From the historic hallways of the most beautiful state Capitol in our great nation, this is Senator Keith Ingram.
Most of the bills passed during the 2019 legislative session are scheduled to take effect this week, on Wednesday, July 24.
That is 91 days after we officially adjourned sine die on April 24. The date is set in the Arkansas Constitution, which gives citizens 90 days in which to file petitions to overturn any new laws passed by the General Assembly.
The 90 days have passed, and except in a few instances, the 1,092 bills passed this year are now law.
Some bills already were in effect. For example, budget bills took effect on July first, the beginning of the new fiscal year. Some bills had an emergency clause and took effect immediately when the governor signed them.
Some of the new laws affect drivers and motor vehicle registration. Teenagers under the age of 18 who are applying for a driver’s license will no longer have to produce proof that they have a grade point average of C or better.
The penalties will increase for passing a school bus that is stopped and loading or unloading children. It can be as much as $2,500.
If you want a specialty license plate for an antique car, it must be 45 years old. Under previous law you could get antique plates for cars that were 25 years old.
Police officers can now charge you with drunk driving if you’re operating an all-terrain vehicle or a farm vehicle while under the influence.
Speaking of all–terrain vehicles, we also passed legislation to protect property owners from lawsuits. Under the new law, the operator of a four-wheeler assumes the risk of injury when they drive on other people’s private property.
As always, I will do my best to keep you informed of the important developments from the legislature.
From the Capitol, it is always my great honor and sincere privilege to serve you as your state Senator. This is Keith Ingram.