Monday, January 19, 2009

Top Ten Bills from Week One

It is one week into the Arkansas legislative session and close to 300 bills have already been filed. There is no way to follow every one of them here but let’s take a look at the top ten bills that at least interest me.

HB1113 – Partial-Birth Abortion Ban – Sponsored by Rep. Creekmore - Would prohibit doctors from performing the partial-birth abortion procedure in Arkansas – Current Status - referred to the House Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee
Tolbert’s Take – Strongly Support

HB1053 – Open Checkbooks in Government – Sponsored by Rep. Greenberg - Would put all the state government's expenses in an online searchable database that would be open to all citizens (included bloggers) - Referred to House Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs
Tolbert’s Take – Strongly Support
(honorable mention to Greenberg’s HB1049 allowing allowing for the Attornery General to review denied FOI requests)

SB 12 – Back-to-school Sales Tax Holiday – Sponsored by Sen. Altes - Would exempt certain clothing items for state sales tax for one Saturday in August – Current Status – Senate Committee on Revenue and Taxation
Tolbert’s Take – Support

SB78 – Primary Offense Seat Belt Law – Sponsored by Sen. Wilkins - Would allow police officers to pull you over for not wearing your seat belt – Current Status – Referred to Senate Committee on Public Health, Welfare and Labor
Tolbert’s Take – Support

SB56 – Repeal the Presidential Preferential Primary Election – Sponsored by Sen. Miller - Would move the Presidential Primary back to the regular May Primary (saving several million dollars in the process) - Current Status - Referred to Senate Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs
Tolbert’s Take - Support

HB1093 –Illegal Immigration - Sponsored by Rep. Sample - Supported by a group called Secure Arkansas that lead an unsuccessful push to get a similar measure on the ballot, mirrors Oklahoma legislation – Current Status – Referred to House Judiciary Committee
Tolbert’s Take – Mostly Support but more study is need (it is an extensive bill)

SB88 – Grocery Tax Reduction – Sen. Glover - Would reduce the grocery tax by one cent – Current Status – Filed
Tolbert’s Take – Mostly Support but would prefer a complete reduction

SB26/HB 1002 – Lottery Bill – Sponsored by Sen. Smith and Rep. Wills Will become the bill used to move legislation to create the new lottery – Current Status - Senate Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs & House Rules Committee
Tolbert’s Take – I voted against the lottery in November but there is not enough information to support or oppose this bill.

SJR2 – Repeal Annual Sessions – Sponsored by Sen. Glover - Would propose a constitutional amendment for voters’ approval that would move the legislative session back to every two years – Current Status - Referred to Senate Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs
Tolbert’s Take – Undecided - I voted against annual session but I don’t know about reversing the people will this quickly

SB31 – Requires Drivers to Use a Hands Free Cell Phone – Sponsored by Sen. Hendren - Would make using a cell phone while driving punishable by a fine of up to $50 unless you use a hand free device – Current Status - Referred to Senate Committee on Transportation, Technology and Legislative Affairs
Tolbert’s Take – Oppose (but not strongly)
(Honorable mention to Hendren’s SB29 requiring motorcyclists to wear a helmet or have adequate health coverage)

1 comment:

Breanne said...

Thanks for writing this up. It's hard to keep up with all the bills filed so I appreciate your time in putting this list together.