Audio – Senator Keith Ingram Reporting News From 92nd General Assembly
April 11th, 2019 • News

April 11, 2019

  • From the beautiful and suddenly quiet hallways of your historic state Capitol, this is Senator Keith Ingram.
  • The legislature completed this year’s regular session, after finalizing a balanced budget for next fiscal year.
  • By most accounts, it was a productive session.
  • We enacted income tax cuts that will save Arkansas families more than $97 million a year. Also, the legislature lowered corporate income taxes more than $57 million a year.
  • We lowered property taxes more than $12.5 million a year, by increasing homestead property tax credits from $350 to $375.
  • Teachers will get a $1,000 pay raise each year for the next four years.
  • I’m happy to report that we approved a long-term highway program, which will improve state maintained highways, as well as streets and bridges maintained by cities and counties.
  • Gas taxes will go up three cents a gallon, diesel taxes will go up six cents a gallon, and $35 million of taxes from new casinos will be allocated to highways.
  • A huge part of the highway program will be determined at next year’s election, when Arkansas voters will decide whether to make permanent the temporary half-cent sales tax that goes for highway projects.
  • The legislature enacted a radical change in how juvenile offenders are sentenced.
  • Fewer teenagers will be sentenced to lock-ups, and more will be kept in their communities under local supervision. This should allow them to maintain their school work, and their connections to family.
  • It will take years to gauge the impact of the government transformation bill proposed by the governor, which reduces the number of cabinet level agencies from 42 to 15.
  • I will join other legislators in closely monitoring the government transformation, to make sure that state employees are responsive to the needs of Arkansas citizens, and to prevent the concentration of power into one branch of government.
  • Finally, we enacted a package of ethics laws that will increase penalties for campaign finance violations, improve enforcement of laws against public corruption, and prohibit lobbying by elected officials.
      Click to Listen - Audio Recording from April