Week 6 Legislative Scorecard

Conduit for Action Legislative Session Weekly Scorecard:

Week 6 – February 20 – February 24, 2017

Occupational Licensing

HB1551: SUPPORT

Protections against unnecessary regulation and misuse of occupational licensing

Sponsor: Rep. Richard Womack (R-H18)

The intent of this bill is to “(1) ensure that a person may pursue a lawful occupation free from unnecessary regulation; and (2) protect against the misuse of occupational licensing regulations to reduce competition and increase prices to consumers.” The bill states it does not repeal any laws regarding licensing and regulation of occupations, specifically for those owing a duty of good faith, listing attorneys, accountants, and real estate brokers. The bill provides a person the opportunity to defend against the regulations e or she believes are a substantial burden on their ability to earn a living. Public health and safety protections are to remain intact. Supporters of HB1551 would argue that it helps to free Arkansas from its burdensome regulations and uses free market and limited government solutions. We agree with the intent of the bill. Additional clarification may be needed to inform the public what the bill is protecting and what it is not protecting.

Appropriations/Budget

SB331: OPPOSE

$50 million to Governor’s Quick Action Closing Fund ($30 million increase from last year)

Sponsor: Joint Budget

This is an appropriation bill for “economic development” projects, including the Governor’s Quick Action Closing Fund. This fund is a discretionary fund that gives taxpayer money to private businesses. The governor has discretion on when and how the funds are used. In the 90th General Assembly, this appropriation gave the Governor’s Quick Action closing fund $20 million. This appropriation increases that to $50 million. So, what has this money been spent on in the past? Conduit for Commerce has looked at how this money was spent previously in depth and can be found HERE. From that report, taxpayer money was spent on “parking/road”, “research salaries”, “investment”, “rent”, “rent reimbursement” and other projects for private companies such as $950,000 to the American Taekwondo Association. This is simply a corporate welfare slush fund. Why is $30 million MORE needed right now and where will this money be spent? What is the cost per job actually created, sustained, and not simply shifted away from an existing Arkansas company? These questions need to be asked and answered before blindly giving the governor an additional $30 million for a discretionary fund to give to private companies for questionable purposes. How does paying the rent and paving a parking lot of a private company actually provide a public benefit?

When proposing tax cuts, the Governor says it is not conservative to do so without offsetting with new tax increases. So, we ask, where are the increased revenues coming from to provide this corporate welfare to private companies ?

Healthcare

SB355: SUPPORT

Ends Obamacare Medicaid Expansion (Private Option / Arkansas Works) on December 31, 2018.

Sponsor: Sen. Bryan King (R-S5)

Clearly the federal government will soon repeal Obamacare which will impact Arkansas’ choice to implement Obamacare Medicaid Expansion now called Arkansas Works (previously the Private Option). This bill is proactive in planning and preparing Arkansas for the change SB335 ends the Obamacare Medicaid Expansion on December 31, 2018, giving time for the wind-down and eventual repeal of this port of Obamacare in Arkansas. It would transfer all persons enrolled in the Private Option/Arkansas Works program to coverage under the traditional fee-for-service Medicaid program beginning July 1, 2017 and prepares Arkansas for the coming federal changes. Until very recently with Louisiana’s expansion of Medicaid under a new Democrat governor, Arkansas was the only state in the south and only state that borders Arkansas to expand Medicaid under Obamacare. This bill ends expanded Obamacare in Arkansas.

 

Scorecard Year-To-Date

Bill #

Description Score

HB1011

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

OPPOSE

HB1018

Annexation procedures amended SUPPORT
HB1034 Licensing of hearing instrument dispensers

OPPOSE

HB1035

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

SUPPORT

HB1161 & SB119

Creates new earned income tax credit OPPOSE

HB1182

Authorizing advanced practice registered nurse recognized as primary care provider under medicaid

SUPPORT

HB1222 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 SUPPORT
HB1272 Microbrewery production caps increased

SUPPORT

HB1335

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

SUPPORT

HB1395

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

SUPPORT

HB1427

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

SUPPORT

HB1462

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

SUPPORT

HB1551

Protections against unnecessary regulation and misuse of occupational licensing SUPPORT
HJR1019 / SJR13 Loser pays tort reform; caps on punitive damage; alternative to SJR8

SUPPORT

SB101

prohibits game warden from entering private property without a warrant SUPPORT
SB102 Limits the max fine for not wearing a seatbelt to $25

SUPPORT

SB112

Income tax deduction for homeschool expenses, private school tuition SUPPORT
SB115 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; SUPPORT IF AMENDED
SB140 New Internet Sales Tax

OPPOSE

SB175

Disclosure of benefits received by government officials from medicaid providers SUPPORT
SB24 Decreases number of juvenile criminal detention facility review committees

SUPPORT

SB331

$50 million to Governor’s quick action closing fund ($30 million increase for corporate welfare) OPPOSE
SB4 & HB1010 Publishing PAC reports, exploratory committees, Independent Expenditures

SUPPORT

SB5 & HB1009

Prohibits constitutional officers from forming more than one PAC OPPOSE
SB86 Adds continuing education program for HVACR licensees

OPPOSE

SJR10

Fair Ballot Titles; 3/4th majority vote for legislative proposed constitutional amendments SUPPORT
SJR4 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

OPPOSE

 

   

 

 

Week One Scorecard

Week Two Scorecard

Week Three Scorecard

Week Four Scorecard

Week Five Scorecard

 

Purpose:

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 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.