New legislation filed Monday


LITTLE ROCK — Among legislation filed Monday in the Legislature were:

—House Joint Resolution 1003 by Rep. Andrea Lea, R-Russellville: To amend Amendment 42 to provide for election of the members of the Arkansas Highway Commission and appointment of the state highway director by the governor.

—HJR 1004 by Rep. Jeremy Gillam, R-Judsonia: The “Arkansas Legislative Equalization Amendment,” to amend Amendment 73 to set new term limits for members of the Legislature. The legislation is a shell bill, with details to be added later.

—Senate Joint Resolution 7 by Sen. Jonathan Dismang, R-Searcy: To amend the Arkansas Constitution concerning administrative rules promulgated by state agencies. Filed as a shell bill.

—House Bill 1294 by Rep. Kim Hammer, R-Benton: A school-choice bill that would allow a student approved for transfer to a non-resident district under a provision of law that is later struck down or repealed to finish school in the new district, and for any present or future sibling to do so.

—HB 1295 by Gillam: To set new awards for lottery scholarships — $2,000 for freshmen, $3,000 for sophomores, $4,000 for juniors and $5,000 for seniors.

—HB 1296 by Rep. Mark Perry, D-Jacksonville: To create an exemption from the sales and use tax for coins, currency and bullion.

—HB 1297 by Gillam: To exempt accrediting agencies that accredit only institutions of higher education that prepare students for religious vocations from the requirement that they be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

—HB 1298 by Rep. Douglas House, R-North Little Rock: To establish the manner in which and conditions under which the unclaimed cremated remains of a veteran may be interred.

—HB 1299 by Rep. John Edwards, D-Little Rock: To appropriate up to $14 million in federal funds, up to $7.5 million in surplus funds and up to $7 million in cash funds for construction of a new state veterans’ home to replace the one that was shut down in Little Rock last year. The bill also would allow the director of the state Department of Veterans Affairs to accept donations for the project.

—Senate Bill 270 by Sen. Jon Woods, R-Springdale: To allow participation in extracurricular activities by students enrolled in grades 7-12 in public and private schools without a waiting period.

—SB 277 by Dismang: To require insurance companies to pay reimbursement to physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech pathologists that is comparable to the reimbursement they pay to physicians.