More than 900 bills have been signed into law this session. This General Assembly has reduced taxes, addressed infrastructure needs, increased funding to education, and transformed state government. One of the last bills we passed was the amendment to the Revenue Stabilization Act. This outlines the $5.7 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2020. It includes a 2.2% increase in spending from the current fiscal year. Continue Reading →
The state budget is guided by the Revenue Stabilization Act (RSA) which is typically one of the last items passed every session.
Members will be reviewing RSA in the Joint Budget Committee Monday morning. We have posted details of the proposed budget on our website. We expect to vote on the budget next week and conclude our business for this session. This week, the House passed two proposed constitutional amendments for the November 2020 ballot. SJR15 addresses term limits for legislators. This amendment would limit state legislators elected after January 1, 2021 to 12 years of consecutive service. Those legislators would not be eligible for subsequent service in the General Assembly until four years after the expiration of the last term in office.
Current legislators could serve under the existing term limit of 16 years. Those members would be subject to a 4 year waiting period for before running for a subsequent term in the General Assembly.
The House also passed HJR1008. Continue Reading →
Washington, DC – April 2, 2019….U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton along with Congressmen Rick Crawford, French Hill, Steve Womack and Bruce Westerman introduced legislation to transfer nearly 140 acres of land at Camp Robinson to the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs (ADVA). The land conveyance will facilitate expansion of the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery in North Little Rock. “This is a commonsense solution that helps the Army Guard and the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs. The land is costly to maintain and not useful to the guard for training. It will provide a valuable expansion of burial space for veterans – an important step to securing a place of honor for future generations of veterans. Continue Reading →
Democratic majority refuses to stand against infanticide
WASHINGTON – Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) moved to force a vote on major pro-life legislation today by signing a discharge petition (H.Res. 102) that was filed in the U.S. House of Representatives. House Democrats tanked this effort and refused to vote on legislation that sought to ban infanticide. “We’ve seen the Democrats’ radical political agenda jeopardize our national security, drive up health care prices and sabotage our economy – but outright refusing to close the legal loopholes that are allowing infanticide is most definitely a new low for my colleagues on the other side of the aisle,” Ratcliffe said. “I’m deeply saddened that the partisan games have gotten so out of hand that my Democratic counterparts won’t stand up against such a horrific practice. Continue Reading →
Legislation passing the House this week addressed everything from robocalls to property taxes. While illegal robocalls are frustrating for most, they are also costly and dangerous for far too many Arkansans. An alarming number of illegal robocalls originate from scammers using automatic telephone dialing systems to send out thousands of phone calls per minute with fictitious or misleading names or telephone numbers displaying on unsuspecting consumers’ telephone caller identification. SB514 addresses this in a few ways. It makes “spoofing”, or displaying fictitious names or numbers, a crime. It makes robocalling a Class D felony and holds telecommunication providers accountable with the Public Service Commission. The House also passed legislation this week ensuring that firefighters who have completed 5 or more years of employment are granted at least 1,456 hours of paid leave for treatment of any cancer caused by his or her job. Continue Reading →
The House is now in the final weeks of the 2019 Regular Session. In recent days, the House has passed legislation increasing education funding, legislation increasing sales tax exemptions on used cars, and legislation creating a first of its kind response team to child abductions.
With a vote of 91-0, the House passed HB1685. This bill increases the foundation funding for K-12 education from the current $6,713 per student to $6,899 per student for the 2019-2020 school year. The bill increases funding to $7,018 per student the following school year. The House passed HB1342. This bill increases the amount below which sales tax is exempt on the purchase of used vehicles from $4,000 to $7,500.
In a vote of 87-0, the House passed HB1674. Continue Reading →
This week, the House passed legislation which will change the way our communities respond to emergencies, the way we regulate our businesses, and the way our government is structured. One of the many bills passed on the House floor in the 9thweek of the session was The Arkansas Public Safety Act (HB1564). This bill transforms the state’s 911 network. It will shift the network from the current analog system to an internet protocol-based network. New technology will allow callers to use wireless and IP-based devices to call 911 and transmit text, images, video, and data.
It will consolidate the number of Public Safety Answering Points in the state in an effort to reduce the number of times a caller is transferred. Continue Reading →
WASHINGTON – Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) introduced new legislation (H.J. Res. 51) to tackle the $22 trillion national debt following President Trump’s annual budget request to Congress last week. Ratcliffe’s balanced budget amendment would withhold pay from members of Congress and the president, if they fail to balance the federal budget each year. “It’s baffling to me that Democrats can watch our national debt hit $22 trillion and continue pushing forward with the costliest legislative proposals we’ve seen in history – like the Green New Deal or Medicare-for-All. This makes it more evident than ever that the only way to get Washington’s spending problem under control is by holding lawmakers’ feet to the fire,” Ratcliffe said.
“By withholding pay from members of Congress and the president, if they fail to pass and submit balanced budgets each year, my bill effectively forces lawmakers to rein in their reckless spending. Continue Reading →
Rep. Ratcliffe leads Texas delegation in moment of silence for Congressman Hall
WASHINGTON – Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) gave a speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives Monday in commemoration of former Congressman Ralph Hall who passed away at the age of 95 last week. He then led the Texas delegation in a moment of silence in Hall’s honor. Full text of Ratcliffe’s speech honoring Congressman Hall:
At age 19, Ralph Hall jumped at the chance to join the Navy to fly Hellcat Fighters during World War II in defense of this nation. Seventy years later, at the age of 89, he jumped again out of an airplane, to honor America’s veterans on Memorial Day. At age 11, Ralph Hall was working at the Rockwall, Texas drug store when he served two Coca-Colas, two packs of Old Gold cigarettes and a stack of newspapers to two customers known simply to the rest of the world as Bonnie and Clyde.
Eighty years later, at the age of 91, Ralph was still working and serving the folks in Rockwall and North Texas as the oldest member ever to cast a vote in the history of the House of Representatives.
From beginning to end, Ralph Hall lived one of the most extraordinary and remarkable lives of anyone ever to serve in Congress. Continue Reading →
Jonelle Fuller, the Arkansas National Committeewoman for the Republican Party of Arkansas, will be the guest speaker tonight at the Miller County Republican Committee’s (MCRC) monthly meeting. There will be a short business meeting at 6:30 p.m. followed by introductions and Mrs. Fulmer’s presentation. The public is welcome to attend and learn about a a person does as a national committee representative in politics. Jonelle Fulmer was elected National Committeewoman for Arkansas in June, 2012. She attended the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and has spent more than 20 years working in the grassroots of Arkansas Republican politics. Continue Reading →