Arkansas Legislature Will Convene Budget Session On Valentine’s Day

The Arkansas Legislature will convene its 2022 fiscal session on Valentine’s Day — in less than two weeks.

In 2008 voters approved Amendment 86 to the Arkansas Constitution authorizing the General Assembly to convene in even-numbered years to approve the state’s annual budget.

During odd-numbered years, lawmakers approve the state’s annual budget, but they also propose legislation amending Arkansas’ laws.

During a budget session like the one coming up on February 14, 2022, Amendment 86 lets lawmakers take up regular legislation if 2/3 of the Arkansas House and Arkansas Senate first approve a resolution authorizing introduction of a non-budget measure.

That means introducing pro-life legislation or other non-appropriation measures during a budget session first requires 67 out of 100 votes in the Arkansas House of Representatives and 24 out of 35 votes in the Arkansas Senate.

Our team is not aware of any successful effort to introduce a non-appropriation measure during a budget session since the Arkansas Legislature convened its first budget session in 2010.

Lawmakers can introduce and pass budget proposals spending taxpayer funds with a simple majority vote.

This year we really want to see lawmakers approve a state budget that will provide taxpayer funding to pregnancy resource centers.

This is something that our team has worked toward since 2018.

Many states earmark money in their budgets to provide alternatives to abortion. Oftentimes this funding comes directly from the federal government. The money can go to pregnancy resource centers that provide resources to women with unplanned pregnancies.

Pregnancy resource centers are on the front lines in the fight to provide women with options besides abortion. Many offer everything from adoption referrals to maternity clothes and diapers to ultrasounds, pregnancy tests, and counseling services—all free of charge.

Funding from the state can help them provide even more services to women and families in their communities.

Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.

AR Lawmakers File Second Texas-Style Pro-Life Bill

Above: Rep. Bentley presents pro-life legislation in the Arkansas House of Representatives in this file photo from March 3, 2021.

On Wednesday Rep. Mary Bentley (R – Perryville) and Sen. Jason Rapert (R – Conway) filed H.B. 1010, the Arkansas Human Heartbeat and Human Life Civil Justice Act, at the state legislature’s special session.

The bill appears to be virtually identical to S.B. 13 that Sen. Rapert filed on Tuesday.

H.B. 1010 is very similar to the heartbeat law that Texas passed earlier this year. Texas’ pro-life law has generally stopped abortion in that state. If passed, H.B. 1010 could stop abortions in Arkansas as well.

Here are some key facts about H.B. 1010 and S.B. 13:

  • Both bills prohibit abortion in Arkansas, except to save the life of the mother.
  • If passed, H.B. 1010 and S.B. 13 would let any Arkansas resident file a lawsuit against anyone who performs an abortion or who directly aids or abets an abortion.
  • The bills are very similar to Texas’ heartbeat law; so far Texas’ law has withstood legal challenges.
  • Both measures are very similar to Arkansas’ “trigger law” — Act 180 of 2019 — and to Act 309 of 2021 prohibiting abortion in Arkansas.
  • H.B. 1010 and S.B. 13 would not subject a woman to criminal or civil penalties for having an abortion, and they would not let a rapist file a lawsuit if his victim has an abortion.

News articles indicate that a growing number of women have travelled to Arkansas for abortions since abortion facilities in Texas closed in September. Without S.B. 13 or H.B. 1010, Arkansas could see more women cross state lines for abortions.

H.B. 1010 is a good, pro-life measure that could stop abortion in Arkansas.

You Can Read H.B. 1010 Here.

Sen. Rapert, Rep. Bentley File Texas-Style Pro-Life Measure in Arkansas

Sen. Rapert, left, filed a Texas-style pro-life law at the Arkansas Legislature on Tuesday.

On Tuesday Sen. Jason Rapert (R – Conway) and Rep. Mary Bentley (R – Perryville) filed S.B. 13, the Arkansas Human Heartbeat and Human Life Civil Justice Act.

The bill enacts pro-life legislation in Arkansas that is very similar to the heartbeat law that Texas passed earlier this year.

Texas’ pro-life law has generally stopped abortion in that state.

S.B. 13 prohibits abortion in Arkansas, except to save the life of the mother.

If passed, the bill would let any Arkansas resident file a lawsuit against anyone who performs an abortion or who directly aids or abets an abortion.

News articles indicate that since abortion facilities in Texas closed, a growing number of women have travelled to Arkansas for abortions. Without S.B. 13, Arkansas could see more women cross state lines for abortions.

S.B. 13 is a good bill that will prevent abortion in Arkansas.

You Can Read S.B. 13 Here.