Advancing Arkansas: Rep. Lea Focused on Teamwork, New Tax Holiday

Part Two of our Advancing Arkansas series is an interview with Rep. Andrea Lea (R-Russellville).

Rep. Lea, who is entering her final term as a state representative having already served four years in the House, said her goals for this term/upcoming legislative session are simple: help incoming freshmen legislators “learn the ropes” and be a team player.

“Teamwork is a priority for me. It is just as important to make educated votes as it is to introduce/pass bills. It takes all of us to be a legislative body; we all have positions to play on the team. Term limits make this imperative.”

Lea views herself as more of a ‘watchdog’ than a reformer, describing herself as a legislator who is more focused on stopping bad legislation than proposing multitudes of new laws. She has spent much time studying proposed legislation during her previous terms, a serious commitment when serving on very busy and intense committees, according to Lea.

With that said, the representative said she does plan to propose a few bills herself in the upcoming session, including a bill to institute a new sales tax holiday on emergency supplies:

“My degree is in emergency administration — management and preparedness are top priorities. Individuals need to be prepared at some level and, as we have seen over the last several years, waiting on the government is not prudent.” 

Lea said she introduced a similar bill last session but it did not make it to the floor.

Additional proposals from Lea will include “a few small election bills” and a bill regarding the next redistricting, although it’s unclear exactly what these bills will look like at this point. Other policy goals include Medicaid reform and income tax reform.