On Monday, House members began the 10th week of the Regular Session.
With a vote of 87-0 and 4 members voting present, the House passed HB1754. This bill seeks to address the recent overdose-related deaths inside state prisons. In 2018, 22 inmates died in the Department of Correction as the result of illicit drugs.
HB1754 states the delivery of a controlled substance from one inmate to another that results in the death of an inmate is a Class A felony and punishable by up to an additional 30 years in prison. The delivery of a controlled substance to another inmate that does not result in a death is listed as a Class B felony and punishable by up to an additional 20 years in prison.
The House also passed HB1433 which authorizes individuals with prior drug-related offenses to work with individuals receiving substance abuse treatment as peer support specialists or similar positions.
The House passed HB1555. This bill ensures that Medicaid covers all 7 tobacco cessation medication currently approved by the FDA.
The House passed SB109. This bill ensures that battery in the first degree is a Class Y felony if the injured person is an employee of a correctional facility acting in the line of duty. The offense is currently a Class Y felony if the victim is a law enforcement officer.
The House passed SB486. This bill authorizes a $5 increase for special permits to trout fish and lifetime trout stamps. The money will be used to make necessary renovations for hatcheries damaged by floods. The trout industry in Arkansas generates an estimated $180 million in revenue every