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Arkansas may pass significant legislation next week



Little Rock, Arkansas – Since the Senate is anticipated to pass a number of significant bills on Monday, the Arkansas General Assembly is moving forward at top speed.

Here’s a look at what’s on the Senate calendar:

SB71— To prohibit discrimination or preferential treatment by the State of Arkansas and other public entities.
• What it means: It’s described as prohibiting discrimination or preferential treatment by the state. In it, the bill removes mentions of “minority” and “civil rights.” Instead, it refers to equal and non-discrimination hiring. Anything that promoted retention plans for minority races or ethnicities has been stricken.
HB1161— To create the support for Pregnant and Parenting Students Act.
• What it means: A bill by Democrats to support pregnant and parenting students could become law soon. This bill introduces excused absences related to pregnancy or parenting, allows for the make-up of missed work, and requires schools to make accommodations for lactating students.
HB1196— To modify the requirements for public housing and to create the Housing Welfare Reform Act of 2023.
• What it means: This bill would impose work requirements on those receiving public housing benefits. The bill is backed by Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders and would require any able-bodied person receiving government assistance to work at least 20 hours a week.

Final votes are anticipated for each of these bills.

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