Recap of legislative exercise in Arkansas Senate this yr

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LITTLE ROCK — State authorities had an eventful yr in 2021, and far of the exercise occurred within the Arkansas Senate.

In January the legislature convened in common session and accredited an inventory of payments to minimize the affect that public well being orders had on people and companies. Act 311 permits the households of COVID-19 sufferers to go to them within the hospital, so long as they comply with protocols.

Act 401 prohibits the state from penalizing companies if clients, quite than staff, disregard public-health tips in the course of the coronavirus pandemic.

Act 559 gives immunity for companies and staff from claims of publicity to the virus. Act 353 permits staff to file employees’ comp claims for contracting COVID-19 on the job. Its efficient dates are from March 11, 2020 till Could 1, 2023.

Act 510 codifies two government orders by the governor that shield well being care suppliers with immunity from civil fits attributable to COVID-19 claims.

Act 1030 defines a vaccine passport and states that “the usage of a vaccine passport shall not be a situation for entry, journey, schooling or providers” and that authorities businesses in any respect ranges shall not require folks to make use of a passport for any goal.

Act 154 is a tax minimize for individuals who misplaced their jobs because of the pandemic. Unemployment advantages won’t be taxed by the state, saving Arkansans about $59 million in state revenue taxes.

Act 248 will save Arkansas companies $33 million this yr and $179 million subsequent fiscal yr by means of tax exemptions on revenue that folks and companies obtained by means of quite a few catastrophe reduction applications, akin to the favored Paycheck Safety Program.

Greater than 43,000 Arkansas companies obtained greater than $3.3 billion by means of PPP loans.

Act 403 permits a majority of the legislature to terminate a public well being emergency declared by the governor. In August, each chambers affirmed the Covid-19 emergency declared by the governor.

Additionally in August, throughout a particular session the legislature didn’t repeal or amend Act 1002, which prohibits college districts from requiring masks. Nonetheless, the act just isn’t being enforced as a result of a decide issued an injunction towards it when a bunch of oldsters challenged it in court docket.

One of many high-profile payments accredited in the course of the common session is named the “Stand Your Floor” legislation. It’s Act 250, which repeals the prior obligation to retreat from a confrontation should you might achieve this safely. Now, you possibly can reply with lethal power.

Act 309 prohibits abortions besides to save lots of the lifetime of the mom, with no exception for rape or incest. Act 949 requires abortion clinics to be licensed by the Well being Division and prohibits abortions at hospitals except it’s to save lots of the lifetime of the mom.

Act 626 prohibits sex-change surgical procedure or hormone remedy for minors who need to change genders. Act 461 prohibits transgender ladies from competing in feminine sports activities, in impact, by permitting lawsuits towards a college if it has a coverage that permits transgender ladies to compete.

Act 1052 units housing requirements that landlords should comply with when sustaining residential rental property. If the property just isn’t saved as much as the requirements, renters could cancel their lease after correct notification to the owner. It additionally eliminates the requirement that renters put up a deposit in an effort to file a criticism.

In December the legislature handed reductions in state revenue taxes that may save Arkansas households and companies virtually $500 million a yr after they take impact.

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