Legislative Briefs

Senate says no to putting election board under secretary of state

LITTLE ROCK — A bill to transfer the state Board of Election Commissioners to the Secretary of State’s Office failed in a Senate vote Wednesday.

Senate Bill 368 by Sen. Bryan King, R-Green Forest, received seven votes in support and 15 against.

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Bill on seat belts in school buses goes to governor

LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas House on Wednesday sent to the governor a bill that would allow patrons of a school district to demand that the district’s school buses be equipped with seat belts.

The House concurred in a Senate amendment to House Bill 1002 by Rep. Mark McElroy, D-Tillar, the final hurdle the bill had to clear to go to the governor.

Under the bill, if at least 10 percent of voters in the district sign a petition seeking seat belts, the district must hold an election to raise property taxes, and if the tax increase is approved the district must use the revenue to buy and install seat belts for all buses purchased or leased new after Jan. 1, 2018.

The district would have to require that students wear the seat belts when riding in a bus equipped with them.