Legislative Roundup: Guns Become Automatic Issue With General Assembly

by Mark Carter  on Monday, Feb. 25, 2013 12:00 am  

Sue Scott

Biviano’s district includes Harding University, the state’s largest private institution of higher learning.

Voter ID

Arkansas voters would be required to show photo identification in order to cast a ballot under a bill that passed the Senate last week and now heads to the House.

Senate Bill 2 by Sen. Bryan King, R-Green Forest, would require voters who couldn’t provide a photo ID to cast provisional ballots. Exceptions would be made for residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

The bill would require the state to provide photo IDs free of charge and wouldn’t take effect until money was available to pay for the cost of providing them.

Abortions

Lawmakers continued to debate abortion bills last week and on Thursday sent a bill to Beebe that would outlaw most abortions at or after 20 weeks gestation.

It would provide exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother. Beebe, as of Thursday, has not indicated whether he would sign or veto the measure introduced by Rep. Andy Mayberry, R-Hensley.

Meanwhile, the 12-week abortion ban bill by Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Conway, was sent back to House committee by Carter over objections concerning the voice vote in the House Public Health Committee.

Elsewhere in the Legislature

• The Arkansas Economic Development Commission on Thursday submitted documents to state lawmakers related to the proposed state deal with Big River Steel to bring a $1 billion steel mill to Osceola. Per Amendment 82, lawmakers had 20 days beginning Thursday to conduct a cost-benefit analysis and provide their approval — or not — for the project.

• The Senate voted to expand from one to two years a ban of former lawmakers becoming lobbyists and also voted to include former constitutional officers and judges among those who must wait to lobby. The proposal heads to the full House.

• The full House and a Senate committee OK'ed changes to the state's lottery scholarship funding formula last week. Currently, lottery scholarship recipients receive $4,500 per year if enrolled in a state four-year college or university and $2,250 per year if enrolled in a state two-year college. The new proposal would provide $2,000 per year to all two-year students and $2,000 for freshmen at four-year schools increasing by $1,000 each school year and capped at $5,000 for seniors.

 

 

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