What Will Legislators Be Considering in 2019?

Legislators are gearing up to return to Little Rock on January 14. The 92nd session of the Arkansas General Assembly starts on that day, with lawmakers prepared to enact a host of measures that will spend your money and either infringe upon or expand your liberty.

In preparation, legislators are pre-filing bills to consider. I discussed perhaps the most ridiculous pre-filed bill in yesterday’s TAP post. Today I am listing a few of the other noteworthy bills that have been pre-filed:

Automatic voter registration – HB 1004 would automatically register anyone who applies for a driver’s license, unless that person opts out of registration. It would also institute a process to purge dead voters from the voting registration list.

Top-2 primary voting – HJR 1001 would change the state’s primary elections by requiring that all candidates for state and local races appear on the ballot for primary elections and the two candidates with the most votes will advance to the general election. The candidates would be listed with their party affiliations (if any), but the top vote-getters could be from the same party.

End the fiscal session – HJR 1002 and SJR 1 would end the fiscal session of the General Assembly. Instead, the General Assembly would meet every two years and appropriations bills would be for two-year periods.

Ban abortions based on Down Syndrome diagnosis – SB 2 would prohibit abortions that are made because of a Down Syndrome diagnosis.

Mandate more reporting for abortion complications – SB 3 would mandate that health care facilities report to the state if a variety of complications from abortions occur.

Stop some sex offenders from recording children – SB 8 would prohibit level-3 and level-4 sex offenders from recording or photographing children under 14 or posting recordings or photographs of children younger than 14 online. This prohibition would only apply if a law enforcement officer or judge has told the sex offender not to record or photograph the child.

End Halloween for sex offenders – SB 10 would prohibit level-3 and level-4 sex offenders from giving out candy on Halloween or wearing Halloween masks.

Protect hunting – SB 11 would clarify the protection to hunting currently in the state constitution to include traditional hunting methods such as bow hunting, using a gun, trapping, or using a spear.

Give tax credits to parents of a blind or deaf child – HB 1031 would provide a $500 tax credit to parents of a child who is blind or deaf. This tax credit already exists for parents of children with a developmental disability.

A full list of the pre-filed bills is available here.

Now you know some of the proposals being considered that may directly affect you. Do you like what is being proposed? Do you hate a certain bill? Let your legislators know. Once the session begins, things move quickly. It is a good idea to start making your views known today.

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