Session-To-Date Review Legislative Scorecard

Conduit for Action Legislative Session Weekly Scorecard:

Session – To – Date Review

Note: This “Session – To – Date Review” offers a refresh of major bills coming up for a vote in the coming weeks that appeared in previous individual weekly scorecards. Articles on the topics are also linked below the bill analysis.

Taxes/Medicaid Expansion


New Internet Sales Tax 

Sponsor: Sen. Jake Files (R-S8)

  • Would bring in over $100 million annually in new money straight out of the pocketbooks of Arkansans into the government coffers.
  • Unconstitutionally grants taxing authority beyond the borders of Arkansas. A taxpayer-funded “test case” would have to be brought to see if the people’s government can find a way to get more money from them.
  • Opens the door on taxing and regulatory authority for the government internet data and streaming usage.
  • This bill violates the Republican Party platform.
  • According to poll numbers, Arkansans OPPOSE an Internet Sales Tax

SB140 – Internet Sales Tax – Conduit for Action – January 30, 2017

Proposed internet tax is not about saving mom and pop stores – Conduit for Action – February 5, 2017


Freezes Obamacare Medicaid Expansion (Private Option, Arkansas Works) enrollment

Sponsor: Rep. Josh Miller (R-H66)

  • Would freeze Obamacare Medicaid Expansion enrollment. Does not set a “cap” but seeks a waiver to freeze enrollment.
  • Originally it was estimated the program would only have 215,000 people on the program. Currently over 310,000 people are on the program. This is unsustainable.
  • With changes coming at the federal level, including phasing out Medicaid expansion and/or increased match rates, it would be wise to freeze the program now to be in a better position to address changes from the federal level.
  • This DOES NOT kick off anyone from the program. In addition it allows those already on the program to renew.

Congress should take a cue from Arkansas’s Medicaid expansion freeze – The Hill, Nic Horton – March 2, 2017

HB1465 Would Freeze Enrollment in Obamacare’s Medicaid Expansion – AFP Arkansas – February 27, 2017


HB1726 and HB1727: OPPOSE

Puts full 6.5% state sales tax on wholesale gas purchases; issuing of bonds for funding of highway projects.

Sponsor: Rep. Dan Douglas (R-H91)

  • Would impose the 6.5% sales tax rate on the wholesale price per gallon of gasoline and diesel, costing people throughout Arkansas every time they go to the pump.
  • These bills will siphon off over $200 million annually from the Arkansas economy straight out of the pocketbooks of Arkansans around the state.
  • Bonds would also be issued to fund highway projects and repairs and fund the costs of issuing the bonds. The bonds would have to be approved by a majority of the people in the 2018 general election.
  • The ballot title for this bond program is misleading and does not fully inform people that they are voting for a tax increase to fund roads. It is a fair argument that taxes may need to be raised to fund roads, but the people will not be presented with that information in the ballot title or other information appearing on the ballot.
  • The terms and conditions of the bonds put no cap on the number of bonds issued and gives a blank check of public debt to the Highway Commission.
  • The sale of the bonds can be done at a private sale at whatever terms and conditions the Highway Commission believes are reasonable. All of the bonds issued are exempt from taxes

ACTION ALERT – Stop the Gas Tax Increase – HB1726, HB1727 – Conduit for Action – March 8, 2017

6.5% fuel-sales tax in Arkansas road-funds bill – Arkansas Democrat Gazette – March 1, 2017



School Choice and Education Savings Accounts

Sponsor: Rep. Jim Dotson (R-H93)

  • Creates an income tax credit for donations to nonprofits that distribute education savings accounts to parents for use for their child’s education costs.
  • This true “School Choice” bill will provide more opportunities for children to reach their full learning potential without being restricted by their socio-economic status or zip code.
  • Priority for the education savings accounts are given to low income students and students who are dependents of active-duty military members stationed in Arkansas.
  • For an more in-depth analysis of this bill and its benefits see an article by Drew Catt, the director of State Research and Policy Analysis for EdChoice found HERE.

What Does House Bill 1222 Do? – Arkansas Parents for School Choice

Welfare Reform


Unemployment tax cut and incentives to seek employment

Sponsor: Rep. Robin Lundstrum (R-H87) / Sen. Jim Hendren (R-S2)

  • Cuts unemployment insurance tax. Currently the tax applies on the wage base at $12,000 and this would reduce that down to $10,000.
  • Cuts the number of weeks a person can receive unemployment benefits from 20 weeks down to 16 weeks.
  • Cuts the benefit received from the current rate of 1/26th of the quarterly wage down to 1/30th of the quarterly wage.
  • Cuts taxes, and decreases a person’s dependency on government by incentivizing them to find a job sooner.

Finally! A Cut in Government – Conduit for Action – February 20, 2017


Restricts SNAP benefits waiver requests; protects current SNAP benefits work requirement

Sponsor: Rep. Austin McCollum (R-H95)

  • Shifts the waiver authority on the work requirement for SNAP (food stamp) benefits from the executive branch to the legislature.
  • Will guard against removing the work requirement for SNAP benefits if there is a change in administration.

Scorecard Year-To-Date

Bill #




prohibiting PAC-to-PAC contributions OPPOSE
HB1012 prohibiting PAC-to-Candidate contributions



Annexation procedures amended SUPPORT
HB1034 Licensing of hearing instrument dispensers



Restricts use of SNAP benefits to the purchase of foods with sufficient nutritional value SUPPORT
HB1126 Exempts hate offense litigation in an employer-employee relationship


HB1161 & SB119

Creates new earned income tax credit OPPOSE
HB1182 Authorizing advanced practice registered nurse recognized as primary care provider under medicaid



School Choice and Education Savings Accounts SUPPORT
HB1227 Reduction of income tax rates if revenue from those rates is greater than 3% from the previous year



Tire tax OPPOSE
HB1272 Microbrewery production caps increased



Allows annexed landowners to vote to get out of annexation SUPPORT
HB1387 Prohibits seat belt violations as only cause for stopping a vehicle



Income tax credit for small businesses hiring recently returned veterans SUPPORT
HB1405 Unemployment tax cut and incentives to seek employment



requiring electronic filing of campaign finance reports; provides searcable database for campaign contributions SUPPORT
HB1442 Personal and family finance class requirement for public school graduation



Restricts SNAP benefits waiver requests; protects current SNAP benefits work requirement SUPPORT
HB1465 Freezes Obamacare Medicaid Expansion (Private Option, Arkansas Works) enrollment



Protections against unneccessary regulation and misuse of occupational licensing SUPPORT
HB1700 Appropriation for new voting machines



GIF Appropriation bill OPPOSE
HB1717 Required registration for those selling dogs or cats; criminal penalties for regulation violations



Puts full 6.5% state sales tax on wholesale gas purchases; OPPOSE
HB1727 issuing of bonds for funding of highway projects



Requires “off-premises” caterers to register with the state and mandates insurance coverage requirements OPPOSE
HB1789 Repeals the corporate franchise tax and filing requirement


HJR1019 / SJR13

Loser pays tort reform; capts on punitive damage; alternative to SJR8 SUPPORT
SB101 prohibits game warden from entering private property without a warrant



Limits the max fine for not wearing a seatbelt to $25 SUPPORT
SB112 Income tax deduction for homeschool expenses, private school tuition



Reduces income tax rates on lowest tax bracket; creates Tax Reform Task Force SUPPORT IF AMENDED
SB120 & HB1162 retired military income tax exemption; new tax on digital products; tax cut for soda syrup; tax increase on candy/soda;



New Internet Sales Tax OPPOSE
SB175 Disclosure of benefits received by government officials from medicaid providers



Decreases number of juvenile criminal detentiuon facility review committees SUPPORT
SB331 $50 million to Governor’s quick action closing fund ($30 million increase for corporate welfare)



Ends Obamacare Medicaid Expansion (Private Option / Arkansas Works) on Dec. 31, 2018 SUPPORT
SB362 Repeals InvestArk; phases in sales tax exemption on purchases for manufacturing equipment repair parts


SB4 & HB1010

Publishing PAC reports, exploratory committees, Independent Expenditures SUPPORT
SB425 Takes treasurer’s investment work and puts under Board of Finance oversight


SB5 & HB1009

Prohibits constitutional officers from forming more than one PAC OPPOSE
SB504 Requires school board elections be part of the general election



Requires state agencies to repeal at least one rule for each new rule they propose SUPPORT
SB514 More flexibility on supervision of apprentice plumbers



Increases rules violation penalties; outlaws payments for HVACR work done without a license; new criminal penalties imposed on non-payment of fines. OPPOSE
SB723/HB2162 Scaling back Special Interest Special Elections



Adds continuing education program for HVACR licensees OPPOSE
SJR10 Fair Ballot Titles; 3/4th majority vote for legislative proposed constitutional amendments



A constitutional amendment to move from elected supreme court justices to appointment process OPPOSE
SJR8 Tort reform; giving General Assembly power over certain court matters; caps contingency fee agreements



Week One Scorecard

Week Two Scorecard

Week Three Scorecard

Week Four Scorecard

Week Five Scorecard

Week Six Scorecard

Week Seven Scorecard

Week Eight: Part 1 Scorecard

Week Eight: Part 2 Scorecard


Conduit for Action, Inc. (CFA) promotes the reduction in the size and scope of Arkansas state government with the belief such reduction would proportionately increase individual freedom and liberties and economic prosperity for all Arkansans.  During the Arkansas 91st General Assembly regular legislative session, CFA will issue weekly analysis of relevant bills filed by the legislature.  CFA will take a position on those bills and either support or oppose them using the CFA Economic Freedom Filter. This filter looks at whether a piece of legislation promotes more freedom or less freedom by considering: (1) If it grows or shrinks government, (2) Increases/Decreases dependency on government, and/or (3) Spends money the state does not have.

CFA will be highlighting the bills (by topic) recently filed and which may be considered for either a committee or full chamber vote. CFA will additionally be tracking and scoring those bills mentioned. These scores will assist in rankings for the annual Calvin Coolidge Heroes of Freedom awards, highlighting those state legislators promoting legislation which promotes reducing the scope and size of government.


*This scorecard, its contents, and positions on legislation is policy only and does not indicate any personal support for or against a specific legislator-sponsor.