Conduit for Action Final Legislative Scorecard

Conduit for Action Legislative Session Scorecard:

Final Legislative Scorecard

Note: The 91st General Assembly is expected to recess for the regular session on Friday, March 31. This final scorecard includes bills not originally scored, including those filed as shell bills around the filing deadline which may since been amended. For a full list of bills on the Conduit for Action scorecard please see the below chart.



An ethics bill to clarify the law to specifically prohibit lawyers and “consultants” from running bills for their clients

Sponsors: Sen. Linda Collins-Smith (R-S19), Sen. Terry Rice (R-S9)

This bill would specifically prohibit a legislator from getting paid to appear before the Senate/House, committee or task force, or joint committee or task force of the General Assembly. While there is currently a prohibition on “lobbying” for compensation, there is a potential for a loophole to avoid this prohibition by the attorney/consultant simply contracting out any “lobbying” of a bill for a client. So, a legislator could be receiving compensation from their clients, but this compensation does not cover any “lobbying” efforts, so they would technically not be violating the law. This bill aims to make it clear that being paid to run bills for a client is prohibited, and to close any loopholes to get around the current ethics laws. Some opponents of the law believe this is already the law and not needed. Those legislators should vote yes if they have no objection with the prohibition since this just clarifies and specifically closes any loopholes.


Disclosure of consulting/retainer fees paid to legislators on statements of financial interest

Sponsor: Rep. Michelle Gray (R-H62) / Sen. Bart Hester (R-S1)

This bill would require legislators who receive consulting or retainer fees to disclose them on their statement of financial interest. The disclosure statement requires the names of the parties involved in the consulting/retainer fee transactions, the date of the fee transaction, and a brief description of the consulting/retainer free transaction. These additional disclosures should provide more transparency in government and allow the public to better vet their legislators and who are paying them.



Civil asset forfeiture reform

Sponsor: Sen. Linda Collins-Smith (R-S19)

This bill would cut down on “civil asset forfeiture” by law enforcement. “Civil asset forfeiture” is the taking of property, such as a car, cash, or other personal property if law enforcement believes it has been used in the furtherance of a crime. There is NO hearing or true due process rights afforded a person because their assets are seized before they face trial for a suspected crime. This bill would require that a finding of guilt occur before a person’s assets can be seized by law enforcement. This will protect presumed innocent people to keep their property until they are found guilty of a crime. This is a protection for personal property rights and is thus pro-economic freedom. The law would shrink the government’s authority over people’s private property until they have had their day in court.



Repeals prevailing wage law

Sponsor: Sen. Bart Hester (R-S1)

This bill will repeal the “prevailing wage” law in Arkansas. The “prevailing wage” is used for labor wages on state and local government projects and higher education projects in excess of $75,000. The Arkansas Department of Labor determines, based on surveys of projects in a location, what the prevailing wage is for labor in construction projects. This wage is then used to pay for construction labor. Instead of allowing individual projects to freely contract with a third party, the government dictates what a wage will be. This is anti-free market and on average inflates prices compared to similar private industry projects. This bill would fully repeal the law that mandates the prevailing wage and should lead to decreased labor costs on public projects. This should see an overall reduction in government spending on these public contracts due to the reduced wage costs.


Requirement to adopt the least restrictive rules in reciprocity licensing

Sponsor: Rep. Jim Dotson (R-H93)

This bill would allow for better reciprocity laws on licensing when a person has previously been credentialed/licensed in another state to come work in Arkansas without burdensome licensing, registration, or certification requirements. This is a good de-regulation bill that will allow for people to move to the state and begin working sooner. Specifically, the bill would require that a licensing entity shall “adopt the least restrictive requirements for licensing, registration, or certification” for a person who shows they were previously registered, licensed, or certified similarly in another state. A one-year “temporary reciprocal” license would be granted by presenting evidence of a current and active licensure in another state. It would also guard against excessive and added educational or training requirements for a licensure when that person was adequately licensed/trained in another state in the similar profession. There are numerous exemptions for licensing boards, committees, etc. who already have their own reciprocity licensing requirements. This bill should promote economic freedom and could attract people to come to Arkansas and go to work instead of being delayed to get licensing requirements met when that person is already qualified to do the job they are seeking a license for. Excessive occupational licensing hurts job growth. This bill to reduce excessive occupational license should promote job growth. It also promotes pillar 2 of the Conduit for Action Economic Freedom Filter by reducing the dependency on government. People would no longer be dependent on waiting on the government to grant them permission to engage in their profession when they are likely already qualified to do so and limits their influence on a person’s employment opportunities.

State Agencies


Provides a discount on college tuition for state employees and their dependents

Sponsor: Rep Scott Baltz (R-H61)

This bill would allow a full time or part time state employee or one vested in a retirement plan to receive a 10% discount on the tuition rate charged for in-state residents. This discount would also apply for the dependents (children) of state employees. It also grants authority to state higher education institutions who “may” grant even greater reduced tuition rates for state employees. This bill is fundamentally unfair to those in the private sector and their children. Someone who gets so many benefits from government already should not be given even more benefits at the expense of others. The tuition not charged at the full rate for state employees and their dependents would have to either be made up elsewhere with increase tuition costs overall or provide less services. This bill increases the dependency on government and could lead to higher tuition rates to cover these discounts given to state employees and their dependents.

Scorecard To Date

Bill #

Description Score
HB1011 prohibiting PAC-to-PAC contributions



prohibiting PAC-to-Candidate contributions OPPOSE
HB1018 Annexation procedures amended



Licensing of hearing instrument dispensers OPPOSE
HB1035 Restricts use of SNAP benefits to the purchase of foods with sufficient nutritional value



Exempts hate offense litigation in an employer-employee relationship SUPPORT
HB1161 & SB119 Creates new earned income tax credit



Authorizing advanced practice registered nurse recognized as primary care provider under medicaid SUPPORT
HB1222 School Choice and Education Savings Accounts



Reduction of income tax rates if revenue from those rates is greater than 3% from the previous year SUPPORT
HB1267 Tire fee increases and waste tire program



Microbrewery production caps increased SUPPORT
HB1335 Allows annexed landowners to vote to get out of annexation



Prohibits seat belt violations as only cause for stopping a vehicle SUPPORT
HB1395 Income tax credit for small businesses hiring recently returned veterans



Unemployment tax cut and incentives to seek employment SUPPORT
HB1427 requiring electronic filing of campaign finance reports; provides searchable database for campaign contributions



Personal and family finance class requirement for public school graduation SUPPORT
HB1462 Restricts SNAP benefits waiver requests; protects current SNAP benefits work requirement



Freezes Obamacare Medicaid Expansion (Private Option, Arkansas Works) enrollment SUPPORT
HB1551 Protections against unneccessary regulation and misuse of occupational licensing



Appropriation for new voting machines SUPPORT
HB1704 GIF Appropriation bill



Required registration for those selling dogs or cats; criminal penalties for regulation violations OPPOSE
HB1726 Puts full 6.5% state sales tax on wholesale gas purchases;



issuing of bonds for funding of highway projects OPPOSE
HB1757 Requires “off-premises” caterers to register with the state and mandates insurance coverage requirements



Repeals the corporate franchise tax and filing requirement SUPPORT
HB1898 Provides a discount on college tuition for state employees and their dependents



Disclosure of consulting/retainer fees on statements of financial interest SUPPORT
HJR1019 / SJR13 Loser pays tort reform; capts on punitive damage; alternative to SJR8



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



Income tax deduction for homeschool expenses, private school tuition SUPPORT
SB115 Reduces income tax rates on lowest tax bracket; creates Tax Reform Task Force


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



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



$50 million to Governor’s quick action closing fund ($30 million increase for corporate welfare) OPPOSE
SB355 Ends Obamacare Medicaid Expansion (Private Option / Arkansas Works) on Dec. 31, 2018



Repeals InvestArk; phases in sales tax exemption on purchases for manufacturing equipment repair parts SUPPORT
SB373 FOIA exemption for government attorney-client privilege and work product


SB4 & HB1010

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



Negotiation authority for lower bids for state contracts SUPPORT
SB5 & HB1009 Prohibits constitutional officers from forming more than one PAC



Requires school board elections be part of the general election SUPPORT
SB512 Requires state agencies to repeal at least one rule for each new rule they propose



More flexibility on supervision of apprentice plumbers SUPPORT
SB524 Increases rules violation penalties; outlaws payments for HVACR work done without a license; new criminal penalties imposed on non-payment of fines.



Civil asset forfeiture reform SUPPORT
SB601 Repeals prevailing wage law



Scaling back Special Interest Special Elections SUPPORT
SB726 An ethics bill to clarify the la to specifically prohibit lawyers and “consultants” from running bills for their clients



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

Session – To – Date Review 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.