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State lawmakers adjourn special session after passing income tax cut measures; gov says he will sign bill

by Michael R. Wickline | December 9, 2021 at 12:18 p.m.
On Wednesday, Rep. Spencer Hawks (top left) and Rep. Brian Evans (right) take photos of the voting board after the passage of HB1001, which would reduce state income taxes, during the House session, Dec. 8, 2021, at the state Capitol in Little Rock. More photos at (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Thomas Metthe)

The Arkansas House of Representatives and Senate on Thursday adjourned a three-day special session after approving identical income tax cut bills that state officials estimate will eventually provide nearly $500 million a year in tax relief for Arkansans.

The Senate voted 29-4 to send to the governor one of the identical income tax cut bills — House Bill 1001 by Rep. John Maddox, R-Mena, — before the House voted 80-14 to send to the governor the other identical income tax bill - Senate Bill 1 by Sen. Jonathan Dismang, R-Searcy.

The chambers also voted to send to the governor identical bills that would change the state’s recycling tax credit law to help persuade U.S. Steel to locate a $3 billion project in Mississippi County that supporters said would create 900 jobs.

The Senate voted 23-11 to approve a motion by Senate President Pro Temper Jimmy Hickey, R-Texarkana, for the Senate to adjourn the special session before the Senate could vote on motion by Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Conway, to extend the special session to consider an anti-abortion bill that included a Texas-style civil cause of action provision.

The House voted 61-32 to approve a resolution proposed by House Speaker Matthew Shepherd, R-El Dorado, for the House to adjourn the special session.

Afterward, Rapert said “I’m disappointed that this Legislature decided to force adjournment when they could simply have heard a bill to save babies in our state and they chose not to.”

Gov. Asa Hutchinson indicated he would sign the tax cut bill at a news conference set for Thursday at 1:30 p.m. Check back to watch the live video.

[Video not showing up above? Click here to watch »]

This story has been updated. It was originally published at 11:13 a.m.


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