BY MELANIE BUCK –
State Senator Larry Teague paid a visit to the Mena Lions Club on Friday, April 21, 2017 and spoke of many topics that the Arkansas General Assembly considered in their first session of the year, and of issues coming up in next month’s special session.
Some of the topics he discussed with the club were guns, executions, and internet sales taxes. Senator Teague supported the open carry law passed (HB 1249) in March 2017 that allowed the open carry of guns on college campuses. He also supported the amendment that came days later that banned guns from college sporting events. The amended bill, Senate Bill 724, prohibits guns at collegiate sporting events, as well as UAMS and state hospitals.
The Senator also expressed frustration over continued proposed “highway bills.” He clearly stated that “until we get solid commitments to maintain rural highways, I will not support a highway bill.” He said that rural highways are in rough shape and should be maintained before anymore new highways are constructed.
As for internet sales taxes, the Senator believes the new trend of buying online has decreased state sales tax collections. Legislators are working on how to fix the issue. “It’s local business verses out-of-state business and I’m always for local business. It’s a no-brainer – you vote for your people,” said Teague. As an example, he said when legislators began talks of taxing internet sales, Amazon.com stepped up and offered to start collecting state taxes on their products (not the products of third party sellers) and sending it to the state. Amazon estimated that it would collect $31 million each year for Arkansas sales tax alone. Teague said both the Senate and the House each tried to passed measures to begin the taxation of internet sales, however, both failed to pass.
Senator Teague said the Arkansas General Assembly’s Special Session is set to begin on May 1st. To stay updated on the latest happenings, Senator Teague’s website is: http://teaguesenate.blogspot.com/