Week 8: Part 2 Legislative Scorecard

Conduit for Action Legislative Session Weekly Scorecard:

Week 8: Part 2 – March 6 – March 10, 2017

Note: There was a flurry of bill filings in the state legislature this past week as the filing deadline for bills is Monday, March 6. The Conduit for Action Legislative scorecard will be split into parts this week to make sure all relevant bills are covered in depth, while also delivered in an easy to read format.



Scaling back Special Interest Special Elections

Sponsor: Sen. David Wallace (R-S22) / Rep. Justin Gonzales (R-H19)

Currently, there are various special elections taking place all over the state at all different times of the year. This leads to less voter turnout for votes on very specific issues such as tax increases or controversial issues. This has allowed tax increases to pass with just a small minority of people who actually cast a vote on the issue. This bill would scale back when special elections can take place to assure a more informed public and to have higher voter turnout on such important issues. Under this bill, most special elections would occur on either the primary date or general election date in election years, OR the second Tuesday in May or second Tuesday in (effectively the same dates of a primary election or general election in even years). This would also save local governments thousands of dollars they have to expend to oversee a special election. Having these issues voted on at the same time as a general election or primary election would bring added savings to a city or county. Special elections to fill vacancies in office would not have to be held on these dates since the more immediate necessity of filling a vacancy may make that impractical. This bill would guard against special interest special elections, promote more voter participation, and save the taxpayer money.



Repeals the corporate franchise tax and filing requirement

Sponsor: Rep. Jim Dotson (R-H93)

This bill would repeal the franchise tax (capitol stock tax) and no longer require persons to file annual franchise tax reports. Only 16 states currently have a similar franchise tax. This repeal would save taxpayers $24.5 million in the first fiscal year after implementation according to estimates from the Department of Finance and Administration. According to the Tax Foundation, “Arkansas’s tax rate is the second highest in the country trailing only Connecticut. Capital stock taxes (franchise tax) create sizable disincentives to capital formation and corporate wealth accumulation, yet they raise very little revenue. The last three fiscal years, Arkansas’s franchise tax has only raised about $26 million, or roughly 0.2% of all taxes collected in the state.” This bill to repeal the franchise tax could lead to shrinking of government and provide more economic prosperity and freedom to those taxpayers affected by the franchise tax and required to file an annual report.


Scorecard Year-To-Date

Bill #




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



Annexation procedures amended SUPPORT
HB1034 Licensing of hearing instrument dispensers



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


HB1161 & SB119

Creates new earned income tax credit OPPOSE
HB1182 Authorizing advanced practice registered nurse recognized as primary care provider under medicaid



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



Tire tax OPPOSE
HB1272 Microbrewery production caps increased



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



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



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



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



Protections against unneccessary regulation and misuse of occupational licensing SUPPORT
HB1700 Appropriation for new voting machines



GIF Appropriation bill OPPOSE
HB1717 Required registration for those selling dogs or cats; criminal penalties for regulation violations



Puts full 6.5% state sales tax on wholesale gas purchases; OPPOSE
HB1727 issuing of bonds for funding of highway projects



Requires “off-premises” caterers to register with the state and mandates insurance coverage requirements OPPOSE
HB1789 Repeals the corporate franchise tax and filing requirement


HJR1019 / SJR13

Loser pays tort reform; capts on punitive damage; alternative to SJR8 SUPPORT
SB101 prohibits game warden from entering private property without a warrant



Limits the max fine for not wearing a seatbelt to $25 SUPPORT
SB112 Income tax deduction for homeschool expenses, private school tuition



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;



New Internet Sales Tax OPPOSE
SB175 Disclosure of benefits received by government officials from medicaid providers



Decreases number of juvenile criminal detentiuon facility review committees SUPPORT
SB331 $50 million to Governor’s quick action closing fund ($30 million increase for corporate welfare)



Ends Obamacare Medicaid Expansion (Private Option / Arkansas Works) on Dec. 31, 2018 SUPPORT
SB362 Repeals InvestArk; phases in sales tax exemption on purchases for manufacturing equipment repair parts


SB4 & HB1010

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



SB5 & HB1009

Prohibits constitutional officers from forming more than one PAC



Requires school board elections be part of the general election



Requires state agencies to repeal at least one rule for each new rule they propose SUPPORT
SB514 More flexibility on supervision of apprentice plumbers



Increases rules violation penalties; outlaws payments for HVACR work done without a license; new criminal penalties imposed on non-payment of fines. OPPOSE
SB723/HB2162 Scaling back Special Interest Special Elections



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


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.