Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bill Adventures~

With more than 2300 bills having been filed this session you can imagine the frenzy with which they are shuttled from the filing stage, through committees,both houses and, if the pass the muster, ultimately to the governors desk .

If you just look at the House Education Committee you will see that they had nearly 100 bills on their agenda for today alone.

The Twitter-verse was filled today with a flurry of activity as it becomes crunch time in the Ole Arkansas Legislature. There is even a bit of a buzz about Saturday Sessions in order to get everything accomplished by April 1st.

Some things to take note of today. Sen. Rapert's SJR4 - the “Taxpayer Protection” Amendment was stopped in the Senate State Agencies Committee. A Tweet directly following this news from Rep. David Meeks was "Msg of the day: Its ok to refer tax increases to the voters but not a taxpayer protection amendment? Really?"

Two other candidates for the 2012 ballot were taken down SJR6 – a bill to limit the total amount of years served to 14 years total by Sen. Bill Pritchard, and SJR7 - the bill to eliminate and consolidate certain constitutional offices by Sen. Robert Thompson.

That committee approved Sen. Hutchinson's SJR2 - the bill that will put the Highway Commission, Game and Fish Commission and the lottery appropriation under the supervision of the state legislature and SJR5 - a bonds bill for cities and counties by Sen Files. 

The Diesel Tax (HB1902) was not heard in the Senate Transportation Committee today. I am not sure what that means or where it stands but will have an update as soon as I know anything~

Charter School Bill (SB346)- a bill that would remove the limitation on the number of open-enrollment Charter Schools, made it out of the Senate today by a vote of 20-10 and is on it's way to the House Education Committee~

Prison Reform (SB750) passed through the House Judiciary Committee and is headed for it's last vote before going to the Governor for his signature into law. (Read more...)
Several appropriation bills failed in the House today, visit the Twitter Feed at the #ARLeg for details.
Some other bills to watch
As I posted earlier today  the Capital Gains Tax Reduction (HB1002) and The Constitutional Offices Transparency Bill (HB1046) will both be heard tomorrow. You still have time to make a difference in helping to cut taxes and promote government transparency. (Read more...)
The Clean Energy Act, SB721 by Sen Sue Madison, was suppose to be heard today but will be heard on Thursday by the Senate Insurance Committee. 

I received an email today that had this letter from Larry Thompson, Financial Services Director for City Water & Light Jonesboro:
"This bill includes a 20%/200mW renewable portfolio standard (RPS) for Arkansas (23-18-904(c)(1)(B)). Each utility would be required to purchase renewables under a tariff based on its load ratio share. These higher-cost renewables will increase our retail rates to families, business and industry.

Since many cities purchase power thru full-requirements, long-term agreements, this renewable mandate may be in conflict with these contracts. The cities which own more than 80% of their needs may find some of their generating capacity effectively “stranded”. This could further increase prices to customers."

Also received this update from the Family Council on 7 Pro-life bills to watch~  


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