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