The votes taken today in the House will impact nearly every Arkansan. We began with an important vote on healthcare, proceeded with millions in tax cuts, voted to increase school funding, and late this afternoon voted on a Constitutional Amendment to be placed on the next general election ballot.
With a vote of 77-23, the House passed the appropriation measure needed to implement the Health Care Independence Act. Many refer to this now as the private option. HB1219 bill now heads to the Senate.
The House then began voting on a series of tax cuts. These include reducing the state income tax, increasing the standard deduction, reducing the tax on capital gains, reducing the sales tax on energy for manufacturing, and reducing the sales tax on groceries if budget conditions allow. All of these tax cut measures now head to the Senate as well.
In a unanimous vote, the House voted to increase school funding. HB1774 increases per-student funding for public schools from $6,267 to $6,393 for the following school year. For 2014, the amount increases to $6,521 per student.
And one of the last items on the agenda for the House today was SJR7. This is a constitutional amendment which would require state agencies to seek legislative approval before implementing any new rules or regulations. Currently, the Arkansas Legislative Council reviews the rules. SJR7 would allow the Council to review and approve.
The House will reconvene tomorrow at 11am.
Remember you can watch most House committee meetings and all House floor proceedings at arkansashouse.org.