Audio – Senator Keith Ingram Reporting News From 91st General Assembly
March 1st, 2018 • News

March 1, 2018

  • We’re coming to the final days of the 2018 fiscal session, which has been very businesslike and productive. That’s what Arkansas had in mind back in 2008, when they passed the constitutional amendment creating fiscal sessions.
  • After the fiscal session is over, we’ll start working on issues that are likely to be on the agenda of a special session. For example, many lawmakers want us to tackle the problem of reduced reimbursements to pharmacists. Pharmacy benefit managers changed their reimbursement schedules on January 1, and as a result local pharmacies are up in arms.
  • Also during a special session, we’ll make minor changes to the Arkansas law on open containers of alcohol. Arkansas used to be one of 11 states without a prohibition against open containers in motor vehicles. Although you couldn’t consume the alcohol, it was perfectly legal to drive down the road with an open bottle of whiskey in your cup holder.
  • Last year the legislature passed Act 849 to outlaw open containers. We don’t have to make any substantive changes to the act, but we do have to clarify the definition of an open container.
  • If we don’t act soon, Arkansas stands to lose out on $12 million in federal highway funding. As you know, we cannot afford to lose any highway construction money. In fact, we need to enhance current highway programs.
  • Other legislators have asked the governor to add other items to the call. One wants to amend laws on school choice law, and another wants to prohibit all-terrain vehicles from driving along public roads. Those items are potentially controversial, and so far the governor has not revealed his intentions.
  •       Click to Listen - Audio Recording from March 1, 2018