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Arkansas House Updates 1-3-2020

One of the new laws which took effect this week may reduce the number of uninsured motorists on Arkansas roads. Nationwide, it is estimated that 1 in 8 drivers do not have insurance. In Arkansas, the uninsured motorist rate has been higher than the national average in recent years. The latest numbers show close to 16% of drivers on our roads may be uninsured. Arkansas State Police write more than 10,000 citations a year for failing to provide proof of insurance. Continue Reading →

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Rep. Ratcliffe statement on Iranian missile strikes

Rep. Ratcliffe

WASHINGTON – Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) released the following statement in response to Iran’s missile strikes on Iraqi military bases housing U.S. troops Tuesday night:

“I’m incredibly grateful that no American or Iraqi lives were lost in the missile strikes launched by Iran last night thanks to an early warning system that allowed our military to help prevent major harm to the bases being targeted. As the Trump administration continues actively monitoring the situation in the region, I’m pleased that Iran appears to be standing down and that further escalation will be prevented. “In the wake of the death of Iranian terrorist leader, Qassem Soleimani, I am confident that we’ll continue making strong progress toward peace and stability in the Middle East. Last night’s missile strikes were a glaring example of why we abandoned the Obama administration’s policy of appeasement and a deal which gave billions to an Iranian regime that, in turn, has used it to launch terrorist attacks against the United States and our allies. I fully support President Trump’s call for increased NATO involvement in the Middle East and for our allies to join the United States in moving away from the JCPOA toward a new deal that will ensure the world is a safer and more stable place.”
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Rep. Ratcliffe statement on the Death of Qassem Soleimani

WASHINGTON – Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) released the following statement on the death of Qassem Soleimani, the head of the terrorist organization known as the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force:

“The Trump administration was bold and resolute in taking out a designated terrorist personally responsible for the death of hundreds of American soldiers, sailors and marines. Qassem Soleimani was a terrorist who was killed, not in Iran, but in Iraq, where he orchestrated the latest attack on our U.S. Embassy and was actively planning more attacks to kill additional American forces and civilians. I support the President’s decisive directive to punish the killing of Americans and commend the brave men and women of our Armed Forces who carried out the order to deter future Iranian terrorist attack plans.”
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Arkansas House Updates 12-27-19

As many of you are reflecting on 2019 and setting goals for 2020, we want to remind you of what is ahead for the Arkansas House in the New Year. In less than 10 weeks, Arkansans will be heading to the polls to cast ballots in the March 3 primary. This year, the General Assembly passed Act 545 which provides for a March preferential primary election in the years in which the office of President of the United States is voted on and a May preferential primary election in the years in which the office of Governor is voted on. Fiscal sessions have been held on the second Monday in February on even-numbered years. However, Act 545 states that on years in which the preferential primary is held in March, the General Assembly will instead meet for a fiscal session on the second Wednesday of April. Continue Reading →

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Arkansas House Updates 12-20-2019

From delivering the food to the grocery store shelves to stocking up retail stores with must-have gifts, the trucking industry touches every aspect of the holidays. 

As the trend towards online shopping continues, the trucking industry continues to provide a critical infrastructure for our nation. Arkansas companies play an important role in providing the drivers and logistics. As a midway point between Mexico City and Montreal, our central location enables Arkansas to have a large and growing distribution and logistics services sector. Arkansas offers access to a market of 100 million people within a 550-mile radius of the state. That represents 40% of the total U.S. population. More than 55,000 Arkansans are employed at more than 80 distribution centers and 10 major trucking companies in the state. Continue Reading →

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Rep. Ratcliffe votes to revitalize American trade through USMCA

WASHINGTON – Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) voted for the passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act (H.R. 5430) today in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

The bill will initiate implementation of the USMCA, which was negotiated between the Trump administration, Canada and Mexico to open new, fair trade opportunities that will grow the U.S. economy and boost job creation. According to the International Trade Commission, the USMCA will create more than $68 billion in new economic activity and 176,000 new jobs in America. “Just one day after my Democratic colleagues voted to impeach President Trump, they took a bipartisan vote to implement the Trump administration’s historic trade deal. It shouldn’t have taken Speaker Pelosi several months to get this vote on the calendar, especially with such wide support from Americans on both sides of the aisle. But, yesterday, she made it clear that Democrats’ No. Continue Reading →

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Rep. Ratcliffe statement on vote against Trump impeachment

Rep. Ratcliffe

WASHINGTON – Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) issued the following statement on his vote against the impeachment of President Trump:

“In a betrayal of the Constitution, Democrats finally got what they’ve been gunning for since the very day President Trump was duly elected to serve in the Oval Office. Despite failing miserably in their prolonged, desperate campaign to frame him for crimes he didn’t commit, they moved forward with a vote to remove a sitting president from office based on nothing more than their personal and political opposition. “This is the thinnest, fastest and weakest impeachment our country has ever seen – rooted in a congratulatory phone call where there are no crimes alleged, where there is no victim, and where Democrats themselves could never decide what to even accuse the president of doing wrong. The Founders intended impeachment to be used for actions so extraordinary that it would happen only three times in almost 2 1/2 centuries. Alexander Hamilton warned of impeachment being used politically by the party that had the most votes. Continue Reading →

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Arkansas House Update 12-14-19

The holidays are a magical time at the State Capitol. Lights illuminate the exterior at night, the halls are draped with garland, and school choirs from across the state serenade us with carols throughout the day. But there is one particular day in the season here at that stands apart from the rest.  On Tuesday, we celebrated the 5th year of Christmas in the Capitol. At this event, legislators gather with the Governor, constitutional officers, and state employees as we bring gifts for the more than 4,000 children in Arkansas foster care. This year was the biggest yet. Continue Reading →

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Arkansas House Bills Update 12-5-19

Typically when a bill is passed in the state legislature, if it does not have an emergency clause, it will take effect 90 days after we adjourn.  But there are occasions when a specific date is written into the bill.  This year, we passed several bills that will take effect January 1, 2020.  These impact everything from auto insurance to tax brackets. Here are several pieces of legislation going into effect at the beginning of the year:

ACT 182 reduces the top income tax rate from 6.9% to 6.6%.  This will lower again to 5.9% in 2021. ACT 869 requires the implementation of the online insurance verification system by January 1, 2020. In a routine traffic stop, the new online verification system allows the officer to confirm in real time whether the vehicle is insured. Under the current system, the insurance data accessed by the officer may be up to 30 days old. Continue Reading →

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Arkansas House Updates 11-15-19

This week we want to remind you of an important deadline approaching all Arkansans. On October 1, 2020, anyone who boards a domestic flight or enters a federal building will either need a REAL ID driver’s license (DL) or Identification Card (ID) or will need to provide a regular identification and additional accepted forms of identification. Arkansas is taking part in the federal nationwide initiative to improve the security of state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards, which will help fight terrorism and reduce identity fraud. The federal REAL ID Act of 2005 adopted the recommendations of the 911 Commission. The REAL ID Act prohibits the federal government from accepting driver’s licenses or identification cards issued by states that do not meet the requirements of the REAL ID Act. Continue Reading →

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