BY STATE REPRESENTATIVE NATE BELL –
By the end of the first week of the 2015 Regular Session, House members filed over 80 bills. It is clear that the 90th General Assembly is quickly going to work on the issues important to our constituents.
The week began by taking the oath of office and officially electing Rep. Jeremy Gillam of Judsonia as Speaker of the House. Speaker Gillam began the session by addressing the assembly and letting Arkansans know that he believes that by working together we can show our state that there is still nobility to public service.
The Speaker also announced the chairs of all of our standing committees, where the bulk of legislation will begin. I was selected as the Chair of the State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee. The Speaker also appointed me to serve on the Game and Fish Oversight Committee along with subcommittee assignments. You can find a complete list of the committees including the chairs at arkansashouse.org.
On the second day of session, Constitutional Officers were sworn in and we were given a preview on how our newly elected Governor Asa Hutchinson will approach this legislative term as he delivered his inaugural address to a Joint Session of the House and Senate.
The Governor told members his first order of business will be to introduce a tax cut package for middle income Arkansans. He stated that he will discuss his ideas for health care reform in an address to the public on January 22 and that he plans to submit his balanced budget proposal by the end of this month.
Committees held mostly organizational meetings this week, but a few began hearing proposed legislation. One of the bills that passed committee was my HB1011. As a reminder, you can watch all House sessions and most committee meetings live on our website.
The House has upgraded the bill search function on our website. If you click on the Bills and Resolutions tab on our site, you will not only find a complete list of the bills filed during the 90th General Assembly, but you can search for a particular bill by the bill name or using a key word in the title. You can also search a bill by entering the sponsor’s name.
This will not only bring up a link to the entire text of the bill, but you will find a complete list of actions on the bill. I hope you find this tool helpful in keeping up with legislation during the session.
Over the next couple of months, I’ll do my best to keep you informed about the legislative process as the 90th General Assembly develops.