The House and Senate met in a rare Saturday session last week, in an effort to complete the Legislature’s business by April 19th. The Senate approved what is being called the “private option” of Medicaid expansion. It will go to the House this week for consideration. Governor Beebe supports the bill. This bill labeled the “private option” would use federal funds to pay for private health insurance that low income families will have to purchase anyway under the federal ACA.

The House passed a bill that would allow dairy farmers to sell up to an average of 500 gallons of unpasteurized milk per month. Sellers would be required to post signs and put labels on the bottles that say the milk is unpasteurized, has not been inspected by the Health Department and that the consumer assumes all liability for health problems that may arise from drinking it. The bill goes to the Senate. Sen. Bill 719 passed the Senate that would create a unit that would investigate any complaint of election irregularity or alleged violation of election law that has been filed with the state Board of Election Commissioners. The Senate State Agencies Committee approved a bill that would create nonpartisan elections for prosecuting attorneys. The Senate sent to the Governor a bill that would force lottery financed scholarship recipients to forfeit the remainder of their scholarships if they fail to earn any academic credit hours in a semester in which they received a scholarship. The Senate approved Senate Bill 1115 that would make cyber bullying of a school employee a class A misdemeanor. Last week the Legislature over rode the veto of Governor Beebe of the Voter ID veto which now becomes law.

If you would like to contact me please email me at bruce.holland@senate.ar.gov or call my office at 650-1884 or write me at P.O. Box 2387 Greenwood, AR. 72936.