by exempting certain producers of homemade food or drink products from licensure, certification, and inspection.
SB606-This bill would give Arkansans up to 24 months to take the driving portion of a driver’s test after passing the written portion of the exam. Currently, Arkansans are only given 12 months before they have to re-take the written exam.
SB26-This bill would reduce the sales and use tax on coal if used in manufacturing.
The House will convene on Thursday at 1 pm.