With a vote of 82-0 and 10 members voting present, the House passed the Transformation and Efficiencies Act of 2019. This bill reduces the number of cabinet-level agencies by nearly 65 percent, from 42 to 15. A cabinet-level secretary will serve as the executive head of each department.
The House passed HB1564. This bill develops the Next Generation 911 System. The bill replaces the Arkansas Emergency Telephone Services Board with the Arkansas 911 Board. The bill increases the public safety charges on cell phones from 65 cents/month to $1.30/month. It also places a 10% tax on prepaid cellular plans.
The House also passed HB1409 which requires elementary schools to provide at least 40 minutes of recess.
The House Education Committee advanced HB1684. This bill ensures DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) students receive in-state tuition at state-supported institutions of higher education if he or she has resided in the state for the previous three years. The House Judiciary Committee advanced HB1655. This bill ensures that state law that mirrors the federal law prohibiting anyone convicted of a misdemeanor of domestic violence from owning a firearm. Additionally, the bill also provides a pathway for the restoration of rights upon sealing of records related to the misdemeanor of domestic violence. The Judiciary Committee also advanced HB1748. This bill states a veteran who voluntarily sought mental health treatment can petition the court for restoration of rights to obtain a license to carry a concealed handgun.
The House Public Health, Welfare & Labor Committee advanced SB341. The bill states that after dispensing the first dose of abortion-inducing drugs to a woman, the physician who is to perform the abortion shall provide a written notice that states: "Notice to Patients Having Medication Abortions That Use Mifepristone: Mifepristone, also known as RU-486 or Mifeprex, alone is not always effective in ending a pregnancy. It may be possible to reverse its intended effect if the second pill or tablet has not been taken or administered. If you change your mind and wish to try to continue the pregnancy, you can locate immediate help by searching the term "abortion pill reversal" on the internet."The committee also advanced HB1555 which expands medications covered by Arkansas Medicaid for tobacco cessation.
The House will convene again on Monday, March 18 at 1:30 pm.