2021 Arkansas General Assembly

Courtesy / ACLU

ACLU of Arkansas has sued the state from deploying a new law scheduled to go into effect this summer that bans gender-affirming medical care to Arkansas trans youth and levies penalities against physicians who attempt deliver such care.

The Arkansas Legislature has approved three constitutional amendments, which will be referred to voters. We check back in with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Public Policy Center to learn more about what Arkansans can expect to see on their ballots in 2022.

Courtesy / CDC

Legislation passed by Arkansas lawmakers this year requires new school construction to install water bottle filling stations. Supporters of the legislation say it will allow students to maintain proper hydration. Mary Miller, Coordinated School Health Coordinator with Springdale School District, says the stations can help students' health in many ways.

Courtesy / Katie Opris Photography

The Arkansas General Assembly has granted full practice authority to Certified Nurse Midwives, under Act 607. CNMs are advanced practice registered nurses nationallly certified as specialists in prenatal and postpartum care, as well as women's health.

Courtesy / Massage Envy

Arkansas is among the first states to strictly regulate licensed professional massage therapy education to protect public health. Over the past decade, the commercialization of massage spas, by franchises such as Massage Envy, has created high demand for skilled therapists. An Arkansas legislator is sponsoring a bill that he claims will facilitate easier access to massage therapy licensure.

Jennifer Steel's oldest son is transgender. She says the last couple of months have left her family hurt, sad, angry, disgusted and confused as the Arkansas legislature has passed several laws trans advocates say unfairly target the trans community. But Steel says, she still has hope and there are ways Arkansans can step up to show trans children they have their support.

Courtesy / InTRANSitive Arkansas

A proposed Arkansas law to protect teachers and school administrators who misgender public school and college students is expected to be approved by the state legislature. House Bill 1749, which prohibits requiring public school and college employees from identifying students by genders inconsistent with a student’s biological sex, was approved by the House and is now being considered by the Senate.

Courtesy / Instagram

Professional cycling athletes put their support for Arkansas's transgender community on display this weekend at the first round of the U.S. Cup Olympic qualifier events in Fayetteville. Ellen Noble, who races for Trek Bikes and Red Bull, donned temporary tattoos of the LGBTQ and trans flags on her legs during the short track race. She says she wanted to make it clear she opposes the laws that have been passed in Arkansas.

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Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed two bills Monday that will raise the median teacher salary by $2,000 to $51,822 across the state. Senate Bill 504 and House Bill 1614 also create the Teacher Salary Equalization Fund, which dedicates $25 million in state funding to provide $185 dollars per student to districts that are below the median salary and can't meet the goal otherwise. 

Diagnostic Breast Cancer Exams Covered Under New Law

Apr 9, 2021

A new law will require Arkansas insurance companies to cover diagnostic breast cancer exams just like they cover screening mammograms. Advocates say many women skip important follow-up exams because they cannot afford them.