LEGAL CORNER Constitutional amendments filed

in the 2021 Regular Session of the 93rd General Assembly

three of these amendments during this regular session. Tis article provides a brief synopsis of the constitutional amend- ments that were filed, 25 in the House and 18 in the Senate, some of which are companion or mirror bills, as indicated.


HJR1001/SJR10 — Rep. Fran Cavenaugh (R), Sen. Bre- anne Davis (R); To authorize the General Assembly to call a special session by a joint proclamation of the Speaker of the House and President Pro Tempore of the Senate.

HJR1002 — Rep. David Tollett (R); To remove the require- ment that a school millage appear on the ballot of an annual school election if there is no change to the current millage rate.

HJR1003 — Rep. Michelle Gray (R), Sen. James Sturch

(R); To lower the minimum population threshold of a city from 5,000 to 1,000 for purposes of filing a petition to levy a tax to construct and/or maintain a library.

HJR1004 — Rep. Stephen Meeks (R); To allow the General Assembly to reduce or eliminate personal property taxes or to create exemptions for personal property taxes; to eliminate personal property taxes by 2047; to repeal the requirement that real and personal property be taxed at the same rate; to allow tax levies to provide for public libraries by local election to apply to personal property, real property, or both.

HJR1005 — Rep. David Ray (R), Sen. Bart Hester (R);

To require a 60 percent approval by the General Assembly to refer a constitutional amendment for a vote of the people; To require a 60 percent approval by vote of the people to approve a constitutional amendment by referendum or initiative.

HJR1006 — Rep. Fran Cavenaugh (R); To create a petition

procedure for recall of certain elected officials, including state constitutional officers, members of the General Assembly, and judicial officers. It does not apply to county, district, or town- ship officials.

HJR1007 — Rep. Fred Love (D); To create a Citizens Commission on Minimum Wage to have sole authority over


he deadline for members of the Arkansas Gen- eral Assembly to file constitutional amendments to be referred to a vote of the people was Feb. 10, 2021. Te General Assembly may pass up to

amending the minimum wage in Arkansas. Te General Assembly would have no authority to amend the minimum wage.

HJR1008 — Rep DeAnn Vaught

(R); To require that ballot initiatives and referendums be approved by 60 percent rather than a sim- ple majority.

HJR1009 — Rep. Jim Dotson (R); To rename the State

Highway Commission to the State Transportation Commis- sion; to strip the commission of its autonomy and to provide increased legislative oversight over the Commission; to ap- point a Secretary of Transportation rather than Director of Highways, whose duties would be prescribed by the General Assembly rather than the Commission.

HJR 1010 — Rep. Joe Cloud (R); To retroactively remove the authority of the Arkansas Racing Commission to issue a casino license in Pope County.

HJR1011 — Rep. Joe Cloud (R); To make approval of a casino license in Pope County contingent upon a local option election by submission of a petition of 10 percent of qualified electors of the county.

HJR1012 — Rep. John Payton (R); To revise the duties of

certain constitutional officers (this is currently a shell bill). HJR1013 — Rep. John Payton (R); To revise the duties of

certain constitutional officers (this is currently a shell bill). HJR1014/SJR8 — Rep. Lee Johnson (R), Sen. Missy Irvin

(R); To authorize the General Assembly to set limits on pu- nitive and noneconomic damages that may be awarded to a claimant in actions for injury to persons or property (a version of “tort reform”).

HJR1015/SJR7 — Rep. Jim Dotson (R), Sen. Bob Ball- inger (R); To authorize the General Assembly, by a three-fifths vote, to prescribe rules of pleading, practice, procedure, and evidence for all courts of law; these rules would supersede any conflicting rules passed by the Arkansas Supreme Court.


LINDSEY FRENCH General Counsel

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