Weekly Column by State Representative John Maddox
In the 7e week of the 2021 ordinary session, the House passed bills on taxes, medical care, scholarships, the obligation to withdraw, etc.
The following tax measures have been proposed by the House:
- HB1023-This bill excludes certain school fundraisers from the regulation of sales tax laws for special events.
- HB1374-This bill amends the law regarding the exemption from sales and use tax on sales of charitable organizations. It allows an organization to exempt sales of up to 10 events. The previous limit was 3.
SB236-This bill exempts unemployment benefits paid in 2020 and 2021 from state income tax.
HB1049-This bill allows the state to withhold state income taxes from unemployment benefits from 2022.
HB1361-This bill would exempt COVID-19 relief loans for small businesses, such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), from state income tax.
Several public health bills were passed this week, including:
- HB1434-This bill creates the Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia. The council will research the needs and services available for the nearly 50,000 Arkansans living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
- HB1215-This bill grants full practice authority to certified nurse midwives.
- HB1254-This bill states that the Arkansas Medicaid program must recognize an advanced practice RN for all purposes as a licensed primary care provider to perform the duties of a primary care case manager.
- HB1177-This bill authorizes emergency medical service personnel to administer certain emergency prescription drugs to a patient with a medical condition requiring specialized treatment.
We have taken two steps to recruit needed professions in Arkansas.
HB102 creates the first year medical scholarship program. It allows a one-time scholarship for a medical student who meets their undergraduate requirements to be accepted into a medical or osteopathic school within 24 months. After successfully completing their first year of medical training, this student may be awarded $ 30,000 to apply toward their medical degree.
HB1224 establishes the State Crime Laboratory Student Loan Forgiveness Program. This would allow a pathologist to enter a probationary period with the State Crime Lab. After this probationary period, the lab could reimburse the pathologist $ 25,000 for outstanding student loans for a 2-year contract and renew the contract up to $ 100,000 per pathologist.
This week, the House passed SB24. Commonly referred to as the Stand Your Ground Bill, it removes the requirement to retreat before using physical or lethal force.
Other bills passed in the House this week include:
- HB1426-This bill establishes the Arkansas Fair Food Delivery Act. It states that a food delivery platform should not arrange for the delivery of a food order from a catering facility without first having entered into an agreement with the catering facility expressly authorizing the platform. Food delivery form of taking orders and delivering food.
- SB136-This bill allows utilities to recognize renewable natural gas and allows gas utilities to remove barriers to purchasing alternative fuel.
- SB165-This bill aligns Arkansas law with federal law to allow the termination or cancellation of a residential lease when a soldier or airman is posted to a permanent change of duty station located at more than 50 miles from his or her primary residence or when he or she is demobilized or released on honorable terms from active military service.
HB1317-This bill makes it a Class D felony to steal a parcel post from the front porch or premises of a residence. Currently, the offense is a misdemeanor.
Almost 1,000 bills have been introduced so far this session and over 150 bills have been enacted.
We will continue to keep you updated as the session progresses. Agendas and links to live streams are posted on our website at www.arkansashouse.org.
2-26-21 3:59 p.m. KAWX.ORG