Legislature Approves Governor Hutchinson’s Full Agenda

LITTLE ROCK– With the signing of SB519, now Act 561, last Tuesday, which separates the Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert E. Lee holidays, the Arkansas General Assembly has now approved each of the measures included in Governor Hutchinson’s legislative agenda. The Governor laid out his legislative agenda for the 2017 session in a press conference in December of last year. Each of the included priorities reflect the administration’s focus on Economic Development, Education, and Efficiencies and Government Transformation.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“I am pleased that the legislature has approved each of the measures included in my legislative priorities for 2017. These initiatives will help drive economic development, increase educational opportunity, ease the tax burden and enable us to more efficiently serve the people of our state. I am confident that these important measures will have a positive impact on our state. I look forward to continued work with the General Assembly to enact policies that benefit all Arkansans.”

The approved initiatives are as follows:

Economic Development:
• Retired Military Tax Cut – Act 141 – Signed into law 2/7/2017
• Accelerator Program – Act 165 – Signed into law 2/15/2017
• $50.5 Million Income Tax Cut – Act 78 – Signed into law 2/1/2017

• ArFuture Grant – Act 316 – Signed into law 3/2/2017
• New Higher Education Productivity Funding Formula – Act 148 – Signed into law 2/8/2017
• Teacher Opportunity Program Redirect (TOPs) – Act 160 – Signed into law 2/13/201

Efficiencies and Government Transformation:
• Reform of the State Pay Plan – Act 365 – Signed into law 3/3/2017
• Repurposing Tobacco Settlement Funds to Decrease the Disability Waitlist – Act 50 – Signed into law 1/26/2017
• Consolidation of Select Boards and Commissions – Act 540 – Signed into law 3/20/2017
• Agency Reorganization and Efficiencies – Signed into law 2/22/2017
Office of Energy to Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality – Act 271
Office of Health Information Technology to Department of Health – Act 270
War Memorial Stadium Commission to Department Parks and Tourism – Act 269
• Waste Tire Management Program – Act 317 – Signed into law 3/2/2017
• Establishing Regional Mental Health Crisis Stabilization Centers – Act 423 – Signed into law 3/8/2017
• Eliminating the dual holiday status of MLK-Lee Day – Act 561 – Signed into law 3/21/2017