Monday, April 16, 2007

Arkansas Legislative Wrap-Up

The recent legislative session can be considered a success for working families and for AFSCME Local 965 and District Council 38. Thanks to each of our members who joined this fight for working families and contacted our legislators.

Here’s how our local legislators voted on the AFSCME Local 965's ten targeted bills affecting working families:

Rep. Lindsley Smith (D-Fayetteville) 100%

Rep. Jim House (D-Fayetteville) 70%

Sen. Sue Madison (D-Fayetteville) 70%

Rep. Marilyn Edwards (D-Fayetteville) 60%

Rep. Mike Kenney (R-Siloam Springs) 50%

Rep. Eric Harris (R-Springdale) 50%

Sen. Bill Pritchard (R-Elkins) 50%

Rep. Mark Martin (R-Prairie Grove) 50%

Rep. Jon Woods (R-Springdale) 40%

Of the 16 bills on which we took a position and contacted legislators, 10 became law—7 that we supported and 3 that we opposed. Six additional bills that we supported faced strong opposition from business interests and did not make it out of committee.

New Laws Supported by AFSCME 965

ACT 1028 Paid leave for UA employees to participate in child’s educational activities

ACT 110 Cuts state sales tax on groceries from 6% to 3%

ACT 1205 Alternative dispute resolution for public employee grievances

ACT 195 Provides state income tax relief for low income families

ACT 551 Creates Workforce Service Training Trust Fund

ACT 1030 Need-based college scholarships for low income students

ACT 1599 Assures solvency of workers’ Death and Total Disability Trust Fund

New Laws Opposed by AFSCME 965

ACT 707 Freezes minimum wage for tipped employees at $2.62

ACT 545 Exempts numerous jobs from state minimum wage

ACT 1415 Abolishes Workers Comp Second Injury Fund

Other Bills Supported by AFSCME that were not enacted

SB248 ( Madison ) Regular and uniform wage payment policies

HB1204 (D Johnson) Provide UA employees defined benefit retirement plan

HB2772 (Smith)Provide family maternity leave for new employees

HB2532 (Smith) Protect Worker Comp claimants from retaliatory discrimination

HB2533 (Smith) Provide Worker Comp coverage of mental illness or injury

HB2247 (Smith) Allow city zoning for affordable workforce housing

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