Among the pieces of legislation advancing from the House this week are measures which will impact elections, rental agreements, and veteran services,

On Monday, the House passed a bill to change the date of primary elections and fiscal sessions in Arkansas.

HB1707 would move permanently move the preferential primary from May to the first Tuesday in March.

The bill also moves the date of fiscal sessions for the General Assembly from the second Monday in February to the second Wednesday in April. Fiscal sessions are held in even-numbered years only.

The House also passed HB1166 which allows a tenant to terminate a lease agreement if the residential landlord fails to provide heating and air conditioning (if provided when signing the lease), functioning electricity, potable water, and a sanitary sewer system.

The House passed HB2198, which allows the Department of Veteran Affairs to create a data collection system to locate veterans and military families living in Arkansas. The information would be used to make sure they have access to information and resources available to them.

As the 2017 Regular Session is winding to a close, members are directing their attention to the budget for the next fiscal year.

Arkansas’s budget process is rather unique. The budget is enacted by the Revenue Stabilization Act (RSA). The RSA provides the mechanism for distributing the state’s revenue and is amended each year to reflect the actual budget. By law, Arkansas cannot pass a budget with a deficit. RSA is what keeps us operating in the black.

Any appropriation not funded by RSA is essentially null and void. Although, it is needed for appropriations to become effective, RSA itself is not an appropriation bill.

Throughout the session we have been passing appropriation bills based upon needs we heard during the fall budget hearings.

Before we adjourn, we must pass the RSA to fund appropriations. By law, the proposed budget must be given to the members three (3) days before we are asked to vote on the legislation.

As soon as the budget is given to us, the House will post the proposal on our website