The House Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee advanced two bills this morning. HB1033 is designed to reduce the number of Arkansans waiting for services for those with developmental disabilities.
This bill would divert $8.5 million from the tobacco settlement fund to fund the services. This money is currently not being used on any other program. Once dedicated to developmental disabilities, the money would then trigger an additional $20 million in federal funds. Currently 3,000 families are waiting for assistance. This funding is estimated to help anywhere from 500-900 patients.
The committee also advanced HB1035, the Arkansas Healthy Food Improvement Act. This bill would limit spending from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to only food and beverages with sufficient nutritional value.
The full House voted in favor of two measures addressing medical marijuana.
HB1058 strikes a line in the recently passed Medical Marijuana Amendment that states a physician must determine “the potential benefits of the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks” for the patient. It also changes the user’s registry identification card from a medical record to a physicians record.
HB1026 would push back the deadline for the state to begin accepting dispensary and cultivation facility applications. The bills moves the date from June 1 to July 1 of this year to allow agencies more time to adopt rules and regulations.
Both of these measures now head to a Senate Committee.
The House will reconvene tomorrow at 1:30pm.