Conduit for Action Weekly Scorecard

During the 91st General Assembly regular legislative session, Conduit for Action (CFA) will be tracking relevant bills in the legislature and will be scoring them. 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 allows 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 bills that are likely to come up in committee and for a vote that week. After the legislative session, CFA will then select from these bills for a final scorecard to use for their annual Calvin Coolidge Heroes of Freedom awards for those individual legislators scoring the highest in promoting economic freedom and liberty for individuals and small businesses.

The purpose for this scoring of votes weekly is to educate the people of Arkansas on upcoming votes and how they may affect economic freedom and liberty for individuals and small businesses, and to educate legislators on where Conduit for Action stands on various bills.

Conduit for Action Weekly Scorecard: January 17 – January 20

Campaign Finance

Conduit for Action is on record for supporting electronic filing of all election, lobbyist, PAC and other financial disclosure information to let the public readily see financial support for candidates. While the data is currently available for most reports, it is difficult to piece together without an electronic database. While CFA does support full financial disclosure for campaign reports, CFA opposes restrictions on free speech in elections. CFA supports person’s rights to engage in free speech in whatever legal form and to the extent they wish to engage.

SB4/HB1010: Publishing PAC reports, exploratory committees, independent expenditures


Sponsor: Sen. Keith Ingram (D-S24)/Rep. Warwick Sabin (D-H33)  Status: S/H-State Agencies/Governmental Affairs

This bill will allow the public to be better informed on where the money is coming from when calling for the election or defeat of a candidate for public office and therefore increases transparency in government. This bill will require PACs, exploratory committees, independent expenditure committees, and personal loan reports to be published and posted on the Arkansas Secretary of State’s website. CFA would also support an Amendment requiring reports to be filed in an electronic form to incorporate into a searchable database.

HB1011: prohibiting PAC-to-PAC contributions


Sponsor: Rep. Warwick Sabin (D-H33)      Status: H-State Agencies and Governmental Affairs

This bill would prohibit PACs to contribute to other PACs.

HB1012: prohibiting PAC-to-Candidate contributions


Sponsor: Rep. Warwick Sabin (D-H33)      Status: H-State Agencies and Governmental Affairs

This bill would effectively eliminate the ability of small businesses and other entities to engage in free speech in Arkansas as it relates to elections. Currently, a small business cannot give in the businesses’ name to political campaigns. Instead, they give through political action committees to engage in free speech in elections. This bill would effectively limit candidate contributions to individuals and political parties. CFA will always oppose measures that limit a person’s free speech in politics.

SB5/HB1009: Prohibits constitutional officers from forming more than one PAC


Sponsor: Sen. Keith Ingram (D-S24)/Rep. Greg Leding (D-H86)        Status: S/H-State Agencies and Governmental Affairs

This bill would limit constitutional officers from forming more than one PAC. CFA believes the opportunity for free speech should apply to all persons equally with no special exceptions that would diminish constitutional officer’s free speech.

Tax Legislation

SB115: Reduces income tax rates on lowest tax bracket; creates Tax Reform Task Force


Sponsor: Sen. Jim Hendren (R-S2)             Status: S-Revenue and Taxation

CFA fully supports the income tax rate decrease called for in this bill. CFA does not support the Task Force this bill creates. A purpose of the general assembly is to come together, debate, and pass or oppose legislation. It is not to come together and shift policy making to a select task force when the legislature can adequately and fully address true tax reform during the legislative session. Tax and Revenue committees are already established in the legislature to address tax and revenue issues. This bill will relieve the legislature as a whole of their duty to address tax reform, and spends more money to set up a task force.

SB120: Governor’s tax plan


Sponsor: Sen. Jane English (R-S34)

CFA fully supports an income tax exemption for veteran and survivor retirement benefits. CFA fully supports the passage of SB13, an income tax exemption for veteran retirement benefits and survivor benefits. This bill increases taxes on unemployment compensation. The bill hurts consumers at the checkout counter where candy and soft drinks will now have the full sales tax applied against them, rather than the reduced grocery tax rate applied. This tax increase on consumers comes with a tax decrease on soft-drink syrup producers. CFA would be willing to fully support this bill if the tax increases are removed.

For more information on SB120, please read CFA’s recent article on the issue HERE.

SB13: Income tax exemption for retirement benefits and survivor benefits –


Sponsor: Sen. Jane English (R-S34)            Status: S-Revenue and Taxation Committee

SB112: Income tax deduction for homeschool expenses, private school tuition


Sponsor: Sen. Jane English (R-S34)            Status: S-Revenue and Taxation Committee

Creates an income tax exemption for homeschooling, private school tuition, and required public school expenses such as uniforms, textbooks, and school supplies. This incentivizes an alternative to traditional government schools providing an alternative for academic success for Arkansas’ next generation work force.


HB1126: Exempts hate offense litigation in an employer-employee relationship


Sponsor: Rep. Charlie Collins (R-H84)       Status: H-Judiciary Committee

This bill would exempt civil actions arising from the employer-employee relationship from the general hate offense statute under the Arkansas Civil Rights Act. This would allow all employer and employee disputes to be handled under the more appropriate provisions of Arkansas law specific to alleged discrimination in employment settings.

SB86: Adds continuing education program for HVACR licensees


Sponsor: Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson (R-S33)   Status: S-Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee

This bill would add a continuing education program through the HVACR (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration) Licensing Board. HVACR licensees would have to complete the continuing education program annually. CFA favor less regulations. Therefore, a new continuing education regulation would take HVACR licensees away from their practice to obtain continuing education hours. In a free market, a business providing outdated or incompetent HVACR services would stop getting business.

Personal Freedoms

SB102: Limits the max fine for not wearing a seatbelt to $25.00


Sponsor: Sen. Terry Rice (R-S9)   Status: S-Judiciary Committee

Property Legislation

HB1018 – Annexation procedures amended


Sponsor: Rep. Bruce Cozart (R-H24)          Status: H-City, County, and Local Affairs Committee

This bill changes the law that annexation of unincorporated land fully surrounded by incorporated land can only be annexed by an election. Previously an ordinance from a city and corresponding notice requirements could annex the land without an election being held. This will allow the landowners an opportunity to organize and oppose an annexation of their property into an incorporated municipality if they so wish.


SB24: Decreases number of juvenile criminal detention facility review committees


Sponsor: Sen. Blake Johnson (R-S20) / Rep. Brandt Smith (R-H58)               Status: S-Judiciary Committee

This bill would reduce the number of juvenile criminal detention facility review committees down to eight (8). Previously there was a review committee for every judicial district in the state. This would cut down on the number of committees, the number of people on the committees, and therefore the money spent towards those.

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