Weekly Column from the Arkansas House of Representatives 2-25-22

Little Rock – The House will begin the 3rd week of the 2022 Fiscal Session on Monday. The second week was an abbreviated one due to the federal holiday and winter weather across the state.

In addition to several appropriation bills, the House also passed the following pieces of legislation this week:

SB87-This bill establishes coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of morbid obesity under the State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Program.

SB86-This bill establishes a funding mechanism to ensure the solvency of the State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Program by directing the Employee Benefits Division to aim for a reserve balance of 14% of expenses.

SB85-This bill clarifies the definition of “eligible inactive retiree” to participate in the State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Program.

SB88-This bill modifies the state contribution to the State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Program.

This completes our work on a package of bills we elected to take up during this Fiscal Session to ensure the health insurance plan for state and public school employees and retirees remains financially stable without reducing benefits.

On Tuesday, the House approved an amendment to HB1034, an appropriation for the Department of Corrections. The amendment adds $4.5 million to be used for employees overtime pay.

The House also approved an amendment to HB1067, an appropriation for the Division of Career and Technical Education. The amendment adds approximately $1.4 million for vocational training.

The Joint Budget Committee is working to complete the review and votes of the remaining budget bills in the upcoming week. The bill filing deadline for the 2022 Fiscal Session is February 28.

The House will reconvene on Monday, February 28, at noon. You can watch all committee meetings and House proceedings at www.arkansashouse.org.

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