Members of the House State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee began hearing details on legislation to transform state government.
HB1070 contains the general provisions for the transformation. It creates 15 departments.
The departments created in the legislation are:
•The Department of Agriculture
•The Department of Commerce
•The Department of Corrections
•The Department of Education
•The Department of Energy and Environment
•The Department of Finance and Administration
•The Department of Health
•The Department of Human Services
•The Department of the Inspector General
•The Department of Labor and Licensing
•The Department of Military
•The Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism
•The Department of Public Safety
•The Department of Transformation and Shared Services
•The Department of Veteran Affairs
A secretary will serve as the executive head of each department. The secretaries will be appointed by the Governor.
Ultimately, 16 pieces of legislation will be filed. After each proposal is vetted, the sponsor will consolidate all the changes to one comprehensive bill for a vote.
Meanwhile, the State Agencies Committee advanced legislation concerning how contracts and purchases are made by the state.
In 2017, the Review Subcommittee of the Arkansas Legislative Council began a review of the state’s procurement laws and practices. As a result of that study, 62 recommendations were identified as opportunities to make government purchasing more efficient. After numerous hearings, the recommendations were ultimately drafted into 6 bills. 5 of those bills were advanced today. Changes include setting a standard review threshold for all service contracts over $100,000, requiring contracts over $350,000 to include a cover sheet with relevant information for members to review, and empowering the Office of State Procurement to make participation in contracts mandatory for state agencies.
The committee also advanced HB1119 which allows military spouses who are not permanent residents of Arkansas to be a notary public.
The House will convene at 10 am Thursday morning.