The House State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee advanced legislation that will allow a former prison facility to be transferred to a non-profit group helping veterans.
The Arkansas Department of Community Correction owns the former site of the Southeast Arkansas Community Correction Center in Pine Bluff. The facility has been vacant since 2015, but there are costs to maintain the site.
HB1249 would allow the agency to donate the building to a non-profit group serving veterans released from incarceration. According to testimony in committee, there are currently 1,200 veterans house in the Department of Correction. There was testimony in committee that this new facility could also assist homeless veterans and those returning from war zones.
The legislation states the transfer must be approved by the Governor.
The State Agencies Committee also passed legislation changing the date for run-off elections of county and municipal offices. Currently, run-off elections are held three weeks following the date of the general election. HB1246 extends it to four weeks after the general election.
The House Agriculture, Forestry, and Economic Development Committee passed HB1264. This legislation allows a chiropractor, who is trained to work with animals, to provide services to animals without the immediate supervision of a veterinarian.
The House Insurance and Commerce Committee advanced a bill changing the financial reporting date for charitable organizations. Currently, charitable organizations must file financial reports with the Secretary of State’s office on August 1st of every year. HB1247 changes the deadline to 180 days after the last date of the organization’s fiscal year.
The House Aging, Children & Youth, Legislative & Military Affairs Committee advanced legislation aimed at opening more childcare facilities in the state. HB1128 requires the Department of Human Services to post all the regulations and necessary information to start a child care facility in one central location on the agency’s website.
The committee also passed HB1022 which states that a mandated reporter who in good faith notifies the Child Abuse Hotline is immune from civil and criminal liability.
The House convenes on Thursday at 11:00 am