The Northark Student Government Association presented a Legislative Update Thursday, Sept. 26 with a panel of five Representatives from the north Arkansas area. Rep. Ron McNair, Sen. Scott Flippo, Rep. Keith Slape, Rep. Harlan Breaux and Sen. Breann Davis answered questions from students in the forum.
Austin Simmons, the president of the Student Government at Northark, moderated the event.
The panel members were asked about pieces of legislation that they were sponsoring and given 5 to 7 minutes each to elaborate.
Rep. McNair smiled and stated, “there are already too many laws. I don’t focus on making any new ones.” Sen. Scott Flippo spoke about his sponsorship of SB599, a bill ordering approval by the quorum court of each county before a bond is issued by a regional solid waste management district. Rep. Harlan Breaux referred to his work on a bill that would require a vote before a municipality could be incorporated. He referred to the Holiday Island area that he serves. The bill, SB548, is sponsored by Sen. Ballinger and co-sponsored by Breaux. Next, Rep. Keith Slape referred to his sponsorship of HB1941, an act that expands the eligibility of persons who may purchase items produced by the Dept. of Corrections Industry Division, allowing more work and productivity for inmates serving time. Slape also mentioned his work on a bill that would allow for reinstatement of a revoked teachers license under certain conditions. SB382 is sponsored by Sen. Breanne Davis and co-sponsored by Rep. Slape. Davis, the 5th member of the panel, spoke of her sponsorship of a bill that would allow for public school districts and open enrollment charter schools to appoint an institutional law enforcement officer and many other provisions included in SB383.
The members of the panel were all in agreement over the passing of HB1145. HB1145 creates the Teacher Salary Enhancement Act, which provides licensed classroom teachers a pay increase.
The responses by the officials did not reference the titles of the bills, but referred to them in a general sense. To find out more about the elected officials and the bills mentioned, www.visit arkleg.state.ar.us