Hails fails to override veto


LITTLE ROCK — The House on Tuesday attempted and failed to override Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s veto of a House bill.


Hutchinson vetoed House Bill 1581 by Rep. Kim Hammer, R-Benton, which would require state agencies to commission surveys of employees to gather information about job satisfaction, employee engagement and possibilities for improvement, among other things.


Hammer moved in the House for an override, but the motion failed in a 42-34 vote, falling short of the 51 votes needed.


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‘Sexual extortion’ bill sent to governor


LITTLE ROCK — The Senate on Tuesday voted 24-0 to approve and send to the governor’s desk a bill to make “sexual extortion” a felony offense.


House Bill 1808 by Rep. Kim Hammer, R-Benton, would prohibit coercing a person to engage in sexual or sexually explicit conduct or produce or distribute a recording of the person in a state of nudity or engaged in sexually explicit conduct with threats to damage the property or harm the reputation of the person or produce or distribute a recording of the person in a state of nudity or engaged in sexually explicit conduct.


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House OKs open-container bill


LITTLE ROCK — The House voted 83-1 Tuesday to approve a bill to make possession of an opened container of alcohol in a motor vehicle a misdemeanor offense.


House Bill 1922 by Rep. Dan Douglas, R-Bentonville, includes exceptions for a recreational vehicle, motor home or house trailer.


Douglas told House members that Arkansas stands to lose $11.7 million in federal highway funding if it does not pass an open-container law. He also said drinking in a vehicle is already illegal in Arkansas because it falls under the state’s law prohibiting drinking in public.


The bill goes to the Senate.


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House says no to alcohol sales on Christmas Day


LITTLE ROCK — The House on Tuesday rejected a bill to allow businesses that sell alcohol for on-premises consumption to do so on Christmas Day.


House Bill 1761 by Rep. Karilyn Brown, R-Sherwood, received 45 votes in support and 22 against, falling short of the 51 votes needed for passage.