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Legislative Report

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

The pace of work within the legislature has truly sped up as our committees\sessions are now meeting for several hours a day. During a typical session on the House floor, members are voting on dozens of bills each day as we inch closer to the end of this session. Many truly important bills have been held back to this point and now much is left to do.

(more…)

Legislative Report

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Monday marked the last day for members to file bills for this session. Several committees are now meeting in the morning and upon adjournment of the session in the evenings as members hear testimony on the great numbers of bills still before us. (more…)

Legislative Report

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Legislation is beginning to pick up speed at the Capitol as the General Assembly began its 5th week of the Regular Session. Our first order of business was to pass a resolution allowing us to extend the session to April 10th and come back on May 8th to correct any errors, address vetoes and take care of any unfinished business before adjournment.
(more…)

Daily Legislative Report

Friday, February 13th, 2015

Today, we wrapped up our 5th week of the Regular Session. On the House floor, members approved legislation to create a Diabetes Action Plan. Close to 10% of Arkansans have been diagnosed with diabetes. HB1267 would require the Department of Human Services and the Health Department to work together to reduce the incidence of diabetes in Arkansas and improve diabetes care.
House members also approved a bill that seeks to protect Arkansans from government policies that interfere with their right to exercise religion. HB1228 now heads to the Senate.

The House is set to reconvene on Monday at 1:30.

Daily Legislative Report

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

It was a busy morning in committees this morning as 12 bills were approved to bring to the House The Education committeee advanced a bill to require that cursive writing be taught in elementary schools. They also voted in favor of a bill to allow year-round schools to offer a 7 week vacation. The current break allowed is 6 weeks.

The Committee for Public Health, Welfare and Labor passed legislation to create a diabetes action plan. This would require the Department of Human Services to present a report to the legislature of the number of Arkansans with diabetes and the financial toll this disease has on our state. It would also identify ways to reduce its impact.
(more…)

Daily Legislative Report

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

The 90th General Assembly began its 5th week of the Regular Session, Monday. The morning was filled with various meetings. Our first order of business in the session was to pass a resolution allowing us to extend the session to April 10th for recess and come back on May 8th for adjournment – if work progresses as planned.
(more…)

Daily Legislative Report

Friday, February 6th, 2015

With a vote of 80-16 and 3 members voting present, the House passed a bill that is aimed at reforming health care in Arkansas.
Senate Bill 96 effectively ends what has been termed as the “Private Option” in December 2016 and creates a task force which will study and present findings for health care reform by the end of this year. (more…)

Daily Legislative Update

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

The bill which would create a task force to study the future of health care reform in Arkansas is now heading to the House Floor. The Public Health, Welfare, and Labor Committee voted in favor of SB96 requiring a taskforce to make recommendations regarding the future of Medicaid in Arkansas by the end of 2015. The current program is extended until the end of 2016.

(more…)

Legislative Report

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

As the second week of the 90th General Assembly progressed, the House passed a number of budget bills to fund various boards and commissions.

Other bills passed in the House included a measure to ensure county clerks use profits from property sales conducted by their office for administrative and operational costs. We also passed legislation to extend liability exemptions to Pre-K programs and a bill allowing the Department of Higher Education to hold scholarships, including the Governor’s Scholars program, for up to 24 months for students who encounter certain circumstances, such as illnesses, and cannot immediately go to college.

(more…)

Daily Legislative Report

Monday, January 26th, 2015

State seal(Last report from last week.)

Hopefully a hurtle has now been overcome. In a speech delivered at UAMS, Governor Hutchinson asked the legislature to fund the Private Option through the end of 2016. He will also be creating a health reform task force to make recommendations for the future of health care in our state by the end of this year. The Private Option currently insures over 200,000 Arkansans.

(more…)

Daily Legislative Report

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

State sealThis is Rep. Sheilla Lampkin reporting from the 90th session of the Arkansas House of Representatives. More than 100 bills have now been filed in the House and agendas for committee meeting are getting longer as we head into our second week of the Regular Session.

(more…)

Daily Legislative Report

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

State sealThis is Rep. Sheilla Lampkin reporting from the session of the Arkansas House of Representatives. More than 100 bills have now been filed in the House and agendas for committee meeting are getting longer as we head into our second week of the Regular Session.

(more…)

Legislative Report

Friday, January 16th, 2015

Greetings in this first week of the 90th General Assembly! Last week was a quieter week at the Capitol compared to the usual amount of activity. Tuesday I was honored to set up and facilitate a meeting between several Delta school superintendents and Dr. Gene Bottoms and Dave Spence, both representing the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), to discuss new strategies to be launched in these schools to increase their math and literacy test scores. (more…)

Legislative Report from Wednesday

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

State sealOn our third day of the session committees are now beginning to organize. In our Agri Committee we even considered and passed our first bill. It was a cleanup bill striking and clarifying some language in a bill that clarifies qualifications for members of the State Parks, Recreation and Travel Commission.
(more…)

In Memory, Tommy Matthews

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

imageMonticello and Drew County lost a dear friend and longtime resident this past Saturday. In fact he was the kind of man who symbolized the spirit of our people. That humble, kind, generous, loving man was Tommy Matthews. Many of you will remember him as the principal of W. C. Whaley Elementary School on North Main for 23 years.

(more…)

Legislative Report

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Greetings! Before I begin this weekly report, I want to extend an invitation to each of you. I’d like to encourage each of you to make a trip to Little Rock to see the lighting at our Arkansas Capitol. It is a blue-white illusion to the majesty and grace of the holidays.

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Legislative Report

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

I hope your Thanksgiving activities were happy, healthy, wise and fun!! Even though it was a short week at the Legislature, it was a busy one as usual – if you put your “all” into it.
Last Monday we resumed a previous hearing on the prison overcrowding situation in Arkansas. Presently state prisons are over their 14,319-person capacity with 15,286 prisoners incarcerated. There are another 2,473 inmates backlogged at county jails that are costing county sheriffs across the state about $80,000 a day.
(more…)

Legislative Report

Monday, November 10th, 2014

greetings! First of all, I want to thank each of you who voted to return me to my seat in the Arkansas House of Representatives in January for the 90th General Assembly. I respect your confidence and will honor that confidence and work hard to represent you to the best of my abilities, listen to your concerns and work fulltime as your representative. (more…)

Legislative Report

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Hello! This is a busy time at the Arkansas Legislature during these days of budget hearings. As I stated earlier, Arkansas has about 220 commissions, boards, departments and agencies and each must provide reports on their present financial status and a summary of their budget requests for the next biennial to the Joint Budget Committees. (more…)

Legislative Report

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Greetings! Did you get enough rain over the weekend? We got 4.2 inches Friday night and a good shower Saturday! I hated that it rained most of the Wiggins Cabin Festival out though!
In our first week of pre-session budget hearings we heard reports, proposals and requests from over 30 state boards (of the approximately 220 total boards and agencies). These boards oversee everything from the medical profession to embalmers to vehicle towing operations.
(more…)

Legislative Report

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

Greetings! We’ve had another issue-laden week at the Legislature.

Last week the joint education committees briefly discussed options for raising the minimum starting teacher salary in Arkansas public schools to $31,000. Figures of $2.35 to $6.86 million were the cost estimates given by the Bureau of Legislative Research (BLR). (The minimum starting salary for new teachers with a bachelor’s degree and no experience is currently $29, 244.)

(more…)

Legislative Report – Minimum Wage Vote Update

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

Greetings! It was a quiet week in the Legislature this week, mostly due to the Labor Day holidays. Of course, much conversation is still ongoing regarding health care, broadband and education among other top issues under consideration.
In another context, Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin has announced that the proposed amendment to raise Arkansas’ minimum wage will be on the general election ballot in November.

(more…)

Legislative Report

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Greetings! We have had some interesting “discussions” in the House this week, but first I want to share with you notes about the grain company failures in east Arkansas recently. The problems began when some farmers began to realize they would/had not received payments for the grain they had placed in some grain bins for sale later.

(more…)

Legislative Report

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

This has been a truly interesting week filled with joy and headache and heartache, but that’s life, isn’t it? I’ll start with some good news and potential joyous news. Not only has Monticello acquired a new pellet plant, but rumors say more could be in store. Warren has had a new industry move into an old chicken processing plant with its 100 jobs and again there may be more to come there. (more…)

Legislative Report

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Greetings!! What a fun week I’ve had – most of it! My week began with an informational meeting to discuss a study of the broadband delivery system to Arkansas’ public schools (k-12).

(more…)

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