Arkansas Legislature

In today’s visit to the Ozarks at Large archives, we travel back to 1999, when politicians, pundits, journalists and activists wanting to keep up with the Arkansas State Legislature found the task easier than in the past thanks to the General Assembly’s homepage on the World Wide Web. The homepage debuted in 1997 and at the time this story was reported, the website had undergone an extensive upgrade.

Courtesy / Arkansas Legislature

On the first day of the Arkansas Legislative Session, Rep. Stephanie Flowers, a Democrat from Pine Bluff, suggested an update to a rule requiring face coverings. She proposed an amendment penalizing anyone who fails to wear one at all times by docking per diem payments. The amendment was rejected on a voice vote.

Courtesy / Ashley for Arkansas

An expected controvery over the race for House District 32 did not materialize during the first day of the 2021 Legislative Session. Roby Brock, from our content partner Talk Business and Politics, and John Brummett, from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, reflect on the legal challenges to Democrat Ashley Hudson's election to the post in their weekly conversation.

With election season behind us, the Arkansas Public Policy Center has shifted its attention to the Arkansas Legislative Session. The center will continue its efforts to educate voters by sharing information about redistricting, as well as any constitutional amendments legislators refer to voters.

In this story from the archives, we travel back to the week in 1999, when the General Assembly opened for its Regular Session and Mike Huckabee was inaugurated as the governor of Arkansas. At the time, Ozarks at Large's Dan Bennett was in Little Rock covering the 82nd General Assembly.

Courtesy / Arkansas General Assembly

The 93rd Arkansas General Assembly convenes today with lawmakers, staff, lobbyists and the public required to observe strict COVID-19 protective procedures. Incoming Senate President Pro Tem Jimmy Hickey, R-Texarkana, walks us through the new pandemic rules.

Courtesy / HAL333

Two top Arkansas lawmakers and Governor Asa Hutchinson fielded questions from reporters about the 2021 legislative session at a two-hour virtual round table hosted Friday by the Arkansas Press Association and Associated Press. Questions revolved around proposed bills, pandemic procedures, as well as the recent attack by Trump supporters on the U.S. Capitol. 

Courtesy / Jim Hendren

On Wednesday morning, a bipartisan group of Arkansas legislators unveiled their draft of a hate crime bill that would provide enhanced sentencing for crimes committed because of a person's race, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. Governor Asa Hutchinson and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge also announced their support for the bill. Currently, Arkansas is one of three states without a hate crime law.

The Arkansas Legislature has proposed an amendment to the state constitution that would change the process by which citizens can propose changes to the Arkansas Constitution. Janine Parry, political science professor at the University of Arkansas and director of the Arkansas Poll, tells us what the proposed changes entail and how those changes could make it more difficult for citizens to get amendments on the ballot.

A bill drafted by Rogers attorney Josh Bryant would bring sweeping changes to private adoption statutes in Arkansas. The bill is making its way through the state legislature.